prayer and praise
God ALL things are possible
The exciting thing about our God is that we
don’t know what He has in store for us on a daily basis. September has
been action packed, why? ..... Because God has been at work!
I want to begin by thanking Kevin and Maria
for being in the UK for special meetings and our Volunteer Days in
Leeds and Belfast. These were most enjoyable with challenging and
informative updates from Romania, encouragement to us as volunteers,
guidance for the year ahead and fellowship together. Thank you to
those who come along, but to all of you, I am available for
follow up discussion, planning and working together as Volunteers to
make a difference to the lives of those we love in Romania, so call me
or email me anytime.
Please read Robin Cooper’s story
about his ‘leap of faith’ for Smiles. At 63 years old, a friend
of Robin asked him if he should be doing this. He replied; ‘probably
not, but it is all for a good cause’.
I am an avid book worm and read most
evenings , one evening in May I was happily reading and suddenly
this thought popped into my mind, ‘What about a parachute jump?’
My immediate reaction was ‘Get behind me satan, we are having none
of that!" Heights are a bit of a problem for me, I do not even like
climbing a step ladder. However the same thought came into my mind
for the next 3 evenings so I thought ‘It looks like someone is
trying to tell me something here’!
A few days later I decided to call at
SKYDIVE HIBALDSTOW. I had a look around, had a chat, bit the
bullet and paid a deposit for the jump on Wednesday 29th July,
weather permitting. Gulp, I had done it now!
On Sunday I made an announcement to my church of what I intended and
the response was excellent, about £85 pledged in 5 minutes.
Leading up to that Wednesday, the weather
was atrocious. It rained on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and
Tuesday. The forecast was rain on the Wednesday and Thursday, so we
all prayed for good weather and I know from Emilia that the Smiles
team were also praying for me.
Here is where the Hand of God kicked in. I
had to book in for 8.30am, and on the way Sally was checking the
weather forecast saying there should be a four hour slot of dry
weather before the rain returned at about midday.
The briefing was at 8.40am, myself and 4
other ‘victims’ involved, kitted up in a flight suit, helmet and
goggles loaded into a small minibus with our instructors, a camera
man and 5 experienced Sky Divers who were to depart from the
aircraft at 10,000ft to do their own thing. It was only at take off
when reality began to set in. As we climbed through a scattering of
cloud between 7,000 and 10,000ft, the camera man had me in his
sights and my expressions on the DVD at times are priceless.
At 10,000ft the roller shutter door opened and the 5 skydivers went
out together, with me craning my neck to watch, the door closed and
I thought, ’it's me next, I am sitting at the doorway!’
At 15,000ft the door opened, the
instructor tapped me on the shoulder and we shuffled to the door
way, harnesses clipped together, my thumbs hooked under the shoulder
straps to keep my arms well tucked in. At the doorway a tap on my
left knee was the signal to raise my legs so that the instructor
held my weight as we walked out of the door. Here I made the mistake
of looking down to see the ground three miles below, fields the size
of postage stamps and bits of cloud all over the lower levels.
Too late, we were on our way, gravity
taking over, one leg was slightly out of position and we were
slightly aerobatic, almost half rolling before the instructor
regained control. I think I was gasping, mouth wide open, trying to
breath, mainly through shock I think.
As we fell, the Instructor deployed a
drogue chute that stabilised our speed at 120 mph and kept us in a
horizontal. At 120 mph with a slightly loose fitting helmet,
goggles trying to escape and cheeks flapping and ballooning like a
well fed hamster it is difficult to look at the cameraman with a
composed expression and smile, try it sometime
So the first two miles are in free fall at
120 mph, then the Instructor spun us about 6 times both clockwise
and anticlockwise, wow, that was disorientating and unexpected.
However at 5000ft the canopy was deployed
and it was totally different and relaxing, almost like being in an
armchair, no sensation of speed, noise or wind direction. The
airfield was below us and through the thickening cloud the view was
unreal, totally peaceful. I had a go on the direction controls
turning left and right before handing control back to the Instructor
for landing on my backside at 20mph.
God's hand was with us again. On our way
down the cloud was thickening and lowering, but we were falling
through a sunlit hole above the airfield. A few minutes after I
landed the cloud cover was complete over the airfield.
