FTC has been going to the gypsy village of Lazareni for several years now. It’s been our privilege to help George and Alina and the Caleb foundation, for the wonderful work they have been doing there. We thought you might enjoy an update on how things are going forward there.

The after school project has grown from 2 times a week to 3. It now includes some really poor Romanian kids as well. Youth ministries have grown, and we see more young boys and girls come to Jesus through the hard work of the leaders like Cornel and Mugurel. They now you have 2 classrooms for the pre school instead of one which doubles the amount of children being prepared for public school.

Some of the men now have jobs that were in the training program. The group in the sewing project have sold hundreds of embroidered cards. They are now adding new projects and skills to produce more items for sale.

Below is a little from Alina who is in charge of the projects at Lazareni. We thought you might be interested in seeing how they value all the things you have been involved with.

We are very thankful for the love and dedication that FTCM through the wonderful work Bob and Joan P. have done in the gypsy village Lazareni, Romania.

I can still remember the first time I was introduced to them buy our friends Robert and Sebi and the divine connection happened right away.

They have responded right away when we shared the desire to be able to provide dental help to the children. With their help, we were blessed to get a mobile dental unit and give the so much needed support to over 300 people with over 460 procedures in only a few months. The local doctor allowed us to install that unit in his cabinet and it worked out perfect for everybody.

We were also blessed to get tools for both the workshops for men and women, materials and supplies, and to actually have them train our people was such an huge help.

They have prayed, counseled the people and loved on the children in many practical ways and for that we are so grateful. Providing support for the 2 men that are in charge with the workshops and technical training was more than we were hoping.

We know God is doing every beautiful thing at the right time and this spring with their help we will be able to buy 100 fruit trees and have fresh fruit for the children that we serve there.

We know that the fruit of their love and support will be fully seen in heaven, but for now we are so grateful to God that He made a way for us to connect and together to be able to make a big difference in so many lives.

One great hit are the aprons that are made with hand embroidery on them. Joan taught Mugurel and the women how to make them. We have orders from USA, UK, Austria and Romania. If you have any interest, you can do this on the web below.

Thank you so much. we are excited about the hope and the future of the people of Lazareni that you have had such a big part of.

Bless you Bob and Joan. May God give you His peace, His joy and His strength!!!

George and Alina Galea

The website to order any products is: www.fundatiacaleb.com

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We have been privileged since we have been in Oradea, Romania this trip to visit the gypsy village of Lazareni.  Located about 30 minutes by car from Oradea, it is much further away in the reality of the way the people in the city of Oradea live.  About 400 people live in the village with around 110 children.

Just to start with, they have no water in the village.  Getting water for drinking, cooking and cleaning requires them to walk back home from the water source up a long hill for 2.5 km.  With no water in the village the children were not clean and not welcomed at school.  After 3 tries to drill wells with no water, the hope is now that by next spring they will have water piped to the village which will make a huge difference in their way of life.  One of the transformation groups bought 2 metal type container units furnished with 2 showers and toilets each that are supplied water through a holding tank.  This brings in a limited amount of water that is used only for the school children to be able to go to school.  The water is not drinkable but is used for showers on a limited basis.

Another double unit (above) was purchased by them and is set up for a kindergarten for the village children.  There is a Romanian teacher that comes each school day to work with the children, and it is an awesome work that she is doing with them.

The Caleb Foundation (with George and Alina Galea) is working in the village to transform the Rromas way of life at Lazareni.  None of the adults in the village had training and skills to earn a living and could not read or write.  They are awesome people to work with, and we are very blessed to have met up with them and be able to help with their efforts.

An old building on the site is being refurbished to become a workshop for the men to learn woodworking skills.  Another building is being used for the ladies to learn sewing, knitting and crafts.  The goal is to be able to create cottage industry products that can be sold in town and improve their way of life with earning potential.  Welding is another skill they will be trying to teach the men.

A real problem in the village has been people’s health and the care of their teeth.  Without proper care and diet many people are missing teeth and suffer from toothaches.  FTCM with the help of our good friend Brian Matthews was able to raise funds and purchase a portable dental unit.  A compassionate dentist in Oradea has volunteered to visit the village once a month to treat the people’s teeth when the dental unit arrives.  The unit is ordered and on the way.  This will have a great impact not only for their dental health but their health in general reducing the amount of infections they suffer from abscessed teeth.

We have had a great time working with the children and adults.  They are very excited to be able to create things and take pride in what they are learning and making.  There is need for supplies and equipment for them to work with to create items to sell.  The whole idea is not to just take things there to meet the needs for today, but to enable them to change their way of living, so they can provide for themselves tomorrow.  Lazareni is hopefully a prototype for other villages in the future.

Your prayers mean so much to the village and also to the people working there.  Special prayers are requested for us to stay healthy while working there due to unsanitary conditions.  You can’t really tell by the photos, but you can imagine not much cleaning is done when water is so far away.  Maybe you ladies can imagine having to haul water so far just to keep your baby in clean diapers.

We hope to keep you informed of progress in the village as time goes by and greatly value your prayers.

Bob and Joan