My hero today is an incredible young lady. I know once you read her story you will fall in love with her as I have. The first two things you notice about her are her height (tall, like me!) and her fabulous smile. I met her when she was a teenager and have watched her grow and blossom into an incredible young woman with a deep compassion for the poor and the abandoned in the country of Romania.
These are the facts – in 2005
~ 4000 babies were abandoned at birth in maternity wards in Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine
~ another 5000 babies were abandoned in pediatric wards
(Unicef Romanias 2005 report)
~ in 2009 those living in poverty increased from 369,000 to 1.59 million. 351,000 of these are children.
These numbers are staggering and I find it hard to wrap my mind around what this truly means and how it must impact a whole society. Most of us hear figures like this, see a picture that tugs at our hearts and feel a moment or two of heartache but then we move on.
When Raegan Glugosh was faced with the impact of this poverty and abandonment, she could not move on. In 1996, Raegan, an RN licensed in California, went on a short term missions trip to Romania. God stirred her heart to minister to the needs of the forgotten children and become his hands and feet extended to these hurting souls.
In 1998 she moved to Romania permanently, leaving behind the affluence and comfort of Orange County and trading it for the challenges of daily life in a developing country. Out of this obedience was birthed the ministry Touched Romania, continuing today in a children’s cancer hospital and facilities for abandoned babies throughout the city of Bucharest.
In 2006, the ministry expanded to include Hagar Home maternal center for the prevention of baby abandonment. This aspect of the ministry empowers and disciples women in all areas of their life. As a result, they have seen a decrease in abandonment by dealing with the source of the problem, working with mothers and families.
God has placed it on the hearts of Raegan and the staff at Touched Romania to become a voice for young mothers. These single mothers have no government assistance in a society that requires little accountability from the biological fathers. By working in the areas of advocacy and lobbying within the Romanian government, their plan, with God’s help, is to effect a change in Romanian society. Wow! What an incredible goal.
This is the challenge that is facing Raegan and her team. Touched Romania has an individual in mind to fill the position of lobbyist/activist. They need funding to assist paying this extra salary. If your heart has been stirred by the plight of these women and children, please consider giving toward this worthy cause.
‘I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:35-40 (MSG)