The Chicken Challenge

Dear Kidstown Friends,

Northeast Romania is beautiful: gently rolling hills, lush forests, narrow tracts of corn, wheat, or berries, and small, picturesque villages tucked away here and there adjacent to the winding road.

It is in one of these little villages that our story unfolds. Stephan and his wife are from this area: born and raised. Stephan worked for years as a forest ranger for the area’s forestry and wildlife department. Fox, wolves, deer, and even wild boar were part of his sphere. He and his wife led a simple but good life. They had three children, now grown and gone. They faithfully attended the local church, serving in various ways. They have the gift of hospitality, opening the doors of their home over the years to guests from around the world.

P1000920 They are now retired. But to them that doesn’t mean endless games of golf and lounging in arm chairs. To them it means “re-gear” and “re-focus” and they are diligently endeavoring to serve the Lord in other ways such as reaching out to seniors in an old folks home,…and raising chickens for orphans.

About an hour-and-a-half from Stephan’s home is the city of Botosani, a 75,000 strong community not far from the borders of Moldova and Ukraine. Tucked back on a side street is the Casa Ioana, a Christian orphanage led by Cristi and Alina, a wonderful, dedicated couple who are giving 100% effort to serve the 18 kids in their care, to love them, to educate them, to raise them up in the ways of the Lord, and to prepare them to be productive Romanian as well as Kingdom citizens.

Somewhere along the line Cristi met Stephan. Cristi had a need: kids that need nutritious food so that they can grow and develop normally. Stephan had a solution: he offered to raise chickens for the orphans, using his land, time, and experience to generate crops of healthy birds which, in turn, will bless the kids!

In Matthew 25:35-36 Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Stephan is doing just this by using his time and talents to give orphans something to eat. And as noble and heart-warming as this is, the lesson here extends to each one of us as well. We are called to live life not only for ourselves. God calls us to reach out and help others. Exactly who, where, and how may vary, but the important thing is that each of us actively engages in sharing the love of Jesus with others in practical ways.

P1000905 Maybe this means sponsoring an orphan in India, or giving funds so that a chicken farm can be started at another orphanage here in Romania. Maybe it means coordinating with a group in your church and sending a care package to an orphanage in Nepal. Again, the important thing is to find a way to reach out, and then to do it!

This is part of our calling. Part of who we are. Sharing His love with others, just like Stephan is doing. The chicken challenge: are you up for it?