Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

April, 2021

Dear Friends,

We pray you had a blessed Easter. We will be celebrating Easter in Romania on May 2. To incorporate both the Catholic and Orthodox Easters, the children and teenagers have vacation from April 2 until May 4. However, they will have to go to school until June 25. Some of them still have a class or two during the week with specific professors to help them prepare for the year-end tests. It is tough for them to have a whole month off and then try to concentrate again for two months when the weather is getting nice outside.

Yesterday, a group from Timisoara came out to visit the children. They brought lunch for them and a lot of food. They played games with them in the afternoon and even cut the boys hair. Everyone had a good time. After they left, we headed to our American friends in another village for a cook-out. There is a huge backyard for the children to play in. We had a great visit with our friends. After church Sunday, we took everyone to the mall for lunch. You still must eat outside in the open air, but it was a beautiful day, so no one cared. Someone blessed us at church with a surprise financial gift for the orphanage, so we used it to buy lunch for everyone. God is a great provider. We have a few more outings planned with the children while they are on vacation.

A church blessed us with money to buy the children and teenagers some new spring clothes. So, we took everyone shopping last week. It was fun to see them pick out things that they liked. Everyone was excited to wear their new clothes and shoes to church. Thank you to all who proved the funds to make this happen.

We bought food for the widows again and distributed it to them. It is always nice to visit them. They like seeing the children and having visitors. Loneliness is their biggest struggle. With the weather getting warmer, they can at least get outside some and see people. Unfortunately, one widow is confined to her bed. We got her a new mattress and sheets to help her feel more comfortable.

The food bank in Timisoara gave us a donation of food. We were able to bless our people at our food bank as well as help a couple of other foundations in Timisoara with food. We continue to have new people whose living situation is terrible come to our food bank. We are thankful that we can help them with food and clothing.

Thank you to everyone who continues to give faithfully through finances and in prayer for our ministry here. Both are so important.

With our love,
Ruben, Karen & Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

March, 2021

Dear Friends,

It is so nice to see the springlike weather.   The children have been outside on their roller blades and riding their bikes. They are so glad to be able to play outside after school. It has been a long winter. Last Saturday, Ruben took them all on a hike into our hills nearby to pick wildflowers. They found a beautiful little waterfall, too.

March 8 is Women’s Day in Romania. We ordered pizza for all of the women workers and the girls. They decorated the diningroom, making it look very festive. Everyone also received a flower. The workers do a good job so we wanted to make them feel special. It was a nice afternoon.

We have been able to provide two electric wheelchairs through Beraca Foundation for two people in our village. They don’t drive cars and can’t walk very well. It was hard for them to go to the store or anywhere else. Now, they are so excited. You can see them driving all around with big smiles on their faces. We also were able to help a family in another village whose house burned down by providing some construction supplies to rebuild it. They have several children so it is important for them to have a place to live. And, the parents of another family in the village next to us died. Again, there are several children involved although a couple of them are older. The older ones are taking care of the younger ones but they still needed help with buying food and other things. So, we were able to give money to them through their pastor so they could buy groceries and other essentials. We are thankful to be able to branch out and help others in Romania who really need it. We are praying that God shows us more situations like these where we can provide for those who have no means to do it themselves.

The children are getting excited about doing the garden at the farm again this year. The ground has been plowed. Soon, they will be able to start planting. One of our cows had a little calf but unfortunately, the calf died. However, there is now a lot of milk to drink from the mother as well as use for other things. The children like having this abundance of milk.

Karen had a safe and easy trip back to the USA. Her tests were all good. Praise the Lord. He is so faithful. Your prayers were felt. She doesn’t have to see the doctor again for six months. She will be leaving on March 15 to travel back to Romania. She has a grueling schedule flying through five airports. Please pray for strength and easy transitions and safe flights. Thanks so much.

Thank you also for your financial giving and prayers for our ministry. They mean a lot. We pray that God continues to be with each of you. May you have a wonderful Easter.

With our love,
Ruben, Karen & Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

February, 2021

Dear Friends,

As we are writing this newsletter, the temperature has dropped drastically, and it is snowing very heavily. During the break between semesters, we went with the children and teenagers to the mountains for sledding and skiing. Unfortunately, we picked the wrong day to go. When we arrived, it was snowing/sleeting. The wind was blowing very hard. Manu skied for a short time and the children sledded. But, we did not stay long. It was disappointing for everyone. They did get to go sledding for a few days in our village. It is so nice to have the sledding hill right by the orphanage.

