On Sunday, March 10, 2019, Jonathan Duffy, president of the Adventist Developement and Relief Agency (ADRA) International, and Ștefan Tomoiagă, president of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Romania, inaugurated the 300th social house built by ADRA Romania, as part of the “Rebuilding Hope” project.
"Rebuilding Hope" is ADRA Romania's way of supporting families who have lost their material assets due to fires. Every year, ADRA identifies and supports people who go through this kind of difficulty by building houses and providing professional assistance. For the project, ADRA Romania partners with local authorities, while funding comes from both individuals and legal entities. The implementation of the project is carried out with the help of volunteers from the country and abroad.
ADRA Romania chose the Mihai and Alina Ciobanu family as recipients of the social house after learning they had lost their home in a fire in Focuri. Gabriela Istrate, ADRA Romania social worker, along with Onisim Lehaci, Tinel Panaite, Viorel Chirică and Florin Lichi, ADRA Romania volunteers, coordinated the project. With over 35 volunteers and 15 sponsors who either contributed building materials or finances to complete the project, the Ciobanu’s now have a new three-bedroom home with a full kitchen and bathroom.
During the inauguration service, Duffy thanked all who had been involved in the project.
"A house is much more than bricks and mortar; it is a home. It is a place where people and families are together. All of us need a home where we can feel safe. I am overjoyed and honored because the Ciobanu family allowed us to be part of this project. I look around and I realize that this house is not isolated from the others, but it is part of a community. We all need to belong to a community. I'm glad this community has made this project come true. As ADRA President, I am proud that ADRA Romania and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania have teamed up transform this project into reality. It is extraordinary that 300 homes were built by ADRA Romania, but 300 is not just a number: each home represents a family whose life has been changed through ADRA's projects.”
In his remarks, Tomoiagă added, "We are here to rejoice in what God intends to do with each of us, to be part of His work, to help our neighbours. The society we belong to is often indifferent to the needs of the people. I look around and I discover so much indifference. I wonder if we can still be called Christians while we are so indifferent to people's needs. The church cannot remain indifferent to needs. Today we rejoice because another dream has been fulfilled; not just the 300th, but a much higher dream is being fulfilled, that of getting involved in someone's life. I hope this family will enjoy this beautiful house built by ADRA Romania, while being aware that Jesus Christ is preparing a house in the Kingdom of Heaven for each of His children.”
Robert Georgescu, executive director of ADRA Romania, offered his thanks, too. "We understand that behind a building there are people who have invested material and financial resources, as well as their precious time for their fellow men to live a better life. We rejoice every time when, regardless of religion or life philosophy, this beautiful team, coordinated by ADRA Romania, values their neighbours' well-being. This process only restores human dignity following the example set forth by the Founder of Christianity. We are changing the world, one life at a time is more than a motto we share. That's why we believe we can do much more in the shortest time with justice, compassion, and love. We, the ADRA Romania team, would like to express our gratitude to all those involved and may God reward you more than we can."
Istrate, one of the project coordinators, shared that she is grateful to God, “because ADRA Romania has managed to bring back the joy and smiles to the Ciobanu family. The "Rebuilding Hope" program in Focuri has brought together sponsors and volunteers from all over the country. We appreciated the diligence and daily work of the beneficiaries, the openness and support of the authorities, the donation of the sponsors and, in a special way, the enthusiastic service of the volunteers from Perieni, Iaşi County. I once again learned a beautiful lesson, which filled me with joy: for a good cause, people become united and ready to help their suffering neighbours."
"While working on the ADRA project ‘Rebuilding Hope’ in Focuri, I was impressed by the vision of those in the local administration who were willing to get involved, be it materially or emotionally. I admire those who donated money or construction materials. I admire all the volunteers who have invested themselves in this project! I pray that the Lord may reiterate this project in any place where the need meets people ready to extend their hands," said Ovidiu Burbulea, ADRA representative in the regions of Moldavia and Bukovina.
ADRA Romania is part of the ADRA International Network, one of the widest-spread nongovernmental organizations in the world. Active in more than 130 countries, ADRA is led by a philosophy that combines compassion and pragmatism, serving people in need, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, political affiliation or religious association.
ADRA Romania aims to improve the quality of life of those in need and invests in people's potential through community development initiatives, focusing on five main directions: economic growth, basic education and health, the fight against domestic violence, assisting the victims of natural disasters, and assisting disadvantaged social categories.