December 2015

Dear Friend of House of Hope,
Greetings to you from Romania to your house! I just arrived in the States from Romania a few days ago, so I want to get news to you about the House of Hope. It has been too long since I last brought you up to date. I will be spending about 5 weeks in the States.
You have read before about Irina, who has stayed at the House of Hope for the past 1 ½ years to save her money to buy an efficiency apartment. In August she moved into her own place.
Irina has the mental age of a teenager, but she is working hard to maintain her apartment and continues to work the same job she has had since 2005. She keeps herself busy with church activities, Bible studies, and prayer groups. Your support of House of Hope gave her a future.

Currently 2 girls are staying at House of Hope to enable them to further their education. Alina, who has been there for 6 years, is now finishing up her nursing education. Her sister Rebeca is a junior at the Christian high school. As you might remember, they come from a poor village where there was not even electricity until recently. Just 2 weeks ago Rebeca was baptized at Bethany Baptist Church. Many of her relatives came to celebrate with her on this wonderful occasion. She is pictured below.

There are 7 girls who are staying on part of the property of the Directors of House of Hope. They have been there for 2 years and this location is much easier for them to get to school and attend church activities. Five of the girls are attending the Christian high school. One of the girls is studying medicine and the other is working and attending university. These girls are very appreciative of the possibility to have a place to stay to attend high school. It is very questionable whether any of them would be able to study past the 8th grade without House of Hope.

As of this writing, there are 72 seniors at House of Hope. This facility continues to be a ministry to the families who need a place for their loved ones for whom they cannot give care. Right away they sense a completely different atmosphere when they arrive at the House. There are few private Christian ministries like this one where people get good care and also have a chance to hear the gospel. Such a crisis of a family’s need for a place like House of Hope often opens doors for them to receive the message of love and hope. Their hearts are more tender for God to speak to them. During the Christmas season different groups come to the House to sing carols and share the message of hope Jesus offers.

Your gifts in the past year have helped to do some remodeling in the rooms on the ground floor. The big hot water boiler gave out this summer and a new one needed to be purchased. The pipe taking the water from the well to the pump needed to be replaced, as well. One project partially finished is a new fence around the property (pictured below this paragraph). Two sides are done and the foundation has been shored up all the way around. Next door there are some dogs that often dug under the old fence and caused damage on the property. They killed several of one batch of chickens and tore up the twigs of blueberry bushes that had just been planted. Now they will no longer be able to get under the fence. In recent months the children of one resident who live in Germany donated some fruit trees for the property. This past summer the garden provided many fresh vegetables and much of that crop is in the freezer. A good-sized strawberry patch is a favorite of the residents. In addition to the chickens, several pigs furnish meat for the dinner plates of the residents. In the future the House will need to enclose the elevator shaft with a wall to protect it from the weather elements. It was built on the exterior, as you might recall.

Thank you so much for your support, prayers, and interest in House of Hope. This ministry is alive and well because of you!
As always, if you are led to send in a donation, the address is Greater Europe Mission, PO Box 1669, Monument, CO 80132. Please designate it for House of Hope on a separate piece of paper. Thanks! May God bless you richly and may you have a Blessed Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year!

Bev

 

Dear Friends,
once again we can be very grateful for this fading year. Again and again I am amazed how satisfied the seniors are with the for Rumania unusual all-round service and how grateful. A special thanks to Diakoniewerk Tabea (Hamburg) for the gift of many walkers and wheel-chairs. The girls in our care continue to give us great pleasure. All of them are diligent and receive only best grades. I suppose this is something we may be a little proud of. They are also a great help in the house. Especially now when a lot of preperation for the winter has to be done. By now the so called autumn-works have been finished. All of the chickens are slaughtered and frozen to be part of the winter stock. Some more plums and blueberries were bought to make marmalade.

 

Dear Friends,

My dear friends and active supporters, it was a great joy for me that my friend‘s Johannes illness allowed him to travel to Rumania again after 10 years. Together with his son in law Thomas we made a very harmonious team. Accordingly journey and stay flew by.

We still miss a caretaker for our House of Hope. So far all applicants who stayed for a trial period did not have everything that is required. In our case we do not only need practical skills but also someone who has got a heart for the girls and seniors.

By now 65 seniors live in our house. They are cared for by a staff of 20 ( two doctores, nurses, carers, a cook and cleaners). Because most of the girls live in Sibiu temporarily the free rooms are taken by shorttime care workers.

I will let you hear Johannes report now whereas I will come back to you at the end.
While Ehrhart came to Rumania for about 50 times within the last 25 years, this was my seventh journey to Sibiu. Together with Thomas we left on Wednesday after Easter. Originally we had planned to leave one day earlier but because of engine trouble we were delayed. Our trailor carried aid supplies as well as a

The doctor checking on the medication

and medical devices

discarded ultrasound scanner and some wheelchairs.

We had heard many reports about the positive change in Rumania since the joining of the EU and were now eager to see how this had an impact on the country. We were not left disappointed: The new parts of the motorway showed great progress. However disillusion set in in the middle of the night: Because of a street closure we had to make a diversion. This way was in a very bad condition. Deep potholes became a challenge and it was difficult to move forward with our trailor. In this way we experienced the country in its current situation: On one hand progress that can not be overseen and stagnation on the other hand. After 26 hours of driving also the big city Sibiu presented itself in a new light and bright sunshine. The centre of the city was elaborately renovated and the big shopping centres at the edge of the city do not leave a lot to be desired. However only a few kilometres into the country rubbish is blown around and the villages with their poor people look just as they used to.

