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SYNOD MISSION STORY: NOROC’s greatest achievement is that the hearts and minds of children have been opened to hear the best news of all: Whatever has happened to them, and whatever their experience of family has been, they are members of the Family of God. In this family, they have a new name, and that name is “Beloved.” NOROC’s full time Presbyterian mission co-worker Liz Searles with husband Rev. Douglas Searles are sharing the good news about the unconditional love of Jesus Christ which extends God’s family to each one of these children of NOROC and teaching that NOROC’s special people love and care. All of this activity is to the glory of God! Recently NOROC recognized in many cases that speech was the only handicap that some children have, and a new speech therapy program was initiated. Daniela Trandafir, a gifted and God-sent psychologist, speech therapist, and tutor, began working with ten kids. Now 30 more children are added to the waiting list. The first, a boy named Cristi, depends upon body language and humor to get his points across. He has asthma and is a bit behind in school due to his medical issues. Being very bright and motivated, he struggles hard to perform at grade level. The institutions often track students such as Christi into trade programs without encouragement for further education. NOROC is committed to Cristi, and other children, as they develop, to provide speech therapy, medical assistance, tutoring, support and hope so that they may reach their highest potential. “Working to lift up children of trauma,” Liz says, “I feel a trusting hand reach up to grasp mine, or feel the bear-hug embraces of the kids who swarm the orphanage gate to greet me. These lift me up. When I’m feeling less than hopeful, the tenacious striving of children against handicaps of body, mind or spirit restore my own optimism and energy. Spontaneous smiles come from little ones who have experiences so unspeakable as to make one mute and morose. These “Alleluias” of the dark night affirm afresh that transformation is possible.” Liz is supported by Palo Duro Presbytery, the General Assembly and a mission grant from the Synod of the Sun.
Mission Statement: “The Synod of the Sun of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) serves Christ by connecting, equipping, and empowering Presbyterians for Christ’s mission within and beyond the Synod’s bounds.”