prayer and praise
I trust you have had a prayerful
June. I was a little disappointed that no one emailed to say they were
praying, but I
hope you were, so thank you! I can see how great
our God is, and the amazing things He is doing.
I thought about writing to you this month, there are many things on my
mind. Jack, our now 5 month old Collie pup is keeping me well
exercised every day, up lanes and through fields. I was out walking
early this morning. I was watching my footing on the lane, but lifted
my eyes to see the most beautiful Thorn blossom surrounding a large
tree. I stopped to look, but the thing is I walk past this tree every
day. I looked closely to admire the colours and the shapes and
suddenly this big head appeared behind the tree; it was ‘Forester’,
our young Bull, reminding me to not get too carried away with the
moment and stay on my own side of the fence!
It made me think, God is working ALL
the time, His creation, our very oxygen every day and yet we don’t
stop to see it, we walk on and we miss it. I realise we take it
for granted that the oxygen will always be there for us to breath,
even if His flowers and trees lose their blossom in winter. We miss
blessings because we don’t acknowledge God is at work.
What’s happening in your area right now?
We are half way through the year, a good time to stop and reflect
on the year so far. If you haven’t organised a Fundraiser yet for
Smiles this year, now is a good time to plan it. Take up the challenge
to meet the needs in Romania and do something good for God, either
towards the end of the Summer or into the Autumn, a lovely time of
But what can I do? Well I sent you a
photo gallery last month, so have
a look at that again. I will share some ideas with you; an
Afternoon Tea Party or a Coffee Day in your house. We just had
both this past week and raised nearly £2000. Three of our men cyclists
went on a ‘long’ Sponsored Cycle last weekend, they had a team
of ladies in a van behind them with refreshments and back up, cheering
them along the way. Fundraising must always be fun; we need to work
together cheering each other on at every opportunity. Next weekend I
am doing a ‘shorter’ sponsored Cycle with my Sunday School Kids which
will be a great afternoon of fun, with juice and ice cream on the
Perhaps a Sponsored Walk with friends
or a Church group, a Table Quiz or Cake Sale, maybe a Craft Fair which
everyone loves in Autumn. What about giving out Smartie Tubes?
Nice to eat; but even nicer to fill with 20 pence pieces. I just had a
very successful £567.40 from one lady who tried this challenge, now
this is a BIG blessing. Or perhaps host a Dance or Ceildh, a
Pampered Chef or Avon Party, ladies love to shop even at home! Always
provide food and you will get a crowd. Or include children and you
will get a bigger crowd. How and what? Well, a bouncy castle or a
clown, crazy golf or ice cream and jelly, face painting, a treasure
hunt or a BBQ.
This is the time of year to look at schools
in your area. Could you approach a Head Teacher about doing an
Assembly, asking if they would consider looking at Smiles as their
Charity for next year? Take a look at the notice boards in
Supermarkets, Banks and Businesses, often you see a large donated
cheque. Who are they supporting, find out who is in charge and ask
them to consider Smiles.
I was thinking about my Birthday which is in
October, and Christmas time. We are asked ‘what would you like for
your birthday?’ Well nothing actually, but what about having a pudding
party with no presents but donations to Smiles, or open a Just
Giving page and ask for donations. We could all do the same at
Christmas, ask for donations instead of gifts.
Kevin is running a Mission Trip over
Christmas this year. Perhaps a few of us could say no presents,
give the money to Smiles for the Christmas Mission this year or for
SOS of course. Or what about in Schools and Sunday Schools, teachers
can sacrifice their gifts for Smiles, with donations instead. It’s
easier for parents than having to go and buy something, and the poor
teacher who ends up with 40 candles or bars of soap that are never
It’s amazing how this all came to me as I
stopped to look at a tree! We are busy watching our feet, looking
down, without raising our eyes to seek God and His opportunities that
are out there for us. We need to stop and seek. God doesn’t want us to
be ‘busy’, He wants us to be ‘productive’ – have a go, there are still
6 months of 2015 to make a difference and make someone in Romania
Last week we had a preacher from Martin’s
Memorial Church, Stornaway speaking in our area; his name is Tommy
MacNeil. He is a man worth hearing, the Church website heading says;
‘where Everybody is Somebody and Jesus is Lord....’. He was
speaking on Preparing for Revival, where I realised this actually
starts right in our own hearts. We CAN do great things when we allow
God to be God, seek Him, believe He can, and see His great miracles.
Step out and do something good for Smiles
now, God needs us to be ‘active’ for Him, Smiles need the results of
us lifting our eyes and seeking the opportunities before us. There’s a
challenge for you to work on over the next few months! Let me know
what you are getting up to!
