A few thousand families in Romania have one or more children with disabilities in this postmodern era on our planet, from unknown origins. People believe one reason for the heartbreaking occurrences stems from the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Many of these families are still overwhelmed with resentment and bitterness and continue to isolate themselves suffering emotionally from rejection, shame, and low self-worth of having children with infirmities for the rest of their life.
Since Star of Hope staff started visiting door to door, reaching out to those children and their despaired and emotionally unstable parents, the parents' perception and acceptance of their hard situation has changed. In addition to showing compassion and caring for these families, the Star of Hope staff has organized annual camps and conferences for them. It is a great with disabilities and their parents showing their emotional and spiritual support through love and care has made a tremendous difference in their lives.
Some of the participants.
Just this year there were 250 participants at the Family Conference. They came from different regions of Eastern Romania as well as the Moldova Republic. Children of different diagnosis and ages came seeking relief from their heavy burden and refuge from the endless loneliness and suffering. Here they found a community with whom they can identify. The outcast formed friendships, developed relationships and created strong bonds during this time. What a joy to find DIFFERENT was the NORM. Parents and children were hungry for fellowship. Interacting and sharing experiences with one another, understanding and being understood; all was very therapeutic. All of us like to feel someone listens and understands us. For these families, it was a great NEED. The council they received was an unbelievable BLESSING for them.
Leaders from different professions, business people and missionaries from Sweden, England and USA volunteered their time and came together at this event to learn more from these precious families about their struggles and their challenges in life. They were quick giving comfort with words of encouragement, medical advice, financial, emotional and spiritual support.
Leaders, workers, volunteers and helpers at Star of Hope were encouraged and empowered by these professionals and spiritual leaders to continue their assignments to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged, under served and "the least" and to give hope to "the Mephibosheths of Romania" in so much despair.
All generations represented.
Hearts have been touched, testimonies have been shared and minds have been renewed, refreshed and transformed. They were encouraged and departed with increased strength for their daily tasks to care for these helpless children. Parents and children were helping each others and brought hope for those who believed they had no hope for the rest of their life.
Many of the parents and children came from the communist background and were for the first time in a Christian environment. For the first time they experienced FEELING the love and presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. They stated that their hearts have been touched by the love of Jesus and the Christians around them. Parents and children brought many prayer requests for their physical, emotional, medical, financial, social, and spiritual needs.
They had powerful testimonies. Parents and staff were moved to tears when they saw their children praying for each other, holding hands together and looking at each other with much compassion. All wounded parents from their emotional pain in the past brought their children for prayer to a prayer session in which the pastors and missionaries prayed individually for each one of them. Tears were streaming for hours on parents' cheeks and many confessed emotional healing that brought peace to their troubled heart and painful soul for the first time.
Here I speak to the group.
Parents also asked many questions at the professional panel discussions being led by doctors (generalists), neurologist/psychiatrist, physical therapist, nutritionist, and occupational therapist, psychologists - -ALL- -who were volunteering their time to speak at the conference and spend time in a one on one basis with many parents needing an answer for their particular situation.
Praying with family's.
Parents with broken hearts wanted to know more about medical, physical, spiritual aspects of life for their long term disabled children. They wanted to know how to manage stress in their life and how to cope with so many needs.
My sister Auora and I, changing mindsets.
The highlight of the conference was "being united together" to be able feel some victory in their overwhelming situations in the future. All professionals and missionaries were presenting materials and themes to prevent physical and spiritual diseases and to promote physical and spiritual health to fulfill destiny and to reach full potential during this short journey on this planet.
Dr. Rodica Malos, DNP, ANP, GNP - PACS, HEALTH CLINIC - PORTLAND, OREGON