One of the most important ways CERI positively influences the lives of youth across the globe is through sponsporships provided by generous CERI sponsors. In developing countries, a CERI sponsorship grants a child access to CERI’s Foster Care and Transitional Care programs, enabling them to fully participate and benefit from all the services and relief brought to them by CERI staff, foster families, and local and international Christian mentors.
Child sponsorships encourage the development of a healthy, positive, and lasting interpersonal relationship between the sponsor and child. Such a relationship, supplemented by the social services offered by CERI staff, has the capacity to empower a child and help him/her develop into a resilient young adult.
The following is a testimonial from a Moldovan youth who credits a CERI sponsor with altering the direction of his life, reaffirming that we are all connected, and that love, acceptance, and friendship can change lives.
A Letter from Eugeniu Vasilachi
Hi! My name is Eugeniu and I would like to tell you about my life. I am young, and while I consider myself a regular guy, I believe my life story could change the way you think about your own life, and maybe help you think about what you might do with it in the greater cause of helping others.
I was born in Chisinau, Moldova, into a family where my mom fulfilled the responsibilities of both a mother and a father! I had a very difficult childhood. When I was only two years old, my mother took me to a child care institution where I would spend five days and nights a week, from Monday morning to Friday evening. On Fridays, my mom would pick me up and take me home. Well, not actually a real “home,” because it was actually “anywhere” – anywhere we found a place to sleep, with a roof to protect against rain or snow, we called “home.” This is what my life looked like until I turned seven, and my mother, after listening to the advice of some, decided to take me to an orphanage.
I don’t remember my first year at the orphanage, but I do remember the first summer. At the end of the school year, all the children from the orphanage (there were about 700 of us) were taken to a summer camp outside the city. That summer, I learned about a new nation and met a new group of people – Americans.
A group of Americans was volunteering at our camp, mentoring, and running the Vacation Bible School program. One day I met two sisters – Rebekah and Jessica Beasley – two of the most special and most loving people I have ever met. They became my friends, and that summer, we spent an unforgettable time playing and talking about our lives. At the end of the summer, Rebekah and Jessica gave me some news that would, though I didn’t know it at the time, have an overwhelmingly positive effect on my life; they decided to become my CERI sponsors.
I felt like I had a family. I knew somebody was there for me, to love me, and support me.
After that memorable summer, Rebekah and Jessica, together with their parents and friends, came to our orphanage’s summer camp every year to visit with me and the other children. The best week of the summer was the week when they were there. I felt like I had a family. I knew somebody was there for me, to love me, and support me.
During the school year, I wrote the Beasley sisters letters that CERI staff translated and passed on to them. The summer of 2008 was the last summer I saw them, for that year, Rebekah married a strong and wonderful young man and they started a family. You may be asking how I know this, and it’s because the Beasleys kept sending me correspondence: emails and letters and pictures from every single special event they had! As they considered me part of their family, they always kept me in the loop!
In the spring of 2012, I went to technical college in Moldova. While I was pursuing my Physical Education degree at the (Ion Creangă) Pedagogical College, I enrolled in CERI-Moldova’s Transitional Care program where I learned life skills, got involved in volunteering in the community, and gradually worked toward my own independence. All through this, the Beasleys were my sponsors. Four years later, I had earned my P.E. diploma and applied for a scholarship program at a university in neighboring Romania, where I am now a student in the Physical Education and Mountain Sports Department. In the summer of 2018, with the help of an Erasmus Exchange Program scholarship, I spent a semester studying in Spain.
Shortly after I moved to Romania to pursue my Bachelor’s degree, I graduated from CERI’s Transitional Care Program, but I still kept in touch with the Beasleys via email and social media. When I learned that Rebekah was coming back to Moldova to serve and bless other children in need of a family, I could not believe I would be seeing her after 10 years! I was so excited about seeing her again and meeting her husband! Through nerves and overwhelming emotion, I purchased a flight back to Moldova to see Rebekah. I was unsure if we would be able to connect and relate to each other like we had before, but all my fears vanished the moment I saw her. I will never forget our strong and powerful hug that day. I was so happy to see her, and I was so glad to meet Michael, a strong and heartfelt man. Though it had been ten years, we picked right back up where we left off and spent the next several hours talking and crying.
This is my story. With CERI’s help and the Beasleys’ sponsorship, not only have I achieved independence, but I have found a path to an education that can help further my plans and life goals. My message to my brothers and sisters in America is that Moldova is a small and impoverished country that needs you. The children without a family in Moldova need your support. CERI sponsorships work. A child’s life can change for the better from the investment into a child sponsorship. I encourage you to learn more about the great work CERI is doing in Moldova, and in other parts of the world where children’s lives are at stake. Your sponsorship could transform a life forever.