Today’s challenge: Give someone a hug today
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
The gift of a goat gives families a second chance in Romania
Baby Sebi, 2, is the fifth and youngest in his family. He loves to play with three of his older brothers who are 10, 8, and 6 years old. His eldest brother is 16 and commutes every day to high school in the city, so Sebi doesn’t see him much.
Sebi loves animals. His father, Sebastian, made a winter shed for the goats his family recently received as a donation from World Vision, and the children spend long periods of time playing with the baby goats. Sebi is not frightened to go inside the shed. The goats are taller than him, but they are tame.
Ionatan, 8, says, “Mom makes ‘mamaliga’ (polenta) and we all eat it with cheese, it’s so good!” The children get the most of the goats’ products, as they are the ones who drink the milk and eat the cheese. Goat milk is very nourishing.
“We love animals. Our goats have names,” says Sami, 10. “My favorite is Negruta (Blacky).”
“This donation is helping us a lot,” affirms Sebastian. “Our kids were so happy when we received the animals.”
The family finds it difficult to pay for their eldest child’s school in the city. As stressful as it is for his parents to find transportation money for him, the three-hour commute wears on the boy. When he comes back late in the afternoon, his younger brothers rush to meet him. They soon gather around the pot of mamaliga and eat it with cheese. Then they finish the meal with mamaliga and jam, delighted that they are eating together.
Sebastian is determined to make the most of World Vision’s donation and start a business with the goats. “I hope that little by little we’ll build something from these goats,” he says.
World Vision also helped provide fodder for the winter months, when temperatures fall beneath -20 degrees Celsius and food for the goats is scarce.
Sebastian and Maria, his wife, use what they have, a horse and a cart, to do what they can to provide for their children’s needs. “If you are not [versatile], you cannot survive in Romania,” says Sebastian.
During summer, the couple picks mushrooms and berries from the forest to sell. Profits fluctuate, but both are positive about the future even though the money the have each month is very little, which they have to stretch in order to feed, dress, and send five boys to school.
In winter, Sebastian cuts wood to sell in the village, although if someone can’t pay, sometimes he just gives it to them, knowing what it’s like to be in need. “I’m not going to be richer if I think only in terms of profit,” he says. “What you give with one hand you receive with the other. God takes care of that, always,” he says.
Like Sebastian and Maria, some 80 other families living in poverty in Cluj County have been helped through donation goats this fall: each family received five to milk and breed.
“At the moment, the goats represent a real help for us,” Sebastian says. “Two of them are giving milk. I can start calling it a business only when I’ll multiply the goats.”
The family lives in a mountainous area in Northwest Romania. A one-room construction, their house isn’t big enough for the whole family, so each night the older children must go to their grandmother’s home to sleep. But hope and a new home are on the horizon.
Close to their small house, a new home is taking shape. Thanks to a gift from their sponsor, who sent money for construction materials, the family built a sturdy concrete basement.
Sebastian and Maria hope to have their home finished in the coming years and be able to care for their family united under one roof.
At the top: Father and daughter at the goats' reception in one of the rural communities where World Vision distributed goats. Some 80 families in Cluj County have been helped with goats, each receiving five animals to milk and breed. (Photo: ©2012 Laura Runcanu/World Vision)
The gift of a goat can mean a world of difference to a family like Sebastian’s. Help a family provide nutritious food and income for their children. Give the gift of a goat today!