Meet the Family! by Jacci Roberts
Come and meet the family! You may have heard of them for many years—now you can meet them in person! For the first time, three children from Global Hope’s ministry in Arad, Romania—Sanda, Radu, and Ioana— and house-parent Roni Stepan will be in Colorado at the end of October! Event details are on our calendar!
My name is Ioana and I am in the 10th grade. I am 18 years old. I have severe scoliosis, but in 2009 I was able to have surgery on my spine. I‟m able to walk with a walker now, and stand up straight, but I have some pain and have to attend physical therapy every week.
I like to help in the kitchen and to play on the computer. In my free time I also like to read books and the Bible, and to listen to music. I like to walk in the city. I also like going to school. I live with my foster parents, Gabi and Luminita, and their children (my siblings) Andre and Bianca.
My name is Radu Kis. I lived with my parents until the age of four. They separated, and then I lived with my father. My father got in trouble and ended up in prison. My sister, Oana, and I were sent to an orphanage. I was in kindergarten. There, Tata Petrica from Global Hope began to pick us up every Sunday and take us to church. One summer, Jacci came and picked us up and took us to the House of Hope. We lived there until we moved into Ana’s House.
My new parents at Ana’s House were Roni and Rodi, and my new sisters were Simona, Sanda, and Rodica Chis, and Oana Karla. Later on Robi, Mircea, Teo, Paula, Lisa, Cristina, and Marian came too. I started second grade at the Baptist grade school, and this year, I graduated high school. In the last eleven years a lot has happened. Some of the things I am grateful for are: that I live here, that I’ve come to know about God, I can attend college, and for the family that I have now.
My name is Sanda and I am 19 years old. I was born in 1989 in Baia Mare. When I was six years old, my parents separated. When I was 9, my mother sent me to live with my father. Suffering awaited me because my father had become a drunk. When I was 10, we were taken from my father to an orphanage on Cibinului Street. I was very happy to escape from those hard times. I had to repeat second grade because I didn‟t know how to read or write. I went to school for two years and then the orphanage closed down. I was sad because I didn’t know where we would be taken to next, or what plan God had for me.
A week later, Jacci brought us to the House of Hope. I felt the love and protection of the women working there. We stayed there for several months until God blessed us with two parents, Tata Roni and Mama Rodi, and we all moved into Ana’s House. I was scared at first because I didn’t know them.
Mama and Tata saw that I had talent in music and sent me to the Art and Music High School in Arad. I took violin and piano lessons through the eighth grade. When I entered the 9th grade I began specializing in voice at school, and I realized I also had trouble hearing. This year I started my third year at the University of Timisoara studying voice. I would like very much to have my hearing back, so that I can fulfill my dream of being a classical and jazz singer. I’m afraid this dream might die if I cannot hear. I pray God will find a solution for these problems. I pray also for Global Hope because I never want to lose the family He’s given me here.
In October of 2001 Roni and Rodi Stepan were hired to be houseparents at our second home, Ana’s House. They have been known as Tata Roni and Mama Rodi ever since.
That month, in addition to their own daughter, Oana, their family grew by five children: Rodica, Sanda, Simona, Radu and Oana became the first children to be placed in Ana’s House. In November, their daughter Paula was born and became number seven. Robi, number eight, arrived in December. In April 2002, they welcomed Teodora and Mircea to their home- topping off the list as numbers nine and ten!
In 2006, Rodica, the oldest child at Casa Ana, finished her primary school education at 18 years of age and decided to venture out on her own. A year later Ana’s House received Lisa, and the number of children in the home was back to 10. In 2008, due to financial reasons, a Global Hope home was closed, and Cristina and Marian were placed with Roni and Rodi, bringing their number to 12.
In order to understand the children better, Roni and Rodi decided to further their educations. Roni went back to school and became a certified social worker with numerous specializations in management and child abandonment. Rodi is now a qualified elementary school teacher with a specialization in special education.
Roni is also the President of Federatiei Plus, a group of local non-government, evangelical organizations that
advocates for the rights of underprivileged Romanians.
Rodi concludes, “Daily we live by faith and in dependence on the Lord for his protection, and for the financial support necessary to continue the work He’s called us to do.”