Bashed in Romania
We have some Aussie colleagues in Romania now. They have become our hands of service among the poorest of the poor in Eastern Europe.
But being a ministering angel has its down side.
Bob Seiple, boss of our U.S.A. organisation, reports from Romania. He said that some Romanians resent the presence of foreigners. The TV report we saw on A Current Affair had been titled, "The Shame of a Nation." No-one likes to feel ashamed of their country. Humiliation leads to resentment.
Richard Davies, accompanying Bob on his Romanian visit, was bashed, near to the point of death, by a gang of 10 drunken youths. They think it was because he was an American.
Bob also reported that half the people on the plane to Romania were going there to adopt children. This is a very beautiful thing, but it has a down side as well.
"All the best children are being adopted," said Bob. "The ones who need real help, the handicapped, the retarded, the scarred, are being left behind."
More disturbing still is the discovery that more children are being added to the orphanages every day. The reason: poverty.
Romania was in bad shape when the Communists were overthrown. It will get worse before it gets better. Russia, pre-occupied with her own problems, has slashed aid support. Romania's oil used to come from Iraq. It is impossible to spend money, even if you had some, because there is nothing to buy. The winter has seen -20E for days on end.
In these conditions many parents are faced with impossible choices. Choices we cannot even begin to understand.
One choice is whether to send a child to an orphanage where there might be a slim chance of survival, or keep her at home where she will probably starve or freeze to death.
We have only begun to serve in Romania.
Don't pack yet
World Vision of Australia,
The complicated approval process is on track. Our new block of land in East Burwood might belong to World Vision within a few months.
Our careful and forward looking planning means we have time to make decisions properly.
To design the right building, the architects need to understand World Vision properly. They need to know what we do, how we work, and, if possible, how we might change.
Over the next few weeks, our Property consultants, Burns Bridge, will be asking many of us to help with an analysis. They will find out who works where, who needs to talk to whom, who needs to be near which resources, and so on.
Like I say, don't pack up yet. It may be two years before we move. But we are beginning the moving process already.