We were delighted to have the Romanians on
Tour in NI on that day, so we gathered together in the yard to pray
with the sponsors and drivers; and thank God for His provision through
Thank you for joining us on our 2016 Tour,
it was great to have your support every evening. Let me summarise
I am home feeling Blessed, Humbled and ready
for the Challenge.
Blessed ; because I see God’s
miracles every day in Smiles right in front of my very eyes.....
blessed because I listened to the Smiles staff sharing their hearts
every night, telling of their desire to change lives for Christ and
eternity.... blessed because I watched 9 people being baptised in Rapa
with tears in my eyes.
Humbled ; because
sometimes I ‘forget that I can see everything around me, or maybe feel
I can’t be bothered at times.’ I’m sure you never feel like that!
Humbled because I spent 10 days with blind,
65 year old Lady Felicia who has chosen Christ as her Lord, promising
to serve Him for the rest of her life with all the energy she has. She
travelled all through the UK with us savouring every smell, touch,
song, conversation, emotion; telling me when there were people in the
room and when they were smiling ... and offering encouragement to
others who are in a worse situation than herself, having chosen a new
What if Smiles was not there?
What if YOU
were asked to select a project to drop or a village
to stop working in?
Each one of our Smiles staff shared with us
their love for hurting, lonely, sick, forgotten and needy people in
their own country – they shared the significant changes to so many
lives because we are there, showing their commitment to God to ‘keep
on keeping on’, emphasising we are there because there is a need
to be there.
We don’t choose which ones we work with, we
respond to the ‘need’ and we ‘love’ them for who they are, doing our
best to fill a gap in their lives, and introduce Jesus through the
attitude of our response.
This is what we are called to do; ‘Love your
neighbour as yourself.’ Mark 12:31
So much need.....so much to be done.
We invite you to work with us in
Fundraising. Please look at this slip of paper and plan your event.
Together we can clear the deficits of 2016, and add some surplus to
the pot for 2017 to enable the staff to continue making a difference
and bring hope to so many situations .... come on volunteers! Your
commitment is vital.
This is a great time of year again to get
involved in some Fundraising. I am available to talk to you and help
you in any way I can. Please get serious about a fundraiser.
I also continue to encourage you to plan
your Mission Trip for next year ... the great command as we were
reminded, is to GO! ‘Therefore GO and make disciples of all
nations...’ Matt 28:19
On Mission we SEE; Mission Trips open our
eyes to the reality of the ‘need’. We SEE God at work, we SEE real
people in need, and we assist Smiles to do their work. A Smiles
Mission Trip is very manageable for all ages, offering a variety of
weeks during the year to help suit your home commitments. Just do it!
One mission tripper last year was asked,
‘Why would you go back?’ He replied, ‘Why? ; because there is a
need to go back!".
To me this sums it up perfectly. My own
thoughts to conclude would be that I believe in Smiles, their
approach, their progress, the lives being changed because we are
there. As I talked with many of you during the Tour, you told me how
thrilled you are to hear of the progress, and what wonderful work is
going on through Smiles.
God is enabling us to make a difference; it
will continue only if we work together. Whatever you do .... please
commit to supporting our work, and allow God to use us more for His
I look forward to keeping in touch and
hearing from you at any time. Please let me know anything that is
happening for Smiles, any plans you have and how your events work out.
It’s important to encourage each other! J
James 1: 27 tells us "Religion that God
our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after
orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being
polluted by the world."