We just got back from our annual summer trip to Sinaia! Sinaia is a mountain town and resort about 4 hours northwest from where we live, and it's one of the highlights of our year. This year the weather was looking to be quite rainy, but we lucked out and got a good number of sunny days while there. We took long walks, visited the surrounding castles and even took a train ride. Everyone had a fantastic time, we can't wait to come back next year!
Today we took a family outing to our local aquarium and McDonalds - two of our favorite places! Everyone had a ball as always!
The cold weather has finally left us and we are enjoying a beautiful spring! We recently celebrated Easter and now two birthdays for some special girls. Birthdays are always milestone events, since back in the 1990s no one expected our kids to live much past the age of 5. We are thriving with love and good medical care!
We're under a heavy snowfall here in late February. Many roads are closed and our team is pulling triple shifts to cover staff who can't drive to the House. Thankfully we have enough heat, warm clothes, and food to see us through. Hoping for a break in the weather soon!
We got our nails done today with Mari!
We've had a break in the wintry weather and are enjoying some sunshine these days!
Dear Sponsors and Friends of Chi Rho,
As 2017 draws to a close, we are again reminded of God’s faithfulness to the Chi Rho ministry and the many blessings received by the staff and kids living in the House of New Life and in foster care. We have been privileged to witness first hand young lives redeemed and transformed by God’s mercy and grace, as well as through the loving, attentive care of our staff and our many ministry supporters.
We would like to tell you the story of “Dani,” (we have changed her name to honor her request for privacy), one of our original kids living in Post Cura 3, which became the House of New Life in 1998. Dani came to see us on our most recent visit to Romania last month. Dani was born on January 22, 1989. She was the youngest of four children, but was surrendered to Post Cura 3 just a few months after her birth when she was diagnosed with HIV. We first met Dani when she was three years old and it was apparent even then that she was a “sparkler,” always offering a big smile and hug to her caregivers, other kids, and visitors.
In 1998, when Chi Rho took over the orphanage and became the House of New Life, Dani was placed in one of six families that was formed. Her family was called the “Pansy Family” and she was loved by her mamas, Laura and Silvia, and her four “siblings,” who also were HIV orphaned and abandoned kids.
In 2002, Dani went to live with a foster family, Doina and Peter Ilasca, where she lived for four years. During these years she reconnected with her biological family and visited them on occasion. As you can imagine, these were confusing and emotional years for preteen Dani. Seeking her independence and identity she became rebellious and anxious, and eventually returned to live with her birth family; but even this setting was difficult for Dani and her parents. In 2011, she moved out, and shortly thereafter met a young man, had a child in 2012, and settled into a new life. She loves her little boy, “Tony,” very much and takes excellent care of her young son and her home. She tells us that she and her fiancé are saving money to get married. Dani often takes Tony to church so that he can be exposed to Christian kids and families.
It had been five years since we last saw Dani when she surprised us with a visit last month. What a joy to see this gracious and loving young woman show her “sparkle” again! She was thoughtful in her sweet comments to us regarding her early years at the House of New Life. She expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the love and care she received, and said,“after you came, we knew we were not alone.” She also remembered her longtime sponsors, Cheryl and Rob Guzzetta from Saratoga Federated Church and their faithfulness to her over many years.
Dani’s story brings us full circle to the reason Chi Rho continues in the work God has called us to for 25 years now. For some of our most handicapped kids, the life that Dani enjoys is not possible, but they will always receive the love and care they need in the safety of the House of New Life. It is you, our sponsors, supporters and partners in ministry that enable Chi Rho to shine a bright light in a dark place.
We know that you have many requests and opportunities to give at this time of year. We pray that you will remember our kids in prayer and, if it is within your means, that you would consider providing a monetary gift of any size. Your support makes an enormous difference in the lives of the kids and is a tremendous blessing to our staff in Romania. Please visit our site, chirho-corp.org, for more updates on all our kids. You can also make a secure online donation there by clicking DONATE. Or, if you prefer to donate by check, we’ve enclosed an envelope for your use. Checks may be made payable to Chi Rho Corp. All donations are fully tax deductible and 100% of your gift goes toward the care of the kids.
Once again, all of us on the Chi Rho Board wish you a gracious measure of joy and comfort to be found in the One whose birth we celebrate this season. Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessing filled 2018! Cindy and Hud Staffield For the Chi Rho Board: Dan Byrne, Gabe Gilliam, Gary Gillam, Brittany Staffield Gonzalez, Greg Jamison, Ken Olsen, Cindy Staffield, Hud Staffield, Bob Tomlin
Santa came to visit us again this year. We look forward to his coming every year (starting in about spring!). We each got a special gift, and later we had some carolers come to visit, too. We had a wonderful time, thank to all our supporters for making this tradition possible for us every year. We wish you all a blessed Christmas alongside with your family members and dear ones!
