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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Containers…. Holiday…Hospital…Containers

And yet, I think in my eyes, May is still one of the nicest months of the year.

This May started really nicely for me here in Smiles!
On May 1st we had two huge 40ft Containers delivered full with all sorts of goodies! 27 people on the mission trip full of passion for the work in Romania and the people here! How could I expect more?!?! For the next two weeks we open boxes, delivered goods to people, did construction, educational programs, medical visits as well. We had great fellowship with each other, and the part that really touched me was the way this team led WORSHIP! I thought I had died and gone to Heaven! Sunday Church, midweek fellowship and every night during our devotion they sang so nice that you were thinking that Heaven’s Angels came down on this earth!! THANK YOU GUYS for an AMAZING WEEK!!!! And for EVERYTHING you brought in the Containers and that you are doing for us!!!!

A few days after they left and after lots of meetings that we had related to the farm completion, I had my HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!YES YES YES - HOLIDAY in the real meaning of the word!!!! So for 9 days, Georgi, Mioara, Cristina and ME went to a very nice place in Cyprus called Ayia Napa! We had lots of fun and a really relaxing time. But all this would not have been possible without Ann Cowan’s help! She offered us their holiday house and the car in order for us to have a time that we will NEVER forget! THANK YOU Ann and all the COWAN family sooooooooooooooooooooooo much for everything!! Our batteries are really charged up and we are ready for the summer mission trip schedule. During our holiday we did lots of great things: swimming, walking, diving, visiting places that we saw only on the map or books and many other things. One day we were going on a small cruise to visit the caves that were in that area. Cape Greco is a famous one! I always dreamed of doing that.

What I did not dream was to get sunburn from sitting in the sun too much without proper protection. So for the last 2 days of the holiday I had to learn how to live with the pain. Once I got home on Sunday I went straight to the emergency room at the Hospital here in Oradea! When I got there and told them my problem they were looking at me wondering if I’m ok! First I did not understand but when the doctor asked me the same question:Miss Maria, did you say that the sunburn you got happened this week?!?!, WHERE have you been because in Oradea was raining all week". I got the message! So because my burns were not as simple as I thought (it was 2nd grade burns on half of my back) they keep me in the Hospital for the next 3 days! I was shocked because that was the first time for me in a hospital, having injections and drops and all from a small mistake I did: “wanting to have fun”. But you know what I’ve learnt from my experience in the Hospital?? To be more thankful for the life I have and the health God gives me! While I was there I saw people with real problems not small ones like mine. People, that when I listen to their life story, I was so happy that I’m God’s child and not have to worry about my death! I was pleased that I could share that with them as well and now when I have the chance to visit them at their home I will do that…because we are friends.

Wednesday the doctor came to me and said:
Maria you can go home, but make sure you do not plan any meetings with the sun for the next 6 months”. I was very happy when I’ve heard that …well not really for the part with the sun. So off I went from there and I came in the office to see my colleagues and spend some time with them discovering all the news from the last two weeks.
One of the greatest news that I heard and would like to share with you is that our colleague Dana Hanga gave birth to a very cute baby girl on the same day that I came out of the Hospital!! Dana has worked in Smiles since 2004 on the legal- administrative side and she does a fantastic job. It’s great news that we won’t lose Dana’s knowledge in the work that needs to be done and is great to have a new employee in Smiles that is only a few weeks old!! Please pray for Dana and Cipri, that God will bless their family, give them protection and wisdom to raise little Maya in the image of Christ.

So, by the time that the month of May finished, I managed to come back to work. After nearly 2 weeks off, on May 28th, I came back with new forces, battery charged up, ready for new experiences!! BUT the verse in the Bible that says: “our plans are not God’s plans” got more real to me that day. I came in the office very happy and ready to start my work.

After a few issues in the office that were “waiting” for me, I received a phone call that said: “the crane and the trailer that needs to move your container from one place to the Cihei site is there and you need to go to see them!”.

Off I went and after 20 minutes of talking with the guys about the procedures that we need to do in order to move the Container, they told me that it will be done quite fast. So because they need more tools and they needed to go back to their depot, I decided there was no point for me to stay and wait, but to come back to the office until they bring the tools. Because in the office we had different meetings going on and my mind was at the Containers, I decided to get out for few minutes and make a phone-call to see if everything is ok. While I was on the phone, and I was looking from my window to the crane and the container, I saw the container coming down and the crane going up…..and a huge BANG!!!!!! I was shocked!! Completely shocked! Could not speak, for few seconds you felt like I died!

I don’t know how I managed to get in the car and go straight to the Container but I did! Once I got there I was devastated. My container was damaged, half broken…More than that, because of the length of the crane and the container my neighbour’s car was damaged! All the electric cables were broken so no more electricity in the village!! People were not too happy with me because of the damage! Although it was not my fault I did feel like it was. I was very happy that no one was hurt, but sad because all this was happening today! After 12 hours of working on the Container, crane and cables things managed to come back to normal…well as normal as they could. Now the insurance company needs to do their work and put all the things together, so please pray for that! And for me, please pray for calm, as I got really stressed out because of this incident!

But yet again, what I’ve learned? I realised in my life, in my work that HE is the ONE that had EVERYTHING under CONTROL. NOTHING belongs to me! I can’t control the world, I can’t control things that seem simple and I think I can! I am truly happy for that. I’m happy that God sends me different messages to make sure He has my full attention. What about you my friend?

Don’t wait for the “hard messages” from Him because it might be painful, but if this is what He needs to do in order to have us for Him He will send those as well!

Hope that I will see many of you this summer, during our Mission Trips or the visits to the UK and US later in the year! But if not, please continue to pray for our work here in Romania, for the summer Mission Trips that start next week, for the concerts we have in UK with the new Children’s Choir……..and please continue to pray for ME! For wisdom from above and strength in everything I do in my work life and my private life!

Thank you for everything,



Previous letters from Maria:
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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    Page last updated on 31/05/2010 05:38:15 PM
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