Lau was born in Vaslui, Romania. The oldest of five children, Lau grew up with his parents, who worked in a fabrics factory and sisters. He became a Christian at summer camp, when he was 15 years old.
After finishing high school, Lau left his hometown and moved to Galati to work in construction. A few months later, a local ministry asked him to help them bring some street boys off the streets and into a home. Lau received this request as a call from God, and joined their work. From 1998 to 2000 Lau lived with and cared for the boys. During this time, he had an opportunity to participate on a WMF Discovery Team to India. In 2001, he moved to Arad (western Romania) to help a local non-profit organization in its work with street children. There, he ran a drop-in center and helped with a home for boys.
After a year in Arad, Lau felt God calling him back to Galati to join the WMF community. He was drawn to WMF because he desired to find a way to express God’s heart among the street kids. He now serves as executive director of Word Made Flesh Romania. His desire is to help the community grow and allow his life to be an example to the kids of what it means to live for God. Lau’s vision and his heart have been instrumental to the community’s growth and maturity. He has developed the drop-in center volunteer program, was very involved in the renovation of the drop-in center and boys home, continues to have strong relationships with the boys on the streets and helps with education. Through his leadership responsibilities within the community, he leads the staff and kids through humility, wisdom and service.
Lau and Vali were married in Galati in August 2005.
Vali was born in the Romanian village of Pechea, Galati, to a Romanian Orthodox family. She has three brothers and one sister. Though she grew up attending church occasionally and had some knowledge of religion, she did not have a relationship with God. As a teenager, her life was very tormented. Seeing the painful reality of the world, she tried to believe that God did not exist. After a few years of searching, reading Christian books and visiting some Christian programs, she asked Jesus to come into her life if He existed. Through her simple request, God came into her life and began to change her.
As a new Christian, Vali attended evangelical churches, where she met new people and began to form new relationships. She began to pray for God’s direction in her life and, at the same time, started visiting a home for street children and kids who were still living on the streets. Shortly after that, she met David Chronic (Europe/Africa Regional Coordinator), who was looking and praying for a Romanian to start a drop-in center for street children. As doors continued to open for ministry, Vali understood that God was calling her to serve Him through street children, and in 1999 she came on staff with WMF Romania.
Vali serves as Community Center Coordinator, scheduling daily and special events, tutoring, holding Bible studies and leading parent meetings and staff meetings. More than the tasks she completes, Vali’s compassion and service for the children is invaluable to the ministry of WMF Romania, providing much-needed love and stability for children in distress.
Lau and Vali were married in Galati in August 2005.
Carmen was born on December 26th, 1975 in Vaslui, Romania in a nominal Orthodox Christian family. She is the oldest of 4 sisters. She became a Christian when she was 17 years old in 1993 when her family was going through very hard times and problems. Her father struggled with addiction to alcohol and became violent, causing her mother to leave their home. Carmen was forced to be the caregiver for her sisters. Although memories from my childhood are sad and disturbing, she discovered in Jesus the love of the Father God and she experienced healing and transformation. She finished high school and went to work in a bakery for a year and then in a market until 1996. She married Dan: her wonderful, God fearing husband who loves others. From 2002 she worked for her brother’s in law company until it closed.
In June 2015 her sister in law, who is on the Word Made Flesh Romania board told her that there was a need for someone to do the bookkeeping. Carmen felt this was a gift from God and that God was calling her to this community. Through this community sheI learned that God has given her a new perception of serving the vulnerable. Together with her husband Dan, they have two children. Andre is 19 and Albert is 17.
Bogdan was born into a God-loving family and has always had a certain understanding of the Scriptures. While at church camp at the age of 14, his “correct” life was transformed as Jesus the Savior revealed Himself to Bogdan.
Bogdan was first confronted with the issues of poverty in 2004 when he volunteered at the WMF Romania day center. He realized that the foundation of his beliefs had been grounded in what other people had taught him and he wanted to change that. The time he spent with the community had a great impact on his life as old values and principles shattered and were replaced by new values. Confronted by a Jesus revealed in the poor and the broken, Bogdan started to look for answers in terms of how his life could count in God’s work in the world.
The year of 2009 brought changes and unexpected answers about renouncing, accepting God’s mandate and about service.
