From Maria's Desk

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

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A Letter from Maria's Desk
February 2016

Frozen ....

Have you seen the Disney movie FROZEN? If not, I’m sure that you’ve seen in the shops lots of things printed with the characters from the movie! Although Elsa is the main character, my favourite one is Anna. The sister that believes with all her heart that LOVE can MELT anything that is frozen, even a person’s heart!

The sad thing is that these days, too many people have their hearts frozen. They look around themselves at the needs of others and they do not care. They think it’s ‘not my job’ to take care of them…. ‘someone else can do that, not me’. Isn’t it sad to see where this world is heading?!

January was a very cold month for us here in Romania. I do like winter! I do like the snow….and trust me, Romania is very beautiful when it’s "dressed in white"! But I do not like it when I see kids freezing in the car park at Mc Donald’s, or adults frozen because they do not have anywhere to lay their head at night...or families living in a cold room because they do not have wood for the fire……and sadly, the list can go on and on!

This past week on my way home from work I stopped to get some food for me and Cornel. I was so sad when I saw my little friend called Silviu, 9 years old, freezing in the car park. When I asked him why he is here in the fog and in the -10 degree, his answer was "maybe I will get something to eat". Asking him where his brother was and his other friends were, his response to me was "they are at the other shops around here".

So I took him in the car and went to see them. And they were there, at Mc Donald’s car park. It does not matter if it’s summer or winter, freezing or hot weather, they are there. WAITING for something!!! It is heart-breaking to see this situation in 2016! Yes, I learnt about them many years ago, but to see them today in a world that has ‘progressed’ so much is not easy. The good news is that when we at Smiles find them we do something for them. And we did for them too! I felt so sad and concerned I called Mr Hoy. Now at least they have warm jackets on. Mr Hoy allowed me to use his credit card and get them jackets and some shoes! He did not say the limit, so who knows what else I will get them!!

In my next report I will tell you!

I love it when I see people with unfrozen hearts! It does not matter how big or small is the help that you give to people, it matters if you are willing to help them or not!

And I can go on and on with these type of stories. I have lots of examples. But I do not have ‘enough space’ here, so I want you to come to Romania and see for yourself.

In the bible, in Mathew 25: 40 it says "The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’. So my dear friend, ANYTHING that you do, do it from a pure loving heart. Doing it for your neighbour next to your home or 2000 miles away - it does not matter, as long as you do it in Jesus name. His name to be glorified not yours!

What else did I do? Lots of things. I love these ‘quiet months’ because then I can do things that I can’t during the ‘busy months’.

For example. So far I managed to spend 2 days a week in Tileagd. Lots of challenges there as usual, but the joy when you see things moving forward is helping you to forget all the ‘bad moments’.

Being there more often I see what the kids are doing. And sometimes they are naughty. My parents told me that I was naughty too, believe it or not.:) When I saw it I took them in the office and I started to argue with them! They looked at me and I had the ‘impression’ that ‘it went in one ear and went out the other one’. I could teach them about appreciation, or about being good and grateful for what they get as much as I wanted that day. So I left them. 2 days later one of the kids came to Geta our administrator there and said to her "here are my clothes that I received them as a gift, but because I was not good I bring them back to Maria!"….I was speechless when I saw the bag in the office!!!! So I asked the same group of kids to come back. And they came WITH A TOTALLY DIFFERENT ATTITUDE!!!

I was soooooooo happy that in their little hearts they had got the message….and I’m sure that it will stay there many years from now on! MAYBE at times I do not see the results as fast as I would like to see, but I’m sure that God is using me and my colleagues to be a part of their change……and in the case of my Tileagd kids we can see it …Small steps but we can see it!!! When they got out of the office I could not talk for a few minutes…..and for people that know me that’s a big thing!:)…… (p.s. by the way, the boy that brought the clothes back to me, I gave them back to him the same day)

The craft project in Tileagd, ‘Butterfly Design’ is progressing well! We learnt to do new things that this year we would like to sell. So if you want to help us by buying/selling our products and trust me we need your help, feel free to call the Smiles UK/USA office and ask for details of supplies. These ladies need the help!

Some of them, yes they have a better lifestyle than 10 years ago, but many of them are still in the same way "struggling with providing for the family from one day to the next day"….and these are the ones I want to help more.

More good news from this past month is that we’ve managed to move another family into the RAPA HOUSE PROJECT! Because a third house was nearly done, Darius and his family got the key from it this past month and moved in. What a joy! With the freezing conditions that were outside we took the step and we moved him in. We still have to paint the exterior but that’s the first thing on our list when the better spring weather comes. Until then we are happy that another family does not have to bear the cold weather in their mud houses. I’ve told you in my last report about the joy that they had in December when I gave them the pots as a Christmas gift because this is what they wanted! You should see their joy and happiness when we told them that we are not stopping here, but this year with God’s help we will do more houses for them!!!!THANK YOU ALL for making this dream become a reality.

Another thing that I’ve been doing this past month, even if the winter is here, was the finishing the construction of our extension at EHU. I’m happy to see it nearly complete. A building that in 2003 when we first purchased it, I never believed could be made a ‘home’…… but today it is a real home! A home to care for abused ladies and children. Because of the nature of the project we can’t really promote it and that’s why we are running a lot of time in deficit and funding the work from the ‘where most needed’ fund! BUT if you want to make a contribution for it please do! Whether we have a full house or not, our cost to have this project running is £1,445/$2,167 per month! It might not sound a lot but for us it is, and we need the facility. If you want more information on it, feel free to send me an e mail and I will answer it! Either way your help is very important to us! Emergency Housing Unit.

YES, there is no doubt about it, your help is important for us. No matter for which project. Without it we can’t do the job we do. Together we are partners in building God’s Kingdom….and what a blessing it is to be able to build for heaven! There our effort and investment it will not rust, it will not be damaged! There, it is eternal!

Thank you very much for everything you do for "these least of mine" – remember - you do it for God!

May God give you ‘extra special’ gifts back!

With love


Maria Hava ,
Director of Operations, Romania

Previous letters from Maria:
January 2016 - A thankful heart

December 2015 - Make someone happy!
November 2015 - Like father like son
October 2015 - It's between you and God
September 2015 - Our Unchanging God
August 2015 - I trust Him no matter what
July 2015 - I've had enough
June 2015 - Things that make me happy

May 2015 - Butterflies
March 2015 - Sovereign over us

February 2015 - My Grace is sufficient for you
January 2015 - From the Management Team



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