Two Sundays ago I preached in Salonta, a town about 60 kilometers from Beius, right at the border with Hungary.
Before I preached my sermon to the congregation, my heart was infinitely blessed to hear testimonies from the church, specifically regarding Casa Josef.
The pastor there, Aurel Galchis, presented the impact that Casa Josef had on the church and the surrounding community, one that I was completely unaware of until then.
I first came to Salonta in 1998 with the first generation of orphans from Casa Josef. The first generation at Casa Josef were orphaned/abandoned teenagers who we took in until they were ready to become independent. All of them graduated from high school, and 12 of the 14 went off to further their education in universities in Romania--medical schools in Timisoara or Oradea, seminary in Oradea at Emanuel University, various other majors at the renowned University of Cluj. Standing in front of the congregation was a group of young adults who were told all their lives they could never amount to anything because they had nothing, because they were nothing. But the Gospel changes everything--and His Kingdom is an upside-down world where those who are abandoned, dubbed worthless in the eyes of society are the very ones who go out and impact the world.
There were many gypsies in the congregation who had heard the testimonies from the first group of young adults from Casa Josef. The connection was real as most of the young adults were gypsies themselves. They saw that by the grace of God the students made it against all odds, and decided thereafter to send their own children to schools. Because if Casa Josef did it, their children could too.
I was absolutely amazed to hear the pastor’s testimony about how the young adults from Casa Josef motivated the gypsies to send their children to go to school.
The impact is real and mysterious. It's amazing how God works things beyond our wildest imaginations--and one day we will know how it all worked out.