As he came to the understanding that his life, his resources and his diploma in economic studies are not his own to use, Bogdan took a step of faith and left his job as a financial consultant to take on the administrative responsibilities of the WMF day center in Galati, Romania.
Bogdan and his wife Cristina love to talk about God and Theology over coffee. They both love the ministry of WMF. They count it as one of the greatest blessing of their lives to be part of such a beautiful community.
Anca was born in 1975 in Pechea, a county of Galati, Romania to an Orthodox family. She has 3 brothers and 2 sisters.
In her last year of high school, she started to understand how there were many kids, youth, and families affected by poverty, diseases, and other difficulties around the community she was in.
When she finished high school, she already knew that she wanted to help the vulnerable, especially children. She didn’t know how exactly, but she had this in mind when she began deciding where she wanted to work.
From 1999 to 2011 she worked through a few NGO’s with abandoned children affected by HIV/AIDS and other effects of poverty and marginalization. She has studied social work, sociology, and psychology.
In 2011 she became a part of Word Made Flesh, first as a volunteer and then came on staff in 2012. She oversees communication and fundraising in the community.
Anca believes in the power of personal example to change things that are not how they are supposed to be. She also believes that whatever one decides to do must be done with gladness and love. “Whatever you do, do it with all your might.”
David Chronic has been serving in Romania with Word Made Flesh since 1998. During his senior year of high school, David became a Christian and sensed a calling to cross-cultural mission and especially to the poor. He studied international relations at the University of Nebraska at Omaha through which he received a scholarship to study in Romania and Moldova. While living in those two countries, David developed relationships with children living on the streets and children abandoned in the state institutions. God opened doors for David to remain in Romania, where he has since lived and served. Currently, he serves as WMF’s Regional Coordinator for Europe and Africa. Together with his wife Lenuta, they work among vulnerable youth and poor families, providing education, counseling and mentoring through Day Centers, Community Centers and community development. David also organizes short-term teams and internships, providing discipleship and development in a context of missional service. Recently, David has contributed articles and chapters on cross-cultural mission among the poor to qideas.org, Living Mission: the vision and voices of New Friars, and Child, Theology and Mission.
Lenuta was born in a small town, Cudalbi, Galati county, on June 20, 1965, in a family that kept the Romanian orthodox traditions, but didn’t know God. Lenuta has a younger brother and sister. In her school years, she adhered to the communist doctrine because she wanted to dedicate her life to an ideal. She learned that those who spoke of faith in God had attitudes from the Medieval ages and were obstacles to society’s progress. When her parents decided to follow Christ, she was 18 years old. She saw great changes in their lives, but her mind was already very grounded in the communist ideology.
After eight years of questions and interior struggle, she surrendered to the love of Christ. She began to go to the Pentecostal church her parents attended. In 1998, she met David Chronic. She saw how he related to street children, who she had ignored until then. She prayed for God’s direction in her life, and soon the leaders of a children’s home asked her if she wanted to work with them among street children. She worked there for a few years and then returned to teaching in public school. In the year 2000, two children that Word Made Flesh Romania worked with were in her class, and she became more involved with the Valley House. Lenuta has served as an educator for the school children’s program at the Valley House since fall 2005.
David and Lenuta were married in December 2002.
Geanina was born in Galati in 1974. She came to work with WMF Romania in June 2004. Through her time at the drop-in center, she came to understand that there are many needy children and wondered what she could do to help. She didn’t understand exactly what work the drop-in center was doing, but as she tried, she found that she began to understand it well. After she was hired, she understood that God had sent her to the drop-in center where she needed to be and where she was needed. Geanina serves as the Cleaning Coordinator for Casa Vale as well as overseeing showers and laundry for the children.
Mikayla was born in Littleton, Colorado in a Christian family. Throughout her life she had a heart for those that were left out, unseen, and hurting. In high school and college, Mikayla went abroad on service trips with her church and school to Haiti, Italy, and Alaska. The trip to Haiti radically changed the way she saw the world and opened her eyes to the hurt people living on the margins of society experience.
