Last week, we featured the housing development company, Westfield Development, located in Arad, Romania. In June 2020, their Facebook page reminded the reader of the success of this Kingdom company:
“Westfield is the best residential ensemble of houses and villas in Romania! We don’t say it, but Clubul Profesionistilor in Imobiliare honored us with this award at CPI Gala 2020. It is the 3th year in a row that #Westfield efforts are recognized at the ICC Gala, which propels us as the most awarded residential neighborhood in Arad, nationwide!”
The company is customer-focused; quality-committed, and people-centric. Westfield is also values-driven, with a desire for personal growth in their employees and in the community. In addition to quality of life residences, they value the importance of spiritual transformation of individuals.
The company leadership invests time in coaching and discipling the management team. There have been several who have come to faith, and all have experienced professional and personal growth. The employee prayer meeting includes those who are not believers, and the company has a plan to hire a chaplain (called a happiness officer). The chaplain serves the community with a faith-based commitment, and with plans for inspiring events that focus on family, relationships, and community.
In addition to discipling the staff, there is an outward focus on participating with social and spiritual projects in the community, with financial and professional help mobilized from the Romanian business community. The goal is to mentor and inspire a spirit of giving, centered around a biblical teaching about generosity.
So how are lives changed because of the perspective and praxis of integrating the spiritual and the practical at Westfield Development?
Stefan first succumbed to peer pressure and the lure of drugs at age 14. He suffered addiction for the next sixteen years, with numerous near-death experiences, a suicide attempt, and terrible sicknesses. But today he testifies, “My life is completely transformed because I have God every day by my side. The program was difficult, but with God’s help I could finish it, and today I benefit from everything that I learned at the center. Currently, I am the initiator of a Christian group named S.F.J. (Special Forces Jesus), a group of volunteers. Each Saturday morning, we bring sandwiches, hot tea, coffee, clothes, and footwear to the homeless in the North Train Station area. We also pray with them, talk to them about God, and explain how He has worked in our lives. Now, there are 636 members in our group. I thank God that through Teen Challenge, from a hopeless man with no future, He had me transformed into a man who himself gives hope to others.
Teen Challenge is a worldwide network of Christian faith-based corporations committed to help teenagers, adults, and families with problems such as substance abuse or self-destructive behavior. At the heart of the model is faith in God, but the approach also targets physical and emotional needs of the people enrolled in their program. People that enter the program in Romania, live in the center for a year and manage to become free of addiction and be restored. Westfield is one of those corporations that partner with Teen Challenge as they bring deliverance to needy individuals in their community in the name of Jesus.
DeCe (which means “why” in Romanian) is another partner of Westfield. DeCe is an initiative developed by Networks Romania, which has created jobs in a production shop for leather and wool accessories, targeted at the underprivileged communities in Șiria (Arad county) and its surroundings. Their mission is to help people escape from cycles of generational poverty, developing skills and potential in individuals, restoring dignity and empowering people to provide for their families. Many families live in small mud-brick houses with earth floors and no running water or drainage. As a result, they struggle through winters, where the temperature can go down to -25 Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit). Medication is often too expensive to afford and many families struggle to provide simple necessities like shoes, basic clothing, and food.
Livia affirmed, “Had my husband Jivian, not been employed at DeCe, had it not been for Mr. Lee, we wouldn’t have had what we have today. Thanks to my husband going to work, thanks to Mr. Lee and the people, the volunteers at the center — we now have what we need. Before, we only had one room, with no flooring, just the dirt, there was no concrete, nothing on the floor.”
Mavromatis became homeless due to no fault of his own and was destitute until he found the Dumbrava DPG Center. This center has been caring for the homeless, not only by offering them shelter and medical treatment, but also a community where they can thrive. It was started by Viorel Pasca in his own house. One winter evening as he was watching the news, he saw that another two homeless people had died from the cold. God spoke to him in that moment to take two people from the streets and house them in the two spare rooms that he had. Over 2,000 people have benefited from his help since then. The foundation currently houses over 460 people long term in 18 locations. Dumbrava is also partnering with Westfield to help redeem the community.
The story goes on in the lives of Andrei, Catalin, Maria and many more. Westfield is a story about business success, but perhaps more importantly, it is the story of saved lives – in the temporal context and for eternity. Westfield is a model of the integration of faith and work; of their profession and the making of disciples. It is a privilege for IBEC to serve Westfield with consulting and coaching services.
Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures