Special Report

Leeds, England registered UK Charity No.1087961
Kingsport, USA charitable non-profit # 86-0957704
Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712

...making smiles in Romania

   mission trips
   wish list
   fundraising events
   prayer and praise
   contact details
   smiles reports
   Nia's Ministry



Adi Matis – Smiles Romania Assistant Director   August 2015

Mission Trips with Significance

The summer time is always busy at The Smiles Foundation, particularly when there are a lot of people who take up our invitation and come to Romania to see for themselves what sort of work we do here. Quite often it is the case that those who’ve been once will come back again – which we like to see – and so, this season means a lot of visits, great experiences and many stories and live ‘snapshots’ that can really be eye-opening for many.

But what is the real significance of this?

Why do people come and what do they expect?

Read on for my thoughts on the matter…

It’s almost like by default we are expecting many visitors in the summer time. This year was no exception and we are in the middle of a very busy mission trip season. Here at Smiles, we’re always ready to take our friends to see all of our projects, as hearing is one thing, but getting to see the reality is so much more relevant. And this is exactly where the perceptions and opinions will start to be very different, which is to be expected as we are all very different to each other.

Those who have been to Romania before with Smiles, will feel very much at home. They know the projects already and they are not subject to that first shock anymore when seeing despairing situations, or at least not so much. Being used to the difficulties we encounter on a daily basis, working with challenging people, they understand how and why it’s not always easy to show tremendous progress in our work, but they will be very happy and feel rewarded themselves when they see even little progress. And that is indeed very encouraging for us too.

There are then the first time visitors. For them everything is very new, as they do not know what to expect and most of the time what they find here is shocking and disturbing, very powerful and makes a huge impression. We had so many in tears when seeing how hard life is for the most vulnerable we serve. And because maybe it’s the first time when they get such a strong perspective on how hard life can be, this is often the eye-opening experience, as many visitors have called it.

All of those that come on a mission trip will no doubt enjoy it, one way or another. From the moment you land in Budapest and get off the plane, we will welcome you (granted Budapest is not Romanian territory, but the driver is Romanian and so is the bus registered!) Once you get to Cihei, the accommodation is comfortable, the food is great, the pool will help the fight against the merciless 40 degrees of heat! Each day has its own programme and the experiences will be varied and interesting. But as all good things, one week of Mission Trip is just that, seven days, and they pass by so fast! And the question is what do you take with you when getting back home?

Many would have liked maybe to squeeze in the luggage one of the sweet kids they met during the week – this of course must be a joke, they’d be heavier than the allowed weight on a personal bag! Then some others will get some nice Romanian souvenirs with them (I hope not those made in China!) and this will remind them about the enjoyable time spent here… I am sure some others will take many pictures back with them, great shots of "exotic" Romanians maybe or beautiful places they’ve been to… But you see, the most precious memories you’ll be able to take back are those that will stay in the heart, not only in the mind!

And this is what indeed happens with pretty much everybody when they leave.

A "hands on mission experience" (HOME) will first and foremost give you a new perspective. We all feel we could do better, in various areas of our life, we feel we deserve more and we are often unhappy with what we are. But you see, this is only because we all the time compare with those higher than us! A mission trip experience will help you realise there are so many wonderful things in life that we should be nothing but grateful and thankful to God for! We are not doing that bad! There are so many other people much worse than us!

Then, once this is the realisation, another thing a mission trip will do is to make you aware of the need to do something. There must be a reaction that we can do something to help around us! One can only remember how wonderfully Jesus said it in the Bible: "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same." – Luke 3:11. That is such a powerful statement, but it is only when you understand how bad it is for the one who has no shirt that you will decide to share! And as always, seeing for yourself is much more intense than hearing about it.

We are very happy to have friends all over the world, but of course most of the visitors are from the United Kingdom and America. We welcome all to Romania and we’ll be ready to present our work and the challenges we have and then we are very encouraged to see how the time spent here will often result in long-term relationships that will only become stronger and deeper in time. And in the process, we are so blessed to receive support for serving those in need, which makes us truly one single team that works together for the glory of God! We call it Partnership.

Thank you for your support, both in prayerful and financial. As always, I will be happy to keep in touch with you through email, let me know your thoughts and questions and I will reply to you as soon as I can! Many blessings,

Adi Matis

Assistant Director Smiles Romania


Previous reports from Adi:

July 2015 - A great way into knowing God

June 2015 - History with a man that is no more

May 2015 - A Story Worth Sharing

March 2015 - Here in Romania, but not only...

February 2015 - New year, new hope and new plans

January 2015 - Management Team Reports

December 2014 - Preparing for the Celebration

November 2014 - A man's true story... an inspiration to us all

October 2014 - Golden September

September 2014 - A Summer of Experiences

August 2014 - Salard Community Reloaded

July 2014 - Sessions for the Mind

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

Return to the homepage


    Page last updated on 31/07/2015 02:00:10 PM
   by ADMIN1


© 2015 The Smiles Foundation, All rights reserved