On March 14, 2016 a Christ The Rock team of three adults and two young adults boarded a plane to Romania. The team, led by Shawn Mathew, joined the REGEN Foundation, which is directed by CTR ministry partners, Petry and Kyle Groza. REGEN serves the poorest of the poor in Fagaras, Romania and the surrounding villages.

It was a trip filled with many projects to meet basic, practical needs of schoolchildren and impoverished families. Our team cannot thank all of you enough for your generosity, which provided all the building materials, stoves, fencing, and more! The projects we were able to complete are tangible evidence of God’s love to people living in dire situations.

Once the team hit the ground, we began renovating a home in Toarcla that is used as a children’s center. It is a safe, warm place where schoolchildren receive help with homework and are taught about the love of Jesus through service, play, songs and Bible stories. The team constructed a new outhouse, repaired walls, painted rooms, and poured concrete floors. The team also chopped firewood, and purchased and installed a stove to provide heat for the winter months.

In this village, the team was also worked on home repairs and work for several other people. The team purchased and installed a fence for one of the locals and his wife, and another for Cordrut, a pig farmer and entrepreneur. Cordrut preferred to do the work on his fence, and was our constant companion and team member during our stay. The team provided him with three pigs, and also with a brand new pair of shoes to protect his feet while he worked. Cordrut confessed that he would only be wearing them for church.

Christina, a mother of five children, had been having trouble with her stove, which is the heat source for her small dwelling. The stove was malfunctioning, filling her house with dangerous smoke. Team members were able to purchase and install her new stove, and remove the old one.

Another family, who was living in an abandoned home, was informed they would need to vacate the property. The home they were allowed to move into was in need of flooring to cover the exposed ground inside. The team was able to purchase and install vinyl flooring for them.

The team visited four other villages with REGEN Foundation. We introduced children to new games to help with school work, such as using large inflatable dice to add, subtract and multiply. We shared stories and crafts with them, and played games during their after-school programs. We installed another stove in one of the villages’ meeting place, ensuring that children would have a safe, warm place to be served.

Throughout the trip, the team was constantly aware of prayers being offered on our behalf. Safe travels, health, and energy for the many tasks were provided in abundance, and we even had energy left over for relationship-building when the work was done. Each team member was blessed in return in their own significant way. Feel free to inquire about the trip – each of us would be happy to share more!

With gratitude,

Your 2016 REGEN Team: Shawn Mathew, Candice Mathew, Vickie Woelfel, Shelby Mathew and Ian Mathew

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