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...

Happy New Year dear friends, may it be full of blessings for you and your families in everything you do! I pray that this year we all will get closer to God!

I‘m happy to be back on my desk even if this time it’s a semi mobile desk.:) Why?!? Well I’m starting this report while I’m in the UK shopping………………….But let me tell you all from the beginning!

December was a great, great month. I do not know why? People suddenly become nicer to each other, do better things for each other, show a "different image". sadly so often only for one month of the year! But I’m happy to be a part of an organisation that is different, and doing things for 12 month of the year, 24/7!!!

So for us, the only different thing that we did this December was distribution of SOS! But even that is not for the first time! With God's help and your help we have now done it for more than 8 years!

With faith, we get all the supplies we need at the beginning of the month! So this is exactly what I did this year too! And by the end of the month, we pray for God to cover all the expenses! I’m happy that He always does and my faithful friend never disappoints me!

December started with a major shopping therapy session!

Soon after I finished that, we had the mission trip groups arriving! A great time with many friends from the UK and USA.

I’m soooo happy that not only our UK friends visited us this December, but also some from USA! Dear friends of ours from Bethany School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana did their second trip to Smiles!! …and I pray will not be the last one!! So thank you guys for your effort that you’ve made to be in our country sharing God’s love to all the people that you’ve been in contact with.

I’m sooo happy that each day all the work that we had to do had such great help. More than 500 kids from our projects received a SOS gift! The families that are in our project received their food packages and the Christmas Food Packages! Lots and lots of goodies were shared!

There was one extra thing that we did this year!! With a lady’s help from Birmingham UK, we had nearly 100 baby boxes! Lots of baby boys and baby girls were happy …well their parents, So THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your help!!

Once all was finished, once all the mission trip people went back to their homes on December 21st, the Smiles staff started their two weeks holiday!!!! Well not all - some of us had to "stay around"! I had the privilege to work for 2 days at the Smiles (Sminro) Shop in Oradea. I loved it! I shared this joy with Simona Tosity who did the other two days.

Georgi Opreanu had another busy time. Once she thought it was "time to rest" she had sad times at the JFL in Salonta. Two of the people there passed away, one just before Christmas and the other straight after! So Georgi and Mioara had a lot of responsibilities to care for.

Nina, who is now 7 months pregnant worked in the shop as well, so I’m sure that the baby girl will be a "big fashion girl" once she arrives!

So, in order not to miss any one else that worked around these 2 weeks, I won’t mention anymore names!! But I’m thankful to all the people that are working on the 24-7 projects like the security men and the projects at JFL, Cihei Elderly Centre, Farm and Glasshouse, as well as the demands that often arise at projects like Homeless, Mierlau, Gepiu and Tileagd!

I have a great team - most of the time!!! So I’m thankful to God for their commitment and hard work all year around! Especially those who are willing to go the extra mile when duty calls for it.

But me?!?! Well on the 25th I had a "short rest!" because on 26th I started my journey across Europe. No, not alone! If you remember, I got married in 2013, so I took my hubby with me on a "short holiday! We left Romania on the morning of 26th and that night we ended up in Salzburg, Austria!! AMAZING! One of my favourite places in Europe! Sooooo cute and romantic! After that we had a long drive all the way to Paris, France! Oooooooooooooo people might say "how romantic" but believe me, this year the "busyness" of the city took it off!! Even so, I must admit, that the lights on Champs-Élysées were wow!!!

After busy Paris, we came to the quiet UK!!! Well this is what we thought!! But the journey across the sea was NOT very quiet!! The wind and the waves made me rather dizzy! I thought for a moment I was on the Titanic….the bad part of it!!! So, once we were on "safe land" in Dover ….. our "party" started! Shopping therapy part 2!

Yes, you’ve heard correct. Me and Simona….(and Cornel) had an amazing time shopping around UK for our shops in Romania. Great deals and great things we found!! We are thankful to God for that!!!

While we were in England, on the last day of the year, 31st, we had a BIG CELEBRATION going on!! Mr HOY’s birthday!!!! I m not telling you his age, in case he gets upset with me, but a dinner at one of our favourite restaurants in Leeds and a brownie ‘Birthday’ cake made our day!!! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEFU, and may God grant you many years!!

Soooooooooooooo 2013 WHAT A YEAR!!! With goods and bad but I’m THANKFUL to GOD for it!!! I pray for 2014 to be a blessed one and for us to be a blessing all year long!

Thank you for reading my reports and I pray for each of you to know God as your personal friend!!!

With lots of love

Maria Hava ,
Director of Operations, Romania

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