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Adi Matis – Smiles Romania Assistant Director   August 2016

Holiday Bible Class – summer experience

Among the many programmes that Smiles Foundation run there is a special one which can only be done during the summer school break – that is HBC (Holiday Bible Club), or VBS (Vacation Bible School) as our friends from America would call it. This programme is meant to communicate the simple yet powerful message of God’s love for all, children particularly. With the help of our guests, through the summer months, we put together Bible lessons, dramas, games, crafts, songs, competitions, questions and answers, basically - a lot of fun!

There are many villages where we were invited to go this season. Last year, HBC/VBS was very successful, many children were blessed by hearing the message of the Bible and participating in our meetings. We couldn’t fulfil all the requests we had, but that made us even more determined to continue and to grow our programme for 2016. So, we decided that we’ll go in new places, where we’ve not been before, to allow as many children as possible to enjoy an experience that proved to be excellent in the past.

Our first location was Gepis, in June. A totally new place, we’ve never had programmes there before. When chose this village because there is a teacher, in the local school, who wanted to provide something special for his kids. He is a young man, who grew-up in a very poor gypsy community and he became a very passionate advocate for integration of Rroma with the rest of the population. We gladly accepted the invitation and we decided to have this HBC/VBS programme there.

We had the programme out in the school yard – a good old tree provided the shade we needed and the 30 plus kids of all ages were so enthusiastic that we could barely cover them when asking for silence… In the end we lost the contest – our voice gave up and for the last songs we were all singing about three semitones lower!

The following day we visited Lazareni, another village with a large number of Gypsy families. We’ve been impressed to see the youngest ones being very receptive, but even the older kids that participated in the programme were very participative and we made friends very quickly. It probably helped that we put together a football match to start! They are always keen on that!

Then another great time we had was in Rapa, one of the places where Smiles has made a huge difference in recent years, as most of you will know very well. Only a few weeks earlier, on June 12th, there was a public Christian baptism in the village and the whole community witnessed the testimony of eleven souls that decided to follow Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. So, it seemed only appropriate to us that we take the good news in there using a very easy to understand form, whereby children and adults together can understand what Jesus did for us all. And sure enough, parents participated along with the little ones, everybody had a great time and most certainly we’ll be back there to grow even more the Christian ministry to these simple but honest people.

Another first time visit took place in Fonau, to the local Gypsy community. Here we’ve met surprisingly well prepared children. They knew many things about God, due to the work of a retired pastor that felt he could do more, a wonderful man of Christ. Yet, the children enjoyed greatly what we offered, as it was a more relaxed and playful way to present the Bible teaching. They made us promise that we’ll be back there next year at the latest!

Finally, the most recent visit we took to Sititelec. Despite the temperature of over 35 Celsius (100F.), we had a wonderful time with the children. They were very excited to hear stories from the Bible, but equally to play outside with water and to enjoy watermelon at the end! Great time to have fellowship together with their friends and our visitors.

There will be more HBC/VBS meetings this summer. Please pray for the success of such a great ministry which will no doubt have a great impact on the kids and parents as well. We need your support both with prayers and on finances to help run these programmes. Thank you for all you’ve done so far and thank you for continuing to be partners with us in making a difference in people’s lives.

Adi Matis

Adrian Matis
Assistant Director of Smiles Foundation Romania



Previous reports from Adi:
July 2016 - Celebration for an Eternal Future
June 2016 - What is Smiles to a family in Gepiu

May 2016 - When Home is not Your Home anymore...
April 2016 - Livia's story
March 2016 - The Boxer Guy
February 2016 - Kati and how Salard can surprise!
January 2016 - Christmas Joy

December 2015 - Hope
November 2015 - Salard Life snapshots
October 2015 - After Summer
September 2015 - The Small Things that go a Long Way
August 2015 - Mission Trips with significance
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

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    Page last updated on 29/07/2016 12:59:32 PM
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