We’ve had a sad experience in the last few months with two of our kids, a brother and a sister, Florin and Eleni, with whom we have been in close relationship since they were 2 and 4 years old. They have been in and out of two foster care families and ended up in the city’s Center for Minors. This is a rough environment in which dozens of kids from troubled contexts are shuffled in and out. Visiting the Center you feel like you’re in an out-of-control romper room. And this is where our two kids lived for the past five months. They’ve tried to do their homework in the midst of the noise. They’ve felt unsafe in the presence of some of the older kids and even some of the staff.
Yet, when Vali, our program director, went to first visit the kids in the Center for Minors, the director met Vali and congratulated her for our ministry. Although the director had never been to our Community Center and had never heard of our organization previously, she saw the impact of our work in the lives of our kids – even in this troubled environment.
We found out that Eleni couldn’t stand the disorder, so she started to implement the methods that we practice as the Community Center, like connecting discipline to positive and negative consequences. She had such an effect on the kids that the director from the Center for Minors wants us to partner with us and asked us to come and train their staff.
When we started our community in Romania in the late ‘90s, we discussed our ideas for building relationships in the city and helping others learn about who we were. We decided that we would resist self-promotion and would promote, rather, good, committed, long-term, relational service to Jesus among the vulnerable. Although it has taken a long time, we are starting to become known, not for our name and not for our logo, but for and through our practice.