Romanian Shoe Boxes - Newsletter and Pictures from Rev Gary Crellin

Romanian Shoe Boxes. Showing love, one box at a time - Pictures here

Having just returned from my mission trip to Romania, it is still a bit early to reflect on the visit - what I saw and how it relates to my ministry. However, it is important to give some feedback to all of those that supported my trip and wanted to know more. In the end, over 440 boxes went over to Bihor County in NW Romania to be part of a circa 10,000 box delivery to that country in the run up to Christmas 2016.

People I met were happy with their lives, even though the conditions that many lived in were so different and so far removed from how we/I live our lives.  I saw people living in a Container Village - the sort of containers we see on the railways or M5 -were used to house the homeless.  Gypsies living in wattle and daub cottages - where the walls were strong enough to hold a satellite dish and as warm as toast.  Families overtaking our slow minibus in a horse and cart.

It was humbling and amazing to see the joy in the children’s faces when they opened YOUR boxes - no iphone7 or PlayStation X, No designer handbag or latest trainers - often it was a woolly hat, a bag of Harribos, a Hotwheels toy car or an old cast off teddy bear or Barbie Doll that lit their faces with joy.  Stuff - often stuff we just bung into our shopping trolleys routinely as part of our supermarket shop or have on our regular internet shopping list as daily necessities were given to people who did not see these items as necessities but saw them as luxuries.  Think on this:  tooth paste - a luxury?

I visited many schools where the broadband connection I used to post photos on social media was far faster than I have EVER experienced in Feckenham, ever.  But while I was posting, I watched intrigued as to why children were carrying 5 litre bottles of water into school.  The answer was to flush their toilets. So, we have an EU member state, a member of NATO that still has to use bottled water to flush the loos……

In so many ways it was a hard trip - hard physically  (try moving crates of shoe boxes!) and certainly emotionally and yes, spiritually.  But for all this,  I am so pleased I went. I know that I cannot change the world, but with your help 440++ children received Christmas Joy from your shoe boxes. 

To see more pictures from Gary's recent trip to Romania click here.