Carole and I came to Romania in March of 1993. We originally had no real intention to start a children's home. However, as we began our first church and began working with several of the children from the State Orphanages we became more and more burdened for them.
This burden grew as we prayed and sought the Lord's will in how we could help. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit we bought a house in the village where our main church is located in Costieu, in 1997. After renovating the existing property and adding a large addition with more bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and dining room we took our first children.
The home has operated continuously ever since. We have had several children come and go, with varying degrees of success. However, the children we now have are unbelievable. They have all been with us for a minimum of 8 years and Ghizela has been with us for over 10 years. They have literally become our family; we have legal custody of them all.
If you read the biographical detail given by each of their pictures, we think you will agree that the Lord has done something wonderful in the lives of these precious kids. We have six children who live full time at the home and another young lady who spends each weekend with us (she spent many years with us and after graduation from high school now has her own job and apartment).
Please take time to review all the pictures and read all the details.
Ana Mihaela Chifa
Ana Mihaela "Nuti" pronounced "Nootsie" is the second of the Chifa clan. She is 13 years old now and is undoubtedly one of the most delightful young ladies we have ever known.
Nuti is accomplished in violin and piano. In fact, she plays piano for our Wednesday night congregational singing. Also, she teaches her younger sisters and brother piano. Academically, she has been first in her class every year - and this year she was first in the school! In the fall Nuti will start in the 8th grade.
Nuti is a true artist and like many artists she is a perfectionist. Sometimes this becomes a bit too obsessive - but we are working on this. It seems that she is becoming quite well balanced.
Ana Mihaela is a tender, sweet Christian young lady who wants to please everyone around her. She really is compassionate and has a great testimony everywhere.
Denisa is our 11 year old "organizer". Denisa has an unbelievably logical and organized mind. So much so, that she has been put in charge of the organization of the pantry. We joke that she would make a great Romanian president!
Denisa is also one of the most "others oriented" of all our children. It doesn't matter what you give her, she will immediately divide it with those around her. She delights in giving us gifts, making things for us, looking for things to help us with etc.
Denisa plays the recorder as well as piano. She was first in her class this year as well. Deni has a desire to do well at whatever she does and is always dependable.
Deni is also very well balanced and steady. So far, she doesn't have "ups and downs". Of course, she hasn't gone through her teen years yet, but we think she will do fine - she is the same every day.
Lenuta was one of the very first children we took into our home. She was living in a State Orphanage and we made contact with her through our Sunday School program. Lenuta came to us 12 years ago.
Lenu is now 23 years old. She has finished her high school / professional schooling and is currently employed. She just recently acquired her own apartment and is living on her own. She has/is learning to be financially responsible and seems to be doing very well.
Lenuta comes "home" every Friday afternoon and stays with us through the weekend. She goes to orchestra practice at our church on Saturday and of course, church on Sundays. She is part of our family.
Marinela is the oldest of 5 siblings we have in our home. Mari's father died when she was 10 years old and her mother had a history of mental problems and no resources to raise the children. The State was prepared to take the children and would have separated them by age in various orphanages. Mari's uncle asked us to take his brother's children and we took them all with the families permission.
Marinela has been a delight. She, as well as all her siblings, is extremely bright and gifted. She plays trumpet in our church orchestra and speaks/writes impeccable English.
In Romania, after the 8th grade, a student is advanced on the basis of testing. In town there are 4 high schools and Mari won a spot in the very best one. In June, she graduated from this high school as valedictorian! She is enrolled in the fall in the University of Timisoara with plans to major in languages for the purpose of teaching elementary school
We have had the Chifa children for 8 years now and consider ourselves indeed blessed of God to have had part in their raising.
"Beky", at 8 years old, is the youngest of our family. She is a true delight! Beky is learning piano and mandolin and just recently played a piano solo at church.
Rebeca is a very sweet little girl who loves to talk and visit. She is very, very sociable. She also is a very loving little princess who loves to hug her grandparents!
Beky, like all her siblings, is an excellent student. She is being taught well at home as well as at school. Beky is learning to "do her part" in the family; working in the garden, doing dishes, housecleaning, laundry etc.
Everyone, everywhere, who meets Beky instantly falls in love with her. We consider ourselves to be very blessed to have her as our granddaughter.
Sami, as we call him, is the sole male, except for Grandpa, in our group. Sami is 10 years old and is all boy. Although it is difficult in a house full of girls, Sami has no problem showing his preference for "boy stuff".
Sami is a very smart and orderly young gentleman. If you could see his room you would notice immediately that everything is in order. All his clothes, toys and books are lined up and organized! He likes things neat!
When Sami doesn't know you well he is very quiet - you would think that he is not very social. However, you would be very wrong! When he is with those he knows, he is very sociable and fun loving.
Sami is responding so very well to the fair, consistent training and correction given by Mona and Simo. We can't wait to see how the Lord will use him.
Simona is a 29 year old Romania lady who lives with our children and supervises the day to day care and program.
Simona was raised in a wonderful Christian home and is one of the finest Christian ladies we have met in our 18 years in Romania. She feels called to this ministry and has become a real "mother" to the kids. She not only is excellent in the areas of homemaking, cooking, cleaning etc. but she also possesses the ability to teach and encourage each child socially, academically and especially spiritually.
Since Carole and I must travel a great deal for our present responsibilities, it is absolutely essential to have someone to actually live here and nurture these children. We believe the Lord has blessed us far beyond our expectations with Simona.
Please, do pray for her. Because of her raising and training, Simona has great wisdom and understanding; because of her age, she also has a lot of energy. However, she also has a great responsibility. She would certainly appreciate your prayers on her behalf.