Mihaela and her partner live in poverty in Romania with three energetic boys – aged five to 12 – who keep her busy, and sometimes overwhelmed. Her partner earns low wages working long hours in construction, and there never seems to be enough to go around.

Raising children on so few resources can be challenging – and Mihaela often finds life exhausting. A few years ago, the whole family lived in just one room, with no bathroom.

“Our house was a mess,” Mihaela said. “We had a dirt floor, an outside toilet, no bathroom and just one room to accommodate us all.”

“We can see God’s hand on our lives. He even blessed us with a better home. Now, we have three rooms, an inside toilet and bathroom, tiles on the floor and good insulation to help us keep warm. And all of this because of good people God has blessed us with,” Mihaela said.

Fortunately, the children have been enrolled in Mission Without Borders’ Children-in-Crisis (sponsorship) program, and as a result, the family receives regular food and hygiene parcels. The boys attend MWB’s After-School care program, where they have a chance to learn an instrument as well as receive help with their homework, and they enjoy going to the Christian meetings for children.

Nicu, the MWB worker who supports the family, said, “The family’s financial situation is still a burden, but they’ve come a long way since we first met them. The parents are doing their best, and they’re trying hard to instill in their children a love for education. They both know that it’s key for a better future.”

Christmas is approaching – a holiday that in the past, Mihaela’s family struggled to celebrate. While other families could afford lavish celebrations and lots of gifts, Christmas served as yet another reminder of how much Mihaela’s family were struggling to keep their heads above water.

Learn more about Child Sponsorship in Eastern Europe by clicking here.

Over the last few years, however, they have new Christmas traditions that bring lots of joy. One of them is receiving Operation Christmas Love boxes from MWB. OCL is the Mission’s way of sharing the generous love of God at Christmas. Boxes - filled with food, treats, and Christian literature sharing the true meaning of Christmas - come at just the right time, in the heart of winter, when work is harder to find and living costs rise.

OCL ensures that every family, no matter how deep their poverty, will have something to eat on Christmas day – and that they can celebrate Jesus’s birthday together with joy.

“After paying all the bills and buying the basic things we need, especially during the holidays, there would never be enough money to buy presents as well,” Mihaela said. “We are grateful to you for making our children feel happy and valued through the various gifts you bring, and the activities you plan for them.”

“We are also thankful to you all for the support you give us, not only at Christmas but also throughout the year to help us thrive. We thank you for the food, hygiene items and school supplies, toys, clothing and shoes. We are so very happy to have you in our lives. Thank you very much!”

There are many families like Mihaela’s, living in poverty, and in need of our support and love, especially at Christmas time. Join us in sharing the message of Jesus’s love by making a donation now to Operation Christmas Love – and help more children and families learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Support our "Operation Christmas Love" Campaign in Eastern Europe by clicking here.