Faith and ministry are a huge part of Veritas and the Romanian Studies Program (RSP). Veritas is the non-profit Christian organization that the RSP students partner with. The goal of Veritas is not only (if possible) to meet the physical needs of the people of Sighisoara, but also the spiritual needs. All of the programs offered at Veritas incorporate a prayer or Bible lesson into each session because they recognize that by sharing the gospel, they are able to offer true freedom and hope for their clients. Veritas’ doors are open to all, and will not turn away anyone (even with the strong prejudices against the Roma “gypsy” population). The needs are great here, and the poverty was at first extremely overwhelming (especially after going on my first home visit). I believe this is why the foundation of the organization is built on the message of Christ and God’s redeeming love – to provide hope in the lives of those living in the poorest conditions in the community. The word “veritas” is Latin for “truth”. Veritas strives to spread the truth of the gospel to all who participate in the programs. The services that are provided by Veritas are a Kindergarten, separate after-school clubs for kids and teens, elderly clubs, a special needs program, and a domestic violence program.
These programs open up opportunities to work with diverse populations. Sometimes I get frustrated because I do not feel as if I am able to truly help others while here, but that’s when I remind myself that it’s not necessarily about what I can do here, but rather what I can learn while here. The Romanian Studies Program is all about having a different cultural experience, and I am able to learn so much about how non-profit organizations work and what kind of scenarios arise while working with such diverse and oppressed populations. It’s definitely not the “typical” senior field placement, but I think that is why I first found the RSP so appealing. It is a lot different here than in the states. I may not learn about how to do all of the paperwork that is necessary and prevalent in American social work organizations, but my experiences here, I believe, surpass that need. Through spreading the truth of the gospel, Veritas is an example of what Christ’s love in action looks like. It provides the message of hope and ultimate freedom for all to hear.
John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Have a blessed day!