In 1990, during the aftermath of the 1989 Romanian revolution and execution of long term leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, foreign media were finally permitted to enter the former communist state and the abhorent conditions in Romania became known. Many people from different countries and cultures decided to travel there to help those people desperately in need, especially the abandoned children who were kept in apalling and inhumane conditions, in overcrowded and under equipped orphanages.
People from different congregations in Sweden, who had seen the need and started to send aid transports, began to work together to concentrate their efforts and created a foundation dedicated to providing for the needy in Romania. To be allowed to transport food, construction materials etc across the borders, the new foundation needed a name and a valid stamp. That is how the name Elim Fellowship International (EFI) was born. The name Elim comes from the Old Testament, where you can read about Israel’s journey through the desert and how they came to a place with twelve wells and seventy palm trees. That place was called Elim and that is the kind of oasis EFI wanted to be.
The letter combination EFI didn’t sound good in Romanian, so the name was altered to Fundatia Crestina Elim for the foundation’s work in Romania, which means the Christian Foundation Elim. The initial aid and work was concentrated in 3 different areas in and around Marghita. The children’s hospital in Marghita, the orphanage in Popești and the home for the elderly in Ciutelec.