From Maria's Desk

Leeds, England registered UK Charity No.1087961
Kingsport, USA charitable non-profit # 86-0957704
Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712

...making smiles in Romania

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A Letter from Maria's Desk...

.... Another year has gone by!!!

Iím in my office looking out the window and wondering where 2013 has gone! On reflection, it was a good year. Some ups and downs of course, but Iím thankful to God for being close to me all the time!

This year I got married to a very nice guy, Cornel. But also this year I lost
a dear friend, my grandmother. This year I started new projects and closed othersÖbut Iím thankful to God because He has everything under control! Iím sure that 2013 also left in your heart things that you will remember forever.

From my desk, let me tell you a few things that I did this past month. It was a "fixed desk", so that is good news.

With Mr Hoy in the UK, things in Romania needed to be kept under control! That is a hard task to do when you have so many things going on and so many people to manage. Iím happy to have Georgi, Adi, Simona and ALL my colleagues that are involved in Smiles & Sminro who helped make these things possible. Is it a huge challenge to balance working with less money but still doing the same amount of work that you did before. Iím amazed to see how God makes it all work, because if it was by our strength, many times we would have missed the mark.

Because I have more "free time!" when Mr Hoy is away (at least this is what people believe :) I
have done a few things that I love doing!
Iíve helped with the
for two of the shops we have in Oradea and Alesd! I love playing with colours, moving furniture around and generally creating a nice environment!!

Hope you enjoy these pictures showing the work we did!

Also, being more office based this past month, Iíve heard a lot of sad stories from the beneficiaries coming on our desk
s. A few of them really shocked me and are heavy on my heart and I canít stop thinking of them. One day recently, our social workers Nelu and Marius came back from a very sad case. A family with 6 kids plus mum and dad. Mum has terminal cancer and dad has to look after the kids. Some of the children are adopted but now living as one big family with their own children. Another sad story was about a baby boy, 2 years old, who for the last 3-6 months did not feel very well. His mother took him to the emergency room and found out that he has a tumour on the brain. I have known the mum for 10 years and I was happy when she told me she was pregnant!! So, now to hear this news is so sad. BUT Iím sure that God can make a miracle. PLEASE pray for them!

Our office telephone is ringing ALL the time with sooo many requests for help! Some we can respond to fast but with some of them, we canít really do anything especially if they are not Bihor County based. I know times are hard and money is  short, but PLEASE - if you can spare a little, even £10 or $10 to donate , please do that and send it to Smiles.

WINTER IN ROMANIA IS HARD! Iím thankful to God that I have a warm house to stay in, food to eat, a warm office to work at and a good car that starts every morning and is safe on the road, but I canít stay still when people around me are having soooo many needs! I often say that if I owned a bank I would be able to do it allÖÖ.but I realised that is the wrong way to think. I might not own a bank or a money factory to do things with, but I have clothes, or a food parcel, or a small amount of money that CAN GO A LONG WAY!!!! I have two arms that can give a hug to someone that needs it, I have legs that can walk to the hospital with the person who needs support. I have a car to take them if it helps. I have a SMILE on my face that I can share with the people and guess what - THAT IS FREE!!!

Now Christmas is very close. Lots of gifts going around and sadly, lots of money will be wasted.

As I wrote recently for the
Smiles 200 Club Newsletter - We all have wishes for Christmas and no matter what our circumstances are, we try to fulfil them. I donít know what your wish is for this Christmas, but for some people and especially kids in Romania, they have plenty on the wish-list but they do not have much hope to see any materialise.

Do you remember the words of the song ĎGrown Up Christmas Listí?!?!??

"No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end ......
This is my grown-up Christmas lis

What a wonderful wish. These are significant wishes, but many of our children in Romania have wishes that are a little less demanding and with your help, a little more achievable. Some of the kids in our projects have ĎWishesí for this Christmas that will shock you. Some of them want a toy, some ask for a doll. Some just a chocolate, some would like a bag of wafersÖÖ there are some who just want to overcome sickness and have a healthier life in 2014!

My wish and prayer for this Christmas is to see lots of kids happy! BIG SMILES!! And lots of them!!! I can do a lot here with our staff and volunteers to make the arrangements Ė but I need your help in the next few days if we are to make a start delivering Christmas Gifts on December 9th.

ANY HELP is welcome! A small amount can go a long way!!!

So my dear friend, I really hope and pray that THIS CHRISTMAS will be special for you too!

Iím happy to know that you are reading my report and Iím happy to receive words of encouragements from you ALL anytime.

I pray for Godís blessings over you ALL and canĎt wait to see you in 2014. Here in Romania, the UK or America! But if not here, then in OUR ETERNAL HOME - HEAVEN, one special day!

Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. Be in touch again in 2014!

With lots of love

Maria Hava
Director of Operations, Romania


PSÖÖ I would also like to say THANK YOU to Mr Hoy and Dawn that make this page happen every single month throughout the year! You are special and have a "good place" in my heart. THANK YOU


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