Text Box: Our eyes met and 
our souls spoke in 
one brief moment . . . 

Event Recorded By
Jean Ann French

I donít know her name and I donít know how old she was when we met.  I can tell you that I will never forget her, and she is calling me back to Europe.

In October of 1990, I had the privilege and the opportunity to transport 50,000 DM worth of pharmaceutical drugs donated by Abbott Laboratories in Mainz, W. Germany to an English speaking Lutheran pastor in Hateg, Romania.  This was the time in our history when the outside world was learning of the atrocities being suffered by the children of Romania.  I saw the orphanages, I heard the cries of the children, and I smelled the indignity of their lives.  The orphanages were a clear indication and a final result of Ceausescuís madness.  

As bad as the orphanages are, many others suffer greatly in the overall poor conditions of the country.

The girl in the picture who caught my eyes and my soul is wearing a dirty dress and serving as the caregiver for her younger brother and sisters.  Surely, she isnít more than 10 years of age in this picture, but you know that she was old beyond her years.  Look at the strain of life on her face . . . and in her eyes . . .  should a child ever have to bear such a burden?  This is what abject poverty does to children and families.  

This particular family has two parents and seven children.  The family of nine was allowed to live in one room with a dirt floor in lieu of payment for tending the stock in the adjacent barn.  During the day, the mother, father and three older children were gone working at other jobs.  This poor middle child was left to tend the smaller siblings.  One child was so shy and reclusive that she never came outside during our visit.  You can see that one of the girls has a deformed leg.  It was hard to believe that our simple and meager donation of coats and sweaters could ever be enough to impact their sad conditions.

The image of the young girl and what I saw in her eyes is ever present in my thoughts.  I know I can play a part in making a difference in the impoverished lives of children and families in Eastern Europe.

She calls me to act.