When Jerry and Kendrick McCandless met six Romanian students studying at Asbury College in Wilmore, KY, in the early 1990’s, they had no idea that their friendship would lead to an international ministry.
Jerry and Kendrick first traveled to Romania in 1995 to visit these students. Continuing to return for annual visits year after year, they became involved with Romanian Christians at churches in Giurgiu and Braila. These churches were ministering to abandoned and orphaned children in Dickensian-style state-run orphanages.
In 2000, Jerry and Kendrick felt the Lord leading them to join with their Romanian partners to build the Bethel Home in Giurgiu, Romania and the Home of Hope in Braila, Romania. Based on the model of a traditional family with a Christian mother and father, their two children’s homes in Romania are heart-warming proof that love goes a very long way in restoring and healing broken lives.
Today, many of the original children are grown, educated, have jobs and are living independently. However, they know that they are always welcome ‘back home’! Both Romanian Homes continue to receive children in need through government agencies or church recommendations. At any given time, over 50 children receive care from The Evergreen Foundation.