February 2021

Reaching Out Romania Update: providing care for victims of human trafficking with Director Iana Matei and Assistant Director, Stefan Matei

An Altered Lifestyle

The continued restrictions and protocols within Romania require that most activities for the young girls, the victims of human trafficking, must now take place within their home, within their shelter. Gone are the usual out-door recreational activities such as ice skating in winter or attending the annual fair in summer. Games, activities and gardening are now organized within the yard or, with colder weather, in-door art and crafts, baking and personal developmental activities take place.

All children placed in the care of Reaching Out Romania (ROR) are referred by Child Protection through a court decision. Six girls, between the ages of 13-16, are now in the home with two more expected. All are enrolled in full time study, presently taking place on-line within the home.

“The Work of the Heavenly Father”

An on-line, Sunday church service offers little benefit for the girls as it is hard for them to focus and much easier to chit-chat than to listen. Interactive Bible studies are helpful and as Ruth, a volunteer from America discovered, games such as “Bingo by Bible Verses”, increased their attention and participation. However, Ruth had her VISA rescinded and can no longer remain in Romania and Stefan Matei has moved with his wife to oversee the development of the agricultural land so his in-person lessons have been discontinued.

Iana, while praying, enquired of and reminded the Lord, “What did you call me for? You called me for children; for broken children for the kingdom. They need Your work in their lives!”

A short while later, Iana was excited to discover a vibrant, young and welcoming church on the west side of Bucharest that monthly sends a team to connect with the girls, engage in friendship and personally share Biblical life-values.

Children Loved by Our Heavenly Father

A More Favourable Government is Enacting - one that is more sympathetic towards vulnerable children rather than towards the traffickers.

In August of this year, socio-economic project funds for human rights will become available from the European Union to Romania. Reaching Out Romania will use these funds to:

  • Implement a prepared and requested module to train prosecutors and magistrates that will positively impact the judicial outcome of some 5000 vulnerable children, victims of abuse and trafficking, within each 2-year period.
  • Write a new country strategy, in conjunction with other Social Networking NGO’s, to care for the poor, victims of trafficking, and seniors.
  • Develop an integrated community program for vulnerable children that involves education, health, and specialized activities so that at-risk children will remain in school longer, receive the care they need, and decrease their vulnerability to be trafficked.
  • Finance the development of ROR’s agricultural lavender farm as a tourist stop-over with high quality ‘Lavandalina’ oil, soap and bouquet for greater marketing exposure of their brand and increased self-sustainability of their shelters and programs.

Pray with us for:

  • The wholistic healing of each child in the home; that they would know the love and peace of Jesus and the care and acceptance of other Christian believers.
  • Country-changing impact through legislative reform, training of judicial members, development of integrated community programs.
  • Iana, as she has requested, to have time with her heavenly Father, for, as she says, “That is where my joy comes from.”