Eleven-year-old Ionut lives in a village in northeastern Romania, in a beautiful region of forests and pastures, rich in natural resources.
It sounds idyllic – but amidst the beauty the area is undeveloped, with very few economic opportunities and some living in terrible poverty.
Children like Ionut enjoy the meadows and woods as their giant playground, but as they grow up, many are likely to end up in the same poverty as their parents.
Mission Without Borders supports children living in this region, helping them to break out of the cycle of poverty. Ionut has been enrolled on our child sponsorship program since he was three years old, when his parents were unemployed with six children to feed and overwhelmed by their problems.
MWB’s support over the years has given the family much stability and support – but for Ionut, the best part of all has been the summer camp that MWB runs every year. Summer camp gives children living in poverty a holiday and an experience beyond their local neighborhood. Last summer, Ionut and three of his sisters went to camp together and it meant the world to them. They made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Ionut and his family outside their home in Romania
Ionut said, “I’ve gone to summer camp before, and I had tons of fun. I loved the singing, the time we spent in small groups, the Bible lessons and the games and all the new things that were so interesting to me."
“I can’t even begin to say how much I would love to attend a summer camp again. Going on the slide, jumping on the trampoline, listening to Bible stories and talking to my friends in the evenings in our room are some of the things I love so much and want to do again.”
As well as giving children a valuable experience of happiness and fun, summer camp has been an experience that leads to many lives changing dramatically.
Ionut helps his grandmother with the dishes at home