This year sees Support for Romania pass its ministry to another charity after thirty years of front-line Christian service.
Founder Alan Penrose first crossed the Romanian border at the wheel of an aid lorry three weeks after the 1989 Romanian Revolution. Widespread support for a flourishing ministry followed.
Photos of Support for Romania aid convoys blue-tacked to missionary noticeboards were a common sight across South Wales and further afield in the 1990s and 2000s.
The passing years witnessed thousands of shoeboxes and Easter eggs make a long pilgrimage across the continent, accompanied by generous financial support for pastors, prison ministries, children’s homes, and a Christian hospice.
The Support for Romania warehouse in Cardiff was the hub of this remarkable logistics operation. All manner of ‘still fit for purpose’ items were donated and distributed, and many providences bordering on the miraculous blessed the work.
Alan brought irrepressible enthusiasm wherever he went, always aided by the practical bent and observant humour of his wife Ann. The description of Alan by a fellow missionary to Eastern Europe rings true today: ‘A man much used by God.’
Deputation evenings were a succession of moving stories followed by a miscellany of Romanian items for sale, from honey to white enamel mugs.
Advancing years, however, prompted the passing of the baton to the younger charity Romanian Ministries in January 2021.
A Romanian Ministries trustee and pastor of a Romanian church in Bristol said, ‘We welcome most warmly this challenge and privilege. Alan and Ann have long been an inspiration. The Lord’s work in Romania continues!’