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Luke at Dezna

News from Luke

Hello everyone,

I can’t quite believe that I’ve been back in Romania for a whole month already! Where did that time go!

Actually, I can tell you exactly where and what happened. After seeing my friends in the Smiles office, whom I’m sure many of you know, and returning to Rapa and Tileagd to see old friends there, lots of the time was spent at the rapidly progressing Dezna Outreach Centre.

We believe that God will work through this new project in amazing ways, we don’t know exactly how but we can’t wait to find out. Back on Tuesday April 9th I went to Dezna with Kevin, Maria and Adi to see it and to start to think about the work that I could help with to get it ready. It’s no secret that the amount, and variety of work, to be done at Dezna is huge and it could be seen as daunting. But we must remember that we serve an omnipotent God who will provide what is needed for His work in Dezna.

I took this picture in the garden at Dezna that day and as I stood there a song came into my head. It was one I haven’t heard in a long time, “God will make a way” by Don Moen. Have a listen to it here, because the lyrics can be relevant to so many situations today that seem difficult. Dezna is a lot of work but God is in charge and providing for it there will be a way to completion.

God will make a way

One way that God continually blesses Smiles is with wonderful volunteers. Abi, Hannah and Mary were a huge help with painting (most of the paint made it on to the walls) and Colin and Robin continued that work during the invaluable week they committed too. The rooms always look so much better with a fresh, colourful coat of paint. Thank you to everyone who has and will work so hard at Dezna to help fulfill the potential of this amazing place!

Bedroom at Dezna

At this point, I would love to show you hundreds of pictures of the rooms, the garden and the kitchen so that you can see just how amazing this place is looking. But that might spoil the surprise of you seeing it first-hand! I’m also sure Kevin will have some photos to share as the weeks progress.

If you are coming to Romania this year or plan to be a part of the Official Opening at Dezna, then you are in for a treat. But if you aren’t able to come this, why not plan for next year as some churches are already booked for 2020. Please check out the available dates that are on this website! Plus, there will be so many pictures, videos and updates about it over this summer that although you won’t physically experience it, you will be left in no doubt about how excited we are when the Summer camps are up and running. They will be the first of many fantastic projects to begin in Dezna! Please pray about how you could be part of it, now and in the future.

Of course, you might be reading this, not knowing what the Dezna Outreach Centre is. You may even be just beginning to learn about Smiles. Well if so, I would consider it a privilege to help you in any way I can regarding the work operating here in Romania!

I am always available via my email address so please send me any enquiries or questions – but most importantly, if you would like to hear those answers in person, at your church, school or anywhere, I would be delighted to come and share with you.

If I look back a few months to November, January and February I had many amazing opportunities to meet people who wanted to know more about Smiles. For the first time or the fiftieth, presenting to welcoming audiences is a wonderful thing.

I have already been to so many kind, welcoming places.
• Our Lady of Lourdes, Newent
• Western Way Chapel
• Cinderford Baptist Church
• Southgate Evangelical
• Livingston Old Church
• West Wickham and Shirley Baptist Church
• West Wickham Methodist Church

And not only Churches, the schools that very kindly allowed me to speak to some of their students:
• Newent Community School
• Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy
• Denmark Road High School

My thanks to all of you and I sincerely hope that I will see you again in the future to provide updates about the continued progress here in Romania and the many opportunities that are available to you, and other churches and schools, to come and make a difference here in Romania. I’m sure that at least one of these opportunities is right for you, your church or your school to make the most of and contribute in a unique way.

I would like to finish with another song. This one may well be known to many of you, sung by the Tileagd Children’s Choir.
My life is in His Hands:

Tileagd Children's Choir
Tileagd Children’s Choir

There are so many reasons to lose confidence in our lives, particularly if you look at the worldwide picture. So, let’s look to God instead! He does hold all our lives in His Hands and all we have to do is come to Him, no matter what, and ask for His strength to keep us going. I pray that all of you will know God’s strength and peace in your lives.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you here in Romania or in the UK as soon as possible. As always if I can help with anything regarding Smiles, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Luke Wathen
UK Development Ambassador
The Smiles Foundation

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