DIARY 4 Saturday December 10th 2011
This has been a really good though challenging day.
We began by talking with Simona about her work with repatriated victims of people trafficking. We were able to give her money and 15 food parcels. She said how she has dealt with children as young as 11 who had been trafficked. Often the victims when they are sent home to Romania by the police have literally only what they stand up in. The procedure to prosecute the traffickers is long and can last years – all added stress for the victims.
Then we went to FI where Nelu and Cristina work – first to their youth club for disadvantaged children, about 40 young people ranging in ages from small to young adult. The Beaulieu teachers commented on the excellent behaviour. We also met one family living on the streets – a grand mother suffering from TB with her grandchildren – some of the money raised by Victoria College in Jersey should be able to provide a room for this family for the winter months, so that has a good ending with some hope.
By then the queue for the bread distribution had grown and grown in the street. The students were able to give out the bread to those on the programme. We were thanked, hugged and blessed with great emotion by a number of the recipients.
Next we went to Cristina’s mother apartment for lunch – I have eaten there before and knew we were in for a good meal and sure enough it was delicious, We met Dalia, Nelu and Cristina’s new daughter, aged 4 months.
After this we went to visit poor families and distribute food parcels. This was challenging seeing the conditions some live in – especially seeing the neediest and then the factory families (squatters in a disused warehouse). Again we gave out food parcels.
We then went to church and after that we went to distribute hot tea and sandwiches to homeless people. They sleep between or just under the heating pipes. As we went along with Nelu and three members of the youth club (Timea, Geta and Mariana) it was amazing to see heads appear from between the pipes – shocking that this is where they are sleeping on a night when it will probably go below freezing. We met the family of the grandmother and the 2 grandchildren also her husband and 2 other family members. Having only given the money to Nelu for them a hour before we said nothing to them, but hope and pray he will quickly manage to arrange a room to get them off the streets.
Quite moved by the day we adjourned to MacDonalds where Beaulieu School treated the 3 youth club members to a meal. Plenty for us all to think about. Plenty to thank God for when we think of our own situations tonight and at home also. Plenty for us to pray about and ask for God’s guidance as to how we can best assist those in need.