24 June 2013
On this trip to Romania we were determined to see more of the reputedly beautiful Romanian countryside, and to get a taste of some of the wider Christian ministry in the country. So Ruth and I – accompanied by our daughter and church friend – headed off eastwards on a road trip that took us through the beautiful green pastureland of Transylvania to the Casa Harului (meaning “House of Grace”)Christian campsite near Deva.
On our January trip to Carand we had met Beni Medrea and we were keen to meet up with him and his wife, Maria, to check out the stories we had heard about their alpine campsite that provided holidays, good food and sound Christian teaching to children from a wide variety of backgrounds. With clear vision, starting with army tents, and through decades of hard effort and strong partnership from UK Christians, this very special place rose out of a pasture near their family hill farm. Today it serves the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of disadvantaged families, physically disabled children and children with learning disabilities from a wide area of Romania.
After a tortuous last leg climb a twisting unmade gravel track we crested a small hill to be greeted by the unexpected view of Austrian-style chalets ahead. We had found a little bit of heaven.
A warm welcome awaited us, and a glorious lunch of farm grown lamb. Then Beni took us on a tour of a site full of happy, bubbly children enjoying the sun and the excellent facilities, and a tour of the old family farm resplendent in cherry tries and clucking chickens.
Ruth and I spent many years working with children at SU Scotland camps, but this was still an inspirational visit with a couple of truly visionary disciples who unwittingly gave us a marvelous lesson in how to show the practical love of Jesus while also allowing children to hear his voice.