Be Someone That Matters

For some years SGA have supported the Romanian ministry ‘Preventis’, based in Cluj-Napoca, and initiated by Violeta Faragau and others in 2005.

This wonderful organization helps mentor vulnerable children, offers counselling to many who struggle with addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling, as well as creating opportunities to speak on the dangers and the prevention of such vices.

Violetta Faragau

Violeta writes…

We could not have imagined what 2020 would look like, when we made plans in the autumn of 2019.

We discussed whether to grow our mentoring programme – a type of ‘Big Brother - Big Sister’ programme for children aged 8-12 who are at risk of developing an addiction.

We already had 50 children involved in a mentoring relationship, and we were wondering about increasing this number. It would have meant hiring a fourth social worker, then finding new children and the right mentors for them, a long process which requires numerous face-to-face meetings.

It was with a heavy heart back then that we decided it was not the time to grow this programme.

Then, when the Covid 19 pandemic started, all our work at Preventis had to be moved to ‘online’, and we realized at that moment that it was God who knew what was to come, and had given us the wisdom to keep the mentoring programme just as it was.

Social distancing and other restrictions meant we could not have expanded. 

The pandemic has really impacted our work, especially concerning the prevention programmes we conduct in schools. In the spring we had many activities planned for students, teachers, and parents. Everything was cancelled. Schools closed, and we had to adapt and quickly learn how to do our activities and counselling sessions online.

Many of those needing help, were not comfortable with this and decided to stop.

Mentors and children could not meet face-to-face, so we had to try to support them to the best of our ability either using zoom or speaking on the phone. It was very difficult and many of the children were also uncomfortable about this.

Also, some of the children’s families lost jobs, or could not go out because of their age or risk factors so we had to support them also.

We realized that communicating via the internet was more challenging than having personal consultations. Many times, inside our team, we exchanged tons of emails trying to solve problems better done in person.

However, we have developed patience, and new skills. We prayed more, and we thank God that we have not had to let any staff go, and that we are now going back to the office to continue our ministries face-to-face.

Some may recall the 2016 residential conference in Abingdon, when Preventis prepared a short video focusing on the children in their care?

It began with these words:

BE SOMEBODY THAT MATTERS FOR SOMEBODY THAT MATTERS.

How challenging these words are. Lost souls matter to God, whatever situation or condition they are in.

Please pray for the Preventis team as they point people to Christ who can break the power of any addiction. Let us be somebody that matters to someone.