Second semester started this week. Some of the children are going in person and some are at home. This may change next week as more may be going in person. Ramona, one of our staff, does a great job making sure that everyone does their homework. She also does extra work with the children, so no one falls behind. We are so thankful for her.

The food bank continues to serve 20-30 families a week. We are still buying most of the food that we give away. We have been given a few donations from an organization in Timisoara which helps a lot. The people are thankful for the food and clothes. It is a joy for us to be able to bless them.

Last weekend we went to see a waterfall and visit a park in a nearby village. The waterfall was especially beautiful because of so much water that was entering into it from the mountain. The park had a small zipline that the children loved. There were also life-size animals that you could climb up on. Everyone had a good time sitting on them and taking lots of pictures. It was a beautiful day outside. We were glad that we took advantage of it.

Karen is going to the USA on February 19 for her six-month control after her surgeries. She will be returning on March 15. She must have a negative COVID-19 test to be able to enter the USA. This test will be on February 17. Please pray for her test, travels and easy entry through the different country’s borders she will go through. Also, please pray for her tests in America that everything is clear and that the results are negative. Your prayers are so important to us.

Thank you for your prayers for our work in Romania, too. They are felt here. And, thank you for your financial gifts. They allow us to continue doing God’s work in Romania. May God bless you in many ways.

With our love,
Ruben, Karen and Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

January, 2021

Happy New Year!

We brought in the new year with our own party at the orphanage. First, everyone got to make their own personal pizza, putting whatever toppings on it they wanted. They turned out very delicious. Then, we had snacks and a couple of movies. At midnight, we went outside to watch the fireworks being shot off all around us. After that, everyone was so full and tired that we called it a night.

We had planned to go to Pesac to take the children there presents again this year. Unfortunately, the group from Germany could not come because of COVID-19 restrictions. So, we were not quite sure how we were going to come up with 170 presents. But God came through in an amazing way, with half of them coming from a Romanian group that wanted to help. Some churches made gifts and we received some shoebox Christmas gifts, too. We ended up with extras which was a good thing because there were 200 children there to receive gifts. It had been a long time since we had seen some of them. It was wonderful to see the smile on their faces. God is always so faithful.

Christmas was a little quieter this year. Since we could not go caroling, we went to visit our American friends and sang carols to them. Of course, we stayed for food, our teenagers’ favorite part. The village did have the “pitarai” which is basically singing from house to house for candy. Our children came home with overflowing bags. They still are eating candy from Christmas. On Christmas Day, we had a meal with the workers and all of us. Afterwards, we played a game with switching and trading presents. It was a lot of fun. And everyone ended up with the present that they wanted. The day after Christmas, we were invited to a friend in Timisoara. He and his wife made the best hamburgers and fries for everyone. They also had a present for each of the children and teenagers. We played games with them for a while. It was a fun evening. Finally, after church on Sunday, we went to the mall to see the decorations. They were beautiful. The next two weeks were school vacation.

School is still online, with three weeks left in the first semester. Please pray for the children that they can concentrate and finish well. We want to thank you for all your prayers and financial giving. They are greatly appreciated. We pray you all have a wonderful year.

With our love,
Ruben, Karen and Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

November, 2020

Dear Friends,

Change is a word that we can use to describe this year. It is happening again with our children and teenagers and school. The government has announced that all schools will go online until December 8. This creates quite a challenge for us. We have children in 8 different classes plus Bianca. We had to buy 3 tablets and use phones and hot spots to be able to have everyone online at the same time. Plus, we need to supervise them to make sure they stay throughout the hour or help when there are problems with the internet. It is like we are doing homeschool with 12 children and teenagers! In the afternoon, they have homework to do as well. So, most of the day is spent on school.

We continue to have 30-40 families come each week to the food bank. We were blessed with the money to buy a refrigerator for the food bank. Thank you very much. We can now store extra food that we have as well as buy some food for two weeks instead of going shopping every week.

We are going to butcher one of our bulls this Monday. In December, we will butcher our pig, too. So, we will have plenty of meat for the winter. We have lots of produce that we have frozen and canned for the winter as well.