In college, Mikayla went on a discovery trip through George Fox University with Word Made Flesh. After meeting the staff and getting to know the children that attended the community center, she returned to complete a social work internship for 5 months with Word Made Flesh 2 years later. In her last 2 years of college, Mikayla felt called to work with marginalized children. This led her to work with the George Fox Spiritual Life department to create a ministry providing hospitality to the Department of Human Services Child Welfare staff and linking students with service opportunities to foster children and their foster parents, as well as helping lead and plan cross cultural engagement experiences for students locally and internationally.
After her time in Romania and what she had experienced and learned in her Biblical Studies and Social Work majors, she came on staff with Word Made Flesh as the short-term teams coordinator and social worker in November of 2016.
Hanna first heard of Word Made Flesh at her church about three years ago. A group of children visited her church, and after that she wanted to go sign up to be a volunteer at the community center. However, some problems arose and prohibited her from being able to volunteer.
Some time after, she was talking to a friend from her church, Miriam. Ana told her that she wanted to come and volunteer at the center to work with the kids, and Miriam told her they needed an educator for the Word Made Flesh day center in a village near Galati. This led her to go in for an interview and after a month, she was hired. She is currently an educator in this village.
She feels blessed to be a part of this community and she greatly enjoys the fact that she can help others. She feels called by God to be here and asks that he would give her wisdom and vulnerability.
Monica was born in Ploiesti, Romania to a Christian family. Monica remembers her journey with God beginning by attending church each Sunday with her younger brothers. There and at home, she learned a lot about Jesus and his love for people. In March of 2010, she was baptized in her church along with her two brothers.
Throughout her life, Monica’s family moved to multiple cities. In 2009, she moved to Galati with her family. When she was in high school, she had a passion for serving and wanted to be a missionary to other countries. In her last year of high school, she learned about Word Made Flesh and volunteered with them that summer.
She then moved to attend university in Oradea to study Romanian and English literature. She began to work with marginalized children in a village close by. Almost every week, they hosted programs for kids from villages that did not come from Christian families. She greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with these children and their families.
After she graduated university she returned to Galati. She began praying for a job and began volunteering at the Word Made Flesh center that summer. She became an educator at the center in July of 2016.
She finds the discussions with the children lifegiving and loves how her relationship with the kids is growing and how they are changing and growing in trust every day.
Caty grew up as a child in the Word Made Flesh program, and in 2014 she became a part of the team and community in Galati. She works primarily in Tudor Vladimirescu, a village located near Galati, a place where God has placed her to give all of herself. She feels what gives her the most joy is that God is using her and that she is not cast aside but that God can use her, understand her, and work through her. She feels blessed and values Word Made Flesh because it is a place where you can receive, give, grow, and know people with open hearts and people who are ready to walk through life beside you.
Harper was born in Billings, Montana in 1993 and became a Christian in 2008 when friends invited her to a high school church group. She was inspired by Jesus’s radical message of grace and reconciliation and especially what she interpreted as God’s preferential option for the poor and vulnerable; consequently she knew she would spend the rest of her living out this prophetic message by serving and living among those at the margins. She went on to study social work at George Fox University and spent a semester abroad learning about missions, community development, and international social in Word Made Flesh Romania’s study abroad program. After graduating a year later, Harper returned to join this community as a full-time staff member in 2016.
While living and working at a home for women in crises each summer during college, Harper fell in love with the work of assisting new mothers (often teenagers) develop secure attachments with their babies and confidence in their worth and parenting abilities. The joy and significance she felt in this work led her to conclude that it is her vocation. She is currently studying to become a doula so she can provide competent pregnancy and postpartum assistance to families in the Valley community. In the future she hopes to participate in developing workshops for job-skills training and a preschool in this neighborhood as well.
Fani was born in Galati, Romania, in 1981 into a large family. He became a Christian in 2001 and from there life seemed more interesting to him. He is a student at a Bible college in Iasi, a city a few hours from Galati. He graduated from a school that prepared him to be a customs agent, but he is sure that this has no connection to his calling. In the past two years, he began to seriously consider his calling to work among the poor, but it took him a year to accept this calling. Beginning as a volunteer in January 2005, Fani has worked consistently with WMF Romania, mostly involved with the education program for adolescent boys. In 2006, Fani lived at Casa Lazar for nine months, assisting with the care and discipleship of recovering street boys. Currently, Fani continues tutoring adolescent boys at the community center, serves as coordinator of the street ministry program and makes frequent visits to follow up with boys who have come off the streets.