Romanian Orphan Ministries' Blog

A way to keep up with what God is doing among the orphans in Romania!

ROM Celebrates a Decade of Ministry to Orphans!


Dear ROM Supporters,


A decade – it sounds like a long time – but it sure is amazing what can be accomplished in ten years! This Easter holiday season marks the ten-year anniversary of the beginning of our work in Romania. Has it been hard?…yes. Have there been trials and frustrations?…yes. Have orphans been evangelized, discipled and equipped to be productive citizens and Christians?…yes!


The Beauty from Ashes Center for Orphan Girls has been the focus of our ministry for the last few years. Recently, for the first time ever in our history, we had to turn orphans away because we did not have any more room! Plans to expand our capacity are in place.


Currently six teenage/young adult orphan girls live with us at the Center. Three of these girls will graduate in August and enter into the last phase of our program – moving into their very own apartment – with our continuing care, moral support and supervision!


Our “Business as Missions” activities have also taken center stage in recent years. This summer we will unveil our Beauty from Ashes brand of hand-made craft items which will be available for purchase on our new Beauty from Ashes web site. Through this endeavor the girls are able to learn the job and life skills they lack due to years of growing up in the orphanage.


Many individuals and churches in the U.S.A., Canada, Romania, Finland, Sweden and other European countries help us to sell the merchandise the girls work so hard to make. We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them for their hard work…Thank you! The proceeds from these sales go to pay the salaries of the seven girls whom we employ and the profits go towards running the Beauty from Ashes Center where they live.


Through this project the girls learn the value of money, business/management/entrepreneurship skills, and they develop a life-style of hard work and independence, breaking the “hand-out” mentality so prevalent in today’s poverty alleviation schemes.


These ten years have been foundational. God has directed our steps and given us the strength and wisdom to learn how to effect positive, lasting change in the lives of institutionalized orphans, who many times are still plagued by problems such as developmental delays and attachment disorders, and who are usually Roma (Gypsy), a group of people not always eagerly accepted in society, all of which complicate the already difficult task of teaching them to become functioning, independent adults!


Who is sufficient for these things? We certainly are not, and without you we certainly could not make any impact at all in the lives of the orphans God has called to us. So we thank you for your participation in making these last ten years so productive and we praise God for you! Your sacrifice of time, energy, prayers and financial support is bearing fruit. May God be praised!


Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, where we post pictures and updates almost daily. For those who feel called to be more involved, we are always needing more volunteers to help sell the girls’ merchandise. Simply reply to this email for more details.


Let’s make this next decade immeasurably more productive than the last!


God bless,


Corey Burba




P.S. – Some current needs we have are:


  1. $300 for new tires for the car
  2. $15,000 for a 9-passenger van to transport the girls to church and other various activities
  3. $200,000 to purchase land and build our own Beauty from Ashes Center with room for more girls (and perhaps even a separate building for young men!)
  4. Monthly donors and/or sponsors for our orphans
  5. Volunteers to help sell the girls’ merchandise
19 April 2012 at 06:38 - Comments

Orphans Offer Their Meager Salaries to Resolve Crisis

Dear ROM Partners,

Hard times – they come upon us all. Ministering to orphans is fraught with difficulties but there are certain bright spots that make it all worthwhile.

Recently we have gone through a very difficult time. Certain changes in Romanian law have made it very difficult for us to function as a legal entity without compromising our principles of correctness and honesty.

This has forced us to reduce staff salaries (which are already very low by any Western standard) and cut hours making our work even more difficult.

During a meeting when I explained the problems to our orphan girls and to the staff at our Beauty from Ashes Center an amazing thing happened that showed us God is bringing forth fruit from our work.

The first reaction of our orphan girls, upon hearing about the problems we are facing, was to offer to give up their normal salary which they receive as part of our “Business as Missions” initiative making hand-made craft items!

We were all floored. I would like for you to think about this. These are orphans who have never had very much. They were abandoned by their parents and left to grow up in the hell-hole that is an orphanage. The girls’ salaries are $200 a month for full-time and $100 for part-time. Out of their little, they were willing to give all.