We have met a new American family who has moved to Romania. The husband, Bart, is a preacher and his wife, Sheri, is a nurse. They have a five-year old little girl. They have spent time with our children and teenagers at the orphanage. They have also ministered to them in a couple of church services. Bart knows how to talk with teenagers and meet them where they are. Their new friendship has been a blessing for all of us.

We were granted our license again to continue to operate for the next five years. There was a lot of paperwork to do. We are thankful to receive it. We are also thankful for each of you as you continue to bless us financially and with your prayers. God is in control and helping us each day. We must keep our eyes focused on Him.

With our love,
Ruben, Karen and Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

October, 2020

Dear Friends,

Our family is finally united back in Romania. Karen’s surgery went well.

All the tests after the surgery showed that everything is clear. So, she was able to fly back this week. God was with her as she traveled. He put people in her path who were willing to help her each time she needed it. Our family as well as the children and teenagers were all excited to see her. We look forward to everything that God has in store for us as we continue to serve in Romania.

The children and teenagers have enjoyed being back at school. Ramona, who worked for us a few years ago, has decided to come back to work with us again. She does a great job helping the children with their homework. She also does extra work with those who need it. The children and teenagers like her a lot. It has been a blessing to have her back. Another change in our staff is that our cook who has been with us from the beginning has retired. We had a retirement party for her. The children wrote special notes to her. It was a very emotional time for everyone. We will all miss her. The new boiler is here. Thank you again to those of you who gave gifts to help us purchase it. We are thankful that the old one continued to work until we were able to get a new one. The weather is starting to turn colder. It came just in time.

We have started to take firewood to the widows here in our village. We want to thank those who helped us with the finances to be able to bless them. Firewood is one of the biggest concerns for the elderly in the village. They use wood-burning stoves which not only heat the room but also provide a place to cook on as well. Thank you all for your prayers for Karen and our family. God is awesome and has done a mighty work in her. Thank you also for praying for our ministry in Romania and giving to it financially. You, too, are a part of what is going on here.

With our love,
Ruben, Karen and Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Friday, September 25th, 2020

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

August, 2020

Dear Friends,

As summer is winding down here in the USA, our children and teenagers still have another month before school will be starting. No final decision has been made about whether the students will be attending school full-time, part-time or doing it virtually. Different options are still being discussed. Please pray for all of the children and teenagers as it will be an adjustment for them to start school. Most of them are ready to go back, especially for the social aspect. They miss their friends and being around other people besides those at the orphanage.

Bogdan did get accepted into a university in Timisoara. He will start in October. He will stay at a Christian foundation which has a dorm for students to live in while they attend college. This summer he has been staying with a friend of ours, Callum, from Scotland. Callum works with refugees and also has summer camps. Bogdan has been helping him with all of this. He even got to go to Switzerland with Callum to pick up some building materials.   He is excited about all of the new changes in his life.

Our children and teenagers have been enjoying a cook-out every week. Different friends of ours have come out to visit them and bless them. It has been wonderful for the chldren since there isn’t any place for them to go outside of the village for entertainment. They keep themselves busy with swimming, bike riding, going to the farm and playing on our playground in the back of the orphanage.

As we all know, being thankful is so important. Every day we can all find many things to be thankful for. God is working in our lives all of the time. It is up to us to see His hand and goodness. And as we live in a atmosphere of thanksgiving, our lives will be so much richer. We can be excited to look for what God is going to do each day.

We praise God for His faithfulness and provision during these last few months. Our children and workers have been healthy. We are able to continue all of the different ministries that God has called us to do in Romania. Karen’s family in the USA is healthy and doing well. God is so good. Ruben and the girls will be leaving on August 31 to return back to Romania. Karen will leave a few days after that. Please pray for all of us as we travel.

