Welcome to Mission Without Borders
Bringing up two grandchildren alone
"I had one mouth to feed already. What is another one? I only
ask God to give me health and strength to look after them until
they are grown."
Floarea is 72 and lives on the outskirts of Sibiu in Romania.
Alone, she cares for her son's two children, Georgiana, 11, and
Roberto, 3, from two different relationships.
Living in a rented room with no kitchen or bathroom, Floarea and
her grandchildren share an outside tap with the owners. Stepping
inside, the room is dark with a dim light bulb hanging from a wire
in the ceiling, a small unplugged refrigerator stands in the corner
next to an ancient cooking stove and gas tank. The air is stale and
smells of body odor, the cement floor is covered with pieces of
dirty carpet, the furniture is falling apart. With no
bathroom or toilet they are forced to use a bucket, emptying
contents in to a nearby ditch.
They survive on Floarea's pension and the children's foster care
allowance. The youngest child, Roberto, is a particular concern. He
is small for his age, looking pale, and barely speaking with a
blank lost look in his eyes. After his father left to find work in
Spain, his mother neglected him badly, locking him in a cage all
day and night. She threw in food so he could feed himself until
neighbors alerted the authorities. There has been no word from his
father since he left.
When Floarea heard about Roberto's misery life she saw no other
option but to take him in, despite her acute poverty: "I had one
mouth to feed already. What is another one? I only ask God to give
me health and strength to look after them until they are
Georgiana is a bright student who has a strong character, but it
is Roberto who clearly has the biggest challenges ahead of him to
overcome potential psychological problems and the effects of years
of malnourishment and neglect.
"Every Sunday, I take them to church," Floarea says. "There are
kind people there, so God gives us help when we need it most. He is
not forsaking us. I am old and do not need much food. All my
struggles are for them and I am not embarrassed to ask for
This year Mission Without Borders provided them with an Operation
Christmas Love parcel containing essential food items to help them
survive the coming months, which is of huge value to this family.
The local church is providing them with firewood to warm the room
where they live..