GOOD NEWS. GREAT JOY.
Your shoebox gift was one of 157,710 that have been delivered to children in ROMANIA. We thank God for the thousands of children that have received shoeboxes here since Operation Christmas Child began distributions. While we are not able to provide pictures or information on the specific child who received your individual shoebox, we hope you will be inspired by the stories and photos below.
POPULATION: The population is 21.3m of which 15.6% are under the age of 15.
CURRENT ISSUES: Roma Gypsies – Poverty, illiteracy and discrimination are the main obstacles facing Romania’s Roma, who number over 600,000.
CHILDREN: Reform over the past 20 years has brought significant improvements to Romania’s childcare system: closure of large institutions, greater use of foster care, and an improved legal framework. However, the number of children separated from their parents and living in care is still very high – almost 70,000. Local authorities are overworked, underfunded and lack the required training.
Shoeboxes Bring Joy
The Manolescu family live at edge of town in a small room built with cardboard. They do not have drinking water and power and they cook their food on an open fire. Our local ministry partners reported that the shoebox gifts they received brought a lot of joy and happiness for their children.
In Ciubotea every child enjoyed the shoeboxes, but to one particular child it brought hope on the darkest of days. Ionut’s mother died on the same day as the shoebox distribution was planned in Ciubotea. In spite of the daily hardships he was facing and the loss of this mother, Ionut smiled when he opened his shoebox. A simple gift acted as a powerful reminder that he is loved and not to lose hope.
National Leadership Teams
Operation Christmas Child invests in building National Leadership Teams made up of trained local volunteers and staff within over 100 countries. These teams then work alongside many Regional Leadership teams who in turn train local church leaders and teachers. In Romania 34 teams are working with 1437 ministry partners (teams of volunteers in local churches) to make Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey possible each year!
THE GREATEST JOURNEY
Each shoebox gift delivered by Operation Christmas Child is a tangible expression of God’s amazing love. But a shoebox is just the beginning. After receiving a shoebox gift, children have the opportunity to enrol in The Greatest Journey – 12 fun and interactive Bible lessons [link to TGJ home page], where they get the chance to discover who Jesus is and how to begin their own journey of faith. At the end of the course they get to experience a graduation ceremony where they receive a New Testament in their own language.
The Greatest Journey is taught by local volunteers who have been trained to deliver the programme. It is offered free of charge, without obligation and with the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. Over 12,700 children in Romania have enrolled in this programme since it started.
You can be a part of helping us “go and make disciples of all nations” as Jesus commanded. Sign up for a monthly gift of £5, and each year you will give 12 children study materials, a New Testament, and the opportunity to share their faith with family and friends.