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BUCHAREST Romania — When the Danube River overflowed its banks in early May causing the worst flooding known in decades and wreaking great damage to homes and vast farm land in Romania members and missionaries of the Church rallied to provide aid and comfort to refugees.
Photo by Sister Kris JohnstonMissionaries are joined by residents of Chiselet Romania in unloading supplies. After two major donations many in this flood-ravaged area appreciate the Church for aid in times of suffering.
Members from four of the 22 branches in Romania along with 18 full-time missionaries gathered in a meetinghouse in Bucharest to assemble more than 3000 hygiene kits and food packets. These packets with blankets bread and bottled water were delivered to approximately 3000 refugees located about 100 kilometers to the south of Bucharest.
In response the mayor in Manastirea one of several villages damaged by the heavy flooding expressed his appreciation in a letter. He composed a poem then said You were close to us. You are in our hearts and in our souls. You have demonstrated that you have found the recipe of happiness.
Church leaders received a number of other letters of praise and gratitude from refugees for the humanitarian aid received on May 12.
A week later when flooding was slow to subside and refugees were detained from returning to their land Elder Steven Johnston country director of Humanitarian Services for the Church in Romania and his wife Sister Kris Johnston requested additional supplies.
As a result the Church provided additional large quantities of food and medicines to flood victims in this southern region.
When the second shipment of food arrived May 18 many people who had become familiar faces to the missionaries rushed to assist in the unloading of supplies.
In this donation children were given small bags of toys donated by the humanitarian missionaries who said the toys brought immediate squeals of delight that brightened an otherwise bleak existence.
Many elderly people expressed their gratitude and hope through their eyes leaving a lasting impression of joy and satisfaction on the minds of missionaries and members according to the senior missionaries. — Shaun Stahle

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