Casa Shalom Children's Home logo

str. Donitei 15, sector 6 / 77528 Bucharest / Romania
Tel/fax: 011 401 413-1658 /

Rescuing Children in Romania and bringing them to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ

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The Story Behind the Home

The old house

The vision for a children's home in Bucharest, Romania was birthed when a church from Germersheim, Germany came with relief aid in 1990. This was right after the Revolution. The Germans, whose organization was called the Festung (Fortress), were touched and moved to do something to he,p the scores of street children at the northern train station (Gara de Nord). They started a daily feeding program at the train station and in the meantime began to search for property or a building they could buy.

Buying the Old House

remodeling the old house In 1994 they found an old skeleton of a building standing alone one and a half kilometers west of Bucharest. It was the only house left in the middle of a huge field after the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu decided to destroy nearly 30 homes in this area. The Romanian Christian organization called Neemia bought the old house on a 400 square meter parcel of land for the Festung. Then the Festung paid to have the house enlarged and renovated. The quality of work was very poor, but the building was completed in December 1995.

Becky Becomes Director

Becky In the summer of 1995 they were looking for a director to run the children's home. It was only a few months before that God had spoken to me to open a house called Casa Shalom ( House of Peace). I was busy looking for a house but had no money. I had been working at a Bible school in Bucharest as a dorm mom and the Director of Evangelism. During the summer of 1995 one of the directors of the Neemia organization came by to visit me in Bucharest. He told me about the house and he felt I was the right person for managing the children's home. He didn't know I had already been looking for a house for several months. We went to visit the home and what a surprise to find the house was only ten minutes away from my apartment. Was this just a coincidence? No, I don't believe it was. Also, I found out later the German organization the Festung had been trying to contact 'me for two years. (So don't be discouraged if you can't contact me in a day or two; just hang in there.)

Our First Year of Trials

In December 1995 1 said good-bye to Germany. I packed up all my belongings and sent them on a tractor-trailer to Bucharest. I had lived in Germany for 13 years so it was a little emotional to say Auf Wiedersehen to all my friends. I was excited about the new project and wanted to get this orphanage up and running. Needless to say it was a real trial right from the start. We stopped for the night in Hungary and during the night someone broke into my van. Praise God, when I left Germany I was in such a hurry that I had forgotten to take the bags of trash out of my van. When the thief broke in, for the most part what he found was the bags of trash. The one overnight case he stole was returned to me six months later, even with my onedollar sunglasses that I liked so much.

The Driveway to the House

the driveway When we arrived in Bucharest, for the first week it was very cold and had no problem driving on the frozen driveway. But a week later the ground thawed, and it was impossible to travel the driveway to the house. For two months we had to walk, and then one day I slipped and fell in a foot of mud. That was enough, and I called a company to fix the road. Eight huge truckloads of stones were dumped in the driveway. Ooops! They ran out of stones in front of the house, and while Becky wasn't looking, they just dumped several loads of sand instead. We could now at least drive down the road, but I couldn't turn my van around in the sand in front of our house. So, for the next four months I drove to our house, and then each time I had to back all the way out of the driveway. I became a good "backer upper" and just thanked the Lord we didn't have a longer driveway.

Snow Outside and Snow Inside!

It was winter and when it snows, it blows. It blowed so hard I had a one-foot snow drift that came in under the door. Then when the rains came, I thought we would have a flood. All the windows were so poorly made. I said to myself, now that just won't do! I like snow and rain but there's a time and place for everything. The next day I decided we would have to build a porch. I started with a plan for a simple little roof above the doors, but then I thought how nice it would be to have a little place for clothes and children's wet shoes to dry and maybe a place for a flower or two and, of course, for a few tables and chairs. Our porch vision grew even though we didn't have any money. We made a plan, and I had a few hundred dollars. My carpenter friend Danny (18 years old) came from Germany. He built most of the porch in two weeks. He was so energetic all the neighbors were amazed to see a young man work day and night to build a porch for an orphanage. Every few days more money would come. We were so amazed and kept running to buy more wood and other materials. It was our first real faith project, and how exciting it was to see how God provided. Everyone comments about how beautiful our porch is. It has become both ours and the children's favorite place in the summertime.

Water Problems for One Year

We surely learned to appreciate water at Casa Shalom in 1996. We had problems with our pump every few days. Once we had no water for a whole week. Sometimes the neighbors were not home. The children began to pray that it would rain. Then they quickly ran outside to wash their hands as the water came out the rainspout. Finally our pump problem was solved 12 months later, and we have not had a problem with water since.

Official Papers

Our lawyer told us we would have our non-profit organization registration with the government in two weeks. The two weeks turned into a nightmare of 12 long months. The papers came a few days before Christmas. We were finally legal. That is, we were legal until they just passed a new law last fall. All non-profit organizations have to be registered with the government. It was a lot more paper work, but we did it. We had a favorable interview and received our accreditation from the government to operate Casa Shalom. Praise God! This is an accreditation that has to be renewed yearly.

Volunteer Worker Killed

On August 11, 1996 Wolfgang Schmid and his wife Renate were returning to Germany after driving a large truck with aid to Casa Shalom. They had spent a week with us and became new friends who had a heart to reach out to the street children. On their return trip Wolfgang fell asleep at the wheel of the truck, and it ran over an embankment and landed in a cement river bed. The impact killed Wolfgang immediately. It was a miracle Renate survived the accident. She is still suffering with some neck and arm problems. Pray for her complete healing and for their two teenage girls. This was a terrible shock for us to go through at the time. We thank God for His grace and we see so clearly how quickly a loved one can be taken away from us. How we need to be ready to meet our Lord at all times.

Our Land Problems

Front picture of Casa Shalom Children's Home Many of the neighbors have told us a little of our fence is on their property. One even said part of our house is on their property. I said, "We have 400 square meters, and the lot line is here somewhere." People do not work very accurately when they make official papers. This has caused us severe problems. Now we're learning. Right now I have already bought the property from two of the neighbors. This spring we will make a playground for the children and also have land for a garden.

Communication Problems

telephone One of the most frustrating things for us was that until February 1998 we had no telephone. This made our work even more complex. People couldn't contact us and we couldn't contact them. For those who would like our new number, it is 011-401-413-1658. Not only do we have a telephone, but we are also on the Internet and have a web page where your friends can read our latest newsletter. Our e-mail address is

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