I couldn’t tell you
exactly how many guests we’ve had at the Mission Centre this summer,
but I know for sure that we’ve heard many stories about how
interesting, exciting and even life-changing the experiences were. I
had the opportunity to take many visitors in my projects, just as many
of my colleagues did, and we took the time we spent together to
explain and to present the real life conditions, situations and the
people, so that everybody would indeed understand as well as possible,
the variety and the complexity of our work in Smiles.
with specialised teams like Regent University students and graduates,
or with new people that knew nothing about Smiles before coming here,
or with the long-time friends that came back again and again – even
their 21st visit! – we went to see the need wherever it was! The
homeless people, the families, the children and the elderly, the
Salard, Tileagd, Cuiesd and Rapa communities, and all the others that
I will not mention, but were very happy to see that people cared
enough about them to come from many miles away, just to see them and
to encourage and to support!
This issue, while
might go unnoticed, is in fact a huge deal!
The simple presence, a
hand shake or a nice word or smile will make the difference.
Constantly people will tell us how good it feels for them to be
visited, even in their most modest conditions, they feel like they are
not only by themselves, but have friends too!
Some of the people and
places that we visited made a very powerful impression on our guests.
For the average UK or US citizen, it is inconceivable that there’s no
running water, a toilet, electricity or even food in so many homes.
Then on top of this, the medical problems, infections, disabilities,
illness which needs to receive proper assistance, but sadly, not too
much in Romania.
Adding to that the
poverty, the lack of chance and opportunity, soon we have a pretty
dark image of what the actual life is like here for so many. No wonder
we’ve seen many tears in our guests’ eyes...
But in the end, we
could and should look ahead with hope and faith! No doubt there is so
much poverty and despair, but we know there’s a solution to all this.
No matter how overwhelming the difficulties are, there is an answer.
And that is God – not a distant and a "conceptual" God, but a very
personal, very close friend, who will show us how to live and love
those around us. And because He can give a hope and a future, all we
need to do is to listen to Him, to do what He wants from us as we put
all our trust in Him.
We were encouraged to
see that most of the visitors we had here through the summer share the
same belief and faith! And that’s the most important thing: when we
all believe and act upon our faith, the miracle will happen! When we
all do our little bit, the whole world can change. Remember one of our
slogans: „We cannot change the world, but we can change the world for
somebody!" Little by little, with perseverance and patience, we might
in fact see the changes happening before our own eyes.
Thank you for all the
support and the encouragements! May God bless you richly! As always, I
will be happy to receive and answer all your emails, please let me
know when you are coming to see us!
Assistant Director Smiles Romania