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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Happy Birthday to Me!

Maria’s Report – April 2012  

Yes, this month is my birthday! Well, my Web Page birthday!
3 years ago, on April 1st, I started sharing with you things that are going on in my professional life, sometimes person
al life! …sad things, happy ones, lots of surprises!

I would like to say THANK YOU to all the people that are reading my page month by month. Thank you for your encouragements and prayers! My page is like a child that goes from the nursery now to the kindergarten! I’m sure you will find interesting the next few months, years! With God’s help I can’t wait to share with you all the events that are going on, from my desk, in my Smiles life, and so on! Let’s pray for a blessed time!! …As for my birthday cake, send me back an e-mail and I will send you a piece of it!!!!

But you might wonder what I was doing during March?? Well, I told you, I know now to walk better and talk better….so my desk was mobile and very busy this past month!!

On my last update I was telling you about the opening of the Smiles City Shop and all the work that went in to that!! The first month of the shop, was a great month! Lots of people that got in touch with what Smiles is doing in Oradea and through-out Bihor County.

The girls working at the shop, Octavia (my sister) and Flavia Jurj are doing an amazing job! Their commitment and hard work it a great encouragement for me each day! Octavia has found her passion in life, shopping
non –stop!! This new role as a person in charge of the retail shops fit’s like a glove for her personality! She is doing great and I’m amazed, because I never knew that my sister can work that much and so hard !! ….so well done Octo!!!

Flavia, is a sweet girl that came for the interview for the job nearly two months ago! I was not involved in the interview because Octo and Georgi did not give me permission. They said I would get “bored” fast and will cause them problems because they have 15-20 ladies in the first session……but still I sneak in the place one of the days, and I saw Flavia there while she had the interview!  To be honest (and Georgi can tell you this too ) the first impression was not a very positive one! The second time when the girls meet and had to take the final decision, out of 5 (that were in the final short list) they chose Flavia!  I was curious to see it how it works….and with embarrassment I say, Flavia impressed me more than words can say! Her attitude to people and for the job, her hard work (she is the first to arrive and leaves regularly 1 hour or more after the store is closed) and her spirit wins my support!

Please pray for Octo and Flavia …but especially Flavia. She is at the beginning of the job, and this job is a  ministry too……………………………I’m privileged to have Flavia part of the Sminro team! I hope she will stay with us for a long time, and one day she can take over the management of the shop!
…Right Flavia??

I’m also impressed with the comments I hear from people (Christian or non-Christian) about the shop and about the attitude the girls have when people get in the place!

I love spending time there (because it’s open till late) helping the girls in the simple ways I can (cleaning, decorating the place, rearranging the clothes )…AND because of course I have my wedding dresses there too!!!  One day, while I was there, a lady came and she said : “I enter in the shop from curiosity, but I can’t leave because everything here is sooooooo nice”.. Each day, the people that come to the shop hear about God too, through the Christian radio that we leave playing all day long… K-LOVE RADIO!! If they ever read my page, I want to tell them they are doing a great job too...!!

I could continue about the shop, but this month will stop here….leave some for  next month
…..Because I had other things to do, like Salonta J.F.L., or daily responsibilities, I had to put them as “orderly as possible” because we were getting ready to go for 2 weeks Tour in the UK.

So, on March 8th together with other colleagues of mine, the leaders of the different projects got in the bus and off to United Kingdom for a very busy tour in lots of different places…..We were excited about what we had to do, but at the same time, a bit worried because of what we left back home as responsibilities…..It was the first time ever that me, Georgi and Adi left at the same time the Romanian office for 2 weeks!! We left everything in God’s hands because there it is secure 100% and He did not let us down….HE NEVER DOES! When we give it all to him!!

Our tour started in Southern Ireland. A great place with great friends, which was an encouragement for our first presentation! Thank you Ian and Amanda and the team from Sligo for making this possible.

Than we moved north, and our second stop was in Richhill, NI. Again lots of friends that I can’t name them all here because I do not what to forget anyone, but they know best who are they….. Great time and great fellowship. Thank you guys for ALL your support! I’m always shocked, in a good way, about the way you put things together and I want to tell you again, in your presence I feel like I have a second family!!!! As big as my first one.

I do want to say thank you to our DA for Northern Ireland & Eire, Barbara Morrison and all the ambassadors that are helping her for ALL the work they do for Smiles,…….I know it’s not always easy but with God’s help month by month we see things happening and hearts opening for the work here in Romania!

After the quick visit in Ireland we moved to Scotland!! After an even shorter time in Scotland, it was time to move to England!!!

We started in a small place, but important one, in Inskip! On the way, we visited the LAKE DISTRICT. It was great to see God’s marvellous work in creation.

Than we moved on to Chesterfield, then Redcar. That evening we will never forget because before the presentation we received a phone call from Romania, from our person in charge, Mioara Tarau. She told us that Vio, a young girl that came to Smiles in September 2011, part of the apprenticeship program, was released home after nearly 3 months of hospital treatment. Mioara’s voice told us that the situation is not too good. We started the presentation and we prayed for God’s will in Vio’s situation. Soon after we finished the presentation Mioara send us a text message telling us that Vio was at peace…..and now at home with her Heavenly Father! We were shocked and saddened but reminded once again, this life is not the end, only the beginning.

Gorsley, Carmarthen, Worthing The Team with Nia at Gorsleyand Chelmsford were other places where we had presentations of “Stories from the heart” ….Great places, amazing people, lots of commitment and great support form all the people that came. I will never have enough words to express my gratitude for the work of all the DA’s, Ambassadors and all the supporters! May God bless you more than you can ever imagine!

Our tour of the UK ended up in London……We had a day off before flying back to Romania…..So here we had the opportunity to visit the amazing city….One of the big surprises we had here was when Mr Hoy told us that we are going to see MAMA MIA – the stage show!!!! It WAS PERFECT!!!!! A great way to close the two weeks away!! THANK YOU SEFUUUUUUUUU FOR THAT!!

March 21st we came back…….since then we work, work and work to get all the things back in place! I joke now
because the people that were staying here did an AMAZING job and kept everything in place. I would like to say special thank you to M.C.D.O.S.N.C.R.M.G.C.G.D.L.I.V.P.A.P.M…and many many others that keep the place in one piece while we were away! I would also like to say THANK YOU to the team that was with me to UK. To Adi, Georgi, Rita, Raul, Rebeca Sami, Nelu and Mr Hoy!!! You did great and I’m proud of you too!! Also to Dawn at the Leeds office for months of great administration which paid off with a great tour.

I think I was long with my report this month, so I better stop here…..But not before I remind you that ALL this things are possible only through God “Who makes all things work together for good for those who love Him”.  Because HE LIVES we can face tomorrow! This was one of my favourite songs as a child and still is and we also did it during the tour….. This month we celebrate Jesus Resurrection too!!!

I pray Jesus to always be ALIVE in our life, in our jobs, in everything we do!!!!
Because HE lives we can face tomorrow and all the days are ahead of us!!!!

Be blessed,


Previous letters from Maria:
March 2012 - Miracles in Life
February 2012 - Time Flys
January 2012 - Have a blessed year!

December 2009  November 2009  October 2009  September 2009 
August 2009  July2009  June 2009  May 2009  April 2009


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