In 2010, ProVision Romania was founded by Marian and Cristina Ciurariu-Gliga. Through this ministry, they work with the most poor and neglected people in Romania. They provide education, food, and medical care, but above all, they bring love and the Gospel to the people of Romania.
There are many orphans in Romania. The main reason is poverty. Parents leave their children in hospitals, because they can’t provide for them. The hospitals then bring the children to orphanages. However, these orphanages are not good places. “It was the worst place. There are babies, but nobody really cares about those babies. There is a lot of neglect, there is a lot of trauma, there is a lot of abuse.” In some orphanages, there were living hundreds of children of all ages together.
Before ProVision started, Marian and Cristina worked for another ministry, from the US. This ministry started with home groups, where they took the children from the orphanages. “We gave them everything, like shelter, education, food, everything they need to live like a normal kid.”
They also created programs for teenagers and young-adults. The ministry helped teenagers who had no chances and possibilities in life to get those possibilities, and helped them to integrate into society. “It was crazy, they were so uneducated, they didn’t know how to communicate.”
“Nothing prepared me for the next step in my life.”
After working for that ministry for ten years, God told Marian and Cristina to resign from this ministry in 2010. Cristina was dealing with a burn-out and there were problems with leadership in the board of the ministry. “Nothing prepared me for the next step in my life”, says Cristina. She tells about how they were thinking about getting a normal job. Cristina didn’t want to go back to the mission field. She said to God: “God, I don’t want to do this, because it is so difficult.”
Working with children and young adults
After praying and fasting, God gave Marian and Cristina both a vision. “We decided to not discuss for one week when we got the vision, but when we discussed together we decided to obey God.” God also gave them a name for the ministry: ProVision. It meant two things: the first thing was to have a vision for the people and for the nation of Romania. The second thing was, that God would always provide.
“God really put on our hearts to work with the most poor and the most neglected people from our country.” Marian and Cristina started working in a night shelter, where they discovered that there were many families with children. The night shelter was located in an area where there was a lot of prostitution and criminality.
ProVision took the children from the night shelter to an office every week, to talk about Jesus and to give them education and food. They also offer an after-school program. All in all, ProVision is very involved in the lives of these children. “We give them school supplies, we celebrate their birthday, when it’s Christmas we give them some gifts. We are involved in everything in their life in this poor community.”
Marian and Cristina’s heart went out to orphans, but first, they worked mainly with young-adults. In the next town, about 30 km further, there was a bigger group of teens. “They needed parents and discipleship.” ProVision visits them and gives them guidance and mentorship, just as parents normally would. “We go every week, even now, after nine years. We took them from a bad place and we teach them life skills.”
“A lot of children start to follow Jesus, even without their parents they go to church and get baptized.”
Cristina tells that God is doing wonderful things in the lives of these children and teens. Many children go to church, start to follow Jesus, and get baptized. “A lot of children start to follow Jesus, even without their parents they go to church and get baptized.”
The ministry of ProVision is growing, and they see more and more children coming. They are mainly focused on education, both formal and non-formal. “It is very important to have non-formal education. Because of this, we started to develop all kinds of programs, like clubs for teenagers to teach them a lot of life lessons.” Right now, ProVision has 50 children in their program, and another 30 children attending their after-school program and tutoring program.
Another program ProVision is working on is located in villages, especially where gypsies live. “Gypsies have a tendency to skip school, and we go to these communities and encourage them to come to school.” ProVision now works in three villages, located in several places throughout the country. “Our purpose is to make more children come to school year by year.” They encourage these children to go to school by making school fun. They organize craft activities, give the children hot meals, and help the children with their homework. In this way, they can improve their level of education.
Besides the education programs, ProVision also organizes summer day-camps. During those camps, they do VBS (Vacation Bible Starting) programs in schools. This year they organized five of such camps, in which more than 300 children participated.
Their most recent project is a medical project. Most Romanian people have no insurance. ProVision creates a network in villages, where people can go to the doctor. The doctor then gives them a prescription, and the people can take the medicine for free. At the end of the month, ProVision pays the doctor and the pharmacy, so the Romanians can receive good health care.
“Our main purpose is to help them to find Jesus and their lives to be changed forever.”
Other projects of the ministry include helping and taking care of teenage mothers and their babies, providing people with glasses, giving seminars for teachers, and a prevention of abandonment program. “It is all types of help we can do. Our main purpose is to help them to find Jesus and their lives to be changed forever.”
Walking in the faith
It is not always easy. “Our journey is day by day walking in faith”, says Cristina. She says that the last five years were difficult, but that God provided them with the right people at the right time.
“Our journey is day by day walking in the faith.”
More help is always welcome. Cristina shares that the pandemic has caused poverty to increase even more, and that Romania is also affected by the war. Everything has gotten expensive, while the incomes are still very low. “Sometimes it’s a challenge for us to stay hopeful to God that He will provide. We are living by faith every month.”
Cristina invites more churches and people to come to help them with their ministry. “Romania still needs a lot of the gospel, needs a lot of help. It is a big opportunity to talk about Jesus.” Every kind of help is welcome. “We need people to help with the camps, we need missionaries, short or long term, to come to help us. But also, we need support from other ministries, churches, and individual people.”
Cristina concludes with: “If there are people who read this or hear this, we are very open, they can contact us. If people have questions, we can answer their questions. We are open to receive help in any kind of way. We are very happy, because we have this opportunity in these days to work.”