by Elena Cret, Field Communications Fellow in Eastern Europe
When you think about what you are thankful for, one of the first things that comes to mind may be your family. Family is such a blessing from God that sometimes we take it for granted. As I have traveled and interviewed various clients in Eastern Europe for HOPE International, I have heard from many that the biggest motivation for opening their business was their family. Because jobs are so scarce, many people have to leave home to find work, so it’s been encouraging to see how HOPE’s services have made it possible for families to live under the same roof.
Vasea, a client who grows strawberries in the Vinogradov region of western Ukraine, told me: “I worked for three years in Slovakia in open fields to be a provider for my family, but, at the same time, I was away from my family. I wanted to be close to them. I wanted to see how my three kids were growing.” Vasea decided to return home, purchase some land, and start investing in it. He then took out his first loan from HOPE Ukraine in 2013 to purchase more land and equipment to grow his business. His business has grown so much over the last three years that he built a home for his family, hired employees, and signed his first contract with a yogurt factory to supply his organic strawberries. Vasea mentions:
Though my business is very successful, the most important thing is that I am finally with my family. After 15 years of marriage, my wife and I finally went on a trip. It was like our honeymoon.
Gheorghe, a client from Dubasarii Vechi, Moldova, shared: “I was devastated by the decision to leave my family to go to Russia for work. I did not a have choice at that time; for nine years, I traveled to Russia for seasonal jobs in construction to provide for my family.” In 2010, Gheorghe and his wife decided to take a risk so they could be together. They took out their first loan from Invest-Credit, HOPE’s local partner, and built their greenhouse. Gheorghe said: “One time I was away from home for nine straight months. It was the hardest time of my life, and I am so glad now that I am with my family.” Today, Gheorghe has three greenhouses, and he is teaching his daughter and brother-in-law how to build and operate a greenhouse. He is very proud to pass on this legacy to his family.
Paul said in Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” It’s been a privilege to see how God offers through HOPE International and its partners a way for clients to provide for their families while keeping them together.
Elena Cret, originally from Moldova, is currently serving HOPE International as eastern Europe field communications fellow. An alumni of Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, she loves road trips, eating international cuisine, and appreciating the beauty of each culture.