Kera Latterell of Redwood Falls and her dad, Tom, have made helping poor women and children in Romania a special mission.
The country of Roma-ia has no social welfare system, and those who are on the streets are left on their own.
As a result, women who have no other place to go and no other means of support end up doing what they can to survive.
That means increased rates of pregnancy, which leads to a cycle of repeated poverty and a generation of children who either end up living on the streets themselves or in orphanages one could best compare to warehouses for children.
Those orphans who survive are then sent out on their own to live on the streets, and the cycle of poverty continues.
The issue of children on the streets became even more prominent when the country cut off all adoptions out of country in an effort to prevent sex trafficking and to ensure those who are Romanian remain in Romania. So, the streets in many of the nation’s cities are overrun with mothers and children who have nothing and no way to care for themselves.
Into this setting entered an American couple named Doug and Roberta Moore who founded and continue to operate the River of Life Care Home in Cornesti, which is a city in western Romania.
Kera Latterell of Redwood Falls has made helping this ministry succeed her passion.
Latterell has made several trips to Romania over the years and this past fall she and her dad, Tom Latterell spent 16 days in Cornesti at the care home working with the ministry.
Tom, who serves as pastor for the Evangelical Free Church in Redwood Falls made a trip to Romania a few years ago with Kera and a few others who worked with the children doing a VBS program.
This time Tom served in a more pastoral role talking with the staff at the care home to help them address issues they may be having as they work.
One can imagine the burnout that could result in working at a mission where the people you are working with are there all of the time, and Latterell just spent time making sure everyone was OK. It turned out he was the one who needed medical help, as Tom passed out and discovered he had experienced a heart problem.
Rather than go to the doctor, Tom said “the Lord took good care of me,” and a few days later he was able to preach for Sunday morning worship.
Dozens of women are being held at the care home and are learning what they never experienced during their lives, as they are taught how to care for their own children and are aided in finding ways to become self-sufficient – although some of them are never going to reach the point where they won’t need help.
One can find out more about the care home and the work it is doing at its Web site at www.rol.im-usa.org.