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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids. The top photo of our family is the day we met the twins, just before their 4th birthday. We were granted custody of them on their 5th birthday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Religious Freedom in Romania

What does religious freedom mean to you? To me it means being able to choose your religion and go to church where you want and get batpized where you want. In Romania, if a child is in the system the law states that they can not choose to "change their religion" until they are 16. That means any orphan or abandoned child, or child that has been abused and removed from their home cannot choose to be baptized at any church because they were baptized as babies in the Orthodox Church. Now, as babies did they have a choice, no, they were forced to become an Orthodox. It doesn't matter that most people who claim to be Orthodox don't go to church. The Orthodox church is not going into to try to minister to these kids but they do not have the freedom to choose a different religion until they are 16.
Baron went to talk to the director at the state run home today about a club for the kids who went to camp this summer and he got a lecture from the director. The director pointed out the law and said these kids came back from camp wanting to "change their religion" and be baptized. He told Baron, that he was breaking the law if he let these kids come to a place where they were pushed into "changing their religion". Baron at that point thought our ministry to these kids was over but praise God that wasn't the end. It is exciting to know that these kids came back from camp excited about what they learned and sharing that they had made decisions to follow Christ.
We are happy that we will be allowed to pick up these 13 kids ages 10-14 and have a club with them each Saturday. We will teach them English, do a Bible study, feed them, and play games with them. We will stress to them that they need to learn how to follow God from the Bible but not go back to the orphanage saying they wanted to get baptized or they will not be allowed to come anymore. We will tell them that we can teach them about God's way and baptism and they can make the choice of baptism when they are 16. We will let them know that no one can stop them from making a decisison to follow Christ and live for Him.
We praise God that these young people will know that true freedom comes in Christ. Please pray that they will understand what it truly means to repend and turn from a life of sin to Christ. Please pray that the Bible/English Club will train these children to follow after Christ no matter what obstacles lie in their way.

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