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The 'Rise and Walk Family' in Romania

The 'Rise and Walk Family' in Romania

At present, there are 2500 beneficiaries organized in 17 subsidiaries. It is in continuous development and has an objective to open subsidiaries in each city in Romania and outside of Romania.

November 04, 2015 | Bern, Switzerland. | G. Uba, CD EUD NEWS.

The 'Rise and Walk' association is organized by pastor George Uba and Aurel Burcea. Being himself physically disabled, Burcea has been responsible for editing a magazine, from his wheelchair, for 10 years for 3000 people with disabilities. His only purpose is to offer a “home”, an atmosphere of love and joy that a life full of meaning can bring to those who can't walk, see, hear or speak.

The Association is supported by volunteers mainly from the Adventist Church, but welcomes any volunteers from the community. It also established a church for the disabled, where worship, study and missions are the elements of a spiritual life that makes them feel complete, by building up their faith and assurance of heaven.

Here is the story of the last event organized by “Rise and Walk”, as told by the co-founder of the Association, George Uba: 

 "The camp for persons with disabilities was held this year in Stupini – Brasov, from August 16th to 23rd at the Adventist Education Centre. There are 230 accommodation places in the facility. The purpose of the camp was to make new friends, have recreation and spiritual openings, as well as the socialization and involvement of persons with disabilities, using their gifts, in the camp programs.

The event was organized by the "Rise and Walk” Association and Church for persons with disabilities. Every year, the Association organizes camps, trips and exhibitions. We had 200 participants at the camp in Stupini: 120 persons with disabilities, 40 care givers, 30 volunteers and 10 children.  These persons were from different churches and of various beliefs: Adventists, Baptists, Evangelic, Orthodox, Jehovah’s witnesses, Catholics, etc. 

The camp programs varied: in the morning, all the volunteers gathered for the devotional held by the President and Vice President of the Association, and then there was a report, discussing the needs and the emergencies of the persons with disabilities. 

Next, there was the morning exercise outside for all the participants and volunteers together. The inside activities of the morning were oriented towards games for knowing each other, spiritual short stories, songs, poems and life stories of the participants. In the evening, there were festive programs of the subsidiaries (representatives of the 17 subsidiaries). We had one creative evening; the participants presented poems and songs composed by themselves, funny stories, short theatre plays, and artistic poetry readings. 

An important event was the Paralympics. Speranta TV (Hope TV) was present and made a short film about the wheelchair competition, in which all the participants were happy to be involved.  Daily, there were chess competitions for the blind, along with table tennis, rummy, football, etc. At the end, a festive program was presented and members of the churches in Brasov were invited. They were very impressed by the presentations. 

 The theme of this camp was "You are a +" (You are a plus!), underlining that every person with disabilities is not a burden but a plus, through the example of adapting himself/herself and going on with their life against the crisis generated by disability. 

Many of the persons with disabilities who participated at the camp said they would have regretted to have stayed at home and not participate, as it was the best time of their life. A person with locomotors disabilities wanted to go home after the first day, as he did not like the accommodation, but when he arrived at the gate, he turned back and decided to stay. At the end of the camp he told us: "This camp changed me completely. It was the best gift you could have given me; I have never had such a beautiful experience. I thank you and promise to come again. If I would have known what I was missing and if I had left, I would have been sorry. In the end, the people are important, not the place itself… and would it be possible for me to participate in your church meetings?” 

It is the fifth camp I have organized together with my colleagues of the Association. It was the most difficult due to the high number of participants, but also the best. The persons with disabilities made many friends and the volunteers were close to them, showing their love and faith. After the camp, 40 of the participants made a group on Facebook called "The Group from Stupini” and they communicate daily, sharing their experiences from the camp.

The "Rise and Walk” Association and Church started its activity on April 18, 2010. There were 25 persons with disabilities in the Association. At present, there are 2500 beneficiaries organized in 17 subsidiaries. It is in continuous development and has an objective to open subsidiaries in each city in Romania and outside of Romania. The purpose is to create a family-like atmosphere, and to unite people through their gifts, through mission, worship and warm friendship.”

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