We want to express our thankfulness for your faithful prayers and financial giving. Through them, we are able to continue in His ministry, even during these trying times. We pray health and blessing to all of you

With our love,
Ruben, Karen and Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

May, 2020

Dear Friends,

We pray this finds all of you safe and healthy during these uncertain times. The children, teenagers, workers and Ruben and our girls are all healthy and adjusting to the new lifestyle. The schools will not be opening for the rest of this school year. The teachers are finishing up the classwork through zoom and other online methods. That has been a challenge for Ruben as we have children in 10 different grades. It takes both laptops and sometimes his phone to keep everyone in class online. The schools will still hold the year-end exams for the eighth and twelfth grades. These exams determine what high school the eighth graders will be in and if the twelfth graders can go on to college. So, they are very important. Manu will finish eighth grade and Bogdan will finish twelfth grade. They have been doing extra work to prepare for the exams.

We have put in a garden at the farm this year. We haven’t done one for a few years. Everyone helped and had fun doing it. The younger children like to go to the farm every day now and water the garden. They then stay for a couple of hours and play. There are many places to go for hikes around our village. So, Ruben has taken everyone on several hikes. They even found a small waterfall on one of their excursions. The children and teenagers always seem to find things to keep them busy. Besides school, they have a basketball court, a soccer field, and a rollerskating park in their backyard as well as a playground with swings, a slide, a sandbox and a playhouse. For them, the stay at home order hasn’t been very difficult except for missing their friends at school.

The older boys have been helping to fix the walls and to paint their rooms and the younger boys’ rooms. Every few years they need a fresh look. It has been a good project to do since everyone has to stay home. We are also going to replace the floors with new laminated flooring. The existing floors are very worn.  

Every week, we buy food for the people of the food bank. Then we divide it up into bags and deliver the bags to the people who regularly come to our food bank. They are so appreciative of the food. They really need the help. We have also received two shipments of food items from Lidl in the last couple of weeks which has been a blessing. God is an amazing provider for us.

We are so thankful for God’s watchful care of our work in Romania. Things are going well. We are thankful for all of you who continue to support our work through your finances and your prayers. May we all keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

 

With our love,
Ruben, Karen and Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com

Karen & Ruben Popet – Beraca Orphanage in Jdioara, Romania

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.   James 1:27

April, 2020

Happy Easter!

As we celebrate Easter in a different way this year, we are still focusing on the fact that Jesus is alive. He conquered sin and death for all of us. He is our hope and salvation. With Jesus, we will all go through this time and be victors at the end.

We wanted to give you an update on what is going on in Romania. The government has issued a stay at home policy until May 15. Therefore, the schools will be closed at least until then. The Minister of Education is working on plans so everyone can finish this school year. People are allowed to leave their homes only if they have a paper stating where they are going and their purpose. The police and army have been out checking on people. A limited amount of people are allowed in the stores and banks at one time. So, Ruben is the only one who goes out and gets things that are needed. There are cases of the virus in Lugoj, which is the town where we do our shopping, banking and etc. But, there are no cases in our village of Jdioara.

At Christmas time, we were blessed with more food than we have ever received before. We thought that it was going to take months for us to eat everything. But this was the perfect year for it to come. During this time when access to food and things is limited, we have an abundance at the orphanage. God knew ahead of time and took great care of us. We have been able to give food to our widows and some people in our village. We also got a shipment from Lidl with extra food and puzzles and games and things. We made up bags for our food bank people who are struggling now. The puzzles and games kept our kids and teenagers busy for several days   It is so neat to watch how God provides.

We delivered firewood to several of our widows this month. They were thankful for it. We want to thank the church who provided the money for us to do this. You are a blessing. Our farm is looking good now that the teenagers have been off of school for so long. They go each morning with Dani, Ruben’s brother, and Ruben to clean branches and things and to fix the fences. They have a great appetite for lunch afterwards. Everyone also does about one hour of school work a day. Most of the teachers have sent assignments for them to do. They play a lot of soccer and basketball, too. They seem to always find things to do. It is good to see them all playing together.

We had plans for Ruben, Bianca and Marta to come and visit Karen in America but unfortunately those were canceled. We will be celebrating Easter separately and even on different weekends as the Romanian Easter is a week later. Karen is getting stronger each day. Please pray for all of us as this has been a trying time being separated for so long.

Thank you so much for all of you who faithfully support our ministry through financial gifts and prayers. They keep the work going in Romania. We pray God’s protection over all of you during this time and always. God is on the throne and in control.

 

With our love,
Ruben, Karen and Bianca

Beraca Foundation, P.O. Box 674, Jacksonville, IL 62651; karenpopet@gmail.com