Day 5: Getting to know the city
Today was a day of learning what Christ’s call to serve the poor is really about. We traveled to the city center of Galati by crowded bus and had an opportunity to see our urban context right on the Danube River.
In the early 1900’s, Galati was a center for steel work and shipping to the Black Sea. Many people worked in this city until the steel plant demand slowed after WWII. This impacted families and their ability to work, and many people left Galati. This unfortunately resulted in many children being left behind as well.
Vali Archip, the program director for Word Made Flesh Romania, came to Galati more than 20 years ago and started building relationships with children living on the streets. Vali learned quickly that parents forced their children to beg for money on the streets to help support the family because they had no choice. Regardless of the circumstances that caused it, Vali and her team saw the need and fought to meet it.
WMF decided to start building relationships with these street kids first by bringing them sandwiches, which were traded to the children in exchange for the glue they sniffed to get high. Eventually, this effort bloomed into a center and place of security for children where they could get food, help with hygiene, and assistance staying in school. By God’s grace and work with WMF, many of these children left the streets, left begging, and went back to school — they have been rescued. This is where this mission agency found its niche.
Our MUServe team has been incredibly inspired by both the vision and the heart of those who established the center, and also by the children and their desire to be at the community center, do their homework, and eat full, nutritious meals. We are so blessed to see the impact being made by the ministry and how the children’s lives are being eternally transformed.
At the end of the long day today, we had an opportunity to spend quality time with the WMF Staff and eat some delicious pizza! It was fun to just be with friends that love the Lord and laugh and play together. Tomorrow, we will be leaving the city for a journey up some of the oldest mountains in Europe.
Thank you for following our journey and keeping us in your prayers.
Rich and Matt
This blog was written by Summit student Matt Zuber and Associate Dean of Spiritual Life and Calling Rich Ward.