In March I went to Marghita together with eight others to work as a volunteer. I only knew one of them so I was a bit nervous but I was well received. Everyone was nice and very kind and we worked well together.
I was given small tasks such as weeding the flower beds, sorting clothes, re-planting flowers, cleaning, shopping, helping cook…. No one asked if I wanted to do carpentry

IMG_6714The most important thing for me was to get to know the foundation FCE and to see with my own eyes the enthusiasm and love which so many people contribute with.
With admiration and surprise, I have experienced how much volunteer work there is in different contexts and across the different projects. Besides that, there is hard work going on to make sure that everything is neat and tidy and not least that the finances are in order.
Those of us in the team met at mealtimes. Every morning after breakfast we had a little prayer time where we took turns telling a little about ourselves, maybe reading something from the Bible and praying together. This time of the day was very important to me and made us in the team feel closer to each other. I can add that I continued with this prayer time when I got home too and I have it before breakfast.

Now and then we went to see different projects, for instance a family home, Roma village and the Club. What touched me the most and what I personally think is the most important for the future, is the After-school project. In this project 40 children receive help with food, hygiene and homework in an orderly way from amazing staff. Whilst visiting that project, I was lucky enough to meet a child who spoke German. She said she was happy that she could be there every day.
With the language it wasn’t always so easy but you can get a long way by pointing, signing with your hands or as one man did, drawing in the sand!

Sometimes Lars and Barbro showed up during our mealtimes and informed us about what needed to be done or just to talk. Sometimes they brought someone else who told us about their part in the work.
On Friday evenings, we went to the Club where bible studies were held with the young people. Afterwards there were games in the sports hall or you could just hang out – Just like youth meetings in Sweden. After these meetings, those of us in the construction team went back to the volunteer house for some social time together, with ice cream and snacks!

P1020259Fourteen days pass by quickly when you are enjoying yourself. After intense work, mixed with visits to various places, it was time to go home. It was hard to hug and say good bye to those you had got to know and like. We had tears in our eyes but we have hope that we will meet again. Back home my thoughts go to Marghita and I wish with all my heart that this important work with disadvantaged children and young people will continue.

With gratitude!

Gunilla Eriksson