Serving in Romania
God placed Romania on my heart when I was 13 years old and living in Las Vegas. I had seen a documentary on orphans in Romania and my heart broke. God then laid a huge burden for these children upon my heart, that I would try to run away from, but would never find peace until I was here in Romania, doing what He had called me to.
I began volunteering in the local children’s hospital, and after a few years I noticed that only one of the hundreds and hundreds of abandoned babies was not Roma (Gypsy). I quickly learned that over 80% of Romania’s abandoned children are Roma. I then wanted to work directly with the people who were responsible for this. God led me to village of Tinca through one of the abandoned babies, Florica, who I had grown attached to. I found out where my sweet Florica lived, and drove there. I had never seen a Roma camp so large (with next to 3,000 living in mud huts, most with 5-10 children each). Florica’s parents were found after one year, and the police forced them to take her back to their home. The people were desperate, isolated, rejected, and hungry. I quickly saw that they were hungry for more than just food.
I began Forget-Me-Not Ministries (FMN) at the time of my first drive to Tinca with Florica (2006), and God has continued to grow and bless the work each year. We are now working with over 100 Roma daily, providing child care, Bible studies, training, education, jobs, medical care, feeding programs, and Christ’s love (that is being taught with each and every area of ministry).
Our purpose is to encourage, equip, and empower the Roma (Gypsies) in Christ. We seek to provide stability and nurture for neglected children by meeting their emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and social needs. FMN offers training to parents with the goal of breaking the cycles of abandonment and abuse which dominate the Roma society.
- The Isaiah Center – Life center for at-risk/abandoned Roma children. This is set up as a daycare center, however, we are involved with every aspect of the child’s life. They have baths, meals, tutoring to help with school work, Bible lessons daily, crafts, songs, and a refuge daily.
Seeds of Hope – Programs directed at child marriages . We work with teen parents, helping them with medical care for their babies, training, providing work opportunities, daycare, Bible study for teen moms, and Bible study for teen dads.
- Joy Beadz – A micro enterprise for the Roma women where they make paper bead jewelry that we sell online, as well as attend Bible study. This provides the women with a chance to earn money, learn a trade, and grow spiritually.
The Eden Project – We have over 1 acre of land that we use as a garden. This garden provides jobs for the Roma families, provides produce to feed all of our programs, and teaches a trade.
- Literacy program – Coming soon this year! The majority of families we work with cannot read or write.
- Work program – We create jobs to teach work ethics and provide opportunities for the Roma families to earn money without stealing, going into debt, or begging.
Please pray for the softening of the hearts of the Roma people and an openness to receive the Word. The Roma are a despised group of outcasts who have lived their whole lives with this prejudice, and so they can have hardened hearts full of anger, fear, hurt, and sadness. We rejoice when we see God break the chains off of those that are bound!