Proof of Care

For some time, Mia has been working to get all the legal issues resolved regarding some of the children and their parents who cannot take care of them.  It is difficult and complicated but Mia reports today on the progress she is making.

“We have again contacted Children’s Protective Services, and with the help of Linda, of ‘Family Service” (a foreign foundation trying to introduce to Romania Christian moral values) we now have the assistance of a highly experienced, professional and kind lawyer willing to help us.  We completed endless paperwork, assessments, documents in order to prove that we are caring for five of our children.   It is a lengthy process involving the courts, testimony, etc., but I am determined to continue the fight to legally protect these children from those who believe they are to be used at any time for begging and worse.”

Please pray this weekend and on into the future that Mia and her lawyer will be successful in convincing the government officials that the children are well cared for and better off than on the streets.  Pray also for each of the children as they grow up knowing the love that Mia shares and may that help heal the pain that these young ones have experienced.

Painting and Prayer

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

God we pray this week for Bogdan, whose final exams today precede his graduation from college.

Thank you for the fruit we have seen in so many of our students’ hearts and educations. You have raised up loving and accomplished children from the ashes of broken places, and you have involved us. For that we look back, and are grateful.

Wolf Children

(The following update from Bucharest tells the story of two new members from the “wolf group” of children –  arrivals at the mission who Mia and the rest of the association have very courageously taken in. Please consider their plight in your prayers this week. They represent exactly why Mia’s Children exists.)

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In times of concerns and social, economical, moral crises when people are so much focused on their own drama, trying to find answers to so many questions, God is giving us grace, prosperity, meeting His promises for us: “Don’t be afraid, I am with you !”

And He is!

Romania is going crazy through all this: the school system, the medical care, the social policy and not only these, are not covering the real life and the results are a disaster. More kids are abandoning school, all types of viruses are going around, and there are no medicines, no money, no proper education in school–the society seems that it is asleep.

But in spite of this, the Lord is giving us a special vision to redeem, to rebuild, to refill the precious spirits and hearts of those who are brought into our work. That’s why we accepted two more children, coming from” the wolf group”, Bogdan and Emi. At the age of 8 they look like 4-year olds, mal-nutitioned. Wild an scary as they lived for months and months in a place where they imitated the way beasts are walking and speaking.

It’s incredible how children can survive with no love, no care in this moment in the society and how they can try to survive, having refuge among animals, who became a kind of family for them. The first days they were speaking in strange language, imitating the sounds of animals. And it required great courage for Costi and Oana to bring them inside the group, to clean out their lice, to try to calm them and cut their wild hair, and to give them the first bath….the words are too poor, sometimes ….

It is tremendous to see how hard it has been for them, and also for the group, to all of us to change their habits. The kids are trying to adjust their new life, including the new boys. We notice the great progress the two boys are making in one month: they started to love to play with other children, to speak, to listen and respect simple rules, to take baths, to stay dressed.

They still are rocking back and forth and sucking their thumbs, and they want to be taken in your arms as babies, emitting different sounds that have no meaning for us. They started to love to be hugged and touched, and looking at the rest of the group, they want to start to write. Emi drew his first tiny house and gave it to Mia, telling her how much he loves her. He also hangs on Oana’s feet, and we discovered that one of his legs is shorter than the other. Please pray for these children and us to continue to improve their lives.

All of this is possible because God loves each of us so much, because of each of you who are praying, giving, trusting, helping to design a vision for a better tomorrow. This can be a way for a better society, an answer for a safer world, where love and peace and understanding and supporting can take place and help human beings to live in harmony with God and each other, rebuilding the moral fiber of God’s creation.

Thank you for your faithfulness and dedication, for your supporting Mia’s Children!

Protect Mia’s Children from Fire

Our winter newsletter is on its way, and in it we’ve included pictures of the new headquarters, along with a few remaining needs for the building.

Many needs have already been met by volunteers in Romania and donors in the United States. One particularly large end-of-year gift went to cover 40 sets of dishes and a video monitoring system for the building!

One of the biggest needs still unmet is a set of fire alarms/smoke detectors. The building is so big that we need 10! Including installation, the cost comes to $700.

