The Orphans of Romania | World Challenge

The Orphans of Romania

Rachel Chimits
March 29, 2019

God moved one man’s heart in a way that has now saved over one hundred abandoned children.

In the 1980’s, Romania was one of the most tightly controlled Communist nations in Eastern Europe under the iron fist of Nicolae Ceaușescu. During his rule, he decided to increase the population in order to build his tax base, and all forms of birth control were outlawed.   

As families grew, they often couldn’t afford to feed or care for the new babies. Thousands of parents abandoned their children every year, swamping state hospitals or orphanages. 

Wards of the State were frequently abused and living in horrendous conditions. In 1989, the Ceaușescu regime was overthrown in a violent revolution, and aid groups were finally allowed into the country. 

Casa Sanctuary’s Roots

In 1990, Ray Wright took his first trip to Romania. During his stay, he went to the town’s hospital and found a six-year-old girl who could not walk or talk because government workers had confined her to a crib and left her untended as a toddler. 

Appalled, Ray decided something had to be done.

He partnered with Gary Wilkerson and World Challenge to purchase a small house in the Transylvanian town of Ocna Mureș. 

Initially, two local women were entrusted with several children from a nearby hospital. This home soon turned into Casa Sanctuary, devoted to caring for abandoned children.

Creating Family

Since 1992, Casa Sanctuary has rescued over 120 orphans; many of these children have been adopted into families in Romania and throughout the world.  

However, due to new laws preventing foreign adoptions, Casa Sanctuary has begun to include vocational training like sewing, hair styling and wood shop and cares for the older children until they are able to provide for themselves.

Most of all, the staff strives to create a family for the children still waiting to be adopted. 

They all attend a local church, and the kids go to a local public school. They have homework and chores; the boys are constantly playing soccer in the back yard, and many of the children are learning how to sing and play instruments. Sometimes they sing together in the church choir and have even participated in a few Christmas events at the town hall.

House parents for the older girls’ home have recently celebrated another wedding; Sorina is the fifth girl to grow up and marry at the orphanage. 

Two other couples have had babies, the first “Casa grandkids.” 

Praying for Romania

God has redeemed so much of these children’s lives which started out hopelessly broken. To witness the transformation that Christ’s love brings through a safe home is a true blessing. 

Chains of pain have been broken and replaced with bonds of love.

Please pray that God will continue to sustain the workers and heal the children at Casa Sanctuary. Pray for Romania’s next generation as the country recovers from a dark history.