Rob and Margaret Nightingale from Redcar
have been Volunteers with Smiles for many years now, let’s hear from
We have supported Smiles since the
formation of the Smiles Club (and the complicated cardboard
collection boxes – hoorah for the plastic houses!) We have
distributed a number of house collection boxes over the years and
these continue to bring in a good amount of money.
We give presentations to anyone who
invites us and these have varied from 10 minutes to an hour, from
the school around the corner to a church 120mls away. We have met
some interesting people in schools, churches and community groups.
Through invitations to speak about Smiles, we have worshipped in
different churches, met many dedicated Christians and extended our
repertoire of hymns and choruses.
Members of our two churches in
Kirkleatham Parish continue to support a family, currently the
Macaii family in Cuiesd, by 30 people paying £1.00 per
month. We visited the family on an October 2013 Mission Trip and
it was good to meet them and to bring photographs and current news
back to Redcar.
We have links with local schools,
three of which sponsor children in education. Riverdale Primary
School, where Rob is a governor, sponsor Bogdi and though it
is a small school, they work very hard to raise the funds for him.
Most of our fund-raising efforts are
small, but often and it is surprising how the amounts accumulate.
To help fund-raise, we continue with Music Magpie and World of
Books, collecting unwanted CDs, DVDs and car loads of used
books. Margaret makes cards, chutney and jam, which is
sometimes taken to presentations, where appropriate and also sold
at craft fairs and High Street events. Our ‘Everyone’s a
Winner’ stall is always popular and usually ‘sells out’.
We have made some good friends
through The Smiles Foundation, here in the UK and in Romania. We
pray for them and all who support the charity and especially the
work force in Romania as they bring supplies, friendship and God’s
love to the poor, the homeless and the friendless
Also this month you will be interested
to hear about Annette’s School’s Children’s Parade and Charity Fair in
we could also help to bring a carnival feeling to the day. So, I
accepted the challenge and set about organising stalls. 6 of our
group agreed to come down and we set up a few gazebos, I also
invited a couple of local charities along and charged them a pitch
fee, which went towards our fundraising for the trip.
It all started in 2008 when one of my
good friends told me that she was going to be starting a new project
in Worthing…the Worthing School’s Children’s Parade. She was
going to be organising this wonderful new event and many of our
local schools were going to be taking part. They would be building
fantastic large makes and props and then, with a couple of school
samba bands, they would be parading through the town and ending up
in one of Worthing’s large green park areas.
Later that year a large group of us
were to be heading out to Romania on our first Mission Trip with
The Smiles Foundation and we were looking at various ways to
raise money, to take out with us. This Parade seemed like an ideal
opportunity for some of us to hold a stall and do just that and, at
the same time
The day was fantastic and everyone had
a really lovely time. My friend decided to organise the Parade again
the following year and once again, I agreed to organise a Fair on
Steyne Gardens; the place where the Parade ends. I wanted it to be
bigger and better than the previous year and so sent out dozens of
letters to local charities inviting them to hold a stall, for a
fixed pitch fee, payable to The Smiles Foundation.
Well, last weekend saw the EIGHTH
Worthing School’s Children’s Parade and Charity Fair. Every
year, I say it is my last year, but, when the time comes to start
sending out letters to charities, I simply cannot say "no". Yes, it
is hard work and you never know how it is going to turn out on the
day. Will the weather be good to us? Will lots of Charities turn up?
Will everyone be happy? But one thing remains firm and that is God
is with us. He ensures the day goes well and it is always a success.
Each year we raise around £500 for the fantastic work being carried
out in Romania and that makes everything worthwhile.
If you are thinking about organising
a fundraising event, but don’t know whether to or not, please can I
ask you to stop and think for just one moment of the little faces
that you meet when you are in Romania, the elderly who just want to
hold your hand and smile, or the lonely and homeless who don’t even
have a proper bed to sleep in……then you will know that it IS
Finally, dates to get into your diaries
Please plan to come to one of our
Volunteer Days in September. The dates are Saturday 5th
in Leeds and Sunday 6th in Belfast. These will be great
days to be encouraged and inspired in fellowship together. Kevin will
be flying over with Romanian guests. More detail will follow, but do
let Dawn or me know if you are able to attend either day.
I want to leave you with Galatians 6:9 which
I was reading on Saturday after my walk with Jack and my talk to God
at the tree;
"Let’s not get tired of doing what is
good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we
don’t give up."
I will be in Romania for the month of July,
continue to pray for all the summer work with all the Mission
Trippers. Have another good month. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you and God Bless.
Development Ambassador &
The Smiles Foundation
0788 087 5845
June 2015 - Be glad you are not a cow!
2015 - Sharing Something Special
- Welcome backMarch
2015 - Welcome back
February 2015 - Introduction
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