Carole Ford

My daughter Lydia introduced me to the charity when she started working in the shop during her gap year.  She went to teach in Uganda and gave me the responsibility of letting her know how the shop progressed. I caught the vision, resigned from my teacher job and came to do whatever was needed in those early days. Graham and his assistant Joanne were the only other people working in the office.

My responsibilities initially included working in the shop, cooking and front of house.  My husband Ian was asked to help supervise the construction of the Brasov Hospice and soon we were both committed and helping to run events.  I then got more involved in organising fund raising projects –  golf tournaments, dinner dances, and eventually started to lead insight visits.   In addition to leading to trips to Romania and Moldova, I worked on our first insight visit to Serbia which included a trip on the so-called Serbian Orient Express-  ex president Tito’s personal train.

 

During the first summer camp in Romania, I met a young lady called Gabi. We had been in the camp for about an hour when this pretty girl with a tear stained face ran up to me crying and said, “Will you be my friend? – I don’t know anybody here” It turned out that she was 13 years old and had lost her mother a few weeks beforehand. We are still in touch and she now works at the hospice!

I cannot leave this story without mentioning Graham.  There have been quite a few occasions in these years when he has explained his vision - the most recent being when he took us to see Copaceni - a derelict mansion surrounded by acres of fields.   He explained his vision for this to be a wonderful retreat for sick children and I think he said “we will need 1 million euros to make this happen”.  I KNEW he was living in dreamland – we could never raise that much money As has happened frequently in my journey with HOH I was wrong and his prayerful commitment, faith and inspiration has brought this about and it’s now a wonderful resource for the children we serve.

I am looking forward to the next leg of this journey.