Thursday, 8 September 2011

Victims on trial

For the past few months we have had an on-going case with eight of our street folks who are accused of being an "organised crime gang" and of human trafficking. Irina and I have appeared as witnesses for the defense ... the only ones so far, as opposed to more than 20 witnesses for the prosecution - all fellow street people and all approached by the same policeman and strongly encouraged to testify against the accused. It was quite a frightening experience for me, my first time on the stand and in my second language, I was quite emotional about it all.

As I have said before, it is society which has failed these young people, they are not complete innocents and I don't want to pretend they are, but guilty of organised crime and human trafficking - no, no and again no! This is a trial in which both the victims and the accused and are victims ... victims of a European society that doesn't want them.

I attend the court every time, not because I think I can actually do a lot to help, because the truth is that the odd are against them, but to show them that we care, that they are not forgotten - not by us and more importantly, not by God. The photo above is of two of the children waiting outside the court for a final glimpse of daddy before he is taken away from them again ...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

building team from wolverhampton

In August, immediately on our return from our flying visit to England, Scotland and France we had a small team come out from PCF Romania Projects in Perton, Wolverhampton.

PCF - stands for Perton Christian Fellowship (now renamed Lakeside Community Church, Perton) were our earliest supporters in the work and have remained faithful during the past 11 years of our service here in Romania.

Andrew Bradley came out with Elliot, Richard, Lucy and Dave (his two older brothers Matt and Dan have been out several times to help)

Most of the team's work was at the house, to improve the team/volunteer accommodation, but they did a couple of jobs at the Secret Garden too ... they prepared the wall for our new disabled access and painted the courtyard walls.

The walls of the courtyard at the bvack of our day centre were previously painted in ultra-dazzling brilliant white ... on a sunny day (and most days are sunny here!) you couldn't even open your eyes it was so bright! The guys painted them a nice apricot colour (though it looks more of a yellow in the photos!)to match the colour of the new office extension ... it looks much better now and has the added bonus that you can actually see the children when you're out in the back playing with them ... and believe me, that helps!