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Missio International
Children at Risk
PO Box 725434
Atlanta, GA 31139

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Deborah House Center

Deborah House provides a unique and critically needed sanctuary for severly abused girls, providing a healing sanctuary where hurt fades and is turned into hope.

Deborah girls live in a family environment

Deborah House Center consists of two multifaceted residential care homes which provide a continuum of specialized treatment programs addressing the needs of Romania's seriously abused girls.

The purpose of Deborah House is to offer rescue, sanctuary, therapy, counseling, education, and hope, in a Christian home environment, with the goal that each girl will reclaim her life from the shadow of her abuser.

Over the last seven years, Deborah House has successfully implemented post-trauma treatment programs for abused girls...programs that are unique within Romania. Providing much more than residential care, Deborah House assesses and treats both physical and sexual abuse, as well as related behavioral disorders. The foundation of the Deborah program is individual therapy, counseling, and intensive tutoring in both school work and vital social skills.

Deborah girls receive psychiatric and vital social skills counseling as part of their individualized post-trauma intervention program

Ever since the first Deborah House opened in 2002, we have entered into a close working relationship with the local Romanian authorities, including the Timis County Agency for Child Protection.

Deborah House Center serves the entire community, including ethnic Rroma (gypsy) girls who face the additional obstacle of ethnic discrimination in Romania.

The Story of Deborah House

In 1998 while Director of Onesimus Christian home for boys, Lorena Rusovan was searching in a village for information needed to locate the birth record for an orphan; necessary for the boy to obtain his national identity card. During the search, Lorena happened upon and rescued an orphaned six year old girl from sexual and physical abuse at the hands of strangers. The rescue was not easily accomplished for reasons of the lack of child abuse laws, cultural indifference and disinterested village police.

Founder of Deborah House and MLI Director of Children at Risk LORENA RUSOVAN with IONUT PĂTLĂGESCU, MLI Children at Risk Administrative Manager

Over Lorena's objections and despite evidencing post-traumatic psychopathology the girl was classified as "retarded", then "warehoused" in a government orphanage of over 250 children (ages 5 to 18), with only five full time caretakers and no individual attention or therapy. The incident resulted in Lorena's focus on the fact there were no alternatives available for residential care and treatment of the girl's behavioral disorders.

This girl's circumstance was unacceptable to Lorena and inspired her to convince Missio Link International and its American partner, Missio International, to sponsor the founding of Deborah House as a residential care and treatment center for seriously abused girls.

Deborah girls receive schooling and vocational training

Unique in Romania from its inception, Deborah House provides programs to assess and treat physical abuse, sexual abuse and related behavior disorders for severely abused girls rescued from appalling circumstances. Girls with complex and chronic post-traumatic psychopathology related to severe, particularly early, sexual and physical child abuse...girls who experienced multiple early caregivers and who are emotionally and cognitively deprived...and girls suffering from intense fear, horror, or disorganized or agitated behavior resulting from exposure to threatened death or serious injury.

Deborah girls learn accountability through responsibilities and chores

Lorena did not forget the six year old girl she rescued in 1998. As a result of Lorena's persistence, she was eventually transferred from the "retarded" section of a government orphanage to Deborah House. After a year of intensive therapy and vital social skills counseling, the girl was able to attend school. In her second school year she was number one in her class in math. The original inspiration for Deborah House, today she continues to demonstrate the success of the Deborah House program by her remarkable recovery.

You can help sustain this important ministry by visiting the Extend a Helping Hand page to see how you can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of Romania's most disenfranchised children. For more information on supporting Deborah House, or organizing or joining a short-term mission team trip to Deborah House please contact our Volunteer Ministry Coordinators at or at this address: Deborah House, PO Box 725432, Atlanta, GA 31139.