First we must say how DELIGHTED we are with Casa Mabel and how well the combination of young and old is working there both Phil and I had had reservations about how well it would work and we are thrilled. Also we are impressed with hard work and dedication of the team there.

       Phil is especially pleased with the good use the donated tractor has already been put to at Casa Mabel.

       We have countless happy memories of the elderly receiving their gifts, their gratitude and their joy make it all worthwhile. Of course it is a joy to see the children receive their boxes but the pensioners are extra special.

       Another high-light was meeting the girls from the apartments in town and also meeting up with Gyonghy again. [After she left the Mustard Seed Romania apartment we had real fears for what would become of her as she was with a crowd that caused us some concern]. It is great to see her again and sense how she has matured and grown in confidence since then, to know she is in good hands at the Agape foundation.

       Again we have met numerous pensioners facing blindness because they cannot afford to pay 300 to have a cataract operation to save their sight and that is challenging for us.

       There is general huge concern about the future of Romania this is a view we have heard expressed repeatedly by different people. There is a lack of confidence in the accuracy of the votes which brought the president back into power; the election was very close, apparently with the people in Romania voting for the other man, but the president retained his position due to the postal votes by those living outside Romania. It is reckoned 2010 will be very very tough as there is a huge lack of money, too much was spent on the election we understand.

       There are financial problems in Romania it seems ALL government employees medical, social workers, teachers, lecturers, all government employees face 25% reduction in the working hours and pay next year. Schools have shut early for Christmas and so on.

       These financial problems in Romania concern us for Casa Mabel as we had always agreed with Mustard Seed Romania that Mustard Seed Jersey would fund the running costs for the first 12 months and after that the Romanians must take on responsibility.

       We can see the huge need for on-going help for the victims of human trafficking.

       But overall we have so enjoyed seeing our friends again and observing and receiving the gratitude at what has been given. The hard work is all worth-while.

       But we are concerned about the financial situation of Romania and what 2010 will hold for the poorest of the poor.



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