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Dear family and friends
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
We have entered into a new season of our lives and ministry here and Calarasi. And we are excited to walk through this new season with the Lord.
To have a better understanding of our next season and where/how it has started, will take a few paragraphs. Please bear with us…
Meet Chrystal Solis: she has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and worked for 5 years as a cardiac and ICU nurse in California, USA. In 2008 God led Chrystal to spend two weeks in Romania, working alongside a registered nurse. In 2010 she felt God tugging on her heart again to go back to Romania. In 2011 she went to Calarasi where she visited the Hope Center. She joined Terence and Vali giving basic wound care to people who needed it in the neighborhoodt of Caramidari. The socio-economic discrimination was very evident to her and she saw that God wanted to give her the opportunity to help the marginalized and to bridge the gap in healthcare.
Three years ago, in 2014, during another visit to Calarasi, Chrystal discussed her vision of a Wellness Center with us. Her desire was for the two of us to partner with her. Since both of us trained as auxiliary nurses at Africa School of Missions (as part of our 3 year training to become missionaries – sensing back then in 2001 that this would equip us for what God has in mind for us in Romania), we decided to prayerfully consider helping Chrystal to build her vision. Together we wrote down thoughts and ideas of how this would/could look like. Chrystal went back to the USA where she started preparing for coming back to Calarasi at the end of 2015. She started looking for a Christian doctor who would be willing to be part of the project, but couldn’t find one. She raised funds and saved a lot of her nurse’s salary, to be able to hire a doctor in Romania and support all the costs involved in getting a Wellness Center started, and also support herself for the period of one year in Romania.
At the end of 2015, she quit her job as a cardiac nurse, and came to Calarasi, Romania, praying that God will send a Christian doctor to join the vision. In the beginning of 2016, she heard of Marilena Vasile (the sister of a local pastor). Marilena grew up in a poor family, and at the age of 29, she felt led to become a missionary doctor. For 9 years God helped her day by day to overcome all the obstacles that stood in her way, and enabled her to finish her medical studies in Sibiu. Marilena had some very good job offers in Sibiu, but she felt strongly that the Lord is calling her back to Calarasi. She decided to follow the Lord and see what He has in store for her here.
Early in 2016 Marilena started working with Chrystal, sharing the vision of providing access to proper medical care to the poor and marginalized community of the area. At the end of 2016, Chrystal went back to the USA, to work as a nurse again, and trying to gather funds for the Welnes Center in Calarasi. She is also getting married in September. Her goal is to return to Calarasi (together with her husband) around October of 2018.
Since we separated from Outstretched Hands at the end of September 2016, we’ve been searching for the Lord’s guidance in whether we should continue to partner with Chrystal in this vision of a Wellness Center. By the end of 2016 we felt at peace that this is the new season that God has prepared for us. We are committed to continue to head up the medical care/Wellness Center while Chrystal is in the USA. And what a blessing it is to work together with a person like Dr Marilena! She is a wonderful child of God and a woman of great faith, overflowing with compassion for the poor. We can learn so much from her.
We were able to get an association registered, through which we will be functioning. The name of the association is “Prin Har”, which means “By Grace”.
So what exactly will this Wellness Center entail? We want to provide proper medical care to the poor and marginalized people of Calarasi. We want these people to be able to have access to good medical care, while being treated kindly, with love and respect. We see the Wellness Center as an extension of the vision of the Hope Center for the neighborhood of Caramidari. Our goal is to improve the health of the population, which is lacking due to quality of available treatment, discrimination, lack of finances and poor hygiene conditions. We want to focus on primary health care, which means we will mostly focus on preventative health care through regular general health check- ups and education on healthy life styles and hygiene. We will also provide secondary health care by treating diseases and doing wound care.
This is where we are finding ourselves at the moment. We are excited to see how God will be using the medical care to reach the hearts of the people. Visiting people/patients at their homes is obviously not only about promoting their health, but also investing into their lives spiritually – sharing Jesus with them and praying with them – and helping them to realize their value in life.
Other news: On Sunday, March 19th, we had the wonderful privilege to be present at the baptism of 7 of the young people at the Hope Center. What a tremendous blessing it was to see them grow up in front of us, from being babies/toddlers and choosing to follow Jesus Christ as young people, AND making this statement boldly in front of the rest of the neighbourhood! Our hearts are full!
Thank you for your wonderful support (and patience with us) during this past period of transition in our lives. We are so grateful for your continued prayers and encouragement. We are looking forward to seeing what the Lord has for us in this new season, and we promise to keep you updated.
With much love and appreciation in Christ
Terence, Nelia and Aimee