Special Report

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Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712

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Adi Matis – Smiles Romania Assistant Director
July 2014

Sessions 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.

Working 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 therapists.

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 with 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 harmony.

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 will!

May God bless you all and give you great rewards!


Assistant Director, Smiles Romania.

To e-mail Adi: adrian.matis@thesmilesfoundation.org

Previous reports from Adi:

June 2014 - Unknown

May 2014 - Celebrate with us

April 2014 - Beliefs

March 2014 - From being taken care of to taking care...

February 2014 - My dream... to become a pig caretaker

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    Page last updated on 01/07/2014 10:41:46 AM
   by ADMIN1


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