Apparently while the hole was above the airfield, clouds could be
seen either side of it moving towards the east, but the hole
remained in position until a few moments after I had landed;
After refreshments and the certificate
with DVD award we left the airfield and about 5 minutes down the
road, the rain returned. Thank you Lord for arranging that weather
on that day. I now fully understand the Latin phrase ‘terra firma’
which means ‘the more firmer, the less terror’!
A Leap of Faith; an everyday occurrence
in the life of The Smiles Foundation. Spiritual warfare is so
real. We face it daily as Maria shared with us on Volunteer Day.
Together we need to be aware of the cunning attacks that can cripple
God’s work if we allow it to. How and why do I say this?
In August we filled a second container of
aid scheduled to leave NI on 13th September.
Thank you everyone across NI who collected, packed and loaded this
On 2nd September our
scheduled driver had backed out so we did not have a driver and were
in hot pursuit to find a suitable person to be available and deliver
the much needed Aid to Smiles. During the following week, we
experienced God move in a very assertive and powerful way that has
reminded me and many others, that nothing will stop God’s will and
way. Actually, we can live in self-made prisons, limiting the power of
God in our OWN lives.
So, what happened? Well we began to pray,
simply pray; ‘Lord this truck is ready to go, it is needed so
badly in Romania and we believe that it is going to leave on 13th
September’. The power of prayer should never be
underestimated; as we cry out for help in Jesus’ name..... heaven will
move earth. When two people join together and pray, God is in the
midst of that prayer and sends His angels on assignment to guard and
protect us in all of our ways, to make what seems impossible to
us.....possible. There are no limits with God!
As we told God the truck was ready and it is
needed in Romania, He already knew that and what’s more, He knew it
was going to leave on 13th September. Faith is trusting
in the One who knows. We remained faithful to Him in prayer and
belief that this would happen, yet I did not have a clue how it would
Smiles Foundation has been built and operates because of ‘faithful’
people who believe that God will make a way when there seems to be no
way. You know that if you are involved, and have visited the Mission
work in Romania.
I was privileged to be given that ‘peace’
that we cannot understand, that assurance that everything will be
alright, and the patience to wait for God to move at the right moment
to bring everything together so that the Truck left on time. Yes, the
butterflies were fluttering inside many times, fear and uncertainty
did its best to invade, but I did not take my eyes off Jesus, nor did
We are blessed, not only to have the
expertise and knowledge of our Haulage Companies in NI, on this
occasion McBurneys, Sawyers, Dennisons and McConaghys, but
their commitment to makes these journeys possible and to see the
essential Aid reach Smiles on time. They partner with us in prayer,
our two people actually became 20 or 30 or 100 praying together, and
God heard our prayers. He wanted this truck to reach Romania and as
Mark the driver tooted and waved to us as he left at the
scheduled time on 13th September, we knew he
would get there.....and he did in record time. Why? Because we
believed in the One who made it all possible. We are also delighted
Mark made it back, completed the entire trip in 12 days including a
return load collection in Austria. Having been told it could take 6
weeks we knew God had other plans and would not let us down at this
stage. He didn’t and we are delighted to testify to this fact.
These days we give God our sincere thanks,
we praise Him and give Him all the glory for what He has made
possible. He always wanted this Aid away on time and arriving earlier
than usual, He called us to remain faithful in prayer, put our faith
into action and watch the miracle unfold. Praise God, it happened!
Never underestimate the power of prayer!
As we personally partner with Smiles in
whatever capacity, continue to pray for the work, the staff, the
projects and the much financial support needed. Together we can unfold
God’s will for His people, see His miracles before our eyes and
experience His amazing blessing in our lives IF we remain faithful.
Spend some time thinking what you can do to
help; a fundraiser, a monthly sponsorship, a presentation, a prayer
meeting.... let’s continue to ‘make smiles and change lives.’
Until next time ponder over these words in
Hebrews 10. As I was waiting to get my hair cut yesterday (my
favourite appointment!), I read these verses which I know were to
complete this month’s letter;
v23: "Let us hold unswervingly to
the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us
consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day
Thank you for being a part of
God Bless you all.
Development Ambassador &
The Smiles Foundation
0788 087 5845
September 2015 - Real people make a Real
2015 - GO andGrow!
July 2015 - Being prayerful
June 2015 - Be glad you are not a cow!
2015 - Sharing Something Special
- Welcome backrch
2015 - Welcome back
February 2015 - Introduction
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