Rivers of Life (Raurile Vietii)
Sibiu and Brasov, Romania
Lydia Measner, Founder/President
“The poor and needy are seeking water when there is none, their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of valleys…” Isa. 41:17,18 Amplified
Illiteracy Conquered for New Generation in Gusterita!
“At risk” young adults become success stories, not sad statistics! Since the inception of Rivers of Life Christian Literacy School in 2001, more than 55 overcomers have learned to read and write and have graduated from 4th grade in our literacy school in Sibiu, Romania. Equally as important, are changes in the cultural setting in Gusterita, resulting from the Rivers of Life after-school program, begun six months later.
“She’ll never pass first grade!” Though it had not been customary in Gusterita, we began urging minority parents to send their young children to public school. The daily after-school program was instituted to teach reading to those new 1st graders, along with our literacy students. The dire prediction above was spoken by Narcisa Maria’s public school teacher, 6 weeks into the fall semester to the mother of this gifted child.
But instead, due to God making possible our after-school program, Narcisa Maria actually received that year, the top student award in her first grade class, and in several classes in the years that followed. She and several of her friends, who also bravely entered public school that year, have attended our program since 2001.
The excellent performance of these students has changed the public school’s attitude toward minority students. Consequently, all the minority mothers in Gusterita are now proudly sending their 3-year-olds to pre-kindergarten, and illiteracy will no longer exist in the generation now growing up in Gusterita!
Incredible Success Now Opens Exciting New Doors.
Partner with us as we start a second Rivers of Life Christian literacy school outside of Brasov, near Vulcan. Strategically located at the entrance of the Strandului community, we can purchase the LAND pictured above at the cost of only 5,000 Euro, ($7,500), in order to build a school/church!!
Lack of public transportation limited our plans last fall, but in April, God miraculously provided - free of charge - a 2-year-old Dacia Logan sedan with only 2,000 miles, donated by a wonderful Romanian family in Brasov. In April we canvassed every home on the hill in the Strandului community, and found many totally illiterate young adults and teens. We also discovered even more who had completed two classes but still cannot read and write.
No Longer Forsaken!
Bodo - who has overcome impossible odds - finished 4th Grade in our Rivers of Life School, June 2008!
Bodo has changed so incredibly since he accepted Jesus after awakening from a 3 week coma. He had received a nearly fatal knife wound in the head during a drunken brawl. The knife entered dead center under the back of the skull, cut the connection between the two lobes of the brain, and penetrated upwards to a point just below the top of the skull, halfway between the crown and the forehead in the vicinity of a baby’s “soft spot”.
The chief neurologist the day after the incident assured me that Bodo would NOT live, adding at the last moment that the best case scenario would be that he might live, but would surely be a vegetable. We prayed for Bodo in ICU twice a day for three weeks and saw God begin to awaken him, long before the doctors believed us. When Bodo did become conscious, he had no control over any of his functions; he couldn’t see, couldn’t talk.
But GOD!! One-by-one, God gave him back every function, with his mental faculties just as great as before. Today Bodo has some cerebral palsy in his right arm and leg, but can walk long distances and has learned to write in a large scrawl. He is far more educated than before, and most importantly, loves God with all his heart.
Please pray now that Bodo has accomplished this amazing feat of graduating from 4th grade, God will grant the desire of his heart to be accepted in a state job- training school for those with physical challenges.
Classroom Heroes Honored!
We are so grateful to God for the success of our Rivers of Life graduates:
· 19-year old Giany has been accepted in the Christ for the Nations Bible School for this fall, in Cluj, where he will also continue in 6th grade in a reduced frequency program. In July, Giany was the featured speaker for a 5-Day Bicycle Evangelistic Outreach sponsored by OM, (Overseas Missions.) Florin Adam, a pastor working under Centrul Crestin Brasov, is mentoring Giany. Giany will continue to preach at our Rivers of Life church in Sibiu at least twice a month while he is in Bible School.
· Our pastors, Mis and Paula Iakab, graduated from our Literacy School, and are both working for the company for whom Mis has worked for several years. Mis leads our church and preaches when Giany is not in town, and Paula leads the worship team.
· Mis’ 19-year-old twin brothers, Remus and Romulus have completed 10th grade in the Sibiu Construction High School. Remus married his childhood sweetheart, Victorita, in June, who also has a tremendous calling from God. We expect we’ll see God do great things through their lives.
· Ciobi, 17 years of age, finished 8th grade this spring in School 25’s Reduced Frequency Program. His sister Geta will start 5th grade there this fall. Their mother Duda has been mightily used of God among her neighbors. She compassionately took in two families whose homes were demolished by the state in February. She has such incredible faith in God, and we are so proud of her.
· Ciobi, Giany, Mis, Paula, Remus, Boti, and most of our other male graduates are all working in jobs with Romanian state workbooks, accruing benefits. Some have even been able to buy on credit, which is considered highly unusual among this group previously perceived as “high-risk, low-achievers”.