We’re back from our annual summer trip to the mountains of Sinaia! We were there for 5 days and we enjoyed wonderful weather, saw lots of sites, and enjoyed many walks around the park. One of the highlights was going up 1400 meters by gondola, as well as some great home cooked meals prepared by the staff who came along with us. the rest of the kids enjoyed the park and had fun with playing equipment. This trip is always a highlight of our year, and we thank everyone for making this possible again this year!
Mari, our special educator, found another fun art project - making our hand prints in flour. It was a big hit!
It’s summer in Constanta. Time to hit the beach and enjoy some ice cream!
We finally got outside after our big snow!
To all our friends and supporters, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for all you do for us, God bless you all!
Our vacation up to the mountains is almost over. We’ve had a wonderful time, and today we finished up with a visit to Dino Park in Rasnov. We also visited the Rasnov Citadel, a fortress built in the 13th century. Now it’s time to come home. We can’t wait til next year!
This summer, we’ve been making some much needed renovations to the House of New Life. The house itself is almost 20 years old, and has withstood many hot summers, icy winters, plus the wear and tear from sheltering a large family. With the help of our board, we raised $10,000 to install new window frames, drainage pipes, yard fencing, insulation, updated door locks, a refrigerator, and a fresh coat of paint. A connection through our church community found us a contractor, and he’s been busy doing all the work for us.
We should have everything completed later in September, just in time for the cooler fall days and cold winter nights. Marcu has been inspecting the windows, and he approves :)
Merry Christmas, Chi Rho Family!
Dear Sponsors and Friends of Chi Rho,
We recently returned from our regular fall trip to see the ‘kids’ and staff at the House of New Life in Constanta, Romania. This was a special visit; accompanying us were Pastor Gabe Gilliam of Saratoga Federated Church and Robin Shepherd, also a member who is helping us tell the Chi Rho story. While Hud and I have moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, we feel strongly connected to Saratoga Federated and especially to all of you who so generously make this ministry possible. We hope and pray that our mu- tual love and support for this mission will continue with you for many more years.
This trip, the kids and staff were the happiest and healthiest we’ve ever seen. I know I’ve used this description before, but honestly, they just keep getting better and better. We saw more smiles, more hugs and heard more laughter than ever before. Some of the kids who typically have been more withdrawn were visibly glad to see us (they do like the gifts we bring!). We be- lieve the loving, structured environment is the essential compo- nent in their growth and development, as well as their overall happiness.
What do we do when we visit the House of New Life? Like many
families, we play games, make art projects, look at their treasures
in their rooms, enjoy meals together, and just hang out. We also
talk to the staff about their work, their joys and their frustrations. Like any parent, they are concerned when health or behavioral issues arise, so we listen and try to encourage them. They are an amazing group of ‘mamas’ and nearly all of them have been with us since we opened the House of New Life in 1998.
This trip, we brought the final installment of handcraft- ed quilts from the Saratoga Federated Church ladies quilting group. Now every single kid has a lovely quilt from special friends in America. We also spent a great deal of time at the Holy Trinity Baptist Church, our longtime ministry partner in Constanta. They have a new young pastor who is eager to continue the tradi- tion of mutual support, encouragement, and hospitality between us that now spans 23 years.
While we were there, Gabe spoke at three worship services - Friday prayer service, Sunday morning worship, and Sunday evening family service. He always seems to deliver the perfect message to these dear friends, one of hope, encouragement, and unity, and he was so well received. Along with Gabe, Robin Shepherd accompanied us this trip. As a first time visitor, we appreciated her fresh perspective and unique observations as a gifted writer.
As you know, we remain fully committed to this ministry for as long as our kids are living. To that end, we will maintain our current support base as well as forge new alliances with other faith-based organi- zations. We also continue to actively pursue government support and local community advocates. We understand you have many requests and opportunities to give this time of year. We pray you may re- member our kids in prayer and, if it is within your means, that you would consider providing a monetary gift of any size. Your support makes such a difference in our kids’ lives and is a tremendous blessing to our staff in Romania.
Please visit our website, chirho-corp.org, for more updates on our kids and staff. You can also make an online donation there by clicking the Donate button. Or if you prefer to donate by check, we’ve enclosed an envelope for you to use (checks may be made payable to Chi Rho Corp). All donations are fully tax deductible and go entirely toward the care of the children.
Thank you again for allowing these kids to be a part of your lives. We wish you a gracious measure of the joy and comfort to be found in the One whose birth we celebrate this season. On behalf of the entire Chi Rho Board and “cu drag” (with love) for your partnership,
Cindy and Hud Staffield
Chi Rho Board:
Dan Byrne, Gabe Gilliam, Brittany Staffield Gonzalez, Greg Jamison, Ken Olsen, Cindy Staffield, Hud Staffield, Bob Tomlin, Gary Gillam