Telephone: 0117 9824796
Address: 6 Cedar Row, Park Hill, Bristol, BS110UJ.
Other highly recommended groups working in Romania include:
Support for Romania – a ground breaking charity which started shortly after the revolution in 1989. Their website is www.supportforromania.org.uk. An inspiration to those of us following in their footsteps, Support for Romania focuses primarily on aid work, including significant building projects. It was so interesting to hear from Alan, after he had received a Romanian Ministries booklet showing photos of Oradea Seminary, that Support for Romania had provided some of the building materials for the seminary, and also a ride-on mower for its extensive grounds! Veterans in Romania aid mission work.
4H – Helping His Hungarian Heroes – led by Dr Eric Barrett and his wife Rosemary, 4H’s main focus is on aid for what could be termed “greater Hungary”, which includes the region of Romania known as Translyvania. Excellent, committed, inspiring work!
Blythswood – another “granddad” amongst the Christian charities working in Romania, founded by Jackie Ross and with a history of helping Romanians since the revolution.
Christian Aid Ministries – interestingly enough, this America-based group pools support from the evangelical wing of the Amish church and other mennonite assemblies. CAM has interests far and wide, and not just in Romania, but its orphanage in Suceava (North east Romania) and books on Romanian Christians and their lives are deserving of much attention.
Every good Romaniaphile loves his / her reading about Romania. Some recommended titles are listed below. Anyone who has read a good book on Romania that is not included is warmly invited to inform Adrian of its title for him to purchase immediately!
We hope and trust the Lord blesses you as you read.
Heartbridge – Johnny Miller A wonderful account of a Christian orphanage in Suceava, and the first twelve months there of Johnny Miller, its American Director. Coming from the evangelical wing of the American Amish, and retaining a slightly quaint Amish dress sense throughout, follow the adventures of 6 year old Beti and her quest for a Bible, the plight of Pavel when his brother trained to become a priest in the Orthodox church, the recovery of little Ica and her inclusion in the orphanage, and many other similar stories. Moving, at times highly amusing, and a great blessing to read.
Odyssey of a Romanian Street Child – John Kachemyer A sobering and yet highly informative account of the life of Catalin Dobrisan, whose early life as a street child was transformed by the loving witness and care of American John Kachelmyer. A necessary read, outlining as it does not only the plight of street children, but also the dark side of their lives. Extremely interesting on sociopathic tendencies, and very realistic in detailing some of the inevitable heartbreak experienced by those who work with street children.
Joy in Shared Tears – Drew Craig it might take some digging around on Amazon to track down a copy of this book, but it’s well worth the effort. Drew writes as a member of the Brethren Assemblies of Ireland, providentially drawn into Romanian outreach and preaching, with interesting content on pre-revolution Romania as well as post-. The tales of stomach upsets and homesickness will strike many a chord with readers, as well as its heart warming accounts of faith rewarded and joyful fellowship. Delightful.
With God, for the People – Laszlo Tokes written by the man who (in human terms) sparked the Romanian Revolution 1989, this book provides much helpful information on the communists and their pre-revolution control of the Hungarian Reformed Church, their placing stooges in influential positions, who opposed all evangelical influences in ways that were often vicious and scheming. Laszlo Tokes, then a pastor in the Hungarian Reformed Church, writes of the securitate persecution he faced during the revolution itself, as well as life in the far from simple Romania that followed. A good read. (Note: Laszlo Tokes is currently Vice President of the European Parliament)
God Knows my Size! – Harvey Yoder One of the heart warming and equally heart-wrending publications by Christian Aid Ministries, this tells the story of Silvia Tarniciu and her upbringing in communist Romania. Wealthy yet non Christian relatives she was sent to live with offered little refuge, and yet Silvia came to faith through a surprising answer to a very personal prayer. Adventures and trials followed in equal measure, before she eventually received permission to move to America. A fascinating picture of pre-revolution life for Christians, from someone with personal experience.
Riches in Romania – Rebecca Parkinson Now for something completely different! A fictional account, and yet drawn one suspects from a host of autobiographical experiences, Day One have hit the jackpot with this beautifully crafted tale for children. Jenny’s life is turned upside down when she and her family relocate to Romania for a period, leaving a shattered friendship in the UK behind. A voyage of self discovery results, with conversion, containing helpful lessons for all. Delightful touches of Romanian life, including first hand experience of the Romanians and their racing car style of driving – “an experience” said Dad; “a nightmare” said Mum; “uncomfortable” said Jenny; her brother, David’s, view “awesome!” Indeed!
Road to Romania – Ann Penrose Classic stuff from Ann on her experiences of over twenty years of relief work in Romania. Adrian remembers being a twenty year old new convert at Town Hill Baptist Church in Swansea when Alan and Ann visited and represented their work in Romania back then, which this book does now in more detail. It’s standout features? Alan and Ann’s down to earth and hard working approach to their God-given vision, and the remarkable providences that have occurred in the course of their faithful ministry. Highly recommended.
A Worm’s Eye View of Space – Eric Barrett Please don’t be put off by this most curious of titles! Eric Barrett shares his experiences as one of the Lord’s front-liners, first in the realm of academia and meteorological research, and then in the world of aid to “greater Hungary”, which, for our purposes, includes a large tract of Western Romania. There’s been a lot of derring-do in Eric’s ministry years, made all the more remarkable by much of it having been undertaken in his retirement. An unexpected element of romance makes the book a fascinating read, about someone who is known personally to both Adrian and Cornel, and much admired.
