prayer and praise
Adi Matis – Smiles
Romania Assistant Director
for the mind
Mission trips are a
major feature of Smiles and a great opportunity for visitors to see
what we do. Visitors are always surprised when they come to help and
bless others, when they find that being here is an even greater
blessing for themselves.
Well in June, such a situation was
encapsulated in the visit of Regent
University from Virginia (USA). We
had a team of 27 professors and students with us for 2 weeks from the
Psychology School, led by Dr. Ben Keyes. The students, all doing their
Master or Doctorate programs, came not only to teach the Smiles team a
little about the techniques for better interaction with the people we
help, but also to see some of the most difficult cases we deal with.
The two weeks were indeed both a great opportunity and a blessing for
us and I believe, all of them.
with people is never easy. At times, we are all wondering about the
efforts we put in our work and sometimes some encouragement is needed,
as the results never come easy – that is why I think we were all very
happy to have our friends from Regent here. They were here back in
2010 and I remember very well how exciting the training sessions were,
particularly for those of us that are in contact all the time with
people from our projects, that’s why we were happy to get more
information and more support from professional counsellors and
Last week we did a lot
of visits in the projects. We met with many people, families and
individuals. We encountered numerous situations where the hidden
problems were revealed and some serious obstacles in these people’s
lives were brought up and discussed – the purpose being to help them
into finding some hope both for their present life and for the future.
Out of the many, I
can mention only a few… A parent from the Gypsy village in Cuiesd
who has three children, two of them suffering from a very serious
health condition, opened his heart and discussed honestly about his
inability to cope with life and the needs he has for someone to
understand him better. Curiously enough, his wife confessed to have
the same challenges! And so, the right thing to do was to encourage
them into discussing
each other more, to spend more time finding some solutions, calmly and
openly, and not to allow the bad and negative thoughts to break the
Another person, a
young adult man that lost his ability to work due to a chronic back
problem, was so desperate and kept saying how bad he feels when
thinking what he was and what he has become, the responsibilities that
he has, to take care of his old mother and a sister with disabilities,
was pushing him so low that he was on the verge of suicide. Our
friends, in a very professional and compassionate way, gave him some
advice and even techniques to release the bad thoughts and to release
the stress, and just to take one day at a time. The man was encouraged
and promised he’ll apply what he was advised, so hopefully his days
will be easier from now on.
There are many things
we’ve learned and even this week, the sessions gave us a great insight
on several problems that we see quite a lot around us: alcohol usage
and abuse – what a problem that is for us here in Romania! And
unfortunately, there’s little or no support for those that would like
to give up on their bad habits or would just like to make sure they do
not get too far down the slippery road. The Smiles workers are often,
if not always, the first and only people who could maybe do something
about it, that is why it’s very important and very useful to know how
we can help best.
This week we’ll also
have some presentations to some of our most important partners from
the State Institutions – that is the Police (this session was
actually completed last week) then the Child Protection and The
Penitentiary, and even the State University from Oradea.
The interest for such presentations made me believe that there are
many other people in our region that want to do good to the people
from Oradea – that is all encouraging and I am very glad we can better
equip them in doing that.
The reason I have this
title for my report is that truly these days we are into some
"sessions for the mind". Not only for our project beneficiaries, not
only for the students and partners, but pretty much for each one of us
involved in Smiles. There are new perspectives, mementos to what we’ve
learned but maybe forgot, or simply needed confirmations – the people
are confronted with so many issues and they have little help from
others. Our role is to find the best way to move them forward, with
new hope and motivation. Above all, God will give them a new,
lasting hope, so we’re merely His people, tools in His hands,
available workers for eternal results!
You are the same too!
You remain co-workers with us in this work. You are our colleagues
from over seas, willing to make a difference in people’s lives! Please
continue helping us to help those in need and thank you for I know you
May God bless you all
and give you great rewards!
Assistant Director, Smiles Romania.
To e-mail Adi:
June 2014 - Unknown
May 2014 - Celebrate with us
April 2014 - Beliefs
March 2014 - From being taken care of to taking
February 2014 - My
dream... to become a pig caretaker
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