Our Partnership with the Living Hope Center
Missionaries: Adrian and Lavinia Dreana
Location: Targu Jiu, Romania
Our support for this Romanian couple began with helping finance the completion of their college education. They then married in September 2000 and moved from their hometown, Oradea, to Targu Jiu, in the southern part of Romania. Their call from God to this community included serving the poorest of the poor along with the business community. We took on their full support and commitment to help them develop what became known as The Living Hope Center. Through this ministry, they offer the living hope of the living Lord Jesus Christ.
We have helped them establish a holistic ministry that:
- reaches out to children (tutoring after school)
- empowers women (through a maternity clothes sewing project)
- engages youth (through project and programs)
- builds up families
- raises up lay leadership
These social services bridge to relationships that lead to opportunities to share the Gospel. Just as important, through PLCC’s commitment and by sending short-term adventure teams to encourage them in their various ministries and projects, we are building relationships between the Romanian community and our community in Sammamish .
Adrian is a natural evangelist and church planter and has a very charismatic personality that God uses to draw people to the Gospel. When they first arrived in this region, many times they would be pushed out of town and even had stones thrown at them. They were not wanted because they were “evangelicals” and the people feared them. But with love, patience, and persistence, they have won the love of the people, and it is to the point where ‘everyone’ wants to be part of the Living Hope Center which is now known throughout the region!
Adrian and Lavinia have 3 daughters: Becky, Seia, and Lala.
History of our Partnership
Our partnership began in 1998 “accidentally” as Adrian Dreana was hired as our translator for a team we took from PLCC to put on a VBS program for 3 Gypsy villages. Adrian was still a student at the Emmanuel Bible College in Oradea, Romania, and soon to graduate and marry Lavinia Balota. They felt called by God to move to the south of Romania to begin a ministry in the most economically depressed area of all the country. These people had depended on the coal mines for their livelihood, only to find the mines all closed after the revolution.
The Living Hope Center began as a ministry to meet the needs of the poorest of the poor in Targu Jiu, Romania. It functioned for 3 years in a rented house which was renovated and held a number of ministries. They began tutoring children after school with the thought that Romania could only be changed “one child at a time.”
In April 2001, Pine Lake Covenant Church sent a 40’ X 40’ container packed full of clothes, medical supplies, furniture, kitchen supplies, toys, etc. This enabled Adrian and Lavinia Dreana to begin a medical office equipped with a refurbished ultrasound machine donated by Siemens Medical in Issaquah, WA with the help of Leslie Hope.
By 2003 they were forced to leave the Living Hope Center house and move to another costly rented home. They began looking for a place to purchase to get out of the constant harassments of the rental agreement. In October 2004, PLCC was able to raise $52,500 to purchase an older former landlord’s home that had been sitting empty for many years. It had a large back yard and was located in a good area of town. It was in desperate need of renovation and again PLCC and another group of people co-funded the renovations for $11,522 and they moved in to a truly adequate center for ministry.
In 2005, PLCC brought a team to create a truly wonderful back yard with a miniature golf course (unique to Romania) and a large play structure with swings, slides, monkey bars, etc. But the job was not completed until a team came in 2006 to create a ‘park like’ backyard with expert landscaping. This effort was led by Tina and Jay Nyce of Nyce Landscaping in Sammamish, WA which has become the most used facility in Targu Jiu!
PLCC has participated in many of the youth camps by providing teams and finances, as well as prayer. These camps have been fruitful both in winning many youth to the person of Christ, as well as in developing leadership in those who have grown into Christian maturity. These camps were the stimulus in the beginning of a church in a nearby village, Balesti, and PLCC had the privilege of helping fund the building of the structure, as well as in summer of 2008 PLCC created a large play structure on the church property as a community outreach. There is no place for children to play in this community, and this is a large draw to families, where they will come to know the love of Christ.
The Living Hope Center began a maternity clothes dress-making project as a means to create jobs for women and ultimately bring in income to the center. PLCC first began investing and supporting this project with home sewing machines, fabric, and patterns, enabling them to purchase commercial equipment and now they have built up quite a business. There is still a need for further investment in this project in order to enable them to really succeed.
The medical office has received donations of a mammogram machine and new processor. In 2008, a team from PLCC went over to highlight to the women of Romania the need to have mammograms as a first line of defense against the number one cause of death for Romanian women, breast cancer. We put on a conference for women to highlight the symptoms and causes of cancer. It was well attended and the women have finally begun to talk with each other about this very deadly disease and what they can do.
These give you a few of the initiatives that we as a church have responded to when placed before us. All the projects that we have undertaken are a response to the needs identified to us by the leadership of the ministry in Romania, and we cherish our partnership with this great group of believers.
Living Hope Center Update
It was so exciting when Mercy Walk was able to send the grant they had secured for the restoration of the basement of the Living Hope Center in Targu Jiu, Romania. I thought you would enjoy reading in Lavinia Dreana’s own words the rationale and progress of the restoration.
The Living Hope Center is going through historical times. For many years we have been working with children, sick people, families, teenagers, and leaders in order to reach our mission of bringing healing in this broken country of ours, a country that was robbed and put in spiritual, social and economic darkness for so many years by a merciless communist regime.
One of our great passions all these years was to grow and equip leaders around us, to train people to do the things we had been doing, to help people grow to a higher level of knowledge and leadership.
For doing so, we organized a lot of training sessions and conferences where the speakers were strong Christian leaders, like pastors and missions leaders, professors, directors of schools and business people.
But in all these years we were split into different small rooms, forced to rent out all sorts of limited facilities that lacked even the basics.
In spite of all these, the vision kept on going… and going… but with the hope that one day we will get to have a Christian Conference and Family Center, all properly equipped for equipping the Christian leaders that Romania so desperately needs.
The construction work for the new Center began on March 2, 2009, and we invite you to walk side by side with us as we accomplish one of the greatest dreams of our mission work in the South of Romania.
It’s not an easy job as we are facing a lot of obstacles, but it’s a dream that MUST come true for the benefit of hundreds and thousands of people who will be reached through the leaders that will be trained in this center.
We will send pictures along the process so that you are kept up with the progress. We are so thankful for the $28,000 Grant that Mercy Walk has sent for the restoration.
May God bless you for all your support, efforts, sacrifices and generous hearts all along this road! You are greatly appreciated and honored by us and the people in TJ!