Mission Without Borders :SA
"Reaching people for Christ: helping thousands of children, families and communities out of poverty into a sustainable future"

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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 grown."

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 help."

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..

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