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Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712

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Adi Matis – Smiles Romania Assistant Director   June 2015

Holiday Bible Club - a great way into knowing God

The Smiles Foundation’s mission is to show God’s love for everybody. We are committed to doing this by every means within our work, throughout all the projects we have, for the benefit of all people we serve. This is a wonderful thing, because so many of them, declared Christians or not, will need hope and encouragement for their lives and truly, the best way to be encouraged is to turn your eyes to our Father, who is giving His blessings to everyone.

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.

One 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 this outreach.

The Smiles 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.

Send your gift to Smiles – designated for Outreach or Support Now.

May God bless you all and as always, please let me know your thoughts by sending an email! Stay close and keep in touch for knowing everything that happens in Smiles. Thank you very much also for your support, it is greatly appreciated!

Adrian Matis

Assistant Director and Sponsorship Coordinator
Project Manager for Outreach and Salard Community


Previous reports from Adi:

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

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    Page last updated on 22/06/2015 12:14:53 PM
   by ADMIN1


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