Chris and Angela Izzard, Ruth Buckett, Liz Shirley … all travelled to Romania 12-16 April 2014
We visited 8 past projects and 2 new projects which will be built in September by 2 teams from the U.K.
The first day we were there was Sunday morning, so we went to Iacob’s Pentecostal church in Bistrista. Iacob told us we had to be there before 9a.m. as it would be full! It was. Chris sat on the platform with the other pastors as he was one of the preachers. In front of us was a family with 2 young children who were
quiet for the entire 3 hour service! A huge choir of young women and men were superb singers. But everyone sings with gusto. Sit down to sing and stand up to pray. Spontaneous prayers gradually become louder and louder, very powerful. Chris’s talk had overheads and pictures which made the children sit up and take notice! At the end of the 3 hours, everyone leaves.
This was the first build that Richard, Hugo and team from U.K. attempted. The foundations and walls had been started, but sadly the husband died. This left his widow and 4 children living in a room at her mother’s house. They were able to build some of the house and roof but were not able to complete it within the week as it was large.
It was lovely to see the family again, everyone looking so well and happy. The house is now complete and improvements had been made to the house including a new floor which someone had donated. The 2 older girls had worked in Germany for a few months. They were busy cleaning the house for Easter and were very proud of their home.
This was a Iacob 2 room house, that replaced a shack covered in plastic sheeting in which the family were living. We met the mother, 2 younger boys and the girl. The father came in to meet us which was lovely. I remember the mother cleaning the new windows the week it was built as she had never had windows before. Very warm and dry with the wood burning stove.
This was the family of 5 that were living in shack size of a small garden shed, made of old doors and bits of wood. It was still there next to their spacious new build. There was also an addition to the family, a baby, Bianca. We didn’t stay long as mother didn’t know we were coming and was out shopping. We said hello to the girls and a boy and left our gifts and food.
It was wonderful to see this family sitting in their beautiful, neat and clean house. The original house was still there and of course had deteriorated even more. The father was very proud to show us the work he was doing outside on a large sloping plot of land. This had been cleared and fruit trees donated by Iacob had been planted along with vegetables. Very fine young people looking so smart and happy.
Lovely to meet this family again. Beautiful new house next to the old building which was collapsing we hoped not onto the new home. The mother was busy mopping the floors as we arrived. It was very muddy but she wouldn’t let us remove our shoes at the door! As we left the mop was out again! So lovely to see the difference in the people. Their pride having at last a real home for their family. The mother had painted the outside herself a beautiful blue. They had chickens and a cow too.
This was a wonderful visit. The mother had now remarried having lost her first husband. Two beautiful girls and a 15 year old boy who was busy building a wooden fence. Her husband had made many improvements to the house and she had a very super kitchen! She wanted to show us her garden, vegetable patch and rose cuttings she had cleverly grown herself. We noticed the girls had started to open our bag of gifts and were so excited, giggling and laughing with delight. When we left one of the girls ran to a neighbour’s house with the bag! The mother, a tiny lady, decided to sing to us and told the daughters they had to join in. It was so beautiful. She sang with her eyes closed, from the heart! Very moving. The girls joined in and were singing in harmony. Iacob said one of the songs was based on Psalm 121, I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Truly incredible moment we will never forget.
This was a family of 3 young men who were orphaned. One of them is now married and has moved away. We met the youngest brother. His brother was out in the woods with 2 of their 4 magnificent horses. They collect timber. He proudly showed us his room and he had even made a wonderful bed from the timber. They were now adding a bathroom to the house. A lovely young man and a real joy to meet again.
This was 2 semi detached houses that were built as one of the family was diabetic and very sick at the time and needed his own room. Since then he has married, is well, and we met his wife and 4 beautiful daughters. In the other house a family with 5 children. They have now built on another room to their house. As a result of these homes being built the community responded and there is now a tiny church there! Iacob said we would take pizzas there as they were very poor. We were amazed when he came out of the pizza shop with 3 huge baker’s trays with over 50 pizzas! But on arrival in the village we soon found out why. On arrival we heard singing from the little one room church. We went in and sat on little benches and much to our delight, the children went to the front and sang their hearts out! Amazing! We were told that the couple who run it were not able to have children of their own and so they welcome all the children of the village there. As they left, we stood at the door and gave out the pizzas and there were exactly the right number, no more, no less! Another of those special moments.
New Projects – team from UK will help build in September 2014 – Lechinta.
Two new houses will be built at the same time as they are within yards of each other and the families are related. A beautiful village set in wonderful countryside.
First house is a mother, Laura with her 5 children. Ioan 2, Marian 3, Cosmin 8, Ionuts 11 and Cosmina 15. 4 boys and a girl. Lovely family.
Second house is a family of 4 orphans. Wonderful young people. The house was immaculate and all the washing hung out on the fences. Vegetable garden and even a tiny flower garden. Everything was lovely.
Florina 18, had left school and was now the mother, bless her, looking after Emil 17, Alina 15 and Theodora 11. She said they would be painting the inside walls as smoke damage from the stove quickly darkens the paintwork. They also want to keep this house in memory of their parents. We were told that the young people were the ‘star’ pupils at the school and it was not hard to see why. They were very fine young people left to find their own way through their teen years. Amazing what they had achieved. Iacob said that hopefully as well as a 2 room build there would be a small bathroom too. We prayed for them and Chris blessed each one of them which was very moving.
So a very worthwhile and fruitful trip despite the cold and the mud! Our beautiful white hire car was actually brown when we returned it to Cluj Airport. ! And muddy on the inside too! Iacob made us a map of all the projects we had been involved with since 2003. To everyone’s amazement that now numbers 30. Iacob thanked us for being faithful and staying with them.