Sometimes, right when we think we know exactly where we are supposed to be, God interrupts our plans to show us something else. And sometimes, He might lead us somewhere else for a while in order to remind us of where He wants us to be.
Are you looking for something new this year? Have you ever considered volunteering with FFR long term? We would love to have you join our team! In addition to hospital shifts, there is also opportunity to assist with Kids Club, After School Program, Teen Mums, sorting and organizing donations, welcoming short term volunteers, and a […]
Through our work in the Brasov Children’s Hospital, we have the opportunity to care for and love many babies and children. Some we know well and have watched them grow up back and forth between their home and the hospital since shortly after birth, and others are only in for a few days here and […]
I was always that person who gave money to missions, prayed for missionaries and encouraged others to go on missions. I always said, “Some people are called to go but I am called to hold down the fort”. This all changed about five years ago when I met a sweet woman from England. She told […]
Since beginning in October 2016, the Teen Mums’ group has transitioned from new starts and unknowns, to a comfortable, relaxed, support network. Friendships have blossomed between the Mums, the babies, and with us. This past week was another great time together when we had a summer baby pool party! It was lovely to all meet up again since term ended in June and to catch up with the Mums, to relax, and to laugh together at the kids’ enjoyment of splashing in the water! Their joy was contagious!
Since January, the girls have been learning about “Who is Jesus?” from Bible readings and sharing personal stories. They have loved being creative and making various different crafty pieces; and we’ve all learnt lots of new information and skills from Jo, a nurse from Australia, about health hygiene, how to professionally decorate cupcakes with Tina from America, and about health and nutrition from one of the hospital nurses, which the nurse and the girls enjoyed so much they want to do it again! We have also welcomed two new babies to the group and attended a wedding of one of the Mums!
We have five Mums who are attending regularly, and with their now 8 babies and toddlers, we are at capacity for the space we have available. But this has allowed close relationships to form within the group which has been so special.
The group will begin meeting again weekly in September and we are looking forward to sharing more with the Mums and babies together. Please pray at this time for health and safety for all of the Mums and babies over the summer, for faith to continue growing for the girls, for wisdom for us as we begin to plan for the next year and for relationships to continue flourishing.
We have had so much support through donations, prayer and volunteers for this group this past year. We, including the Mums, are so grateful!
~ Sarah Peters, Teen Mums Project Manager
Julia Asmus came to volunteer with Firm Foundations Romania for a few weeks this year. After her experience, she wrote a blog about her trip and she shared this blog with us. It’s a beautiful testament to the work that God is doing in Romania, and that we in FFR are blessed to be part of. Thank you Julia for coming to volunteer with us and for allowing us to share your writing:
In the 20 hours after I finished my last final of freshman year, I packed up my dorm, headed home, and hopped on a plane to travel the 5,000 miles to Romania. I made a point to spend time looking out the plane window and reflecting on all the things God has done in my life this past year of college, and man, there’s a lot, but that’s for another post. For most of the flight it didn’t seem real, and then at some point it simply was: I’m going to Romania and I hope I don’t come back the same.
I arrived Saturday evening and went to church the next morning with the girls I’m volunteering with. The pastor preached a message on the early church in Romanian and one of the volunteers translated into English. In that small room people from all around the world, coming to Romania for multitudes of different reasons, sat together and listened and talked. That evening I walked around the almost empty Brasov citadel in the gentle rain and visited the Black Church in the city center. It was a beautiful, yet stoic building that survived a massive fire hundreds of years ago and took decades to restore. It was built to hold 5,000 people when there were only 2,000 living in Brasov. The makers must’ve had big plans for their cathedral.
I worked my first volunteering shift at the hospital Monday morning. Sarah and I changed into our scrubs and carried over toys to play with the children. The children we visit in the hospital are all sick. Most of them have parents, but their parents may rarely visit them, if ever. Firm Foundations, the organization I’m volunteering with, steps in by bringing them diapers and hosting volunteers who assist the nurses by playing with the children, holding them, feeding them, and changing them when they might otherwise not get the necessary attention they need. I held little Adam* and played with him. I put little shoes on his feet and held him so he could try standing up. He’s nearing two years old and still can’t walk or stand on his own, but he knows how to giggle and loves to laugh. I held Callie*, a little girl who was supposedly left abandoned in a park and another little boy whose name we didn’t know. We handed out at least 50 diapers and changed multiple babies. When I came back Tuesday, little Daniel* sat up in his crib when he saw me and reached out his arms toward me. He sat in my lap and played with the toys while princess Samantha*, a 2 year old recovering from heart surgery, blew bubbles at us.
