When Gabriela was eight years old her father abandoned the family. To help make ends meet her mother left Romania to work abroad, leaving her five children with inadequate adult supervision.
During her mother’s absence, Gabriela suffered chronic abuse by a neighbor. Although her brothers were aware of her situation, they were faced with serious threats and felt unable to go to the authorities for help. For five years this continued until Gabriela bravely stepped forward herself to ask for help, but tragically, and not uncommonly, her case was dismissed and her abuser never punished.
But in God’s great love for Gabriela, He made a way for her to come to Deborah House (DH), a Chrisitan residential home provided by MLI to care for girls that are victims of trauma and abuse. At Deborah House, it took Gabriela years to be able to trust people again and begin to heal from her past. Surrounded by people who loved her, believed in her and counseled her, this brave young woman learned to believe in herself and fight for her dreams and passions. Gabriela eventually graduated high school and with the ongoing support of Aspirations, attended college, grew in her emerging faith, and eventually secured employment for herself. Today she enjoys a life full of joy and purpose. Gabriela’s transformation is huge!
Gabriela’s story is one of many that demonstrate what God is doing through His servants at MLI’s Children at Risk ministries in Romania. While we celebrate Gabriela’s restoration, we continue to work on behalf of the many young women and children in Romania who remain at risk for physical abuse and sexual exploitation. Poverty and lack of educational opportunities perpetuate this devastating cycle of abuse and hopelessness. Sadly, 2019 statistics reveal that trafficking in Romania has increased a staggering 28.8%.
But while our hearts break, our resolve strengthens. And our appreciation increases that much more for those like you who make the rescue of Gabriela—and others just like her–a reality.
We are especially grateful for our faithful ministry friends from Hillsborough Free Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland, who have once again offered to match dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 of what MI raises during the month of August for all Children At Risk (CAR) ministries, including Deborah House. This means that every dollar you give that is ear-marked for CAR this month will be DOUBLED and utilized for the rescue of more brave girls…just like Gabriela! Thank you for joining us this year as we continue to care for treasured lives in Romania.