We Cannot Stop
Over a month ago, we shared about COVID-19 and how this is affecting Brosteni and our ministry. It is incredible to see how much has changed in the weeks that have passed. The world looked at important countries in Europe thinking that they reached the peak, just to realize how much further this can go, with each day bringing more tragedies and more people becoming infected by the virus. At the same time, smaller countries like Romania implemented social distancing measures much earlier to limit the number of cases and impact on the citizens. Today Romania has close to 10,000 confirmed cases and 507 deaths, and the actual number of cases could be much higher as our country’s testing capacity is rather small. Last week the town of Brosteni made available testing for some city workers, and the city allowed us to have our staff tested. We praise the Lord that all test results for our team returned negative, and only three of the town’s workers tested positive. We continue to pray that the virus’s effect here will be limited.
It is with great sadness that we read about the troubling news from the US. Yes, the US is much larger, and statistically, things are not necessarily as bad, but behind the numbers, there are real people; families that are going through difficult times and tragedies. Our hearts and prayers go out for all our friends during these times of turmoil. We pray that God will keep all of you and the entire US safe and bring this pandemic to an end. We keep minds focused on our role during this pandemic, and carry on our daily lives, although our hearts fill with concern for our friends all over the planet.
At the BOL Children’s Home in Brosteni, we have been instructed by the Romanian government to divide the staff into two groups and alternate moving each group inside the home for periods of 14 days. Significant effort and sacrifice were required as some team members had to leave children and households behind to move into the BOLCH for 14 days. Others did not have available childcare and had to bring their children into the home with them. It has been a challenging but necessary measure helping both the children and the families of the staff by limiting possible exposure due to coming and going.
We recently changed the teams, and the second group has moved in for their 14 days. We are all trying to keep a positive attitude and call this a “camping at home” time. Please say a prayer for our BOL Team as this comes with challenges that require great flexibility and adaptation from our team members.
The children are safe!! We have new regulations that require daily preventative medical inspections and logs that we need to keep, but praise God; so far all of them are in good health and coping with being in isolation inside the home for a month. This time is helping to build stronger relationships with the children as the staff and children are spending 24/7 together. We pray that the energy and love poured into their lives will bring long-lasting fruits.
Easter in isolation was a unique experience at the BOLCH this year as being “locked-in” brings challenges. Some of our staff are active in the local church and rose to the challenge. They presented an Easter Program for the children, and then like many other families, a meal
was shared by staff and children together.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16 KJV
We know that even thru these hard days God has a plan, and He loves us as no one else can. He loves all the children and staff in the BOLCH, as well as the ones in our Feeding Program. These children are also going through challenging times because, in addition to the medical risks of COVID-19, they are also the first to feel the economic impact. As jobs lockdown and food becomes scarce, we realize our Feeding Programs are no longer limited to a certain number of children, but the centers are becoming like Egypt in the time of famine rescuing and feeding all those that we meet and can help. Our ministry volunteers and partners are extending their outreach to poor communities to help the starving families.
Like never before, many ministries and individuals are working together, sharing their food resources, and helping each other feed those in need. God’s timing is overwhelmingly perfect. We did not know several months ago why we had the blessing of receiving a couple of containers with food, clothing, hygiene, and other needed items but now we know. It was not to build bigger barns but to have supplies for the coming need and share it with the people.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV
We do not know what the future holds, but God does. We pray for the US and our Christian brothers and sisters, sincerely realizing that BOL is just one of many ministries that remain open to serve due to the sacrificial love of God’s people. We are sharing only a few of the photos of the children and families that we help. Now, there are many more families who depend on God and His children for bare necessities than ever before. And together, we are making a difference for God’s glory.