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 […]
President of Firm Foundations Romania Sarah Vienna is releasing a new album called “Through My Eyes” this month! The songs are written about personal experiences Sarah has encountered while living in Romania. To promote the album (proceeds go to FFR) and to share about Firm Foundations Romania, Sarah and Steffi will be touring in Germany for the next two weeks. Read more
We first met Ana Lagoy at the Benefit Concert help in The Woodlands, Texas, in May 2016 which raised over $20,000 for FFR’s projects. The theme of the concert was “unWANTED”… the emphasis being on WANTED because FFR’s goal is to make every child who may feel unwanted to instead feel wanted and loved. Ana attended the concert and felt led to share her testimony with Sarah Vienna. Ana was a Romanian orphan who learned that she is not only WANTED by her adopted parents, but also by the Heavenly Father. Ana has allowed us to share her testimony so that others can understand how important adoption is and how powerful God’s love is.
Unfortunately at this time international adoptions are closed in Romania. Please join us in praying that laws will be changed so the over 60,000 orphans in this country can finally find loving homes and families. Many kids like Ana want nothing more than to feel WANTED.
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.
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
This year the theme of the Alliance for Romania Without Orphans conference was ‘infinitely more.’ Two of our volunteers attended the conference, which focused on the verse James 1:27, ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’
While not everyone is called to foster or adopt, the aim of the conference was to discuss adoption and fostering in Romania and how it can be encouraged. The best option for a child is to be raised in a family, not an institution, no matter how small the institution is. The conference included social workers, foster carers, adoptive parents, members of NGOs, church leaders, political figures and experts in the areas of supporting children who’ve experienced trauma.
It was very encouraging to hear how progress is being made across Romania, such as a new law being implemented reducing the time a child is in the system before they are adopted and plans to build up more creative profiles for the children placed for adoption who are recognized as hard to place. There is also evidence of various adoptions arising as a result of the conference and the alliance raising awareness across the country. However, there are still many areas to that can be improved including: ensuring legislation is implemented properly, increasing the number of people with specialist expertise in the field, and creating a plan for children abandoned in hospitals with no identity.
A big part of the discussion was the role of the church in this. In Romania, as well as worldwide. It was commented that if every church in Romania adopted 2 children, there would be no more orphans in Romania. Ideas were shared about how members of a church can be involved in adopting a child, whether it be helping to make dinners for a family who have adopted, offering to babysit for the family or offering financial support to the family, or simply sharing more information about adoption in the church. And also how churches can support NGOs, and vice versa with NGOs offering expertise and churches offering nurture to children and families.
The parting message of the conference was how we can all do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can imagine according to His power in us.
Would you consider how you can support adoption and fostering? This Sunday is Orphan Sunday across many areas across the world, including Romania. Can you help us share this?
~ Written by Sarah Peters
A few months ago God placed in my mind and heart a vision for setting up a group for teenage Mums from Budila village, a space with 2 rooms where we could set up a ‘mother and toddler group’ style group with toys, crafts, bible stories and songs, and snacks in one room and a ‘baby health clinic’ in the other room with baby weigh scales, a baby thermometer and baby baths for the babies to be bathed in a warm, dry, clean place esp. during the winter months. Alongside this, we could have discussion times with the young Mums about topics such as baby health, child development, feeding, sleeping, bonding, as well as encouraging the Mums in interacting with their babies, helping them form healthy attachments and providing their babies with the right care and stimulation they need. Furthermore, we could encourage the development of the Mums themselves, as Mums, as young women, in their education, and in their faith.
I’m so humbled to say it seems this vision is becoming reality as we visited Budila village to deliver invites to numerous Mums aged between 12 and 19 years old inviting them to join us with their babies on Tuesday!!
Please join us in prayer as we set out to begin this group, for:
- The invites to reach the right girls for the group, and for the removal of barriers which might prevent them from attending;
- Wisdom for all of us involved in planning and running the group, in seeing and meeting the needs of the Mums and their babies;
- Positive relationships to be built between the whole group from the start;
- For God’s will to be done, and for His glory to be revealed through the group.
I praise God for setting this vision in my heart and for the ways it has come together this far, and am excited to see what is to come next as we meet the precious girls and their babies!
Thank you to everyone who prayed for dear little Sofia. After a temporary delay due to Sofia having the measles, she was admitted into the hospital and had a successful heart surgery. She is now back at the Brasov Children’s Hospital where she will spend the next month getting blood transfusions as needed. Due to her condition she will need to be on medication for life, but she is currently healthy and happy and remains the adorable little girl that all our volunteers love and cherish. Please continue to pray for Sofia as her body continues to heal and praise God for the work that has been done so far!
For Romanian students the school year and FFR’s programs start up again in September. We are thrilled to have more Romanian children join our programs and have more Romanian teachers jump on board with us to run our programs.
The After School Program (ASP) now has four full time Romanian teachers, who love God and of course children. Silvana Hagiu who worked with us this past year is now the Project Manager. Her husband Nicu, who often subbed and assisted last year, has joined full time which the children will be so excited about as they asked for him often. Joy and Estera are both new to the program, full of enthusiasm and ready to get started. God provided these teachers just in time before school started! Our Project Manager Silvana keeps saying, “I have a great team!” God indeed provides!
Seven Roma teenage girls will be moving to Brasov next week to attend high school, living in two apartments with the den parents. The eighth teen living in the apartment graduated high school this past year and will be attending university. We have wonderful den parents and a new teenage project coordinator (Adriana, left picture below) who are working together to make sure that the girls are well prepared for this adventure. We hope and pray that by next year we could open a boys apartment as well!
What an exciting season as we kick off our programs! Working in this capacity can be emotionally and physically tiring. Please pray for everyone working with FFR, for protection and strength, for unity within each team, and also for the children in the programs, that they would not only excel in their studies but more importantly will come to know God as their personal Lord and Savior.
The year started off with a new logo and website and has just continued getting better and better! We’re so thankful for the volunteers who have given their time to love the children of Romania, for donors who have given financially to help keep our projects running, and for the many people praying for FFR on a daily basis! We know the second half of the year will be just as great as the first half and we look forward to you being on this journey with us!
Please click HERE to read our most recent newsletter and update.
Str. Dealul de Jos 18A
Braşov, 500080 România