They did not think to blame someone else for the situation we are in (as I did, blaming the Romanian government and their bureaucratic rules and high taxes!). They were not lazy and complacent, expecting someone else to do something about the problem for them. They did not whine and complain. They did not become discouraged or question God.

No, their first reaction was to sacrifice what little they have for the good of the organization.

Certainly this is a most amazing example of fruit. Certainly this was God’s way of encouraging us and encouraging you. Certainly the work with these orphans, of which you are an important part, is not in vain.

God bless,


Corey Burba – President


P.S. For those who may desire to help us to overcome this current obstacle, the need is for $1,000 more dollars per month. Monetary donations can be made by sending a check to the address below or by donating from our web site using Pay Pal.

Another way to help is to become a volunteer and help us to sell the craft items our Beauty from Ashes Center girls make! For more details, please contact me by responding to this message.


Romanian Orphan Ministries, Inc.
Corey Burba – President
P.O. Box 148145
Nashville, TN 37214-8145
Web site:
Facebook Page: Romanian Orphan Ministries

23 January 2012 at 07:16 - Comments

Horrible Orphanage Conditions in the 1990’s

We have posted this before but are doing so again because, although conditions in Romanian orphanages have improved drastically over the years since the fall of Communism, the orphans that we work with were raised in hell-holes like these. As much as we may work with them, they never fully escape the scars of their early years. Nevertheless, with your support and God’s help we are having success in helping these young people learn how to lead a productive and independent life in Romanian society!

23 January 2012 at 04:27 - Comments

ROM Update



Dear ROM Partners,



Fundraising. No one likes to talk about it but it is an essential part of any non-profit organization. A lot of our time and energy must be focused on this aspect of the ministry so that we can carry out our mission of Evangelizing, Discipling and Equipping the orphans of Romania.

To this end we now have several yearly fundraisers, two of which are in the fall and were very productive this year! Our 4th Annual Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast and our “Go the Extra Mile” Back Pack for Orphans events together brought in over $5,500!

Another essential in running a successful non-profit is utilizing volunteers. We thank God for the dozens of volunteers, both in America and in Romania, who give of their time and talents so that orphans in Romania can learn to become independent members of their own society.

I think of Susan Ruby, who handles all of the accounting, bookkeeping and secretarial duties. Daryl Samuels, who oversees and coordinates most of our fundraising activities. Our Board of Directors. Our volunteer tutors in Romania who work with our girls. All of our volunteers (over 50 now!) who sell the beautiful, hand-made greeting cards (and now other craft items!) that our Beauty from Ashes Center girls make.

The list could go on but I think you get the point. You are important! You are not just important, you are essential! Your contribution to this ministry matters. You are impacting orphans in Romania. You are helping them to become productive citizens and Christians. Without you the mission is not accomplished.

So, at the beginning of this holiday season we would just like to say a very special “Thank You” to all of you who make this ministry work! May God bless you and keep you. May He reward the cup of cold water you have offered to one of His own in a far-away land.

Thank you!



In Christ,




Corey Burba



13 December 2011 at 19:11 - Comments

ROM Update – Where Do Your Donations Go?

Dear ROM Partners,


“Where does my money go?” “What good does it do?” “Is anything being accomplished?” These are questions many people ask regarding their charitable giving and/or tithes.


We think these are good questions and so we’d like to let you know a bit more about how we are putting your donations to use!


So far this year we have received $66,975, of which $60,500 are normal donations (including a $15,000 special donation to get our greeting card business off the ground!). $6,475 were from fundraising events such as our Annual Rib Sale/Car Wash and our upcoming “Go the Extra Mile” hike for orphans.


Out of the $66,975, we have sent $51,700 of it to Romania. The remaining $15,275 has been used in the U.S. for administrative costs ($7,275) and for salary and payroll taxes ($8,000 – ROM President).


In Romania the $51,700 covers all administrative expenses (office, car, etc.), salaries (10 employees), everything involved in running the Beauty from Ashes Center (rent, utilities, wood for heat, food, clothing, medical care and many other expenses for 4-8 orphan girls) and all our other programs (including sponsoring several young people to go to college).


Our greeting card business this year has just about broken even, although we are sitting on over 2,000 cards for Christmas which, after they are sold, should give us a profit of around $10,000 this year.


But what have we accomplished as far as our mission? After all, your donations are not meant to be merely spent, they should be accomplishing something!


Our goal is, and always has been, to evangelize, disciple and equip the orphans of Romania. We work with teenage/young adult orphans, assisting them with the spiritual, educational, social and physical facets of their lives, thereby enabling them to become productive citizens and Christians and to lead an independent life.


This does not happen overnight, but since we have been working for quite a few years now we are beginning to see success stories. Here are several from the last few months:


  • We attended and assisted with two orphan weddings
  • Two married orphans have just had a baby; one is Manager of our greeting card business, the other is a volunteer at our Center
  • In August Corina successfully completed college and obtained her nursing degree!
  • One young man is in his second year of graphic design school
  • Over ten young women ministered to at the Beauty from Ashes Center, many of whom will be moving into the last phase of our program, thereby completing their successful transition to independent living
  • Several new girls entering the program and starting the process others have modeled for them
  • A profitable “Business as Ministry” enterprise started (Hand-Made Greeting Cards) whereby the girls learn how to work and obtain job skills


We hope that these few things we have shared with you have been helpful in understanding what you are a part of! It is your investment in these orphan’s lives – using your time, talents, finances and prayers – that are responsible for the positive results we are seeing. We can’t do it without you!


And so we would like, once again, to say a very warm “Thank You” to all of you who do so much to make this ministry work.


For those who would like to participate more, we always have a need for more volunteers to sell  the girl’s greeting cards in your churches. If you are in the Nashville, TN area, please consider participating in our Fourth Annual Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, October 29th. We will have more information on this event soon on our Facebook Page.


Please pray for us and the orphans! Thank you and God bless!




In Christ,


Corey Burba


4 October 2011 at 16:46 - Comments

Orphan Wedding: Joy to Injustice

Great news! Despite being abandoned as babies – unwanted by their parents; despite the lack of normal stimulation and love during the first years of their lives – leading to attachment disorders and developmental delays; despite growing up in the hell hole that is a Romanian orphanage – where abuse of all kinds is prevalent; despite being dumped on the street at 18 and expected to fend for themselves…despite all of these things, two orphans have made professions of faith, tried to live moral lives, joined an evangelical church (several years ago) and have become engaged to be married!!


Isn’t this great news?! This is cause for celebration. This is cause for praise to the Father who looked after these two and has directed them through the minefield of life (difficult enough to get through for youth coming from good, solid families!) and brought them to this point.


Our joyous young groom has prepared everything for his August wedding: invitations, wedding hall, preacher, food, entertainment, flowers, the bride’s dress, etc. – all on his own!


But yesterday he calls me, upset. He wants to talk. The pastor of the church where our bride and groom are members now refuses to marry him and his lovely fiancée. He refuses to rent them the wedding hall. Why? Because the bride’s family is of another Protestant denomination…and it is possible that they may drink alcohol at the wedding!


That’s it. No way out. No solution for our groom. No mercy at all. No care at all for the fact that our groom has done all the leg work and has also sent out all the invitations, with the address of the wedding hall he is no longer allowed to rent. (The pastor knew about the bride’s family when he said yes two months ago. She is a member of his church.) No care for the downtrodden, the poor, the fatherless, the orphan.


I am reminded of this very harsh verse found in Exodus 22:22 – “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.”


Oppressing the poor, the widow, the fatherless and the downtrodden is not a good idea. Neither is ignoring them. We thank each and every one of you who have sacrificed of your time, energy and finances so that orphans can be helped in Romania.


It is very frustrating for us when things like this happen. (I could fill up several pages with similar stories.) But we know that God is sovereign and that He has a plan for every one of these orphans.