I’ve wanted my life to be this great big grand adventure. I’ve wanted to do big things in big ways. I want to change lives and impact eternity…and yet this trip has shown me that I am so small and everything I’m doing is so small. Feeding babies, changing diapers, blowing bubbles, holding children, playing with them, and I’m only here for two weeks, what can I do in two weeks?
And then I look at the mountains and think of all the miles I’ve traveled to get here and the sunsets I’ve seen and the bird song I hear each morning and the wild flowers that grow along the road and it hits me that I know the God who created it all, and He holds me and says “I’ve got you covered, I am in control, I love you, I love these children, and I’ve got you in my hands.” And I stare at Him with wonder, the same way the children open their eyes when they awake from their naps and stare at the room and everything in it. “It’s a big world out there,” I tell them as I hold them up to the window so they can see the sky and the sun and the mountains right outside their door. Their eyes grow wide and I smile at them and they smile back and perhaps life and love don’t have to be a grand adventure to be wonderful. And perhaps I don’t need to change the world everyday, perhaps all I’ve ever needed was God and His love and this relationship where He pours out all His life for me on the cross and I respond by letting that love guide me everyday, in the big things, and especially in the little ones.
*Alternative names used
Julia’s blog site: wandering-heart.weebly.com
In America, one of the most loved and well-known children’s songs is “Jesus Loves Me.” Many of us grew up singing this song. The words are seemingly simple but the meaning behind them is a powerful as any song written. This past week Sarah Vienna joined the Teen Mums group to share her testimony. She told the girls what Jesus means to her and then taught them “Jesus Loves Me” in both English and Romanian. The girls were very attentive and interested in both the story and the song.
Please join with us in praying for each of the Teen Mums who has visited the program. Pray that they will come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and that He will start making changes in their lives. Also please pray for the team to have wisdom to know how to reach these girls and how to best help them.
Born in Romania, Robert has returned to his home country for the first time after his family moved to Canada when he was eight years old. He and his wife are volunteering with Firm Foundations Romania for two months. Robert quickly noted that he was the only male volunteer at this time, as the majority of volunteers who come out are female. Through this interview, Robert wants to make it known that “Real Men Love Babies” and encourage more males to come volunteer as the babies in the hospital need father figures and good role models!
Our Teen Mums’ programme began on 18th October, and through a trial and error approach and lots of prayer, is growing and forming and flourishing.
- We’ve had 6 young Mums attend, 5 regularly, with 7 children between them…and more on the way!
- We’ve had 8 sessions, including a Christmas Party.
- We’ve learnt about Abraham, Esther, the birth of Jesus, Noah, Psalm 139, and Creation, keeping our keys themes as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and ‘God has a great plan for our lives, you are important to God.’ It has been so encouraging to see how engaged and inspired the Mums have been by these messages so far.
- We’ve made bracelets, photo frames, Christmas baubles, handprint pictures and more! The girls have loved making the crafts so much they sometimes don’t want to leave.
- We’ve eaten countless biscuit and banana snacks and drank a lot of tea, even the babies.
- We’ve celebrated 3 birthdays.
- We’ve had conversations about relationships, baby care, and baby health.
- We’ve seen and charted baby weight growth with our baby scales.
- We’ve learnt 4 new songs.
- And we’ve only had 2 tantrums, 3 stinky nappies and no broken toys!
For the new year, we have many exciting plans including: giving each girl a scrapbook so she can record her and baby’s time with us, sharing more Bible stories building on the theme of God caring for us, and having ‘guest speakers’ (volunteers who are also nurses/Mums) come and share what they know about breastfeeding, baby hygiene and more!
It has honestly been a joy and such a privilege, with the lovely Lidia and Steffi alongside me, to get to know these young Mums and babies and to see how much they’re already starting to grow and feel encouraged. I’m so excited to see what more God has in store for us this next year.
Please continue to pray for relationships to grow, for the girls to feel strengthened and empowered in the love God has for them, and for God’s wisdom for us in leading, planning and in reaching out and meeting the needs of these precious Mums and babies.
~Written by Sarah Peters, Teen Mums Project Manager
What a wonderful year FFR had in 2016. Over 70 volunteers from 10 countries came to provide love and care for the babies in the hospital. We increased our After School Program team to four Romanian teachers and now have 130 children being helped. The Kid’s Club continues to grow with up to 13 children coming. And we started a program in Budila for Teen Moms.`God continues to provide and we are so thankful. We look forward to seeing what is in store for 2017 and we thank you for your continued support!
Check out our new video (an update on FFR projects):
Str. Dealul de Jos 18A
Braşov, 500080 România