Once in a while, a more ‘philosophical’ discussion would come up in the team, but I think these are needed and often will lead actually to a new and fresh approach in our work. Particularly when something major is going on, like with the opening of the new Tileagd Assisted Living (TAL) Centre, of which I’m sure you’ve already heard about – but sometimes even the little day-to-day procedures will make us consider what we are doing. To what purpose? For whom? And for who’s glory? And this is both about us and the visitors who come to Smiles.
This season of mission trips made possible, as it did for many years now, for many people to come to Romania and see what Smiles does, who are the people we are helping and how is their life changed because of what we do. Having the chance to go out and visit, our guests indeed get a new understanding of the social needs, as well as the emergencies and difficult long-standing issues and generally the many problems that people live with. To say the least, after taking these visits, people cannot be indifferent. Many of them decide to come back one day or to start supporting one project or another through sponsorship or fund-raising or at least they are ready to talk about Smiles and spread the word about our projects.
This last month in particular we had a lot of physical work to be done and the mission trip guests were brilliant at doing it. Tileagd project benefited tremendously from their commitment and availability to see the work finished.
We appreciate this and are very grateful for it.
I had someone asking me the other day: why do these people come from abroad to spend their holiday here, working hard and enduring the heat? And to extend that question, one could ask: why spend hours in the sun playing with children, why spend time and energy to go out and see the needs, why not find a nice resort to enjoy the days off from work? And here I think is the philosophic aspect of the issue – there must be some special desire to help, to encourage and to do something for the good of others. I’ve seen it in the last weeks. Of course there is this aspect of being curious about things that are not common maybe in day to day life, but it has to be more than that. I concluded it must be ‘passion for people’.
I think this is what it takes – passion – in order to do something of value. It can be something small, equally can be something huge! A pat on the shoulder or giving a house to a family. A smile for somebody or support for a homeless child… It takes passion to see something good happening, something being done for those in need. It also takes a strong desire to share from what you have with someone that might have less.
And all of these, in the end, for an even greater effect: so that people will come to understand how much God loves them, wants to have a relationship together for giving them eternal life.
In all of our projects, the work can only be done if this passion is present. Passion to work directly with our beneficiaries, passion to do the extra physical work when needed, passion to promote the work among potential supporters, passion to actually support! This truly is a work of passion!
Here there are some pictures for you to enjoy and to see what I am talking about. Now and then, there are those little things to get us thinking and then one can get philosophical, which is quite alright I think, and then it is possible to realise that there is so much to do.
So much has been done, for so many people, but there is still so much to do. All the workers in Smiles, from the CEO to the newest employees, will engage their passion and desire to help, into making a huge difference for many. This could mean to offer an ice-cream to a kid or to offer care and love to the elderly. Could be as simple as going out for a couple of hours or as complex as making a plan for social reintegration of a large family.
Loving people and committing to help them is an amazing adventure and at the same time so inspiring for others.
For us Romanians, it is very encouraging to see the foreigners showing great passion in their compassion and that they are ready to do something about the needs they see. I think this qualifies as having great passion for people!
May God bless you and reward your efforts!
Assistant Director of Smiles Foundation Romania