Here a St Peter’s we have had an association with Romania since 1989. Following the deposing of the communist dictatorship, the world became aware of the plight of the Romanians, and particularly children in orphanages.
Like many from across the nation, we were drawn to help in the form of taking aid and in the early nineties small teams of people from the church started to drive out to Romania encountering long delays at border controls.
During those early years of delivering aid, doing practical building work, and evangelism, we eventually settled in the village of Podari in the south west part of Romania, just outside the city of Craiova.
Contact was made with a small group of local Christians and in the early days teams from the church would travel to Podari on a regular basis to give support, encouragement, and joining in with their evangelistic work.
In 2001 it was considered that a permanent base in Podari would assist us in pursuing God’s work in the village. St Peter’s funded the purchase of a derelict building with land and we set about restoring the building and cultivating nearly five acres of land.
It was necessary to employ a Romanian couple to manage and to live at the Project. Costica and Gabi felt called by God to the Project and gave up their previous jobs to come and partner with us.
The project has been a magnet for the young people, who come to use the computers, play on the equipment or have a game of football. On a Sunday they receive teaching from the Bible.
We felt that God wanted to use the Project to minister to the marginalised and broken in society and this led us to take into our care youngsters with learning difficulties, especially those who had been through the orphanage system as there doesn’t seem to be any appropriate provision made for them by the local authority. We currently have a young man, Marian, at Project Hope. Marian left a lifetime of local authority care choosing to live at the Project. With dedicated mentoring from Costica and Gabi, Marian is being equipped with the life skills that will enable him to flourish.
A second part of our vision for Project Hope is to encourage and support local Christians in spreading Christ's good news of salvation and healing.
Project Hope is a registered association in Romania with the membership consisting of English and Romanian Christians. Costica Lazar manages the project and also chairs the association.
Funding for Project Hope comes from the church’s mission budget and is supplemented by church members’ donations. For anyone wishing to make a donation to the project please contact the church office