Report from Georgi Opreanu, Director of Elderly Care – February 2017
January has gone very fast. We normally expect it to be an easier month, following a busy December, but this January came with many challenges on many fronts. Many residents had flu and because of their condition a few had to be in hospital, but most of the elderly were treated in the centre because our medical staff could care for them. In Salonta for example (where we don’t have 24hr medical supervision) staff had to come in at the week-end to administer treatments that the Carer’s are not authorised to do. Because of the cold weather the wood that was bought and was planned to last until the end of winter wasn’t enough and ran out. It is very hard now to even find wood to buy. We were afraid we would not find, but once again, God was faithful and we found a good supply.
One of the biggest challenges for me this month came from the Romanian Government that recently changed and voted for an increase in salaries of 16% from February 1st. And when 75% of the staff are on minimum wage, this impacts a lot of our budgets. Another problem is that when we increase the minimum, the nurses for example that have higher qualification and also more responsibility will be on the same salary with the Carer’s and this will not be fair or acceptable for them. At this point, I still don’t know how we will afford to pay the salaries as we didn’t have this increase in our plan for the budgets for 2017. The government only announced this in second week of January! I do not know how we can manage this, but I know that God has everything in control and because we do His ministry, He will bless us in ways that we can’t even imagine now.
So as you can see, a challenging start to the year, but these are just a few examples of the many issues that we have to deal with every day. And in times like this I sometimes wonder if all we do is worth doing.
But Lady Maria was my encouragement this past month. She is 89 years old and she came in the Oradea Elderly Centre last year in November. She has 2 children and because of her medical condition she could not be any more cared for at home, so the family looked for a place where she can have medical supervision. From 1996 she started to go to church, she even had a prayer group in her house, but she never committed her life to Jesus.
After a while she stop going to church and as her got older she forgot about Jesus. Last year when she arrived in our centre and she heard the Word again through Pastor Vasile Sana, and then different groups came at Christmas to bring the Good News of Jesus being born – she praised the Lord for bringing her in a place where she could hear about Jesus again and asked to be baptised.
Every time somebody was talking with her she was telling them that she wants to show publicly that she loves Jesus and she regrets the many years that what others said was more important than what she wanted.
On January 10 she was baptised in the centre. At the baptism were present the pastor from the church where she used to go together with others plus of course Pastor Vasile, staff and other residents from the centre. Brothers and sisters from the church where she lived before coming in the centre. Since that day, she tells everyone not to wait till it’s too late, but to receive Jesus as their Saviour and serve Him with their lives. So yes, it is worth all the stress, all the problems, when we see another soul saved!
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7) We knew that on January 10th the heaven rejoiced together with us.
In our Salonta Centre this past month Rebeca (our social worker) started a new programme encouraging students from the local high school to become volunteers and spend time every week with the elderly in the centre. At the moment we have 10 girls coming every week spending an hour or two with the elderly doing different activities. This programme is very beneficial for both sides. Elderly enjoy spending time with youth, to tell them stories from their lives, even mentoring them and for the volunteers it is good to be in their free time with people that need their help.
We are praising God for all the blessings that he gives us every single day. We don’t know how, we don’t know when, but we know He will solve our problems and help us to continue His work.
Thank you for your support and involvement and we pray God will bless your lives with all you need.
Deputy Director of Smiles Romania
Elderly Centre Oradea (ECO)
Joint Facility of Love, Salonta;
Doris Elderly Care Centre
Please continue to pray for us to be able to bless the lives of the elderly that need our service.
•For financial support to deal with all the challenges that came with the new salary increase.
•For wisdom in all the decision we need to take everyday
•For loving and committed people who will work in our nursing homes
•For the health of residents, as many have flu and are not felling to well,
•For the new resident to adapt in the centres;
•For God’s protection upon all of Smiles staff and beneficiaries;
•For sponsors for the social cases that we care for;
•For all Smiles staff to be a testimony of God’s love so others will get to know HIM.
Please pray for us because when you pray God hears more than what you say, answers more that we ask, gives more than we can imagine in His own time and in His own way.
Wish list – urgent need for:
Pampers – just size M and L (Pamper pantyhose)
•Dressing, bandages (in date)