As I boarded the plane for my twenty-second trip to Romania I could not help but think about all the trips and all the resources ACF, through the grace of our God, has been able to share with the small Roma community nestled at the edge of Tarneveni. Once again, the team was prepared with Bible stories, Crafts, and fun games, along with a massive amount of candies and gum!
When our team arrived at the Point of Hope Center, we were greeted by dedicated teachers and staff. They have spent many years working tirelessly with the children of this community, striving to share the love of Christ and break the cycle of poverty and discrimination that has held them back for generations.
Year after year, the Point of Hope teachers and staff have poured their hearts and souls into the children they serve. Year after year, mission teams have come to “love on” these precious children. The Point of Hope Center, sits in the heart of a poor Roma community, and the children flock in, eager to learn and escape the limitations that society has placed upon them. The challenges have been immense, but God has continually blessed this ministry.
ACF believes that the power of education, infused with the power of God, brings the hope found only in Jesus that changes lives. The teachers and staff continue to teach the children to read, write, and do math. But more importantly, they instill in them a love for God and a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. Along with a sense of self-worth and pride in their heritage the children are encouraged to dream big and trust God to work in their lives, no matter what obstacles lay in their path.
I have the perspective of seeing this work from the beginning until today, and I am so excited to say that I see as the children have grown, so has the impact God has made in the whole community. Many of our students have gone on to complete their education, breaking the cycle of poverty that had plagued their families for generations. Evidence of the remarkable progress in the Roma community has spread, and support continues to come in from people near and far.
I spoke with senior adult volunteers that are eager to help the children gain valuable skills in wood working, sewing, and artistic expressions. The once-neglected area is being transformed into a thriving community. This community started to flourish in ways that no one had ever imagined. Crime rates have dropped, and the stigma associated with the Roma people is beginning to erode. Children who once lived in abject poverty now have access to quality education, nurturing their talents and aspirations.
I was inspired and watched in awe as the fruits of numerous mission teams, and the labor of the precious team at the Point of Hope has blossomed through a wonderful work of God. The once underprivileged children now have opportunities they never even imagined. It is a testament to the enduring power of God’s love, the dedication of the staff, and the generosity of ACF supporters and mission teams.
The Roma community’s progress is not just about better living conditions or financial success; it is about breaking the chains of prejudice and discrimination, and finding the everlasting love found only in our Creator God. It is about continuing to provide support and share the Gospel until every Roma soul has the opportunity to find Christ as their personal Savior. As I boarded the plane to return home, my heart swells with gratitude as I bring home a story of hope, resilience, and the transformative power of God’s love. God has definitely made a difference in the lives of the children and community and He let me and the team be a part of His work!