Our Church Partner in Romania
Basilica Baptiste Maderat (Building is over 100 years old). The communists padlocked the doors of all Pentacostal, Baptist and 7th Day Adventist Churches for 4 years during part of the Soviet occupation. During those 4 years, the churches went into the hills and held their services in the open fields and forests
JHII began in 2003 in Maderat by providing food and clothing to poor families in the Village of Maderat. JHII continued to do this until 2007 when we held our first Bible Camp, which was attended by 60 young people from Maderat and the surrounding villages. After the first camp, it became apparent to JHII that we could not continue to provide support for poor families and also hold our summer camps.
We asked Gratian and other leaders from Maderat which was more important, Bible Camps or feeding the poor. Without hesitation they all said that the Bible Camps were more important. JHII reluctantly agreed to support their wishes because we did not have sufficient funds to do both. The camps have been very successful as evidenced by the decisions that have been made for Christ because of these camps.
The Plight of the Gypsies in Romania and the poor
Gypsies in Moldova and Romania all suffered the same fate. As late as 1999, Gypsies were not allowed to own property or to hold a job. They had to make a living by stealing and begging. I met a young man in Nisporene Moldova who had a masters degree in electrical engineering, but he could not find a job because he was half gypsy. In Moldova, Gypsies were not allowed to enter into any village that was not a Gypsy Village. The penalty for doing so could be very severe in 1989 when I first went there.
[photo] The plight of the Gypsies in Romania has gotten better, but still has a long way to go. After joining the EU, gypsies in Bucharest were allowed to drive garbage trucks. Most lived on the street, or in old drab gray Russian built housing, a place where non-gypsies DO NOT GO. As of today, I do not know if their prospects are any better.
The plight of the poor is bleak. A confidential source told me that a very regressive tax system is in place which is very hard on poor families. There is a 40% tax on groceries at the wholesale level and when resold at retail, another 19% tax is added to the 40% wholesale tax. This is called a VAT (value added tax). Very few of the poorest Romanians can afford these taxes, so they have to barter when possible to avoid this heavy burden.
Most poor Romanians live a subsistence life and have little hope of improvements in their standard of living. We need to provide food and clothing for these families.Your donation will help us attain these goals. All donations are tax deductible.
Nadina Filipoi, before and after her eye surgery