Note from the Editor:
Recently, OCMC sent out a call to our Missionaries, asking them to provide us with blog contributions. Floyd Frantz, Missionary to Romania, answered us with this series of entries, painting a vivid picture of his activities in Romania during April and May of this year. These entries have been edited and will be posted in groups of 2-3.
The weather here in the Republic of Moldova is cool today, so I am staying in near the fire and getting some emails caught up.
We arrived here in Moldova about 3 weeks ago to start a project similar to the one we have in Cluj. The alcoholism rates here are much like those in Russia, and we have already seen the need first hand. And, as in Romania, there are virtually no treatment centers other than short hospital detoxification programs. We are here to provide education about addictions for the local clergy, and to help start up a day-center program with AA groups as a base program. We are not too sure how long we will be here in Moldova, but for sure the remainder of this year. After that it will depend on our funding.
Of course, we are continuing the St. Dimitrie Project in Cluj, which is now administered by Fr. Cristi Persa, the priest that was assigned to us last spring. He is doing a great job, and we are in daily communication via the internet.
My wife Ancuţa has stayed in Cluj to continue with her work at the Protection of the Theotokos Family Center, but we will be seeing each other frequently this year as I will be making the 300 mile drive to Cluj regularly. The distance is not so far, although it takes about 12 hours just to make the trip because of the roads over here. That, and it sometimes take two or more hours to cross the border.
Moldova was once the western border of the Soviet Union, and some of the politics remain much the same since the fall of Communism. Human trafficking, alcoholism and drug addiction, and poverty are still prevalent. It’s an interesting place.
To find out more you can read about this very small but extremely poor Orthodox country by going online to the CIA’s or Unicef web pages. They both have fairly accurate descriptions of things here. (Ed Note: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/md.html; http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/moldova.html)
The next few newsletters will have a short history of our programs here in Romania and now in the Republic of Moldova. I am doing this essentially for two reasons. The first is simply to update new readers who have recently joined us on how the St. Dimitrie Program came to be here in Eastern Europe. Secondly, it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the progress that we have made since November of 2000, and to give a vision of what we hope to accomplish in the next few years, God willing….future newsletters will talk about how our program works in the social and cultural context of Romania. I hope also to discuss the spirituality of recovery, and the program that we use to help people recovery from addictions and alcoholism.