Will you consider giving to this effort? We are praying for seven $100 gifts, ten $70 gifts, or twenty $35 gifts. On our right sidebar we’ve added a fundraising thermometer that we’ll keep updated as together we reach this goal!

Slavery in Romania

This past week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which reports on the State Department’s recommendations in fighting human trafficking worldwide.

Human trafficking is a criminal activity in which people are recruited, harbored, transferred, bought or kidnapped to serve an exploitative purpose, such as sexual slavery and forced labor.

The report rates each country in their efforts to fight human trafficking, with Tier 1 being the highest rating and Tier 3 the lowest. Romania received a Tier 2 rating.

According to the report:

Romania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and women and children in forced prostitution.

Romanian men, women, and children are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, including forced begging and petty theft. In 2009, the majority of trafficking victims identified within the country were victims of forced labor…including forced begging.

The report goes on to say that more measures can and should be taken by the Romanian government to stop trafficking.

But we already knew a lot of this, because the children who come to us have often been either victims or witnesses of human trafficking. Extreme poverty in Bucharest’s poorest neighborhoods has led to many forms of criminal activity. Innocent children get lost in the shuffle at best, and trafficked at worst.

Mia’s Children provides counseling and education for these young people from the hard streets of Bucharest. And most importantly we work to offer them a home and a sense of belonging that is based on the truth and love of the gospel.

That is how we are fighting the horrors of human trafficking – and let us tell you, it works!

No More Missing Romanian Children

BalkanInsight.com reported yesterday that missing children cases in Romania are on the rise.

Over 3,200 children went missing in the last year, which is ten times more than five years ago. About 90% of the children are suspected to have run away from home and foster care voluntarily, sometimes in order to make money on the street.

But Mia’s Children knows exactly what they’ll find on the street: crime, drugs, prostitution and disease.

Many of our youth came from similar circumstances. Some of them were forced to work in crime for money, and some of them left voluntarily to escape the poverty and domestic problems at home.

We try to work with the children as well as their families, because families broken from addiction and poverty are what causes this danger to Romania’s young people the most.

But sometimes the families do not want help. The parents are not ready to beat the addiction, or are abusive, or feel that they cannot provide anything better than the streets for their children.

In that case one thing will always be certain:

No child is missing from God’s sight, and with his help, they can be found and loved again at Mia’s Children.

Consider the Motherless for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s day, we at Mia’s Children hope you have a special time celebrating with your love ones the great gift of motherhood.

In America we are so over-worked, over-played, overwhelmed that we sometimes forget the importance of sacrifice, of love and of a hot cup of soup when we’re sick.

Mia’s Children works with young people every day who have not known the love of a mother or a father. When precious children come along, they are too often seen as a burden more than a blessing, and they are pushed out.

We encourage our young people to show their mothers honor on Mother’s Day and every other day. In the past, we’ve even held special ceremonies for them!

But there are some children whose mothers will never attend those ceremonies. And here is what those young people have to say about Mia’s Children:

“I am coming from a family of 9 children. I lived long in an orphanage. Before I came here I never was loved. Thanks to you I can have love and a safe place to live in.”

“You gave me another life. I am what I am because of what the Lord did for me through you.”

“Here…I can experience the true love and I can dream and hope.”

“We feel you are our parents, big friends, forever bounded with us in the love of Jesus.”

This Mother’s Day, we ask that you will consider these children as you also consider your own mothers and children. Please consider making a donation to this ministry in your mother’s honor or memory, and we would be glad to send an e-mail on Mother’s Day with a painting by one of the children, letting her know about the gift in her honor. You can customize the message if you’d like!

Here’s how to do it:

1. Go to our donate page and make a donation using the options there.

2. Write us at info@miaschildren.org and let us know about your donation and in whose honor or memory it is.

3. If you want us to send an e-mail, include the e-mail address you would like for us to write to on Mother’s Day. We can send it to you so that you can customize the message, or we can send it to the recipient of the honor.

From all of us at Mia’s Children, have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

– Joanna Miller