by Ken Millwood, TEN Partners Officer
The working relationship between TEN and Andrew Saxton, Chair of Trustees Life to Romania Fund (L2R). Andrew and his horticulture project were featured in our January Connect magazine. Andrew is our main point of contact with Pastor Gavril Covaci and the Roma communities in Tinca, Tarcea and Văşad in Western Romania. The communities have been badly affected in the past few months by Covid-19 (small houses with only two rooms don’t allow for any social distancing so whole families were covid positive), and movement restrictions requiring whole estates to be quarantined meant the Roma couldn’t go to work, had no funds for food and were hungry.
Andrew shared Pastor Gavril’s news, “It was a day of joy with tears of joy when I was able to deliver medicines and food, thanks to donations from the UK. We didn’t expect to be allowed into the estate, but I told the police that we wanted to help with medicines and food. They agreed to give permission. What an answer to prayer!’
The funds for medicines were provided by L2R supporters. The funds for food parcels were provided by TEN. Andrew continues: ‘God’s provision in this difficult time has been a great witness to the communities in Tinca and Tarcea and many hearts have been turned towards Christ. In Tinca alone, there are at least sixty new converts and Gavril is talking about needing to double the size of the church building!’
In a follow-up to our January Connect article about the Roma Community Garden project, Allan Spencer, TEN Trustee offered to liaise with Andrew and help him install the right equipment to irrigate the large garden plot.
Allan explained ‘A few months ago, I was delighted to be asked if I could assist Andrew with setting up an automated irrigation system for his Roma Community Garden project. Over the past ten years I have helped TEN’s NGO partner, Casa Grace to bring fresh, running water into many homes in Oradea, Romania where previously they only had an outside well. After several detailed conversations with Andrew, we figured out what was needed. With a combination of his vision, my knowledge and our combined practical abilities, although separated by many miles, we were able to make it all happen. Another answer to prayer!
From our equipment base at CASA Grace, I was able to arrange for Andrew to utilise our piping and provide him with a specialised well pump. Due to the pandemic, all this kit had remained unused for the past eighteen months and was gathering dust. I was delighted to facilitate its use again. For me, this engagement clearly demonstrates TENs networking capability. The remarkable result was that two of TEN’s partners were effectively drawn together to complete the project and in doing so joined up all the dots! One team, many parts, one purpose. Nice work TEN!’