Since the war started and we got involved in serving the Ukrainians, I had the gift of transporting over 300 Ukrainians, hosting over 60 for one or two days, I traveled over 90,000 km and it seems as if it was not enough. That is because I wanted to have someone for a longer term. After a lot of thinking I got the idea to bring a family, with several children, to spend Christmas with us.
During this time my contact from Odessa reached out and asked me if we could help with a tent and a generator. I met with my friend from the LIve Global Organization, who immediately got involved in buying the tent and the generator and he came to Romania and together we went to Ukraine. Things were arranged so well by God that I was able to help two other Ukrainians by bringing them from Romania back to Ukraine. They were returning to Nicolaev. I met Andrei and Olga in March, when I brought them to Romania from a refugee center in the Czech Republic.
We used this situation as an opportunity to bring a family to our home for Christmas. I spoke to our contact in Odessa, I shared my thoughts with her and she was very happy to help me find this family. I arrived in Odessa and was greeted at our contact’s warehouse with a light bulb that was powered by a battery. Shortly after I arrived, the electricity came on, which for her was a great surprise because usually they have only 2 or 4 hours of electricity a day, in the area where we were. The light that could be seen in the shops came with a deafening noise of generators. The next day I visited Odessa and 2 houses with refugees. Their situation had a strong emotional impact for me, seeing the conditions in which they have to live. Seeing the huge need and the few resources of our contact, I decided to make another convoy after Christmas. I saw the goodness of God, through the involvement of many of my friends, from the country and abroad.
On returning home, I took a mother with 4 children with us, to fulfill my desire to help in a different way. Without the internet we couldn’t communicate because the family did not speak english and we needed google translate. After 12 hours of driving, we finally got cell service and I found out that the mother was actually a sister in Christ, something that shocked me and my American friend. Our contact in Odessa hadn’t told us but it was a joy for us to see that God really blesses his children through us.
We arrived home and for almost 2 weeks we sought to be a blessing to them. I took them to the Christmas market in Craiova, where they enjoyed lights and traditional Romanian products. We went with them to the skating rink, we sang carols together and on Christmas Eve I prepared gifts for each one of them. Our whole family watched the joy with which they opened the gifts, and the smiles on their faces conveyed their gratitude for the blessing that God had given them. We bought them clothes, toys, personal hygiene products, shoes, board games, sweets, everything that we thought would be necessary for them or bring them joy. I even bought shoes for the other 2 children who stayed at home in Ukraine with their grandmother, they couldn’t come because they had school. I went shopping with the mother and on Christmas day she prepared the meal, in Ukrainian style, not only for us but also for those from the church who chose to spend Christmas day with us, at our invitation.It was a delicious meal that we all enjoyed.
For this family to have such a blessed Christmas, everyone in our family got involved as much as they could. Given that I had to prepare the convoy as well, which involved a lot of things to do (shopping, necessary documents at customs, all the products counted , tables, etc.) my boys helped me load and unload, my oldest girl together with Vera went shopping for their gifts, the younger girl spent a lot time with tthe Ukrainian children and my mother was involved in the kitchen. We did all we could for them to feel the love of God. All this time both the mother and the children did not know how to show their gratitude and simply hugged us and made us drawings to express gratitude and joy. It was a blessed time not only for them but also for us. The children addressed us as uncle and aunt, which made us even closer, feeling like part of the family.
The day after Christmas at 3 in the morning, I left for Ukraine, 3 cars with food for the convoy and the 4th with the family. We arrived at customs where our contact from Odessa came to load the food. We crossed with the ferry to Ukraine at half past 10 and around 7 in the evening we arrived in Odessa where we left the family. We said goodbye and because of the war you are not allowed to drive after 11 at night which made us sleep one night in Odessa and in the morning we left for Romania. With God’s help we arrived home around 8 o’clock in the evening.
Thank you to those who got involved, either financially or in prayer or by giving time to help us, especially with the documents for the convoy even though it was the holidays. God bless you and let the joy of being co-worker with Him fill your hearts.
Pray for this family that the Lord will protect them and work in their family with strength.
- Iulia is the mother who was with us with Yan (2 years old), Kira (5 years old), Milana (9 years old) and S asha (11 years old). Iulia’s mother is the one who first met the Lord, two years ago, Iulia came to know the Lord and we pray for her husband who still does not know the Lord, that he also opens his heart.