Today I want to show you a few photos from the Gypsy quarter and explain conditions a little.
Families in the gypsy quarter do have houses, but they are basic. Thankfully, the ministry has been able to work with the families over the years they have been there, to build new houses, so they have gone from this:
or from this:
You can see the difference this is making. The houses are basic, do not have running water, there is a communal well in the gypsy quarter and the homes have outdoor latrine pits. They do have electricity and I was amazed at how nice some of the homes were despite their tough circumstances.
Talmid ministries provide clothes and food packages where necessary as well as providing a sponsorship scheme that allows the children to go to school. Schooling in Romania is officially free, but the children once they reach secondary school have to travel on the school bus and this has to be paid for by parents. This help does not stop when the children finish compulsory school age, and there is the opportunity to also sponsor young adults who wish to continue on to university. The ministry also provides packages of materials for school, without which the children would not be able to complete their classes.
Here are some photos from some of the lighter moments of our trip, from turtle releasing to some delightful tourist spots.
The turtle had been given to the family but was actually a variety of turtle that is native to the waterways of Romania, so once it was healed up from some wounds, we took a trip out to release it.
The little house where we stayed.
Rifka the husky. Not at all scary but quite noisy!
One of the churches in Sibiu. If you ever get the chance to go to Romania as a tourist, you really should go to the art museum in Sibiu, it's INCREDIBLE!
This was on our final day, back in Cluj Napoca. Another must visit if you go to Romania as a tourist. The Botanical Gardens. Such a beautiful site, I could happily spend hours and hours there, with my journal and a pen!
Will I go back? Maybe not, but I will continue to send craft materials that are needed for the classes.
Did I gain from this trip? ABSOLUTELY. I learnt a lot, about myself, about the way I react to situations, about what I can achieve and do that I never thought possible. I also gained new depth to my relationship with God. I am glad I went to Romania, and I hope that you have enjoyed hearing about my trip and seeing some of the photos.