Katie Cusumano met Claudia and Leandru Dascal on a vision trip to Romania in 2002. During that trip, God gave them like-hearted dreams for a ministry that would give children an opportunity to know and understand the love of Christ and learn how to step into the plans He had for them.
Over the course of fifteen years, Katie has led teams from Georgia, Colorado, California, and Nebraska to love these children into the arms of Jesus. Serving alongside the Dascals has been a miraculous gift that neither the Cusumanos nor the Dascals could have fashioned by themselves. Approximately thirty trips have been made to Romania and each time lives have been transformed. Both Americans and Romanians have seen the beautiful love of God poured out and taken in by adults and children, including camp staff and government teachers.
Vesti Bune, (the foundation operated by the Dascals and supported by Hands of Hope, Inc.), operates a ministry center in Targu Mures. Students meet weekly to receive tutoring, mentoring, Life Skills coaching, attend Bible study and fellowship groups, and to learn more about the hope that is promised to them through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
During the last few years, the ministry has grown to include adult literacy classes, parenting classes, and women's’ conferences that extend to several villages in Mures County. An after-school program has also been added to the ministry and almost twenty students benefit from daily tutoring and a hot meal, provided at their school. This not only meets the needs of the children academically and physically but they are growing spiritually because they see the hand of God on their lives. We believe, “these acts of service are not only meeting the needs of God’s people but are an outpouring of thanks to Him.” 2 Corinthians 9:12