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Siliva, Romania

children of a forgotten village

How our work began in Siliva Over 13 years ago, the local child welfare officer approached us with a request: Please help the children of Siliva. They are literally starving.The request was followed shortly by our own introduction to the children of Siliva: a mother with her two children begged to eat from our church kitchens garbage cans. The next week, we headed to Siliva, loaded with 200 sandwiches and small toys for the children. It was winter, but the snow covered ground did not deter the children from gathering around us to hear the Gospel explained. For many, they heard this for the first time. For six years, we continued to meet outside year round. Four days a week, we would teach the children from Gods Word and ladle-out meals from our large pots into their waiting buckets. When we could, we offered vitamins and medications. We brought warm clothes and shoes. By the grace of God, our first winter in Siliva was the first winter in anyones memory that not a single baby died. The Feeding Program Today, we have a building complete with two classrooms and a dining area. Here the children receive a hot meal, love, and training: Bible lessons, reading and writing practice, hygiene skills, and basic steps for integration into general society. The children of Siliva are often shunned because they have been raised in a destitute area, an area plagued by alcoholism and abuse of all forms. As the Lord patiently changes their character and lifestyle, he is preparing a future that is opening before them. Their academic skills and achievements are steadily rising as more children persevere with our help and remain in school. Currently, we have over 100 children who benefit from the feeding program. The ones too small to attend daily activities at the center still receive their portion of food at home. Each child receives soup, a main course, and desert. Several times a year, we distribute used clothes and shoes to every child. At least once a year, we buy brand new winter shoes for all the children. Every child receives a present at Christmas, Easter, and on Childrens Day. In addition, we have Promotion Celebrationwhen each child is commended and rewarded according to his or her faithfulness and progress in attending our program.