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MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS :UK
"Reaching people for Christ: Helping people out of poverty into a sustainable future."

Summer Camp in Romania

Summer Camp - Vol2

a volunteer's perspective

17/05/2018

In July 2017, a team of volunteers from Australia flew to Romania to help with MWB's Summer Camps and to learn about MWB's many projects including the Greenhouse project, the Family to Family programme, the laundry project, After School programme, Child Rescue International (CRI) and health and care visits.

Summer Camp - Vol3

It was amazing to see the effort and time the workers had put into various projects; empowering individuals, families and communities by giving them a sense of hope for a future. What incredible love being displayed!

Before our team began the Summer Camp, we were given the opportunity to visit some of the homes and villages that the children would come from. This was a truly eye-opening and heart-breaking experience. I remember walking into a home of one of the girls attending the camp. It was a square concrete house, with two little sections - one the bedroom (for the whole family) and the other a cooking area. They had rugs to sleep on, and a fridge that was flung wide open and bare. Her father and brothers (who were younger than 10 years of age) were out working. Despite her living conditions, she had the largest smile on her face and was so proud to show us her home. Incredible resilience was displayed. She taught me about contentment and humility on a whole new level.

Summer Camp -vol1

A few days after exploring the projects and visiting villages, we went to Summer Camp with Paula Boruga and her team of volunteers. This camp had children attending from two Roma villages. The camp displayed God's love in action and taught me to see God's children through his eyes. During the camp, we heard some of the children's personal stories. I learned about patience, joy, perseverance, hope and resilience in a whole new way. Regardless of their circumstances, whether they were abandoned by their mothers or fathers, being used to make money, having nothing to eat or trying to survive from one day to another, they mattered. What was so special about the camp was that it allowed them to be children. Some learned to swim for the first time, they got to draw, learn to read and write, play volleyball, kick a soccer ball, had the chance to joke and laugh, learned to make friendship bracelets; they got food to eat, clean clothes to wear and access to a shower. I saw in each child a sense of joy that outshone their circumstances. In turn, I learned to find joy with them despite their story. 

At the beginning of camp, each child had a resistance in them that was not going to be broken and a strength in them that went beyond the physical. As the week progressed, we witnessed transformations. The love, respect, hope and patience that was imparted in them grew in them a gentleness that needed nurturing, an embrace that they were only too happy to receive, a joke that they wanted to share and most of all, hope. Hope in knowing that they are loved, they are valued and have a place in the world, but most importantly, a place in God's kingdom. Each and every child, adored and loved for who they are despite their background and their history.

What a blessing it was to have met these children, teens, and adults. What a privilege to have been able to work with the team there and witness first hand the love and hope in action.  It served as a great reminder of God's love for each and every person, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, background and history.