Elderly Romanians spend long days alone since the coronavirus pandemic. Many of them are cooped up at home. Last month, they were restricted to their homes except for two hours in the middle of the day. Now the restriction has lifted some, but elderly people may still only leave their house to purchase essentials. Christian Aid Ministries is working with the Suceava Mennonite Church to provide bread and milk for forgotten, elderly Romanians to remind them they are not forsaken during this trying time.
Eugenia, a widow of five years, cried when a church member arrived to give her some food. Her five children were all stuck in Italy with no way to help her. Eugenia was overwhelmed that someone cared enough to stop by.
Another elderly widow who received milk and bread from CAM shared, “I don’t know how to thank you.”
“I have no money right now”
Not only are the elderly in Romania lonely, but many of them also lack money to pay for groceries. One lady who thought she needed to pay for the milk and bread said, “I would like some, but I have no money right now.” She was ever so grateful to discover it was a gift. Others tore open the bag of bread as soon as they received it and ate the bread on the spot.
While a large portion of the milk and bread is distributed to the elderly, some is also distributed to orphanages and needy families with little income.
A widowed mother of several young girls was ready to prepare stinging nettle soup with the plants she gathered from the forest when someone from the Suceava Mennonite Church stopped by. She was in tears as she expressed her thankfulness for the loaves of bread from CAM, and a hot meal from the church.
Why milk and bread?
Milk and bread are staple foods in Romania. To Romanians, a meal isn’t complete if it doesn’t include bread. Milk is a basic item that Romanians use fresh or cultured. Many people use the milk to make cheese or cottage cheese.
By providing these items, our staff and the local church have opportunities to share the hope of Jesus in a time of fear and worry. In many cases, they are also able to share Christian literature along with the milk and bread. One of our staff members shared, “It is a tremendous time of opportunity for God’s people.”
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