Monday, October 28, 2013

Mission Without Borders: Feeding Children in Sighisoara

Dracula's birthplace

When I visited Romania in 2007, I had the opportunity to visit many museums and historical places as a tourist for the first time (previously I had only been on mission trips).  I was able to re-visit Sibiu and Brasov but I also was able to visit new places and explore the history and culture.

One such city was Sighisoara.  Set in the historic region of Transylvania, Sighisoara is best known as the birthplace of Vlad Tepes in 1431.  I had planned on arriving in the morning by train from Sibiu.  Unfortunately, there were no trains departing for Sighisoara on that day.  So I got to practice broken Romanian and, with the help of the hotel, found a bus company that drove to Sighisoara every day.  The departure was later in the afternoon and I arrived at my hotel just before dusk.  So much for any good pictures.  I did get a few though, was able to visit a couple of shops and eat at Dracula's birth home (now a restaurant!) before dark.  It is definitely a city I would like to re-visit and explore.
Fresco of Vlad Tepes
Medieval fresco of Vlad uncovered on wall
inside his birthplace

When I received this months prayer email from Mission Without Borders, I was glad to see that they have started a new program in Sighisoara.  They are partnering with a local church and offering an after school lunch and tutoring program.  So far 35 students are enrolled.  Many of these children are from Roma (gypsy) families and have bad family situations.  "Many (if not all) of the children enrolled do not have anything else to eat when they go home, so, for them, this is the only meal they get in a day." (Mission Without Borders South Africa)

Restaurant Dracula
Now a restaurant
One story is shared about a boy and his sister.  They typically arrive hours early because they are hungry.  Their parents collect bottles to earn some money but spend the money on alcohol and leave the children hungry.  With this program, the pastor, cook, and teachers are able to minister to real physical needs and help mentor these children by tutoring, assisting with homework, and teaching God's Word.  This new program is already changing lives and giving these children hope and help for the future

Pray for these children that they would come to know Christ and His love.  Pray that this program would change the future for these children and their children and grandchildren.  As the cycle of poverty is broken, pray also for a spiritual awakening in these children's hearts.  And pray that God would change their parents hearts as well!

Finally a short video I found online!

Sighisoara - Romania from Gabriel Hristea on Vimeo.

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