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

Apostolul Pavel

This past June I met a young, newly married couple; she is Canadian and he is Romanian. They are currently living in Canada, but travel to Romania to visit his family.

While talking to the couple, they mentioned the desire to adopt an older child, preferably of Roma descent. Knowing that international adoption is closed, it was a foreign thought that adopting from Romania was an option. They, like many Romanians, did not know that adoption is available for Romanians living in America. This is why it’s so important to make Romanians living abroad to know that adoption is an option. In their own words below, you can see the passion and desire to adopt and love a child who desperately needs love:

My life direction involves three goals:

Changing Romanian adoption laws to help make it easier for Romanians to adopt abandoned children and ultimately opening up international adoptions.

Business for missions focus where Firm Foundations Romania runs a local business to support our projects and provide employment for our Roma teens to help social integrate this ethnicity into Romanian society.

To utilize my musical gifts and talents as a recording artist, as well as my personal experiences to become a public speaker to help bring greater awareness of the needs of Romania.


On June 16th I had the wonderful opportunity to perform six songs from my new album, Sarah Vienna, and share about the encouraging work Firm Foundations Romania is currently doing in Brasov for the Southern California Barnabas Group Members (http://www.barnabasgroup.org)

I first met Andreea Mondoc in Budila, a Roma village located thirty minutes from the city of Brasov, Romania. She was a quiet ten year old with hungry eyes wanting to make something of her life and now she has. After eight years of dedicated hard work, Andreea has overcome her circumstances of living a doomed life in a gypsy village and has graduated from high school with hopes of going to university. Her goal is to become a social worker so she can help her own people.

Firm Foundations Romania (FFR) decided to help Andreea obtain her high school education, as we believe education is the key to help change the future of a Roma citizen.  With her mother’s agreement, we embarked on an experimental journey for Andreea;

Gabi Slavitescu is a hero of mine. I’ve never met a Romanian with such a passion and motivation to stand in the gap for the orphans and neglected children of Romania. I’m honored to call her my friend and coworker. Below is her moving testimony of why she became a social worker and what she is doing to help stand in the gap for children in need.

“Joy, sadness, empathy, tears, frustration, challenges and satisfaction… this is all encompassed in the ten years of daily experiences as a social worker in the Brasov Children's Hospital in Romania. All these experiences have started as a challenge. I was twenty years old when I saw on TV a three year old boy who was punished very strangely by his drunken father. The father wanted to discipline his son so he cut off the fingers from one of his hands. This was the moment when God showed me that I should start to “be the voice” for all those children in need. It was my calling to be a social worker. In 2005 I started working in the Brasov's Children Hospital as the one social worker. It was not easy because social protection of the children was an unknown concept in the medical field.

to dream a new dream that is obtainable

These faces are the future of Romania. Roma children who deserves a chance at life, and the only way to give them this chance is through education, mentorship, and hope. With over 85% of the Roma population being illiterate and more than half who do not attend school it is so vital for educational programs to be implemented and for Romanians to join these programs to  volunteer. Firm Foundations Romania’s After School Learning Center is bursting its seems with children wanting to attend our program to learn the basics of Reading, writing, and arithmetic, and we need more Romanians involvement to assist us to be able to reach more children.


I came to Romania in 2002 with the thought that I would stay for six months. Twelve years later, I have my Romanian residency, co-founded a non-profit organization called Firm Foundations Romania (FFR), and have a dream to see laws changed on behalf of the Romanian orphans.

Brasov, Romania, became my home after attending a mission school called Youth with a Mission. Nestled in the Carpathian Mountains, the gorgeous city captured my heart along with the people in need. I’ll never forget my first introduction to the Roma people. A girl begging, her piercing green eyes full of desperation and hunger, was beautiful in her dirty clothing. Who were these people segregated from society?

Christmas is my favorite holiday. Now, you’re probably be asking yourself why did I choose Christmas as my favorite and not Easter, The Resurrection…Well, to be quite honest with you, I love Easter just as much for we remember the death of the greatest King bearing our sins and celebrate His victorious and glorious Resurrection.

Not only did our great King rose from the death, but it was that through his death and His precious shed blood that our sins have been washed away and He so graciously gave us His salvation…”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)”. What an amazing remembrance we have to know that our sins have been washed away through his death and received salvation and eternal life instead. Who does that? And, the chorus to this song came to mind…”How many kings step down from their thrones? How many lords have abandoned their homes? How many greats have become the least for me? And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that is torn all apart? How many fathers gave up their sons to die for you and me only to reward us with life instead?” No other King has ever done that for me!!! So, that’s way I love Christmas for without the magnificent celebration and the birth of the greatest King on earth as in heavens, there will not have been death and a resurrection…GIVING…for it was foretold long ago: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)“ and only because, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)”.

I will not be able to ever give back as much as God gave for me, but all I can do is give Him my whole heart and life. By letting God be my Wonderful Counselor (and not someone I may visit an hour or two in exchange for money), by trusting in God’s faithfulness for only He is the Everlasting Father and by always being grateful and thankful when down in the valleys as well as when high on the mountain and not only for the material blessings (which again He gives to us), but for the ultimate gift of salvation and eternal life coming down from the Father of Lights…”Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of heavenly lights. (James 1:17)”.

You see, Christmas is the gift itself and I’m not talking about the wonderful gifts we give and receive from one another. Or is Christmas all about the gifts? Is it all about the beautiful lighting displays? Is it all about the tall and beautifully decorated Christmas tree? Surely not, even as much as I love giving and receiving gifts, admiring the beautiful lighting displays and decorating my Christmas tree while singing along the beautiful Christmas songs, but, to me all this does is pre-setting our lives, hearts, minds and souls for the joyful celebration, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!

For, He is Peace! He is Joy! He is Love! He is every good gift from God’s heart to ours for only Jesus is the Gift that perfectly fits every heart and it is with His love that all celebration starts. We rejoice in Him as we remember His birth and thank God for sending His only Son to earth. His life led from a manger to a cross on a hill where He faithfully followed His Father's perfect will. He freely laid down everything so that we could live and there is no greater treasure anyone could give. Like a scarlet ribbon His love wrapped around the cross and He offered it to us all at the greatest cost. So each time that we give we remember what He's done and honor the perfect Gift - God's one and only Son. Together, let’s celebrate and share Jesus, the perfect gift in a way that brings “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)”.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Blessings for the New Year, from my home to yours!


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The Romanian Times newspaper was founded in 2000. Most articles are written by professional Romanian writers and voluntary contributors.  Written mostly in Romanian with some articles in English, the newspaper is distributed free of charge to Romanian churches and businesses in the Portland metropolitan area every other week. The newspaper's distribution also reaches other major cities in the U.S., including Seattle WA, Phoenix AZ, Los Angeles CA, Sacramento CA, and New York NY. We promote the best in Romanian and Romanian-American culture, spirituality, politics and business. 

The Romanian community in the Portland metro area
has reached approximately 30,000. The majority of them gather at churches of different denominations, where they worship and socialize at services in their native language, Romanian.