A Letter from
Maria's Desk - February 2015
GRACE is enough for YOU!
There is a
saying in Romania that says: "when people close the door on
you, God is opening the window"…
I do not know
how much of this is absolutely true, but at times I experience it
in my own life. Often people let us down, or we let people
down…..and we are wondering if there is another way of
reconciliation, or even going back to
before the problem started to happen!
And I think
there is a way!!! God’s GRACE, the gift that none of us
deserve is there for us, gives us the possibility to start again.
I love the song from Don Moen that says "God will make a way
where there seems to be no way!" …..and is sooo true! With
His help, His grace, we can start each day as a new day! Each
week, month, year as a new beginning!
What a great
encouragement He is giving us in 2 Corinthians 12:9
grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
did not say "when everything is perfect my grace is there for
you", even if it is! He says "in weakness my power is made perfect
for you". What an encouragement!
I can’t believe
January 2015 has already gone!
New Year started in full swing.
a "tradition" for me
and Simona, my Sminro colleague to be in the United Kingdom
at the beginning of the year to do the shopping for Sminro retail
side. The UK has great Sales then! This year we’ve managed to get
Georgi with us and of course Cornel. We had a great
time and lots of things bought!
Even so, I do
want to encourage you all, to DONATE NEW / SECOND HAND clothes
to our shops. It might not feel important, but for us this is
another way of "fundraising". Through our shops we manage to raise
awareness and at the same time earn money for the projects! This
was the aim when we thought of the idea with the shops, and I’m
really happy that ‘slowly but surely’ the Romanian people
understand that and it is working.
Once back from
the UK, we were in the office on January 5th and the
real work started!
Winter time in
Romania is not such a nice season for a lot of people that are
homeless or live in poor conditions. I’m glad that God gives us
the opportunity to be near to them. At times it is hard but
nothing in this life of value, is coming easily! If you want to
support us with wood, or extra support for electricity, or fuel
and anything that is needed for the families or homeless people,
please do so!
I know many of
you have heard that we are preparing for a
with the Smiles staff in UK during February/ March! Well, we work
a lot on this. All our focus is on this and we try to get to you
with lots of surprises! Well…….I wish I could tell you a few of
them but if I do, there will not be any more a surprise. SO I’m
waiting for you to come and see us for REAL in the presentations
we have! The
itinerary for the events
is here, make sure you ‘book it in your diary’ and spend the time
If you do not
want to see me or Mr Hoy, I understand
…. but I’m sure you will not want to miss Adi, Emilia, Ioana,
Nelu, Raul, Rebeca and Ritza.
January 15th we had a special lunch in the Tileagd
Gypsy Community. Why? Margaret Biddulph, our UK missionary left
to go back home in England after serving the people of my country
for 10 years! I will never forget the day when she first came
to Romania. She knew few words in Romany (Gypsy) language and had
a lot of passion to help the ladies to read and write. Soon that
transformed into teaching the ladies to earn some money for
themselves and the family. When we asked the ladies if they know
to do something their answer was NO!!! In these 10 years, they’ve
learned a lot! Margaret helped them a lot!
Margaret taught them what
unconditional love means. What it means to serve each other.
Margaret was their mentor, their teacher, their sister, their best
lunch the ladies all shared a few words of what Margaret meant to
them and what they had learnt from her. I was overwhelmed to see
the progress they have made. I will never have enough words to say
THANK YOU to Margaret for what she has done. But I can pray
and I can work in continuing the things that she started with the
ladies in the village!
Margaret left we were wondering ‘What Now?’ Well, we already had
two meetings in January and managed to do some really,
really nice things. Some of the ‘new venture’ you will be able to
buy if you are coming to see us on the Tour! Also, some of the
the ladies will be for
sale too. Even if she has moved on, I still keep in touch
with her and have the
‘lessons’ from her………So this past week I’ve just managed to finish
reading the long e-mails with the specific things and suggestions
that Margaret send me!! Thank God for technology and that we can
still be in touch. Margaret promised us she will be back, to visit
us and to see the results. I’m glad to hear that and can’t wait to
show her the new crafts the ladies have done ….with her help!
On January 19th
we had our annual Staff Conference in Romania. It was a
great time with Smiles and Sminro staff that now total 90!
I will never
forget the day, in January 2003 when I came for the interview and
Mr Hoy said "Smiles is a small organization. You will be the 5th
person employed in it"……I was thinking at that time "well for
a small organization I can work, but for a big one I do not think
I will ever be able to do it!". Today Smiles/ Sminro have 90
employees and I’m still here!!! How? Remember what I’ve told you
about God’s GRACE! Only through that I can do all that is needed
each day and one day at a time!!
It’s not easy.
There are times when I feel that it is all ‘too much’. There are
times when I’m on the top of the mountains but also there are
times when I’m down in the valley! There are times when I’m let
down by people no matter if they are my staff, or a beneficiary or
even people that support us as donors! But through God’s Grace
I get over all things. While God is telling me to ‘stay still
and do the job He called me to’ nothing can scare me! I pray I can
do this, because HE told me that ‘I can do all things through God
that strengthens me.’
Back to work
because until we come to UK, we have to do a lot of the work here,
So please pray
for us. Pray for the projects that we work on day to day. Pray for
all our beneficiaries! Pray for more support so we can do a better
job now and for more people in the future.
Please pray for
2015 to be a blessed year!!...in everything we do and pray for us
to continue to be a blessing to others!
Maria Hava ,
Director of Operations, Romania