Suddenly Michael Gravitt was an orphan. He had just married his wife, Mihaela, when his parents and brother died a short time apart. It didn’t make sense. This should have been the happiest time in his life, yet he was suffering deep loss and the sorrow that comes from not having a family.
“I didn’t understand it all then, but God used those moments to prepare me for what I would be doing in the mission field of Romania,” Michael said.
It is unknown how many children were in Romanian orphanages during the revolutionary years of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Estimates start at 100,000. These children were kept in filthy, inhumane conditions—ignored, beaten, starved, and sickened. Neglect was rampant.
These children of the orphanages are now adults. They still carry the pain of having no family of their own, not even knowing how to form close bonds with other people.
“Because of that, they had a great problem integrating with any church,” Michael said. “From this, God called us and led us to plant a church in Sibiu, Romania that would specifically serve the adult orphans.”
After serving several years as youth pastors, the Gravitt family, which includes Michael, Mihaela, and their two daughters, planted their church. They began in a 320-square-foot space with several adult orphans and like-minded believers. Now they average 120 members, most of whom are under the age of 30.
“We have many adult orphans, but we also have a great variety of people who are with us because they love the family atmosphere we have created together,” Michael said.
The church does more than just gather on Sundays; together they strive to break the painful cycle of orphaned children in their country. Several of the church members have opened their homes to foster children.
“If all goes well, by the end of this year we will have an additional 24 orphan children who will attend our church, hear about Jesus, and receive the love of a body of believers that treats them like family,” Michael said.
As can be expected with any period of growth, new needs have arisen for the church in Sibiu.
“We no longer fit in our current location,” Michael said. “We need a clear vision from God for our next step as a church. Please pray for us so to be able to find the next location quickly. Also, this transition will be expensive, and we will need new supporters to cover the cost.”
Michael, Mihaela, and their girls are grateful for all God is doing through their ministry in Romania, and for all of their partners who make it possible every day.
Michael said, “Because of your giving and prayers, there are so many people who have received Jesus, orphans who now understand what family means, and lives that have been transformed. We will never forget you. May God richly bless you!”
To give to the Gravitts and their ministry, please visit the project link below.