This is Flory.

She is 17 years old and suffers from a severe hearing impairment.

Flory is an Olympiad competitor at chess, math and drawing. She took first place this year in Turkey while representing Romania at the Drawing Olympiad. She won the year before in Italy. Next year she’ll compete in Great Britain.

Flory drew the dog in this picture because she loves animals and considers dogs a blessed and faithful friend.

She needs an acoustic machine and a special battery every two weeks for her hearing aid. The kids love her and most of them communicate with her using sign language. She teaches the younger children chess strategies and secrets.

Her family comes from a poor town a long way from Bucharest, but because of the lack of work, many people have moved into the city to find employment there. In Bucharest, her mother helps prepare meals at Mia’s Children. Meanwhile, Flory’s sister entered is studying psychology in college, focusing on children with special needs.

Flory wants to stay at Mia’s Children all the time, but she’s learning in Craiovei at a high school for children with special needs. She studies architecture and would like to attend university to study architecture in the future.

Academic Successes

We’ve gotten in all the records from this school year. Can this list be any more exciting?

  • All of Mia’s Children passed their grades this year with marks of A and B;
  • Ion and Andreea applied successfully to high school;
  • After taking some time off, Claudia has returned to her social work program at the university;
  • Nicoleta and Claudia have applied for scholarships from the Blue Heron Foundation;
  • Nicoleta, Gelu, and Mihai graduated high school;
  • Mihai got his diploma as a chef;
  • Catalin (see last week’s wedding news) graduated from the history program at the university and is starting in the masters program;
  • Costi graduated with a degree in marketing;
  • and Bogdan got his degree in business, commerce and tourism. He is now pursuing a Master’s.

Praise God for these amazing children, teenagers and adults as they influence their schools and workplaces.

Mia’s Words for Patsy

As many of you may already know, last week Patsy Vick, one of our board members, lost her husband.

Ray Vick was an active part of Mia’s Children, supporting Patsy’s regular visits to Romania and traveling there with her as well. A devoted father here in the United States, he was also beloved by the many children he met in Bucharest.

After losing her own husband this year, Mia had many kind thoughts for Patsy. We wanted to share some of what she said with all of you.

We love you, Patsy, and we miss you, Ray.

From Mia:

Beloved Patsy and Family,

The words are too poor to can say how much I’m sorry to lose such a wonderful man as Ray was and will be forever!

Lord knows him so well and I’m sure that he’ll stay with Lord in Heaven, watching over all his dear Family and Friends, as well as his beloved grandchildren.

Costel is with him and I can see their hugs and special smiles. Two brave men who dedicated their life for others, serving the Lord whom they loved so much…

They’ll stay with us forever, dear Patsy. We were so blessed to have them. Ray was a special Husband, Grandfather, a Man of God, a Friend for so many. What a blessing and great honor to meet him, to know him, to work with him, we all in a great and blessed team of Lord!

The kids are so sad to lose their Grandfather Their tears are signs of how much they were blessed through Ray and you!!! Many memories will stay with them forever, because ray was the great man with white hair, with soft heart, with tears in his eyes speaking to them about Lord and sharing a special love!

Thank you, Ray, thank you, Patsy, thank you Lord! He is with us forever!

Patsy, I don’t know how to comfort you…but Ray is with Lord and with other Man of God, with Costel. You’ll suffer a lot after him because you’ll miss him so, so much. Nothing will can fill your heart, but be strong in Spirit as he’s not suffering anymore and you’ll meet him one day.

You have so many to love you around you and you’ll have to give them Ray’s love, to continue to be for them what Ray was. Take care of your beloved Granddaughters, rejoice into Lord. I’m with you – take my hugs right now and say a great thank you to Ray from me, from us, please!

Painting and Prayer

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.

Psalm 10:14

Thank you for fathers who love you and who give sacrificially for their children’s well-being. We pray for the many children who do not have fathers or who do not know paternal love. Please comfort them and provide them with people who reflect your fatherly care. We ask this for the children at Mia’s Children and for other young people like them around the world. Amen.

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

Please give Mia the energy and endurance not to give up on the many tasks in front of her, especially as she works on securing a visa to the US. Open the doors for her to come and make her way easy. Let her not become weary in doing good. Amen.

Meet Our Doctors

Open Door Medical Clinic – Bucharest

Did you know Mia’s Children has our very own medical team?

Okay, well not exactly, but we do have a special place to take the kids if they get sick or need checkups.

Drs. Linda and Milt Hanson, a US couple, run a medical mission in Bucharest called Open Door Medical Center.

From their website:

Situated in the city of Bucharest, capital of Romania, Open Door Medical Center is a full-service family medicine clinic that primarily serves low-income Romanians, gypsies, and refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Services include prenatal care and well-child care, geriatrics, and preventive care. The medical staff includes Drs. Milton and Linda Hanson, associate professors with University of Minnesota School of Medicine.

Most patients are very low-income Romanians, many of whom make less than $40 per month. The Romanian government provides no safety net medical care, and most low-income persons simply go without, but for the charity care offered at Open Door.

Refugees from Africa, and Iraqis and Iranians living in Romania also frequent Open Door Medical Center, as do some Americans and Western Europeans living in Romania.

Open Door’s two physicians are a husband and wife team. Milton and Linda Hanson are associate professors with University of Minnesota School of Medicine.They first came to Romania in 1994, learned the Romanian language, received their hard-won Romanian medical licenses, and then initiated the Open Door Medical Foundation in 1997.

For many years Mia has been able to bring the children and her own family to the center for quality, compassionate health care. What a blessing in a country with overburdened medical programs and a struggling economy.

Learn more about Open Door Medical Center and how you could get involved with their work.

Who Will Love the Roma?

A woman begs on the street in Bucharest

France is again returning Roma people back to their home country of Romania, even though the practice has been controversial.

The displacement of the Roma population is at least partly political. Many Roma people have squatted in France and live there illegally in conditions much like a refugee camp. The decision to destroy those quarters and move the Roma back to their home countries began in late summer of 2010, as part of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to crack down on illegal immigration and crime.

Regardless of my views on France’s action and the immigration issues that surround it, one question that stands out to me is, “Who will love these marginalized people?”

France claims that the Roma live on the outskirts of society. But whether they are in Romania or in France, they are blocked from employment. They receive little to no education – often because the parents will not encourage school attendance, but sometimes because they are denied access or bullied by educators once there. They have almost no path for moving up in the world. Without the encouragement and opportunities to learn to read and write, it is very difficult for them to integrate into any community.

When Mia’s Children first started, one of the biggest tasks was ensuring that all of the kids would get an education. Roma students who were willing to attend school were treated badly by their teachers and ignored. Mia would have to tutor them for hours in the afternoon, because essentially they were not given any attention in class compared to the other students.

The problem continues to this day. Mia has found it very discouraging trying to get education for Roma children who were born without birth certificates. The country does not recognize such children as people (without a birth certificate, you obviously were never born!). And as non-persons, they can not be in school.

Mia has managed to open a path for these students by teaching them herself. God bless her.

Who else will love these unloved children? Will you? Will I? Is it acceptable to say that a child found in a trash can with dark skin is less a child? The Roma people are looked down on as nomads and criminals, but when a person is blocked from all employment crime becomes normal. It is a terrible cycle that can only be addressed through Roma children becoming properly integrated, educated, faithful men and women who know they are loved.

There are many problems inside the Roma population. As much as Mia cares for the children, she doesn’t deny the many generational sins that burden Roma families and affect their reputation as a people group. But love can reach through darkness and save a person from anything. Love never fails.

Even as Romania and Western Europe fail the Roma, love will not fail them, and neither should we.

– Joanna Miller

Prayers – and Prayer Requests

Some prayers and prayer requests from Mia:

“I continue to be inspired by what God showed me in spite of all the trials we have to go through. In the same time, we look at what happened in the world and we see Japan many other places and we realize again that the world has to come back to God, as the only hope for the future. Let’s pray and work together and look forward, to build bridges between people from different parts of the world, as all need God .

As we are waiting to again celebrate Easter, let’s take inside of our hearts and souls Jesus’ death and resurrection and continue to march with Him in the world. Together with Him we are strong!

Romania is passing through very difficult times, like all the world. What’s worst is that many people lost their hopes: the suicide rate it’s incredibly high, more people are depressed, many are sick with diseases resulting from poverty, malnutrition, a lack of medicine being available, proper food and hygiene products scarce.

For us it became more difficult to keep going with our mission as the dollar continues to be devalued in time when the prices are continually going up. There are days when we don’t know how to manage the situation other than to pray and look forward. In spite of everything, we are optimistic and this is encouraging other people to know and understand “our key “. We witness in this way what we know the best: ‘all things are possible with God!’ ”

Please, pray for:

  • Revival across the world;
  • People who  are going through sorrow over losing family, friends, property;
  • Financial provision to pay the bills, need expenses for keeping the kids, meeting ever-rising living expenses;
  • Health for Mia and all the kids: for Oana, Mario, Gabriela, Nicoleta who are quite ill right now

We thank you for making a way for us in these difficult times. Your help, support, prayers, encouragements mean so much to us. Blessings and much love to all of you.