2019 was a busy year – demanding, rewarding and motivating for us in Smiles, as there were many new activities that we started, as well as refining and trying to find a fresh approach for those already established. It was a time of both assessment and initiative, and I guess ideally this is how things need to be done – see what is good, improve even more, accept what needs to be changed and have courage to make that change! Is not always as easy to do it as is to say it, but we tried to bring a new dimension into all the programmes we have and those we plan to develop for the future.
If I was to mention again all the changes we have implemented in 2019, probably all my report would only talk about that, so I will just invite you instead to go back to our previous monthly updates and read about them as they happened. There were many, and what we wanted to achieve was a fresh way of doing things.
I am grateful I had the chance to be part of many of these changes. From the updates to the Field Project to the new adventure of Dezna Outreach Centre, we have introduced several new ideas that were all meant to streamline our programmes whilst still being relevant to the realities and needs of life.
There is something very important to understand – there might be ways we would like to do things overall, but we always need to keep a clear head about what the reality is. Often that means we need to give up on what we planned initially, or adjust or even replace, if the facts impose it.
In the past weeks we were discussing and planning a lot about the new opportunities that Dezna Outreach Centre open-up, and we believe it will be great for the next summer camp season, but not only. We are thinking of making this place into a facility where to put together the desire to teach and share with the need of being taught and hearing from other people’s experiences. We see how many young people (and those who are still young in spirit) would benefit of spending a few days with either great, experienced masters in some particular areas who could teach them about the specifics of their speciality or with invited guests who might have experienced something extraordinary which is worth sharing. We were also thinking about allowing those interested in spiritual growth to hear from confirmed teachers who can help and guide them with proper training.
There are many new ideas and plans we have for the future. We are thinking how we can expand and extend the COPs programmes during the school breaks. There are so many more communities where we would like to go; so many places we did not manage to go yet, even though we were invited, due to the limited number of available weeks to do COPs. We hope to get there next summer!
Then, we want to be a presence in schools, in the main city Oradea but also where we meet with children and teenagers, either for doing various presentations with a Christian message, or to present them something of interest, like the risks of abusing substances, of having inappropriate relationships or getting lost in the (too many) options, which become temptations, before reaching the age of taking good solid decisions for themselves.
When it comes about Field Project, we plan big, in the hope that new workers will be able to bring their contribution for the development of this very important part of our work. We plan on taking this to a whole new level by working even closer with those in need, in a way that we wanted for a while now, but was not easily doable without the right personnel. There will be more to hear about this, but all in good time. For now, please just pray for the right options so that our programme can be taken further for the ultimate purpose, and that is for the glory of God.
Looking back over the past months, we can only be grateful to God for taking us victoriously through many challenges and despite so many difficult moments, we were blessed to see His Hand at work and Him rewarding the faithful commitments we’ve taken for seeing His kingdom expanded.
It comes to my mind now the wonderful Opening Day in Dezna – it was such a great experience, for everyone! I was amazed to see the enthusiasm and joy of you, our friends coming from all over the UK and even America! And it was so refreshing and encouraging to see the support for a place where the Christian ministry can change lives and destinies, it was so inspiring.
I hope we’ll be able to rise to the expectations now, as I know hopes are high and every one of us would like to see great results. Please also pray for that to happen, as all is in God’s hands and He can give the desire and accomplishment, as the Bible says.
Well, 2019 was exciting and challenging and 2020 could only be that and even more! Together, we can do it! On behalf of all the Smiles staff, I want to say thank you for all of your support and wish you a wonderful Christmas, with lots of joy and many days spent with those you love and care for!
Many blessing to you and your families!
Director of Ministry