On April 12th, a small group of people travelled from Linköping in Sweden to Marghita, a small town in Romania about 60 km from the Hungarian border. There we got to see the work Lars and Barbro Gustavsson built up. EFI Fadder is the name of the Swedish foundation that collects money to support FCE in Romania, which has the goal to help abandoned children and young people to have a future!

During this week we were able to help with whatever was needed. Jonas and Patrik started to build a lawn in front of the volunteer house. Carin and Helena sorted clothes and helped at the Day centre. Ulla helped by sorting clothes and cutting hair. Morgan helped where there were problems with electricity and I helped with computers and installed printers. There was already a group of volunteers there and they were washing and scraping two buildings owned by the foundation as the next group coming were going to paint them. All volunteers who were there had something to contribute, from cooking to working on houses and computers and everything in between!

It was wonderful to come and see the work that has been built up and to be able to help with what I am good at. Simply by hearing about FCE, you don’t understand the extent of this work.  It caught me off guard a bit and it was good that they have a picture/map which shows all the different places where FCE works. Many of their buildings are yellow Swedish wooden houses so they are easy to find. We were able to see the different projects. Among others, there was a Day centre for young people with disabilities, an After School project which helps children with their homework, co-operation with a state-run care home for adults with disabilities and a warehouse where they have clothes for distribution among many other things.

I didn’t have any specific expectations going there but was still caught off guard by the work! Already when we arrived there late (one o’clock in the night!), we were welcomed by Lars and Barbro. The following day we met the volunteer group that was already there and were shown around the premises. I was met by open and welcoming hands and I felt at home! That feeling continued during the days we spent there so I can understand that the children and young people who are part of FCE feel at home. By meeting the children and the young people in each of the projects, I could see a joy in their eyes and I understood that the work of FCE is important! To see how God has used Lars and Barbro, together with others, to build up this foundation which helps the helpless, warms my heart and the faith in a good and helpful God is strengthened!

Having read this, maybe you are thinking ‘How can I help?’ You can do this in many different ways. Besides going there as a volunteer, as I did, you can also become a sponsor and support the work of FCE on a regular basis. Above all, you can join in and pray for the work! You will find more ways to help on FCE’s website https://demo.efifadder.se/en/getinvolved/.

It was sad to leave Marghita but this time the visit was to be just one week. From having arrived into warm Spring, we went back to what felt like Winter! This was my first time in Marghita but I know it won’t be the last!

Robert Karlsson