Our work is covering a
very wide range of situations and there are no two identical cases.
Every story is a personal and unique experience that we need to
understand and approach in such a way that the best can come out of
it. When it comes to the problems people have, we noticed that the
greatest concerns are related to their health, their finances and
their future. People are concerned with their immediate needs and we
try to respond to those too, but at the same time we are endeavouring
to help them find answers to their more inner needs – the "shape of
God" which can only be filled by His presence. And indeed, all men
have that need and we are to help them all to find their solution.
way of doing this is by our daily activities and interactions with our
beneficiaries. They need to see in us more than social workers and
psychologists, more than food and medicine deliverers, papers and
documents to complete. They need to see Christ in each one of us and
that job is something else! But this really is what we need to be
doing each and every day, otherwise we’re missing the great
opportunity to REALLY make a difference!
But one other way is
to talk about our faith, to communicate and to find ways for
presenting the Bible so that everybody will understand it. For most
people the spoken language is enough in order for them to get a
message, but for some it is much easier to see, touch and hear and
only then they will understand. Children, above all, need this. Not to
say that adults don’t need it (because how many times we had parents
in our meetings, enjoying the programmes just as much as their kids,
or even more, possibly!) but for a child, all the great teaching and
principle of the Scripture might go unnoticed and certainly not fully
understood if the language is not adapted.
And so the wonderful
tools of HBC are put at work! Most of you will be familiar with
what HBC (Holiday Bible Club) means (or VBS for our
American friends) and how it works. Some of you will probably have
been part of such programmes. They are very well received by children
from all over the world I guess, but for Romanian children, especially
in communities where not much is happening through the summer school
break, these events are something of an exceptional interest. I
remember all these past summers, wherever we went, the children were
so happy and had such a good time that "please come back!" was all
over their faces, some would even cry when they had to go home! It is
amazing indeed how much they enjoy it, even in new places where they
have no idea what is going on, by the end of the programme ... we are
friends and buddies.
We believe children
should know about Jesus. Some would say we shouldn’t
"indoctrinate" children with any such concepts like "Christian" or
"God" or "Jesus", but what we’re doing is very different than that.
There is no indoctrination, no forcing anyone into anything. Rather,
the kids are very happy to learn things and to hear stories that talk
about Jesus. The parables from the Bible are well understood when some
puppets do the action… The sacrifice at Calvary is better understood
when the drama action is played on the stage… and the crafts will help
them understand how the heart means the love that God has for us. The
songs and the verses we learn together will maybe help them one day.
And the children are so excited, because no one ever told them these
stories before in a way they truly understand. The rigid programmes in
the church that very few people enjoy anyway are simply not
interesting for most of the small ones and will not tell them
anything. But the fun, play and joy will interest and teach them much
more and they will keep nice memories for years.
I know this is true,
because just a few days ago I met with a teenager that participated to
such a Holiday Bible Club programme about five years ago, when he was
just a kid. This young man now came to me, greeted me and his first
words were about, you guessed it, how much he enjoyed the "show" when
we visited his village. He asked me when we will go back there,
because he has some other younger friends that he would like very much
to see what he had seen! He told me that what he had heard that day, 5
years ago, helped him to decide what path to take in life – such a
deep statement coming from a fifteen year old! But I believe it and I
know this is true, for the Kingdom of God is for those that see Jesus’
miracles through a child’s eye!
Please pray for
Foundation is very interested and determined to help everybody,
children included, to find their own way to Jesus. We’d like
everyone to understand God’s love and to accept it. We do not promote
a denomination, a philosophy or a particular concept for living, but
we do want to represent a light that will guide the ones in need of
guidance. We do talk about the One who can give life a reason and a
purpose. We enjoy seeing people finding their peace and hope, we are
delighted to see kids getting serious about their future and being
ready to know more… And if you believe this is important, as we do,
please prepare for when you’ll be here this summer – or next year –
and we will be very happy to make you part of our HBC/VBS programmes!
You can also help us
with this outreach by a gift towards the operating costs of running
the programmes in different villages throughout the year.
your gift to Smiles – designated for Outreach