FamilyLife Romania has begun a unique ministry in Bucharest and nearby areas. The FamilyLife staff was recently invited by counselors at local public schools to help conduct parenting seminars for the parents of their students. FamilyLife is using this invitation as an opportunity to use biblical principles as they speak to many parents on how to raise their children.
“The counselors of these schools told us the families are having problems, and the parents don’t know how to deal with these problems,” say Laurentiu and Clara Barbulescu, the leaders of FamilyLife Romania. So when a counselor called and asked if they would conduct parenting seminars, they readily agreed. After conducting two seminars, another counselor, at the recommendation of the first one, called to set up a second partnership with FamilyLife. All four FamilyLife Romania staff couples are now speaking in seven schools and kindergartens in Bucharest.
“We received very good feedback from the parents and the counselors,” Laurentiu says.
This is the first time these schools have tried anything like this. During the seminars, the FamilyLife speakers weave spiritual principles into their talks and invite the parents to attend one of their FamilyLife conferences. They are eager to establish relationships and create opportunities to share the gospel with them.
Speaking at these seminars does present some challenges. At one of these schools, during Clara’s talk about authority and respect, a mother interrupted and said she didn’t think it was appropriate for her kids to see her listening to her husband because it wasn’t a modern model. Other parents were pleased with the material but expressed interest in having more information about raising kids in single-parent homes. The counselor explained that although many students have good grades, they are growing up in dysfunctional families and tend to be withdrawn and lacking in communication skills.
Laurentiu and Clara, together with the rest of FamilyLife staff and volunteers, are praying these parents will become aware of their need to strive for unity and harmony in their families, and that many would take the next step to attend a marriage conference where they can receive more information and motivation to build a strong family.
They realize the task of helping these parents is a big one—bigger than they can handle on their own. They are working on creating a follow-up strategy for this project and are also recruiting more volunteers to help. Their desire is to have a bigger impact in Bucharest and see many families embrace God’s design for raising up the next generation.