 

Positive changes also welcomed us in our house in Selimbar. Since our work there opened the doors for the elder people of the town, this field of our work takes more and more room. In order to use all the rooms of the big house to capacity a day care station has been established.

Since the nursing care places and senior flats are partly payed for by the relatives this part of our work is self-sustaining. This leaves room for the original matter close to our heart which is the support of girls in need. Some of them are helping at the house at the moment, others are in Sibiu to finish school. Right there in

currently empty house for the school girls

Sibiu our first small house was renovated and is available to the girls who can organize themselves already and visit the school nearby. Only food is delivered by our house in Selimbar.
After a short break we started to unpack the aid supplies. Especially the wheelchairs had been awaited longingly. The medication was stored under professional supervision of the doctor.

The following time was full of conversations, visits and impressions that can hardly be described in a few lines. However two of those moments shall allow you an insight: On Saturday we had loaded our car with sorted clothes from our store room and food, that we had bought in the big shopping centre of Sibiu. With the full car we made our way to Rosia a small town near by. We met a sister there who lead us to some families that were in great need for help. Soon streets turned into difficult roads and horse-drawn vehicles characterized the face of the village. On a sunny day like the one we enjoyed this almost felt nostalgic. What these conditions might be like with a lot of rain or snow however was hard to imagine. The houses turned smaller and smaller. Very often the houses were not more than huts built in a makeshift manner. More and more our car seemed to be a foreign good in this area – and we felt the same. This feeling even grew when we were invited

„wheelchairs in action“

in some of these small houses to hand out our supplies. Houses consisting of not more than one or two provisionally arranged roomsthat are supposed to give shelter to a whole family. Often more than 15 people that lived their daily life under one roof. We met fates of illness and unemployment, full of resignation, hopelessness as well as shame. We also met single mums who are still children and who live in conditions we do not want to experience for one night. Outside again: the sun shining, a blue sky. And we went back to our car, took a seat and went back to a different world. This is very hard to bear and leaves no one with his heart at the right spot untouched. This is the reason we want to build up this work with more donations.

 Another experience touched me less because of material needs but I was rather impressed by the peoples‘ faith. On Sunday we were asked to give the easter sermon. This was a great honour and a very special feeling since in Germany we had celebrated easter one week before already. The first part of the sermon was given by Ehrhart who was translated by Daniel, a swiss missionary. A young lady called Anna helped me in my part. At that time I did not know that this girl had been living at our house for some time and had also spent a short period of time in Switzerland thanks to Daniel’s connections. This is where she learned the german language. The very plain sermon about God’s love to us also in difficult situations touched her heart so much while she was translating that she started to cry. This again affected the whole congregation. Right then I understood – as I never did before – that the message of God’s love and the resurrection of Christ has such a high relevance and significance for people in need, who do not know how to go on, who are lonely, depressed, poor and ill. Maybe much more important than it is to us who lead a very settled life. Eventhough I did not understand a word of the following worship it affected me as if it was not from this world.

Shopping centre in Sibiu Loaded with clothes and food

Now, I will not be able to avoid to finish my report with the moving words we were greeted with on that Sunday morning: „Many have come and have left again. Ehrhart has remained loyal to us“. Out of a single box with aid supplies grew through many, many years not only a big aid project but also deep friendship and a strong bond.

(Johannes Koslowski)

Some parents whose girls will soon finish school very successfully leave us concerned. The girls would be able to visit a secondary school or even university. But their parents do not see the necessity of a good education for girls also. They want their daughters to return to the villages and marry. Why an education? We hope that further conversations will lead to a change of view.

Best wishes and God’s blessings to you all, Johannes und Ehrhart

In this small hut (about 9 qm) lives this 17-year-old mother

transport and locomotion vehicle in

the country

our „second“ easter celebration in the church of Rosia, singing Johannes

 

Dear friends and active supporters,

while summer break comes to an end here, our girls are still on holiday or try to earn some pocketmoney. We organized a 1-bedroom-flat in town for Bombi and hope that she will finally manage to cope with that. She will continue to help in the house and garden.

"Bombi" Maria and Magdalena Ana

Maria and Magda graduated with very good grades. Both of them would like to visit a nursing school or start a training in Sibiu. Unfortunately their parents decided that they have to return home so that they can help in agriculture. (Sadly the opinion that girls don’t need an education is still very commen.). Ana won the first prize for this term (she achieved the best grades). At the celebrationgraduation ceremony we were given a big compliment for the good education we offer the girls.

Maria Rebeca also graduated and is going to go to university. She would like to study psychology. We recommended her to become a nurse since it is much easier to find work afterwards. At the moment she is working to earn the money she needs to go to university. Tabita also works during the holidays to earn some money. She is a very sweet girl and hard working, in contrast to her sister Estera.

Alina and Rebeca are going to become nurses. Since their parents can’t afford the school we will pay for it. Adrana Lazar (from Resita) has been with us recently. She studies medicine und tutors mathmatics at church.

Alina Rebeca Maria Rebeca Tabita

We planted 100 currant and 120 strawberry bushes in June and July. Hopefully we will be able to produce enough jam a.o. from it next year.

It is a pity that we haven’t found a good and  trustworthy housekeeper yet. The one that had been with us for a period of time wasn’t a great help. Every move had to be explained to him otherwise he wouldn’t have done anything. Because of his carelessness the door of the chicken barren stayed open and  160 of the chicken were mainly killed by the straying dogs. Our search continues. Indeed it isn’t easy to find someone capable. Meanwhile someone from the church in Rosia comes during the day. For the rest of the time Cornel has to cope with the issue

 

Warmest regards and blessings

your Ehrhart

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