prayer and praise
People making a Real Difference'
It seems like no time since I wrote about
the Mission Trip season being upon us and now I canít quite believe it
is the end of August and the Summer Season has drawn to a close. I am
home 3 weeks now. It often takes me this time to reflect, digest and
to get my head around a few things.
July in Cihei was very busy, very productive
and a real blessing for me. I simply pray that we have reached a few
more people with hope and shared Godís love in a real, tangible way
that can change lives for eternity. After all, that is why we GO; to
serve Him and to share His Love.
I want to thank you for responding to my
Update/Prayer Letter during July, it is very encouraging and essential
that we join together in prayer, because without it nothing will be
John and Joan Mayo have been faithful
Volunteerís for many years now. I have learned much from their
commitment and experience with Smiles. I would like to share some of
you for your Prayer Letter, it was encouraging to hear your
experiences during this Mission Trip and to be able to pray into the
situations you shared. In fact it was inspirational!
Reading your email I was there in Romania
sharing your experiences and also re-living many of my own. Our
first experience of the need in Rapa in 2013, the plight of the
Homeless on a hot day, the joy of the Elderly Lunch at Gepiu when
the singing and prayers of these precious elderly folk lifted you to
a new height in worship, the enjoyment of the 'simple pleasures' of
the Tileagd children at summer school and the eager participation of
the children attending Holiday Bible Club!
The challenge of Family Visits on a hot
day when the lack of sanitation, heat from the stoves and various
odours take your breath away. The joy of time spent with our friends
Felicia, Mia and all the residents at Salonta and Oradea Elderly
Centres. The progress on the Disability Centre from the day when we
first viewed the Salonta site & the incredulous look on our grandson
Thomas's face as he asked Kevin "how long will it take"? All these
things that make a Mission Trip with Smiles such a challenge but
also a joy! Our first Mission Trip with Smiles in 2005 when we met
some amazing fellow mission trippers, including Rob & Margaret and
Stephen & Carol and were so aware that God had His hand on Smiles in
an amazing way and was calling us to be involved. Thank you for the
memories your email has rekindled!"
Thank you Volunteers who travelled to
Romania so far this year. It was great to have been with so many of
you this summer. Jo Reading from Worthing was on her second
Mission Trip and wrote some thoughts;
am I here?' I thought to myself as I stood there witnessing poverty
which would shock you to your core (2 hours flight from home, Europe
2015!) 'What good can I possibly be doing, standing here feeling
compassion for their situation and guilt for all I have at home -
comfort, love, security, purpose?' Then this evening Kevin said,
'You can't change the world but you can try to change the world for
one person.' Little steps. Today a smile, a sweet and a toy made the
difference in the day of the life of a small child. Today that will
have to be enough. But watch out! If you're already fed up with me
talking about the huge difference 'Smiles' is making to lives of
desperate people, I intend to be SHOUTING about it on my return for
which I will make no apologies!!
"So. Packing up and traveling home day.
What an incredible week it's been. When I get back please don't ask
me, 'How was Romania?' To get an answer to that you need to come
here for yourself (ask me about that) for no answer could possibly
describe it. Instead, ask me about Violeta (expect tears). Ask me to
tell you the story of Johnny and Maria living homelessly. Ask me
about George and Lady Maria and how Smiles are helping them at the
JFL centre. Ask me to tell you Florentinaís story and how she ended
up at the Container Village. Or ask me about the ladies of Tileagd
making crafts so that they are able to feed their children. If you
have a while to listen to my answer, ask me about the people who
work for Smiles; Kevin, Raul, Nelu, Adi, Dan, Ioana, Emilia, Georgi,
Maria, to name but a few. Because you see.....my experience this
week hasnít been about a place, itís been about people. Real people
struggling and people struggling to make a real difference."
Violet and Rosemary Hunter were on
their first trip from Northern Ireland and wrote this article for
their local Newspaper;
Smiles Foundation was set up to work with the homeless, elderly,
disabled and disadvantaged children and families in Romania. We,
along with 12 others from Route Presbytery, signed up for a week
working alongside the staff to see first -hand the amazing work they
do by participating in a Hands On Mission Experience (H.O.M.E).
The week involved family care visits,
delivering food to the homeless, Holiday Bible Club, elderly lunch
and practical days cleaning houses or working in the Glasshouse. One
of the main projects was laying paving and preparing a garden in a
new centre for the disabled. It was great to see and work on this
project as the team raised over £17,500 ($35,000) towards the
Capital Costs of JFL Phase 2.
Back home, it makes you appreciate all
that we have Ė when giving a child in Romania a balloon and a packet
of sweets their wee faces light up as if you have given them the
world. We have so much to be thankful for living in Northern
Ireland. If you ever get the urge to do something different we would
definitely recommend a week with the Smiles Team in Romania."
Joanne Morrow and Catherine Montgomery led a team from NI; Joanne
As a team we felt very privileged to work on various Smiles
projects and also with the staff in Romania. The following verse
really spoke to me as I prepared for my time in Romania and sums
up my whole experience with Smiles. It shows the reason why we
share God's love - "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for
me." Matthew 25:40."
year I was given the opportunity to lead a Mission Trip for Smiles
to Romania. The team was made up of 29 people of all ages and
skills from Northern Ireland. The team was called 'Carland and
Friends' and we set out at the beginning of July for a week of
Missionary work including house visits and practical work. I had
been to Romania on a Mission Trip with Smiles two years ago. I
really felt God had placed it on my heart to go back again and
allow others to experience what I had. Prior to the trip, the team
met every few months for prayer and team building. The team bonded
very quickly and we could really see the benefits of our meetings
while we were on Mission in Romania. We cried together and laughed
together. It was clear God was answering prayer! We could really
see God in the centre of everything we did. Our morning devotions
before breakfast were a real blessing to all of us each day. As a
team we were able to fund the building of a house for a family in
the Rapa Village, contribute to the new JFL2 building and help
towards a new home for the Varga family in C
And Catherine wrote;
are better than one Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 is normally associated with
marriage, but it's very relevant for leading a Mission Trip to
Romania as my co leader Joanne is the super organised one, which was
just amazing because she had all the paperwork, fundraising totals
and money allocations under control at all times. I am perhaps the
encourager! Joanne has already explained a lot of what we did in her
report, so I will focus on the team. It was just fabulous to watch
eighteen months of praying and planning all come together and to see
all the fears that our team felt being crushed by the power of
prayer, to watch the plans God had for us unfold on a daily basis.
We were truly blessed with the team ranging from 16 - 77 yrs old, no
two of us the same. But we daily committed our time and talents to
God and not only did he use them, but he blessed us in the process.
Can you really afford not to go???? it will change your life!"
So there you are; real words from real
people making a real difference.
want to close this month by reminding you of our Volunteer Days coming
up in Leeds on 5th and Belfast 6th September.
I look forward to seeing you there, days when we will have progress
updates and plans for the next months and year ahead. They will be
great days of discussion; an important opportunity to share and air.
You will enjoy it; we will be very encouraged to see you there.
As we partner with Smiles, it is very
important for us to be together to encourage each other, pray together
and equip ourselves to serve God in this very special work in Romania.
Please reply soon to let us know you can come, if you have not already
The words of Galatians 6:9 have been with
me all Summer and still are very much on my mind;
"Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Thank you for being a part of Smiles and God
Development Ambassador &
The Smiles Foundation
0788 087 5845
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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