I first traveled to Romania on a medical mission trip led by Bro. Allen Atkins (www.theamenministry.com) in March of 2012. At the time, I had been attending Fairhaven Baptist Church for 4 years where Bro. Allen was the pastor. I knew I wanted to be a part of a church that prioritized missions but it took me 4 years to work up the nerve to go. I needed Yvonne’s series on fear back then! God used that first trip to change my life in many different ways, and I have since been back to Romania 3 more times.
The second time I went to Romania I met Bro. Allen and Mrs. Lisa there to dedicate a church building built by the Amen Ministry. However, the highlight of the trip was getting to visit the House of Hope. Pastor Mihai Micula and his wife Dana had recently opened a children’s home for 12 kids they rescued out of government orphanages. On the day we arrived in Romania, Mihai and Dana picked up a little 2 1/2 yr old girl from a transit center (the first step before a state orphanage). Her mother had attempted to kill her several times and ultimately abandoned her. I instantly adored all the kids and this little girl, Veronica, stole my heart. Her personality was a big as the room, and she had big brown eyes that cried out for love. I couldn’t imagine what circumstances led her mother to abandon this precious child. My heart ached for all the broken families represented by those 12 children, and I prayed that there in the House of Hope they would all learn what it means to be loved and adopted into a family. The scene was a real-life representation of my adoption by Jesus Christ into His family. Jesus picks us up as we are and brings us into his embrace. Slowly, we learn His ways and what it means to be a part of the family of God. He pours His love into us and we are able to love others. Where we come from and how “dirty” we were no longer matters because He writes us a new story and makes us whole. Veronica, whose mother had tried to kill her and did abandon her and who would probably never know her father, had a loving home with a father and a mother and siblings to grow up with. She would have food and clothing and a roof over her head. Most of all, she would have hope for a future and hear of the good news of Christ.
Last December, I spent the week of Christmas with the Micula family and the kids at the House of Hope. There are now 2 houses and 25 children! I’ve always heard mothers say that the more children they have the more their love multiplies so there is enough to go around and this seems to be the case in the House of Hope! Each child knows that they are special and loved by their adoptive parents. The first day I was there we went on a field trip that was sponsored by a local newspaper to a ski resort to play in the snow. The rest of the week, I got to experience what daily life was like for this large family. Spread out over 2 houses and with over 10 employees, there is a lot to do and a lot to keep up with! The Romanian government requires that they employ a certain number of people and follow other rules, but the House of Hope receives no financial assistance from the government! The House is supported by Bro. Mihai’s church, Bethel Baptist in Satu Mare, and by the generous gifts of church members and friends in Romania as well as here in the United States. As you can imagine, the grocery bill is not cheap when you have to feed 25 growing girls and boys! There are also kindergarten tuition fees, school books to buy, clothing and shoes, and medical expenses. Because so many of the kids were malnourished as infants and toddlers, many of them have lingering medical issues that require doctor visits and medications. I watched all week as they would bow their heads and pray and thank God for their soup and bread at mealtimes and for the people who provided for them.
I could tell many different stories of the changes I’ve personally seen in these kids over the past 2 1/2 years. Maria, a now 14 yr old, wouldn’t smile and hardly spoke when she first came to the House. Now she smiles all the time! Many of them came to the House on the verge of flunking out of school and are now at the top of their classes. Bro. Mihai and Dana are quick to give credit to prayer and scripture for these transformations. They sit attentively in “big church” at every service and are all memorizing scripture and can each recite multiple Psalms.
This year, I established a 501c3 non-profit, the Fabric of Hope, to help partner with the other ministries who support the House of Hope. If you are interested in giving a one-time gift or becoming a monthly sponsor, please email me for more information at email@example.com, visit our website at www.thefabricofhope.com or fill out the contact box below this post. Just as it takes many threads knit together to make a beautiful fabric, it takes many different people coming together to give and pray to support the House of Hope.
Bro. Mihai and Dana will be at Fairhaven Baptist Church in Demopolis this Sunday, August 23rd at 10:30am and at The Fellowship in Albertville on August 30th to share about the ministry of the House of Hope. You can also meet Veronica, Sunamita, Raul, and Ana from the House of Hope.
“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
James 1:27 HCSB