But that is not the end of the story. What was our groom’s reaction to all of this? He told me that, “God judges, not me.” Indeed He does.



31 May 2011 at 08:57 - Comments

April Update


Dear ROM Partners,


Thank you! I know we don’t say it often enough. Ministering to orphans is very much a team effort. You are an important part of that effort!


We would like to update you on some ways in which your prayers, gifts, volunteer efforts and support have been paying off in the lives of Romanian orphans:


1)      Three young men in college.

2)      Another young man has finished college, devoted his life to the Lord and become engaged to a pastor’s daughter!

3)      Over 15 young women helped in a significant way at the Beauty from Ashes Center last year.

4)      Dozens of orphans worked with and ministered to in our various activities in Oradea, Romania.

5)      A new small business making greeting cards started in order to help the orphans become gainfully employed.

6)      One young woman finishing nursing school this summer with another two taking a beautician course.

7)      One eye operation to fix a wandering eye.

8)      Daily Biblical life lessons, discipleship and instruction thanks to the family environment and structure of the Beauty from Ashes Center.

9)      Orphans reading their Bibles, becoming members and attending church, hearing the gospel and seeing it displayed daily.

10)   Orphans homeschooled to improve their educational level.


In order to keep doing what we are doing we need your help! Here are some volunteer opportunities:


1)      Volunteer to sell the beautiful hand-made greeting cards our girls make at your church or place of employment.

2)      If you are in the Nashville, TN area, participate in our rib sale/car wash fundraiser coming up on June the 11th.

3)      Consider taking part in our “Go the Extra Mile” three-day backpacking trip for orphans this October in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

4)      Donate $100 to help one of our girls take part in a five-month beautician school so that she can provide for herself and her little girl.

5)      $100 needed for glasses for one of our girls.

6)      Do to the increase in girls at the Beauty from Ashes Center, $200 is needed for another bunk bed!

7)      Donate scrapbooking/card making supplies for the girls’ small business enterprise.

8)      Donate children’s clothes to be shipped and resold in Romania the proceeds of which will be used to fund the Beauty from Ashes Center.

9)      $10,000 needed for the purchase of a 9-seater van.

10)   Become a “fan” on our Facebook Page and follow us daily.

11)   Consider a vacation in Europe using our European Tours!


We thank you so much again for all the ways in which you contribute to the evangelization, discipleship and equipping of Romanian orphans!




In Christ,


Corey Burba





27 April 2011 at 07:18 - Comments


Did you ever notice how in the Gospels Jesus is busy – but not busy – all at the same time? He is busy traveling, preaching, healing and teaching, but He isn’t so busy that He has no time for others or for His Father.

One of our main goals at the Beauty from Ashes Center is for our girls to catch up on their education. Growing up in an orphanage is detrimental to a proper education and they are way behind for their age.

The problem is that they generally do not like school, books, or learning! We do a kind of homeschooling with them which we have created and modified for their particular needs.

Recently I began a science course with our girls. At first they were not too thrilled. As time went by, however, they began to be excited about the course. Their grades improved. They began putting forth a greater effort. They were enthusiastic about learning the next lesson.

But I was busy. I was not busy like Christ – busy with them – I was busy with other stuff – work stuff.

One of our girls did not do well on one of the quizzes. I told her she could take the quiz again the next day…and then I forgot to give it to her. She reminded me, quietly. I was too busy to hear. She reminded me again, the next day. I was too busy to hear.

Finally I gave her the test and then I realized something: the goal we have been working for – orphans striving to better themselves and change their lives – was happening right in front of my eyes! But I was too busy to see it.

Two months ago this girl was on the streets! She had no hope. No life. Now here she is, in our program, begging me to give her a science quiz because she wanted to do well on it and bring her grade up!

Let us not get so wrapped up in the busyness of life that we forget what it is we are supposed to be doing. I honestly believe that this is a snare of the devil by which many of us are taken off course.

Let us cut out wasted time and distractions and focus on what God has called us to do!



