prayer and praise
Adi Matis – Smiles
Romania Assistant Director
No, nothing to
do with the movie, you might have seen, but this is about something
else. It is about people and situations that may never be revealed. No
one will ever know their name, only their actions and their efforts
will be visible and the results of their commitment for a cause! And
of course, seeing the changes in other’s lives may be the only reward
they will ever get!
I was always very
impressed (as everyone was at one point) with the TV stories about the
atrocious conditions that abandoned disabled children were forced to
live in during the communist times, in those ’death-camps’
that only served as a trash bin of humans! It was a horrible story
about so many children being condemned, without any trace of hope, a
place of no escape! Only very few, by truly miraculous chances, will
be taken somewhere else or adopted by foreigners, and they are able
now, after so many years, to tell their story and to testify about
their early childhood experiences. In this material, one of these
children was explaining about all the abuses he had to suffer until
the day a family from Great Britain adopted him and so saved him from
an inevitable end. That was what happened with some of them.
When telling his story, at one point he mentioned something like this:
was a lady there, the only one, who would come to see us when no one
could see her usually in the evening or night, and bring us water and
a biscuit or two. We were suffering of thirst and hunger, and the food
was so little... She would try to treat the open wounds we had and
talked to us in a very kind way, almost like trying to compensate for
the cold and detached attitude the other workers had toward us. I do
not remember her name, I am not sure I ever knew it, sometimes I was
convinced she was an angel. I don’t think she’s still alive, but I
will be forever grateful to her for being my only hope and friend I
had in there!"
Impressive, isn’t it?
Now, what is really interesting is that even today, when the Romanian
democracy has replaced the bad communism, there are still so many
people, children and adults, who live in terrible conditions, they
might not be the death-camps anymore, but
surely they are not what EU standards expect or demand! When I watched
this on television, I was thinking of something, it hit me hard, as
often the pure truth does: for the people we visit together with
you – those who come to a mission trip with Smiles, we might be their
only friend, their only hope, their ’angel’! What about this thought?
The children might not remember your name, nor even the adults, but
the open heart you showed to them and the support for their food
package or medical needs help them see you care about them!
The other day there
was a very shocking report about the underground people from
Bucharest, drug addicts, beggars, prostitutes. I think it had a big
impact on the audience, many of those who watched it surely felt
disappointed and discouraged that this is still the case in Romania
after so many years of democracy and emphasis on human rights, and
even after seven years of being part of the European Union. And of
course, politicians, both from Romania and the UK tried to make their
point about it, for their own purposes. But I believe what most of the
people missed is a huge point: maybe those people never had an
’angel’ to help them, to tell them differently or to guide their steps
towards a safer way to live and better life.
is, there is no need to go down to Bucharest to explore the
underground tunnels and ditches. The very people we see every day,
week or month are in need of a friend – an ‘angel’!
The Smiles team is
trying to make a difference, in most of the cases we succeed, in some
not instantly obvious, but no doubt what we’re doing - counts. And
when I say ‘we’ it really is we here and you
there! Together – we can make the difference.
Your name might
remain unknown to those you help and your reward quite often will only
be the satisfaction to know you did something good. But actually this
is truly the best reward! How will people know and act better, unless
we guide them? How will they change their mind, if we don’t pray for
them? How will they escape from condemnation, if we don’t break their
were just some thoughts... I hope they will help you see the matter
just the same as I see it. As we see it here in Smiles. And of course,
you’re very welcome to let me know what you think and feel about it.
Thank you for the messages you sent these past weeks, it is really a
great privilege to have you alongside us in this wonderful adventure
and ministry - of changing lives.
God bless you!
Assistant Director, Smiles Romania.
To e-mail Adi:
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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