"Cercetați toate lucrurile, si păstrați ce este bun!"

Apostolul Pavel

Juliana Lodge arrived in Romania in October 2009. She volunteered alongside members of the FFR team for a year, then returned to work in the UK. Juliana has come back to Romania each year to support local projects and is now a trustee of STAR International. Here is a little more about Juliana’s journey and her heart for Romania.

My name is Juliana. I am a Speech & Language Therapist (Pathologist) specialising in Complex Communication Difficulties in children. My journey started in 2009 when I felt the ‘call’ to serve as a volunteer in Romania.

Sharing Oregon beer and blueberries with the world, offering humanitarian aid and helping China increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities…..these were just some of the accomplishments of Oregon companies recognized at last evening’s Oregon Consular Corps Celebrate Trade event.

As part of World Trade Week, the annual event recognizes the significant contribution Oregon’s traded sector companies and nonprofits make to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life. Awards were given in seven categories.

Governor Kate Brown and Mayor Charlie Hales were keynote speakers.

This year’s award recipients included:

Fall Creek Farm and Nursery - Governor's Trade Leadership Award

Craftport – Emerging Oregon Exporter

Simple BBVA - Foreign Direct Investment

K&L Gates - Global Leader

DePaul Packaging - New Exporter

Jeff Pinneo, CEO of Medical Teams International - Individual Achievement

First Stop Portland- Ambassador Award

Personal growth is extremely important for me. Developing a world-view and understanding the importance of reaching out to humanity is imperative in this day and age. Firm Foundations Romania is excited to announce its brand new internship program. Are you a woman, 18 or older, who is seriously committed to making a difference in the lives of those here in Romania, to laying down her life for a year to grow in her relationship with God, and to seek the Lord in order to gain a better understanding for what He has for her future? If so, this program may be for you.

One of my long-term goals is to see Romanian adoption laws changed on behalf of the abandoned children of Romania. After living in Brasov, Romania for over 12 years, I have seen enough suffering of children who want to be loved by a mother and a father. Every day matters to a child in institution. I am happy to share that my close friends are embarking on a mission to make a difference for the children of Romania. Please read below to follow their plan of action to help:

Letter to Romanian Network


There are more than 70,000 Romanian children in state care, of that only 1200-1400 are considered to be “adoptable.” In order to be considered “adoptable” the child’s biological parents must be deceased or indicate that they have no interest in a relationship with the child.

Alisha Sidebottom served side by side with Firm Foundations Romania for over 6 years. However, 2015 is the year that God is calling her back to her homeland in Michigan to pursue the next chapter of her life. No one can replace Alisha’s heart. Her love and passion to help others is a gift from God. Here is her testimony about her time in Romania:

“I first came to Brasov, Romania by train after flying into Bucharest, and this was my first impression: a train station where ladies slept on the floor, dogs roamed for food, and the only items to buy for dinner were beer, bread or water. Our trip took six hours instead of three, and I remember hearing drunken men walking in the streets and the loud sound of the bus that went by our apartment.

Firm Foundations Romania’s High School Mentorship Program for Roma teens who want to excel in their education and relationship with God is starting the New Year on the right foot. Andreea, who recently graduated from high school, one of the first from her village, is now enrolled in university, studying hard throughout the week, and receiving outstanding grades! This individual proves that investing one on one is the key to success! Here is a recent update on the teenagers from our Project Coordinator, Juliana Timofte.

On behalf of Firm Foundations Romania (FFR) we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The past 2014 has been a year of growth and opportunity. We feel very blessed for all the volunteers that have come from around the world to assist us with our projects in Brasov, Romania, as well as our donors and sponsors who have invested financially to help our projects run successfully.

Our goal and need for 2015 is to continue to share the story about how lives and communities are being transformed by the power of love and service. We need your assistance to help us share the story of FFR through introductions to individuals, churches, and expanded platforms. We also are looking for business-minded people to help us establish a “Business As Missions” program, which involves starting a new business whose proceeds are then poured back into Firm Foundations Romania’s projects.

Lauren Manu is American married to a Romanian and now living full time with her two children in Romania. Lauren joined Firm Foundations Romania ?? after meeting some of the team members while she stayed in the Brasov children’s hospital with her child. It is always neat how God places people in strategic locations when He has His perfect plan! I asked Lauren if she could share more about her work as the project manager for FFR’s Moms Project in the Brasov Children’s Hospital, and newly in the Brasov Maternity Hospital.

How can it be that children living in this home smile? How is it that they can laugh? Dance? Pose for a photo and be happy? I believe it is because they don’t know a different life style, but is this the true reason? How can these kids not wear a permanent scowl due to the infestation of lice crawling through their hair or fleabites all over their body? I believe we all know the answer... Then I think about American children playing with iPhone and wanting the next, better version. The need to be stimulated is constantly reinforced by the latest movie or gadget. Believe me, I am guilty of this thinking too, but fortunately I am reminded from time to time of all that I have when I visit homes in the Roma communities.

Gabi, the social worker at the children’s hospital in Brasov, approached me regarding a new outpatient room that the hospital renovated for nonprofit organizations to come and provide free dental care for underprivileged children. Dental care is severely limited in poorer communities, especially in the Roma villages. I posted the need for dental teams to come serve in Romania on Facebook, and one of our past volunteers named Mary Lynne Mountjoy responded with informative information about babies who have been abandoned in the hospitals experience teeth decay at a higher level due to a lack of proper breast feeding from their mothers. Abandonment not only is detrimental to mental health, but also physical health. Below are some facts about this truth and we are asking for dentists who are willing to come to Romania and help repair damage that unfortunately started right after birth: