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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Dear Friends  
Another month has gone and I can’t believe we are already in the middle of 2009!!  May was another busy month in the life of the Smiles Foundation and my “desk” was as busy as always.

May 1st  - I got ready for a new experience that I was so looking forward to it. At 11 pm the previous day, I received a phone call that said: “the container from Ireland is near to the border and you need to come here in case the driver needs help with translation”. So, off I went, but our God worked in miraculous ways and I was not needed to translate a word. By 2am the big truck with the Container was already in Cihei!!!....Was great to meet Sydney (the driver of the truck) and I was amazed at his passion for driving that huge “car” to a country that he had never been to, to a charity that he did not know much about, but willing to say: “here I am, use me”......Because it was so late, we decided to park the truck with the container outside in the valley because we did not want to wake up all the neighbours.....BUT  next morning  at 10 am we park  the truck with the container in the Smiles Yard..... Was a big challenge....but Sydney did great...

May 2nd  - the team arrived and the party began!!!
The march ritual they did from the mission centre to the warehouse was soooo funny and I could not stop laughing! When Mr Hoy opened the Container doors I was shocked by the way that all things have been packed......nearly 1000 boxes - all sorts of sizes, beautiful carpet, huge amount of pampers, construction materials & tools, garden tools – I was amazed at the generosity of the people that put all this together!!

Thank you very very much for everything you did for my people in Romania and for all the great gifts you sent us!! Everyday I open a box I feel like it’s Christmas morning!!!! So if YOU are one of the persons that gave one penny or £1 or £100 or donated the supplies from our Wish List -  I just want to say THANK YOU AGAIN FOR DOING SO!!!

Our warehouse looks full and I’m really happy!!  We don’t have to spend so much money for our projects ....

Having the team for the entire week was great fun as well! Great people made my week to feel like I’m on holiday and reminded me once again that a  Mission Trip Experience is a life changing one....not just for the visitors but for me and my people as well!! (Mission Trips). Different projects every day, different experiences, different people, different circumstances, made one of my new friends to describe the week as “an emotional rollercoaster“....

I remember Tuesday I had all the team, 22 people, with me for the day!! It was amazing!!! I loved it....Was a new experience for me as well (never had a big team on my own for the entire day from 9 am till 6 I want to say thank you to my boss for trusting me with this task and also thank you to the mission team for being such a good team and listening to all that I said !!

We visited Tileagd Nursery, School, Complex, Gypsy village and then we went to Bratca!

Bratca is a special project for me. First time I went there in 2003, I could not believe that something like this existed in my own country. I could not sleep properly for weeks and my mind was always with those kids. I said at that time that I would never go back, but soon I discovered that I took every single opportunity I had to go and see them again. Today, it is a better place.......They learned to SMILE.....Not because their circumstances got much better, but because they know there are people that LOVE THEM!!!

 I have some great friends there:  Pepi, Marcela, Moni, Petrica and Andrei are few of the 25 patients that know and understand when I talk to them, hug them, play with them, sing with them. The team I had with me did great and I was very proud of them. We took a new wheel-chair for my friend Petrica and this picture can’t express the happiness he felt when he saw it and sat in it!! We did sing with the kids and play and  their faces radiated happiness.....I can’t wait for the day when we all get in heaven and these kids that are now mentally and physically disabled and can’t do or say much, will share their life story with us.

They are my dear friends and their smiley faces against such hard conditions makes me appreciate more what I have, happy with the way I look, pleased with the way I am ... ONLY because God loves me as much as HE loves them!! As it says in Mathew:

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)

 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

As soon as the team left, and my ‘holiday’ finished I came back to my desk! We (the management team) started “a marathon of meetings” where our days were made of 8-10 hour meetings....planning, structuring the work of Smiles Foundation in Romania, and how the activities and current circumstances in the UK and USA were affecting our opportunities.

And what’s next?? Well I’m getting ready for a “marathon trip” to USA where for the next 9 days I will spend all my time in meetings or travelling! Please pray for safe travels and for God’s blessing on us!  I will tell you more about this on my update in July!!

So, thank you again for reading my report every month, for your encouragement to me and my staff, for your prayers and for your financial support. Without the generosity of people like you our work here in Romania would not have been possible. May God bless you all.

 And if you did not book your holiday yet and you are not sure where to spend your time, I invite you to come and visit Romania, investing with the Smiles Foundation. You will meet great people, see great places and have a great time....and you will never be the same again. Promise you, you won’t regret it!

Be blessed,

Maria Cimpoca
Smiles Romania

Previous letters from Maria: May 2009  April 2009



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