From Maria's Desk

Leeds, England registered UK Charity No.1087961
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Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712

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Maria’s Report – August 2011   

A month is a long time to give you update on!
SO much happens in Smiles every day!!

As a child, I always wondered what the bible verse means when it says: “to God a day is like a thousand years and 1000 years is like a day!” …In Smiles things are often like that. In one month there are 1000 things going on!! If you do not believe me … Come and see for yourself!!

Until you decide, let me tell you what was going on here during the month of July.

With the Glasshouse finished, construction wise, we needed to start planning what will go inside! After long meetings and discussions we decided!
CUCUMBERS! We were advised these would grow well even though we were a little late in the season for starting.

So, 9,250 CUCUMBER PLANTS were ordered from a supplier in Hungary. The day they arrived we suddenly realised how many plants that was. LOTS!!  

The job needed to be done fast! So, together with the mission trip people and even some of the Smiles staff, we did it!! Well
the truth is that we had Paul and Ali Jeanes leading the team, Sam and Barbara Morrison from the Farm came for a day to help, even to plough inside the Glasshouse was crucial to make planting possible and ensure we did a good job.
The results??? ALL the plants were put in the ground in 2 days!!! What an amazing team!
 Thank you guys for doing such a great job! Now we need to pray that the results will be good!

If everything works out ok, God will bless us with over 20 tonnes of cucumbers!!! We already have a company that wants to buy the entire crop! Praise the Lord…. otherwise I would have to see how I could eat them all!!

Then?? Well, we have
mission trip people visiting us all the time and during the summer we have lots of friends sharing the joy of the work with us!! Sadly, because of the office work I spend less and less time nowadays with the teams! But this summer, one day a week, me together with other staff members of Smiles, spend an evening at the Centre, sharing worship together with the Mission Team and share a  little of our story! We have a great time! I love it!! We’re even thinking of going on a tour …because we make a great choir!
 Watch this space!!

What else is happening on my desk? Meetings, meetings and meetings! Lots of them. Some really hard ones where we have to take difficult decisions and these are not always easy! Please pray for us, the management team and please pray for Mr Hoy in order for God to give him wisdom and power to do what is right, to do the difficult job of running Smiles, according with His will.

This month we also received 3 containers!! We thought it was to be two, but then we got an e-mail to say a third had left England and was arriving Friday, July 29th!      

All have come from the UK!! It’s AMAZING to see what God is doing through people! We had one container from Inskip near Preston, one from
Wigton & Carlisle and the last one from Chelmsford!!

I would like to say
THANK YOU to ALL the people that made this dream possible!! It is amazing to see all the things that we receive within the containers! I feel like it’s Christmas morning every day, even when outside is 35 degrees!! For nearly 2 years now we did not need to use money from the projects budgets to buy simple things like toilet paper, or copy paper, or soap or shampoos!!! Or big things like mattresses, furniture, computers, ALL sorts of things that makes a HUGE difference in our life!! 

Because I talk about dreams coming true, I would like to share another one that became real this month! Last year when we had the DA conference in Leeds, someone said: “what about if Smiles supporters would climb Kilimanjaro mountain in order to raise money for Smiles!?” When I heard this I said to Mr. Hoy that I would like to do it! He said, that if everything will be ok, and if I raise the support and if it is at a good time- with no mission trip visitors to Romania- I could go!!

I was over the moon for a few months!! I started to stress everybody around me in order for them to support me! People that know me well, they know that walking for more than 1 km and waking up in the morning earlier than 9am it is a nightmare for me!! But for Smiles, the challenge was more than ok with me!! Sadly, when the time for the climb changed, I had to drop out and could not do it! But I still received all the e-mails from
Penny Kennedy - the team leader with all the updates and the things that were going on in the team!

I was over the moon when I saw that this is coming to reality. Before the team left, I asked all the Smiles team in Romania to pray for them and ask for God’s protection over all of the team members that went! One week later, when I saw that there was no response from Penny I began to panic! The next day Mr Hoy came and said: “
the team is back!” I was happy and relieved that all were back, but very curious for how it went!!

Few days later, Mr Hoy came and read part of the report to several staff members.
While reading he started to cry! We – the Smiles staff  panicked!
I went to my office and read again the report! Did the same thing- cry! Why??

Because I am
amazed and humbled to Kilimanjaro Teamsee the effort that people take in order to raise money for Smiles!! Coffee mornings, Tesco bag packing or climbing Kilimanjaro - All have the same outcome!! People that give up at their time, give up at their families in order to do all sorts of things to raise money for some strangers in Romania!! People that don’t always meet face to face!! It humbles me and makes me more responsible when I have responsibility to spend that money!!

I would like to say
THANK YOU to the people who climbed Kilimanjaro. Thank you for doing this for us! Thank you for the hard work and I’m sorry for the “scary moments” that you had to go through in order to make a smile for people in Romania! Thank you. 
(Please read their report on the trip for yourself!).

Maureen's climbing challengeThank you to all the people that did a fundraising event this past summer, this month!! Thank you soooooooo much for your time and for the effort! Thank you for not giving up in supporting us!
Thank you! 

And I would like to close with a Psalm. My favourite one! This psalm I take it as a motto every time when I’m leaving Romania!! This psalm we read it this past Tuesday at our fellowship meeting with the Smiles staff member!! This psalm was the one that the Kilimanjaro team read it the day before the “final step!”……..this psalm it is a real encouragement for me when I’m down, and when I feel that the mountains that I have to climb are too high for me, no hope and everything is lost!

But don’t forget, when we feel down we need to remember this:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.

 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.

 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;

 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

Thank you God!!


Thanks to all of you!

Have a blessed month,

With love,


Previous letters from Maria:
July 2011 Let's Party
June 2011 I can only imagine...
May 2011 Because He lives...
April 2011  Surprise Surprise!
March 2011  Dreams do come true ...

February 2011  I have a dream.....

January 2011  Happy New Year...

December 2010 ;
November 2010 ;
October 2010 ; September 2010
August 2010 July 2010 ; June 2010  May 2010

April 2010  March 2010 ; February 2010  January 2010

December 2009  November 2009  October 2009  September 2009  August 2009

 June 2009  May 2009  April 2009


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