Merchant to Romania – Geri Little Oh, get ready for this one! Published by Day One, this gives the account of Geri Little, a self-described loud outspoken clown (at least in his youth) and successful businessman whom the Lord called to work in Romania. Combining business acumen with a missionary’s heart, Geri specialised in “thrift stores” (second hand clothes shops) in the town of Iasi before launching an American-themed restaurant and bed and breakfast hotel. Profits from all business ventures are ploughed back into mission work in Romania, in a concept Geri calls BAM – Business as Mission. Pithy spiritual wisdom is scattered throughout the book, and mixed with first class drollery – “I sensed that Gloria and I had taken an important step into that second most dangerous place on earth, the centre of God’s will (anywhere else being the most dangerous place…)” . Important to read.
Tortured for Christ – Richard Wurmbrand Something of a legendary figure in the Romanian Church, and at times just slightly enigmatic, this work represents Wurmbrand at his best. Originally an atheistic Jew with an outstanding mind, Wurmbrand was brought to faith through the witness of a village neighbour and came to be something of a totem in the Romanian Church, a figurehead of resistance to communism. Follow him in this book as he is arrested and then subjected to the cruellest of imprisonments, before eventual release and departure to wider ministries in America.
The Pastor’s Wife – Sabina Wurmbrand This, in Adrian’s view, is the equal if not superior to anything written by her illustrious husband. Sabina Wurmbrand gives her account of conversion and then her own years of imprisonment during the communist regime. Her work on the notorious Danube- Black sea canal project is gripping to read, as are her experiences of misinformation from the secret police, who made every attempt to lead her into the belief that her husband had died while in prison and thereby prompt her re-marriage, when in fact Richard was still alive. This book should be seen as a classic in the genre of Christian experiences under communist rule. Highly recommended.
Christ on the Jerusalem Road – Richard Wurmbrand: one more title from the pen of this most celebrated Romanian Christian leader. Richard Wurmbrand, himself a Jew, was brought to faith through the witness of someone who wished specifically to be instrumental in the conversion of a Jew, and this work is largely viewed from this angle. Writing of other well known Romanian Christian Jews, and containing much of Wurmbrand’s own personal witness to Jews, the book contains much helpful material and many examples of Wurmbrand’s scintillating reasoning at work.
An Irregular Candidate – Jackie Ross This is the autobiography of the founder of Blythswood, the innovative British and Christian charity that has done so much in Romania. Contains much interesting material on Romania, especially heart warming being Jackie’s willingness to launch out in Christian faith and initiative to Romania after seeing the disturbing scenes on television following the revolution.
The Deafening Sound of Silent Tears – Juliet Barker Important to read, this one. Caring for Life is doubtless a landmark Christian charity, with boldly followed, God given vision, and yet it would not be unfair to say everything unraveled most sadly when it came to their Romanian involvement. While much in this book is about their work in Britain, there’s an important chapter on Romania, which treks from initial excitement and ideas to relational tension, antipathy and eventual disengagement from the Romanian scene. Sobering and yet necessary reading, with some salutary lessons for all those who would work in Romania.
A Heart to Belong – Johnny Miller Year number two in charge for this American Director of the Suceava Orphanage, and if his first book was splendid, this one does even better. First-rate literature on Christian labours in Romania. The children in the orphanage are growing, and while this brings joy as some come to faith, heartbreak follows as others reject orphanage care and break the hearts of its staff. Pleasantly written throughout, with Johnny being called Tata (Dad) by the children and yet full of the wisdom of a loving granddad, a second highly recommended read from the Miller pen.
Elena: Strengthened through Trials – Harvey Yoder Another very worthwhile read from Christian Aid Ministries. Telling the story of Elena Marza and her upbringing, through her interest in competitive athletics and then conversion, it covers some of the same ground as the Silvia Tarniciu book mentioned above. Still very much worth reading, however, and especially powerful are the scenes of prison life for Silvia and Elena in the latter half of the book.
Undercover – Chris Rogers Hmmm. Written by a non-Christian journalist, this recommendation comes with many of the expected caveats (very occasional expletives, a secular world view, no real solution to the the problems identified, etc). It’s Chris Rogers’ attempt to urge caution regarding the entrance of Romania into the EU in 2007, and garnered a lot of publicity when originally published, with his shockingly successful bid to buy a a gypsy child and the revelation that nightmare institutions for children in Romania were not simply a footnote of the country’s past. Quite what he is attempting other than an expose I’m not sure, but Romaniaphiles will want to read this book to gain a fuller understanding of conditions in Romania in the last decade.
Romania – An Illustrated History – Nicolae Klepper It may seem like something of an task to wade through a history of Romania, and yet it rewards the time and labour by providing a helpful historical and cultural context to the Romania of today. Learn about the prosperous years the Dacian (Romanian) people enjoyed under Roman rule, leading cultural and political figures of Romanian history, and more about the happenings in Romanian government prior to the communist regime, which are somewhat revealing and explanatory of what came later. The book’s one glaring omission? It contains nothing about the Roma…
Teach Yourself Romanian – Denis Deletant Serious about involvement in Romania, or in ministry to Romanian people? Then it’s time to learn the language, and this book is probably the best on the market for doing so. It’s no substitute for conversations and listening to Romanian being spoken, but here’s a helpful guide to reasonable competency in the Romanian language. Buy yourself a good dictionary to accompany your studies, pray for a lot of patience, and prepare to reap the benefits and greater usefulness for the Lord on your next visit abroad.