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2007 September to February 2009
I apologise for the gap in the news on this site from Bethesda – it has been coming and we have been supporting the work there since our update. I have had family sickness and bereavement to cope with and had to reduce my work load. However I am back now and have endeavoured to give you a flavour of what has been going on since the last update.

Gwyneth - February 2009

September 2007

3 ladies from Dublin visited the Foundation. They saw the children’s preparation for the new school year. Imagine shopping for uniforms, books and equipment for school for so many children... (25 – 50 children) year after year :D  We here think that we have it hard with our own immediate families children!. School is hard for the children who have missed so many classes but the dedication of the workers and carers in the day care centre and the homes is a real encouragement to the children to pursue their education.

The ladies from Dublin, shopped for school and food and saw life in its day to day form. They visited different areas in the town – in the flats and in the settlements beside the rubbish tip for the city. These visits were shocking to them as they saw how deprived of human comforts the people were. Grandmothers, caring for 4 under 4’s in one room apartments with no sanitation and water. They are unable to go out with so many little ones as buggies are only for the privileged.
They had a visit to the camp site and met with people from other areas and voluntary organisations. The repeat visitors found out about need and challenges that face our friends over there and the new visitor was welcomed as a friend and joined in their activities with workers and children alike.

Christmas 2007

This time of year is so enjoyed by all these children who don’t have the support of natural families. Over the Christmas period the children are fostered out to families for a taste of a real family Christmas, which is a highlight of their year.

Summary of the year of 2007

Over the year – children have matured and grown to be self - supportive and leave the homes to become independent. However they are still attached to the workers and call the Foundation, their home and visit with their joys and sorrows.

Some children have gone to live with dedicated folk who wish to care for them full time and others have returned to family members who are willing to care for them. If finances are a problem, they may be helped by the foundation in their situation. All children who leave in this way are monitored and visited regularly to see they are cared for well.  

Financially we have been able to help the local workers in Galati and we have been glad to do this. If you want to know more of how you can help – check the ‘ how to help ‘ page and email us. Regular Sponsorship of a particular child or ‘one off’ gifts can be directed to us for transfer. All monies given are sent in their entirety without administration costs which are covered by the local committee for that purpose.   Thank you to all of you who support us in many ways and especially we want to thank God for putting the love and care into your hearts to help.


2008

We were advised of the proposed projects in maintenance and expansion for the work for the year – finance permitting.

The committee prayed and discussed how we could help and planned the Spring Fundraiser for March. This took form of a table quiz and an auction of donated articles from local businesses and friends of the foundation. Also we planned to sponsor runners/walkers in the Ladies Mini Marathon in June, provide opportunities for people to raise money and donate profits to the Foundation.

One of the major projects was a matter of concern over the large house originally built for the many street boys 10 ago. This was only housing a few boys as many were the same age and had left the shelter as they became independent. The house needed to be used and not be a drain on resources. A lot of prayer was made to see what the future of the house would be. As the weeks passed circumstances came about and it was decided to use the buildings for a training and outreach centre by a missionary in the city who needed accommodation and retreat centre. It would also provide a refuge for abused women in an area set aside for this purpose. This ensured work for faithful workers who served in the kitchens over the years. Rooms were refurbished to requirements and a quiet meditation room set up as well as reception rooms.

We were delighted to help fund this and other expansion and maintenance projects. Washing machines and boilers etc needed repair or replacement. Painting and other things needed renewal in the homes and at the camp site which has been developing over the year. Camps were held over a good number of weeks during the summer and God blessed the times there for all who went. Some groups were folks of all ages from Christian organisations and churches as well as the children from the Foundation’s homes and Day care centre.
The two ladies who usually visit in September went again, this time taking two new visitors with them. This time they were in Galati on the day school started so were able to visit the classes as the children were taken on their first day after the long holidays. This was an experience not to be forgotten by them.

In early October all but 2 of the girls were admitted to hospital with a severe gastric virus infection. Praise God they all recovered well though one did have a fractured arm soon after! – children always keep you on the go!!

At the end of October the writer went to visit with her two daughters as a tribute trip. Dad had died of cancer in April and wanted his ashes spread at the camp site as his heart had been with the Foundation ever since he first heard of it in 2002. This was a time for his Romanian friends to say good bye and plant a tree at the camp site in memory of him in a very moving small service. He had served Bethesda in so many ways and we know he is with his heavenly father now.

Summary of the year 2008

We rejoice to tell you that we have been able to send out considerable funds to the foundation this year and meet many of the financial needs there. We also rejoice for health and strength given to the workers and to see the way the children are developing in their secure situations. Those of us who sponsor particular children are encouraged as we see the change, growth and maturity as the months pass. It is  a real thrill to visit and see them and talk with them and receive their hugs!

2009

The new year sees the workers of Bethesda facing financial crisis as with the rest of the world. Some are moving to new spheres of work and others press on amidst difficulties – particularly health issues. Estera broke her leg on Christmas Eve and was told she would have to await January before an operation could be considered. Bed rest was the only treatment so she set about quietly resting ( a foreign concept for her !) through the weeks – now we are pleased to report that the leg has healed and though still sore it is going on well. Her mother also has had another heart attack and has been left with a very weak heart. A worker has had surgery and another worker a father in law who has cancer and another past worker from Bethesda has antenatal problems – to name just a few. The numbers of workers has been reduced so when sickness strikes – life becomes harder for them but as the problems increase, the harder the workers lean on their God and He is always faithful and sees them through with His strength. We all play our part in helping as we pray for them and their work.

Our plans here in Ireland are to support in any way we can – we have a ‘bag pack’ planned for next weekend in a local supermarket. Our main fundraiser will be in May and any fit and energetic ones will be in the Dublin Ladies Mini Marathon. Anyone is welcome to raise funds in any way that takes their fancy and forward to us for the support of our dear friends and the children in Galati.

A visit is planned for April – if you have a sponsored child and want to send something small and soft, we would be glad to take it for you. 

June 2009

Latest report from the Bethesda staff -
We are at the camp place now, working very hard to finish all we planned to do here before the camps.  Hard work, but it looks great.  We will send you some pictures. Thanks for your help !
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