Mr. and Ms. Scheytt

Gotthold and Maja Scheytt began the work in Romania, and this is their story. Their religious convictions and their lifestyle has had such a significant impact on the work, that one can better understand the essence of the organization „The Compassionate Samaritan“ by knowing their life story.

Gotthold and Maja were born in the 1930’s in southern Germany. They experienced the war as children and youths. They are both Protestant Christians, formed by Swabian piety. Their fear of God and deep faith in him has always given them a sense of social responsibility.

Together they have six biological children and they have taken in several more. Gotthold, a Chemist, became employed by the Chemical Works Hüls in Marl, and moved his family there in 1970.

The story of the compassionate Samaritan had always impressed Gotthold and Maja. Whenever they saw people in need, suffering, they usually felt compelled to help them in whichever way possible.

Often people in need lived with them for months at a time, and usually the decision to do so was made quickly. They felt compassion especially for children, and saw a way to help them by giving them a place within their family. So it happened that, in addition to their six biological children, eight more were added. Six of whom stayed for several years.

In 1975 Maja had a personal and very deep experience with God, which added a new quality to her faith. Though she previously believed in God and felt his presence in her life, this faith was deepened in a personal relationship with him. With making decisions, when facing hardship or difficult situations, now she experienced God as being personally at her side, and leading her through these situations in extraordinary ways. This new kind of relationship with God now shaped her family life.

In 1991 Gotthold retired and developed an interest in Romania. He was deeply touched by the need of the people there, especially the children.

After working on several projects, in 1992 he visited a shelter for street children in Kronstadt. The children stayed in one room with several bunk beds, their hair shorn, sometimes with several children in one bed. They did not receive even the most basic care and waited to be collected by their parents or relatives. This could sometimes take a long time. While they waited, they did not attend school and received no motivation or encouragement. In effect, they were simply locked up and left to vegetate.

One of the children in particular inspired Gotthold, and this child was in essence the impetus for establishing ASM.

Since 1998 the Scheytts have lived in Romania, in order to better support and coordinate the increasing amount of work to be done there.

In May 2006 Gotthold was diagnosed with lung cancer, which led to his death in March 2007. Maja returned to Romania after his passing and has herself since led the work there.