The Experience of a Lifetime

This summer I had the experience of visiting a Romanian orphanage in Campina, Romania. The children at these orphanages ranged from six to seventeen years old, all from different families and backgrounds; some children truly were orphans, others had a tough home life that they needed to escape. But there was one thing that all of these children had in common, they were all so grateful for what they have and do not take anything for granted.

I donated my afternoon with these children, and it was such a delight to become acquainted with these cheerful spirits. Although my living standards may have separated me from these Romanian children, when I played with them I could not see any barriers. After all, they are children just like me who seek adventure, love to laugh with their friends, and learn from others around them.
Eastern Lighthouse has made an effort to assist these children in their journey to learn. This summer we donated a new projector to this orphanage to engage these children in all of the new advances of technology. The children were delighted with their present and their faces full of joy made my heart dance. I wanted to continue to fill them with the joy of education. Currently, Eastern Lighthouse is assisting a seventeen year old girl who has spent most of her life in this orphanage in Campina. She wishes to have a profession as a hairdresser, so Eastern Lighthouse is supporting her in her voyage by paying for her school.

There are so many things you can do to leave a footprint on this world. A simple donation can change a life from okay to awesome. All of this can happen with your help.
As the great American poem and educator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, once said’
“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.”

With your help today, you can leave a footprint on the sands of time and in the precious heart of a Romanian child who you know will be ever so grateful for you donation.
Please, help us in creating a future, one smile at a time.

The Joy of Giving

A saintly monk once said that material gifts will bring human joy to those receiving them, but offering gifts will bring divine joy to the giver. Every day, in so many ways, there is opportunity for each of us to bring joy to another child and to experience life changing divine joy ourselves.

I have recently read about the help that IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) offers to struggling, vulnerable families all around Romania. The well being of many of Romania’s children has been endangered by the lack of economic development that pushed so many families into joblessness and poverty.

Over the past twelve years, IOCC has trained thousands of priests and teachers (2,100 trained since 2005 alone) on improving community life for children and their families. IOCC especially emphasizes a good education as a way to promote positive changes for communities and inspire success. To this end, IOCC has opened afterschool care centers that keep children interested in learning, while providing a safe environment to study, play and socialize with friends. One such center, the Joy Aid Foundation daycare center in Urlati, is featured in the most recent IOCC Prayer Journal. The center serves 25 kids, and offers snacks and a warm meal, computer access for tutoring, bathrooms with running water, and even warm clothes and shoes for the most needy. The IOCC also provides new school supplies, games, and funds for other activities. I felt humbled and touched to see pictures of the children opening new school supplies with the wonderment and joy one usually associates with Christmas morning gifts!

Be a gift giver and experience divine joy yourself. Just a thought for the gift giving season at hand.

 

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God”

– Luke 18:16