A visit to Marghita

Twelve people from different churches in the Oskarshamn area travelled to Romania in a group, to learn more about the Roma´s situation.

We flew to Budapest and then drove across the border to the small town of Marghita. Fog and a closed border crossing delayed our arrival until half past three in the morning!

Despite the delay, we were received with open arms by Barbro and Lars at the Guest house where we stayed during our five days in Romania.  

The Baptist church in Popești took care of us during the weekend and was very hospitable. We participated in a fantastic children’s meeting and two church services. The church members invited us for both lunch and dinner in their own homes.

On Monday and Tuesday we were given an insight into the fantastic FCE ministry.

We heard the story of how it all began during the 1990s and were taken on a guided tour of the FCE workshop, depot, bakery, kitchen and offices.

The Executive Committee described the organization’s different activities. We also participated in motion games with the young people at the Day Centre and took the opportunity of buying some of the nice candles and cards which they had made.

I took part in a class at a special needs school, and met pupils who would have very little chance of an education if that school did not exist.

We spent an afternoon ”on the hill”, during an ”Afterschool” session. It was a great joy to see how happy the children were who had eaten their lunch there, done their homework with the help of a teacher, and then happily ran off to the school bus carrying newly baked bread and fruit in their hands to take home to their families.

During the evening we visited three family homes. It was fantastic to meet the families who had taken in as many as five orphans, as members of their own families.

I visited the half way home that has been started for young adults who need training in how to live by themselves, with everything that is involved. That evening we had a Bible study with Demelza. We also sang worship songs and prayed together.

One thing which struck me was that in the little town of Marghita it was easy to identify the FCE Centres. The yellow painted wooden buildings, donated by Sweden, stood in contrast to all the other plastered buildings surrounding them.

I could say that FCE lit up the whole area with their activities.

The goal of our trip was to explore what we could do to help the people of Romania, but the fact is that it was we ourselves who felt enriched by all the generosity, willingness and unselfish love which was shown both to us and other fellow human beings in the area.

I will certainly carry with me many fine memories from this trip, and hope that one day soon I will return and meet again with all my new friends.

Thank you Barbro and Lars for having the courage to step out from the everyday routine of life in order to meet the challenge that the Lord gave you!

Åsa Ohlén Nilsson ”Oskarshamn”

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A visit to Marghita

Twelve people from different churches in the Oskarshamn area travelled to Romania in a group, to learn more about the Roma´s situation.

We flew to Budapest and then drove across the border to the small town of Marghita. Fog and a closed border crossing delayed our arrival until half past three in the morning!

Despite the delay, we were received with open arms by Barbro and Lars at the Guest house where we stayed during our five days in Romania.  

The Baptist church in Popești took care of us during the weekend and was very hospitable. We participated in a fantastic children’s meeting and two church services. The church members invited us for both lunch and dinner in their own homes.

On Monday and Tuesday we were given an insight into the fantastic FCE ministry.

We heard the story of how it all began during the 1990s and were taken on a guided tour of the FCE workshop, depot, bakery, kitchen and offices.

The Executive Committee described the organization’s different activities. We also participated in motion games with the young people at the Day Centre and took the opportunity of buying some of the nice candles and cards which they had made.

I took part in a class at a special needs school, and met pupils who would have very little chance of an education if that school did not exist.

We spent an afternoon ”on the hill”, during an ”Afterschool” session. It was a great joy to see how happy the children were who had eaten their lunch there, done their homework with the help of a teacher, and then happily ran off to the school bus carrying newly baked bread and fruit in their hands to take home to their families.

During the evening we visited three family homes. It was fantastic to meet the families who had taken in as many as five orphans, as members of their own families.

I visited the half way home that has been started for young adults who need training in how to live by themselves, with everything that is involved. That evening we had a Bible study with Demelza. We also sang worship songs and prayed together.

One thing which struck me was that in the little town of Marghita it was easy to identify the FCE Centres. The yellow painted wooden buildings, donated by Sweden, stood in contrast to all the other plastered buildings surrounding them.

I could say that FCE lit up the whole area with their activities.

The goal of our trip was to explore what we could do to help the people of Romania, but the fact is that it was we ourselves who felt enriched by all the generosity, willingness and unselfish love which was shown both to us and other fellow human beings in the area.

I will certainly carry with me many fine memories from this trip, and hope that one day soon I will return and meet again with all my new friends.

Thank you Barbro and Lars for having the courage to step out from the everyday routine of life in order to meet the challenge that the Lord gave you!

Åsa Ohlén Nilsson ”Oskarshamn”

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På besök i Marghita

Vi var ett gäng på tolv personer från olika kyrkor i Oskarshamnstrakten som åkte till Rumänien för att lära oss mer om romernas situation.

Vi flög till Budapest och körde över gränsen till en mindre ort som heter Marghita. Dimma och en stängd gränsövergång gjorde att vi inte anlände förrän halv fyra på morgonen. Trots detta tog Barbro och Lars emot oss med öppna armar i ”volontärshuset” där vi skulle bo under våra fem dagar i Rumänien.  

Under helgen tog Baptistförsamlingen i Popești hand om oss med stor generositet. Vi deltog i ett fantastiskt barnmöte och två gudstjänster. Församlingsmedlemmar bjöd på både lunch och kvällsmat i sina hem.

Måndag och tisdag fick vi se den fantastiska organisation EFI Fadder – eller FCE som den rumänska delen av organisationen heter. Vi fick höra hur det hela startade en gång på 90-talet och vi fick guidad tur i FCEs verkstad, förråd, bageri, kök och kontor.

Ledningsgruppen berättade om de olika verksamheterna. Vi fick leka rörelselekar med ungdomarna på Dagcentret och passade på att köpa med oss av de fina ljusen och korten de gjort. Jag fick möjlighet att vara med i särskolan en lektion och träffa elever som utan sin skola inte skulle ha så stora chanser till utbildning.

En eftermiddag tillbringade vi uppe på höjden i Afterschool och det var en fröjd att se alla dessa glada barn som ätit sin lunch där, gjort sina läxor tillsammans med lärare och som glatt sprang iväg till skolbussen med nybakat bröd och frukt i händerna att ta med hem till sina familjer.

På kvällen fick vi besöka de tre familjehemmen. Det var fantastiskt att se dessa familjer som tagit emot upp till fem föräldralösa barn som sina egna. Jag besökte också det stödboende som skapats för unga vuxna som behöver tränas i att bo själva med allt vad det innebär. Den kvällen var det bibelstudium med Demelza och vi fick sjunga lovsånger och be tillsammans.

En sak som slog mig var att i den lilla staden Marghita kunde man se var FCE höll till genom de lysande gula trähusen, skänkta från Sverige, som kontrasterade mot alla andra reveterade hus runt omkring. Jag skulle vilja säga att FCE lyste upp hela orten med sin verksamhet.

Meningen med vår resa var att se vad vi kunde bidra med till människor i Rumänien. Faktum var att det var vi som kände oss berikade av all den generositet, beredvillighet och osjälviska kärlek som visades mot oss och mot medmänniskor i närområdet.

Denna resa med alla fina möten kommer jag att bära med mig – tills jag en dag (snart hoppas jag) återvänder för att få träffa alla mina nya vänner igen.

Tack Barbro och Lars för att ni vågade ta steget en gång och lämna gamla invanda mönster för att möta utmaningen Herren gett er!    

Åsa Ohlén Nilsson ”Oskarshamn”

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EFI Fadder