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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                                                                              April 2009
Dear Friends,

I don’t have a blog- page or a personal account with HI5 or FACEBOOK, but for a while now I’ve had the idea of sharing my own page on the Smiles web site. Finally, our Boss said it was OK! So I am starting here. Every month I will try to write the updates from my desk on what I’m doing in Romania (along with my staff) or wherever I may be.

I would like to share with you my joys and my sorrows….the good news and the bad news and together to bring everything before you and God in order for you to pray and for Him to guide in the final decision.

If February was a busy month for me being on tour with the Children's Choir from Tileagd, March was, by comparison, a “more relaxing month”. For nearly two weeks I was in the United Kingdom for the Smiles Conferences and it was a great encouragement for me to see that I’m not on my own in this job, but there are so many people that are committed to the work we do here in Romania.

I also had opportunity in Scotland to be a guest on my first ‘Live’ Radio Show with West Sound FM. Mr Hoy and myself were guests of Jimmy McInnes and we were able to talk about Smiles to all the listeners finishing with a song from the Choir's CD. It was great! Now I feel like a real STAR!!

As I have always said, these Conferences charge my batteries for the next 12 months! do the mission trips
….So I’m looking forward to seeing each of you on a Smiles Mission Trip and spending time together, by serving the people of my country, here in Romania.
While being at the Conferences I shared with the people there about “Changes in the Romanian team” and a review of 2008. Most of you know about all the different “comings and goings” in Smiles but I had to remind myself that it is NOT me, or our Chief Executive or the Management Team or the Trustees who have the final decisions………..BUT GOD!!

I didn't understand why God allowed people like Dr Ema to leave Smiles, but I do know that HE knows best.

I did not understand why the Gepiu project had to go through the pains and disappointments with the changes there, but I know that God has made us stronger now and the people of Gepiu, young and old, are benefiting so much more than ever before!

I did not understand why the Tileagd Church, after months of planning and interviewing and thinking we had made the best appointment, we had to go through sadness and re-planning again? BUT I know that HE is in control!

….and I can go on but I want to stop and leave you with the same encouragements as I left with the people who attended the Conferences.

This is a bible passage from Ecclesiastes 3 and it starts by saying:
There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to be born and a time to die,  a time to plant and a time to uproot”…………and continues with verse 6 and 7 that says: “a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,  a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak”.

The key phrase for me is verse 11 and 14 that says: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.”

YOU and I might not understand why God allows different things to happen in our lives, BUT He has it under control! Maybe there are times when you are getting worried or concerned about your future, but I do encourage you to give it to God and trust Him 100 %. 

I loved all of the comments that I heard last month on the recession. Strong words saying:
“this period is affecting our minds and circumstances but it does not need to affect our attitude!!!"

"If we choose to stay locked in a cupboard
waiting for everything is finish, to have somebody coming to knock at our door and ask us to come out we can do that! "

BUT is better to stay outside and have a positive attitude and invest in things that last and will never go wrong!!

Mr Hoy, our Chief Executive reminded us all at Conference, “…now is not perhaps the best time to invest in personal things or to review the success of our Investments in recent years – but now is the time to take time to see how the Investment we have made in God’s Kingdom is performing? This will always provide the best return and is not subject to recession or economic downturn.”

So I thank you for Investing in God's Kingdom through the work of The Smiles Foundation and I thank you very much for everything you are doing for my people in Romania and may God bless you all.






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