by Jayna Richardson
Romania is a southeastern European country rich in history and legends, known for its forests and medieval villages as well as its notable castles and fortifications. But this country of 19.7 million people also faces many challenges. Fifteen percent of Romanians are working abroad, leaving family members and even children behind. Twenty-three million abortions have been performed in the past twenty years. Divorce rates are increasing. Romanian families are seeking help and hope.
FamilyLife Romania’s vision is that more and more families in Romania would come to know God’s plan for family life. Their marriage events—such as Always Romantic, One Day Together, and Weekend to Remember®—help couples to understand their roles in marriage, apply biblical principles, and take steps to serve other families.
One couple attended an event and shared, “We have been married for fourteen years. We were divorced and re-married after a five-year break. I think if we would have had such conferences or people close to us to be open to listen to us, this divorce could have been avoided. For us it is a huge encouragement to be able to help others not go through what we’ve been through, and this is what we want to do from now on.”
For the FamilyLife Romania team, which consists of four full-time couples and numerous volunteers, that’s what it’s all about: leading couples to Christ and encouraging them to reach out to other marriages and families.
FamilyLife Romania also conducts parenting seminars in public and private schools, helping to equip parents in raising kids. They use Stepping Up® one-day events and small groups to encourage and challenge men to live godly, courageous lives. They also help singles prepare for marriage, and they work with local churches to develop their ministries to families.
Pastor Eugen Iordache, a pastor in Galati, got in touch with FamilyLife four years ago to see how they could work together. The FamilyLife team organized an Art of Marriage® in his church. Many families attended and responded very positively. The FamilyLife team then left them with small-group materials, so the church has been able to provide ongoing family ministry to continue serving the church and community.
FamilyLife Romania has now helped churches in thirty-three cities throughout the country minister to families using relevant materials. The growth and spread of the ministry is encouraging, as is the feedback they receive from those who attend their events. Yet as new resources and strategies are developed, one thing stays the same—and it’s something the entire team of FamilyLife staff and volunteers has seen for themselves: “Our Lord is the only hope for Romania.”
To God to be the glory as the seeds of hope are spread throughout Romania.