This month we want to share more about our newest additions to the Global Hope family in Romania: Maria and Daian (pronounced “Die-ON”)
Maria and Daian are four and five years old respectively. They are not sister and brother, but both were abandoned at birth by their mothers and turned over to the State. They are very comfortable with each other because they have been growing up together at an orphanage in Arad, Romania.
Late last year, Global Hope was able to arrange for these two children to be moved to a new home! They moved in with a previous Global Hope foster family, the Chircan’s.
Gabi and Lumi Chircan worked with Global Hope as far back as 2006. In 2009, they became foster parents to a young girl named Ioana. Ioana (pronounced ya-WANNA) was born with Cerebral Palsy and secondary scoliosis and was abandoned at birth. She came to Global Hope at 10 years old and moved in with the Chircan’s at age 15. They cared for her until she got married in 2016.
After Ioana left, the Chircan’s prayed about what was next, and they felt God calling them to open their home again to care for a child (or two!) out of the orphanage system. They have very strong feelings about kids needing to grow up in a family and felt they could provide that loving home.
Surprisingly, as Global Hope was working with the Chircan’s to find another child, they learned that Lumi was pregnant! They prayed about it and decided to move forward with the plans already in motion and found themselves welcoming not one, but two, young children and then a newborn all within months of each other!
Both Maria and Daian have been diagnosed with developmental delays along with emotional and behavioral disabilities to different degrees. Daian also has a physical handicap with one leg being shorter than the other, although it doesn’t seem to slow him down!
When Maria and Daian joined the family, it was initially very hard, but as they all began to get to know each other, things began to stabilize, and the family is now doing well. Both children love to be outside. Maria favors her tricycle and Daian will play with whatever he can get his hands on. It is a great joy and blessing to be able to provide two more children with a family, and we praise God for the Chircan’s willingness to give them a loving home!
“In the family, life is brought not only to our doorstep, but into our kitchens, bedrooms, and dens. In the family, life is happening all around us, and it begs to be questioned, evaluated, interpreted, and discussed. There is no more consistent, pregnant, dynamic forum for instruction about life than the family, because that is exactly what God designed the family to be, a learning community.” ~ Paul David Trip, Pastor
India has one of the highest rates of suicide among youth in the world. A recent study of Indian students in high school and college found that there has been an alarming increase in suicides with one suicide occurring every 55 minutes. While it is impossible to point to any one thing, experts attribute the rise of suicide, especially among youth, to the continued lack of economic, social, and emotional resources. More specifically, young people feel a tremendous amount of academic pressure and social pressures while experiencing a breakdown of support systems.
The student study confirms much of this. It found that failure in exams accounted for nearly a quarter of the suicides. Other reasons cited include: forced career choice that the student didn’t want, fear of failure, and the general stigma attached to mental distress, so students didn’t talk about how they were feeling or their struggle coping with stress.
The good news on this dark subject is that these studies are bringing attention to the problem. Professionals in the mental health field are discussing ways to promote a positive environment to help students cope with pressures and stress. It’s not clear how the government will respond to these new studies, but hopefully, with more people speaking out on the issue, more attention will be given to the mental health of children and adults who are contemplating suicide.
Suicide prevention is also an important topic for our partner, the John Foundation, with whom we support five children’s homes. Because the children who move into these homes have very difficult backgrounds, despair is a common emotion to work through early on. And, it can be especially difficult for a child who has already been exposed to suicide by a family member (they feel like the same thing will happen to them). To help the children work through their troubled emotions, they are encouraged to talk with their house mom about their feelings, and when necessary, counselors are also available. It’s also important that each child learns quickly that their new home is a safe place and their house mom is trustworthy. They’re never alone in their struggles and they’re surrounded by people who love them.
Never underestimate emotional struggles in children, even if they’re young. Surprisingly, children learn what suicide is at a young age (even if they may not understand the finality of it.) The good news, though, is it is preventable. Here are three helpful tips from psychologist and author Eileen Kennedy-Moore that can help us all be wiser about children and suicide:
Flooding across Kenya this season has been tragic and making life extremely difficult for the people, including our partners. After two consecutive years of drought, Kenya is now experiencing the highest amount of rainfall recorded since 1918. The people wanted rain, but not this much! To date, 172 people have died, and thousands of people have lost their homes. The ill effects go even further. Crops have been destroyed and roads have been washed out making access to food very difficult. The food that is available is being sold at exorbitant rates.
Our Kenyan partners are of course being affected too, although we are happy to report that the children are all safe. Both HOREC and Spring Valley have experienced some flooding in their open areas, but it has not flooded inside their living quarters.
The road to HOREC has been impassable for over a week, so everyone must use an alternate longer route to get anywhere. The children also must take the longer route to go to and from school, which makes for a much longer day. Unfortunately, no matter which way they go, there is no way to avoid the heavy mud. This means there is a lot of clothes laundering going on these days!
The food situation is a challenge as well. At Spring Valley last week, it took Pastor Stanley and Teacher Alice over 8 hours to shop for food for the children. They had to go to different food vendors and warehouses so that they could buy food in large quantities at wholesale prices. Managing their money is crucial when you have so many mouths to feed! HOREC also must spend more on food, and they are seeing their crops suffer from the excess water. The plants are turning yellow and likely won’t produce as much as expected, if at all.
And finally, if all that wasn’t enough, with all this water comes more mosquitos. And with more mosquitos, the risks of cholera, malaria and dengue fever go up significantly.
Please pray for Kenya. Pray for the rains to slow, pray for the food to grow again and pray that the children will remain healthy and well cared for despite the devastation nature is pouring down.
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