ur outreach began more than ten years ago in Sibiu, Romania with two individuals, Nathan and Anca Merrill. God has given Nathan and Anca a big heart for Romania’s orphan children. In fact, Anca herself is an orphan. She grew up in communist era Romania in a state-run orphanage. While at the orphanage, Anca fell in with some American missionaries – who through their steadfast dedication and investment in her life – led her to the Lord.
Subsequently, after leaving the orphanage (in 1996 at 18 years old) she began to work for a Christian children’s home that helped teenage orphan girls transition from the orphanage into society. Unfortunately, this home had to close its doors some years later. The orphan girls (most of whom by this time were 18+ years old) found themselves with no place to stay, no job, and in danger of being sexually exploited. In response to this urgent need, Anca and Nathan (a medical doctor from the US who also had a small business in Romania) came alongside these girls. They kept them from being sexually exploited, helped them find living accommodations/gainful employment, plugged them into the local church, and guided them spiritually.
Eventually, Nathan and Anca were married. Although they lived in the United States for some years after their marriage, they still continued to help the orphan girls, but on a somewhat smaller scale than before. Three years ago, Nathan and Anca felt lead by the Lord to return to Romania to devote themselves full-time to bringing the love of Christ to Romania’s orphans.
Since returning to Romania their ministry has tackled multiple fronts. They work in the state-run orphanages, volunteering on a weekly basis to spend time and share God’s love with these orphan children. In addition to the outreach in the orphanages, they also feed and spend time sharing God’s love with the street children. These children live in the city sewers and are very often preyed upon by sex-traffickers and individuals who harvest their internal organs for the black market (their internal organs are removed sold on the black market). Those that are not sold as commodities oftentimes become child prostitutes and are almost always sexually and physically abused while on the street.
They also come alongside adult orphan girls (18+ years) and help them meet their basic needs: food, accommodation, and health care. In addition, they assist them in finding employment, a local church, and foster environments where they can connect spiritually and feel a sense of belonging. Most importantly, they strive to help each one become a mature follower of Jesus Christ. Currently, Nathan and Anca own an apartment for adult orphan girls. This is kind of a “half-way house” for these girls who are just coming out of the orphanage. They also subsidize rent for a number of other adult orphan girls.
Providing food to the the destitute is also a large part of their ministry. They give food to poor families, street children, and gypsy villages. Oftentimes, they partner with other ministries in their area to distribute said food aid. They are especially active in food outreaches during the holiday seasons.
Lastly, since Nathan is a medical doctor, he addresses many medical needs through free weekend clinics, house calls, and health and wellness seminars.
Recently, Nathan and Anca felt led by the Lord to open a home to house orphan children that they themselves would parent and guide. Carolina Mission International, a 501(c)3 US non-profit, was created to accomplish this call. Nathan and Anca have spent the last six months in the USA sharing the vision God has given them to start this children’s home. Many churches and individuals have responded, helping through prayer and finances to make this vision a reality.