Why Romania?

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A word of explanation, from Jean Conklin (co-founder):

I have had a longstanding curiosity about eastern Europe.

It was Christmas, 1989, when the Romanian dictatorship toppled. The entire world watched as Romania began to ascend from 45 years of Communism. My fascination with this emerging country compelled me to find a way to see this third world country. (click here to see more of this area) (click here to see even more!)

After many inquiries, we found a group that would take us in to Romania in 1992. Four of us from Northeastern Oregon (my husband, Dave; our daughter, Tia; a friend, Arnette; and I) joined up with a small Seattle-based group to venture half-way around the world.

Our assignment was to work at an orphanage in a village in central Romania.

We found ourselves essentially 'abandoned' at the orphanage, without language skills nor an interpreter. We were forced to become quickly acquainted with the village peasants, the transportation system, the culture and the language. We managed. Dave and Arnett loved the work at the girls orphanage. Tia and I found we could be more useful in the community. When we went home that summer, we knew we must return.

Our family members have made a total of nineteen trips to Romania in 10 years, staying from 10 days to 2 months. On our first trip, we were forced to learn quickly; we now manage fairly well by ourselves in that very foreign culture. Dave loves children, and they adore him. He plays sports, games, and exercises with them; he lets them practice their English on him; and he leads Bible studies with the help of an interpreter. Together we have had the privilege of spending hours at an old-folks' home in a remote village, and bringing smiles to sick children in children's hospitals. My time is also spent working with adults and working in the backgroune, learning the culture & the language, and facilitating arrangements & provisions for our work there.

It seems that every time we return home from abroad, a larger portion of our heart stays in Romania. We intend to continue to go to Romania as opportunities unfold, working in whatever ways we can be useful.

Humanitarian aid has many faces in an impoverished nation. Click on "What in the world have we been doing?" to see some of the ways we have found to help.

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 Heart for Romania

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