21 March 2011 at 08:20 - Comments

ROM Update


Dear ROM Partners,


Does it frustrate you when people who are capable of working receive handouts and government funds? Well it does us too.


The problem in Romania is that young people who come from orphanages learn very little about the real world. They are not required to do anything. This creates laziness, dependency and a whole host of irresponsible and harmful behaviors.


So the orphan is forced to leave the orphanage and to attempt to make her way in the world. This is almost always a disaster. She is completely incapable of surviving in regular society. She has been conditioned to be dependent on someone else.


This young person quickly finds herself on the streets with no opportunities. She joins a gang. She begins stealing and doing drugs. And, many times, she prostitutes herself. Pimps and human traffickers are usually not too far behind.


How to stop this cycle!? We believe that the only way to stop this cycle is for the orphan to learn a completely different way of life. She must change her whole way of thinking – her whole way of being – in order to get by in the tough, post-communist Romanian society.


At the Beauty from Ashes Center for Orphan Girls our program is designed to change lives – spiritually, educationally, socially, and physically. We require the girls to work. But how can they work when they are incapable of the most menial tasks!?


And so for the past year we have worked hard to create a greeting card business for them to work in.  Through this business we are able to teach them a new way of life. They learn to work. They learn to be responsible. They learn to budget and to save their money. They receive raises and promotions when they do well.


All of the girls at the Beauty from Ashes Center work and receive a fair wage. They must pay rent out of their salary. Therefore they learn the value of hard work and money.


We are immensely pleased with the results so far. We break the cycle of dependency – instead teaching them to be independent. They advance in their schooling. They hear about Christ and are discipled. Their lives are changed.


Because of the hard work and change required in our program we may never see huge numbers of orphans enrolling. That is all right. We accept the ones God brings us and we work intensely with them.


As an ROM partner we want to keep you up to date on our activities in Romania and how things are progressing. Due to the success of this “business as missions” venture, we will likely be focusing more and more of our attention on helping to create employment opportunities for orphans in the future.


We thank you so much for your support of this mission! Please don’t forget to follow us on our Facebook Page where we post pictures and updates daily.


4 March 2011 at 09:35 - Comments

Trip to Scandinavia!

We recently announced to the girls that we’re piling everyone into a van and taking a 15-day road trip up through Scandinavia and the Baltic States this summer! We have several ministry partners in Sweden and a couple of churches in Finland selling the cards our Beauty from Ashes Center girls are making.

The girls are just thrilled and can’t wait to go. Besides meeting with supporters and spending time with them it will also be a mini-vacation. We will pass through 12 countries and see all of the Nordic and Baltic capitals: Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and Warsaw!

Each of us will have his “own” country and will learn about it beforehand and will serve as the “tour guide” as we go through that country. Each person will also learn some common phrases in “his” countries language to help with communication. The trip should be very educational and productive…as well as fun!

Including the girls in starting the greeting card business means also helping them to learn about economics, capitalism and how to build, operate, organize, manage and run a small business. They are learning all of these things as we extend and grow.

Recently we have received several large orders for cards from Finland. We told the girls that we would partially finance the summer trip with the money made from these “extra” orders. You should see with what joy they have worked to get these orders fulfilled! We take the profit from the order and put it aside toward the trip so that they can see the amount grow.

In addition, we do not want to foster dependency and so we have required each girl to come up with about $150 out of her own salary to pay for a part of the trip. They have already budgeted the salaries they will receive from now until August in order to come up with the money!

Creating and running this small business, whose sole purpose is to hire orphans and fund the ministry, has been incredibly hard but also incredibly beneficial and educational for our girls.

They are learning what it takes to survive in the real world. They are working hard. They are learning a skill. They are a part of a newly-created small business. They are regaining self respect, dignity and self esteem. They are learning to praise God for the ability to work.

In short, they are maturing. They are becoming adults. They are being trained for an independent, productive life. May God be praised!

14 February 2011 at 06:52 - Comments
Sounds so good! God bless you and keep you, all strong and joyful!
14 February 11 at 11:20
Thank you, Viorel!
4 March 11 at 09:29