Many Hands and
Faithful Hearts ...
I am just home following 2 wonderful weeks
on Mission with Volunteers from all over the UK; every country
represented this month. Dawn was with us too from the Leeds office
which was lovely. It was a very special time, a very busy time and a
great learning time for me personally, which I want to share.
The 3rd week of October Mission
Trips arrived in Budapest as we left, and knowing the work ahead of
them, part of me wished I could stay on. However, having mulled this
over and prayed, I knew it was wise and necessary to come home, but I
have been able to pray through these days and enjoy the reports of
amazing progress. We were 11 – 82 years old, God can use us all!
So, what did we do?
As Smiles emphasises the experience of ‘Hands on Mission’, that is
exactly what we are. Every day activity included painting, cleaning,
building, elderly lunch, teenage fun days, nursery and school visits,
food distribution, elderly home visits ...... all the things that make
up a ‘Hands on Mission’. Together we covered a lot of work!
know the saying; ‘many hands make light work’. Well we had many hands,
willing hands during these weeks. We even enjoyed a special staff work
day at JFL2 when many staff rolled up their sleeves and joined is
visitors for a hard day of slightly different work! I saw dirt shift
off windows and doors, the sensory garden fill with soil, roller
brushes transform walls and light come into the building in a new way.
Many hands were getting the work done; we had great fun together, with
banter and laughter in 2 languages, the whole building filled with
joy, focused on getting it ready for opening.
We go on Mission with willing hands and many
people do things that they have never done before. Some painted for
the first time and loved it! I often hear that the greatest blessings
come when we step out of our comfort zone.
Why are we blessed on Mission?
When we discuss our Mission Trips at home, I very often hear it
said that we are blessed as much (or more) as those we go to visit and
help. Well I have thought a lot about this during my trip and during
these few days back home. It takes time to settle home again, takes
time to ‘digest’ and ‘reflect’ on everything.
We are blessed because we see like minded
Smiles Staff working so very hard to help vulnerable people. We see
their hearts and their commitment to make a difference to someone’s
life. The striking thing is that they work very, very hard, starting
with amazing leadership and filtering throughout. There is commitment
and dedication that we are enjoying being a part of and yet at the
same time, God is challenging us to take up that baton and go the
extra mile for Him through the work of Smiles.
We are blessed on Mission because we witness
‘miracles’ before our eyes. The court case was settled while I was out
there; the power of prayer filtered into the heart of the judge who
sided in favour with Smiles.
As I said last month, we can live in
self-made prisons, limiting the power of God in our OWN lives with
unbelief and doubt, as we pray without really believing it can happen.
Smiles are believing for miracles and seeing these miracles unfold
daily in financial support to operate, legal documents granted,
baptisms in church, kids going to school, homeless coming to faith....
and so on. We are blessed on Mission because we see ‘faith in action’,
and for me that is the greatest privilege and inspiration.
What did I learn?
Spiritual attacks are real when we are in front line ministry.
When good and great things are happening for God we can be sure we
will have a visit from the enemy. So if you are sitting comfortably,
it’s time to get out and do something more and be ready for the
visitor to arrive. These attacks can be simple words spoken, barriers
closing down or simple uncertainty that we can do it or fear to step
out. This is simply the subtle distraction from doing great things
with God and for God.
Even during my Mission weeks, I was
immobilised with fear and doubt one morning that left me unable to
think straight. The answer of course is found in the words; ‘fix your
eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face’. Fix and focus,
believing that all things are possible with God.
Many hands and Faithful hearts is my
title this month.
Hands working together; faithful and
believing, hearts praying together. That is what we need to be. We
have so much to do in the UK and America to support the work in
Romania. Just as the staff work together to make it happen out there,
so we can work together too.
McKinlay has faithfully presented the work of Smiles to her
school, waiting with frustration at times for the right opportunity to
come along to get some partnership set up. It has happened, the door
of opportunity has opened and work has started to link Tileagd to
Scotland. Our faithfulness is so important; God’s timing is always
John Campbell and Marion Morgan
inspired us all with their faithful fundraising efforts to build
houses in the Rapa Community. At 71 years old, John walked 192 miles
across England and showed us beautiful slides of his experience, while
Marion at 68 years old completed a Zip Wire at 140 MPH, the fastest
Zip Wire in Europe apparently! These are faithful hearts.
The year is closing in, but it’s far from
over, because every day is a Mission Field for us. There are
opportunities for us to grasp and I encourage you to do it with
Smiles. I believe in the work they are doing, I see it every day on
Mission, I see God working miracles in our lives as well as their
lives, both staff, the organisation, and the beneficiaries. You do
Please take up a challenge to do something
for Smiles before the year ends. Maybe you have already been asked
what you would like for Christmas. So, what about each of us
sacrificing at least 1 present for a donation to God’s work through
Smiles instead! We can make a difference!
Or we have Christmas Fairs, Markets, Teas,
Carol Services, School Concerts.... please try to find some way to
raise funds during November and December. We all enjoy Christmas; help
those who see it as ‘just another day’ without food or heat, to enjoy
something special this year.
Chloe is one of our Student Ambassadors
and wrote these inspiring words....