Adi Matis – March 2019
Here at Smiles we are making plans and we dare to dream quite big, trusting that God will bring into reality many of our desires, according to His will. Whilst there are still some unknown factors for what can be achieved, we are confident that most of what we want to do is possible and we’re looking forward to trying new things that will bring a new dimension to our ministry in North West Romania.
As most of you will know, many of our activities are oriented towards children and their needs and this is especially true when it comes to the summer Children’s Outreach Programmes (COP’s), as these are very much designed to create a good, positive interaction with them, in a form that can only be interesting and appealing to them, as was proven in the past years.
We want to ’upgrade’ our COPs for this year. Me and Ioana spent some time together and came up with what we believe are good ideas – that will change the structure and the way things are done.
For a start, we’ll introduce a different way of telling the Bible story, which will include music and sounds, much a pace with actual multimedia trends. The volunteers that will participate with us (read: some of you!) will have the chance to explore their artistic abilities even more than before, but do not be afraid, it will not involve learning the Romanian language, no more so than before! Rather, we’ll use more the body-movement and expressions, a little bit of a theatre taste and of course, the natural ’good-will’ of the children, as they will enjoy the performance no matter what!
The main theme for this season will be the story of the Prodigal Son. As realities will dictate, we are prepared to also allow for a prodigal daughter, depending on the team… But the point will be taken, I’m sure!
BTW, isn’t this a wonderful story from the Bible! I am so looking forward for us to help children understand how great God’s love is for them, indeed for us all! And how loving are His arms, always open for us, ready to embrace and to lift us up! I am so excited about how this will work, as this is one of my favourite stories that Jesus told, and I know it’s also many other’s too.
Not only but also – this summer not only the COPs are exciting, but the Summer Camps in Dezna too are a major feature and hopefully an amazing opportunity for many children to come and know Christ! The camp idea was with us for a long time and now, through God’s often mysterious ways and grace, we are able to make it happen. Dezna is a wonderful place, close to the Apuseni Mountains and very appropriate for such a use.
For the 2019 camps we plan on having several series, with children of all ages, from the young students in their first years in school to the youth in their late teens/early twenties. The facilities are capable to take in all types of groups and we are also ready to assist with organizing the daily programmes, offer them great meals – as you might know, this is a hallmark of Smiles – great beds, great games, great Bible studies… You see, we are not afraid of thinking big. Everything there must be great!
There is more than one way to do things. Like I mentioned in the beginning, we are looking into the interest we have from various groups and we are encouraged as several leaders told us they were interested in participating with groups of children and youth.
In order to achieve these plans, we do need your support and involvement. First of all, do not forget to pray for us and to ask God for good results within the Smiles ministry, as I am sure you are, just as we are, very keen on being relevant Christians in these modern times, for the new generations, that might be an even more difficult ground to break than it used to be… Then, secondly, if you want to support financially, please do so by getting details from our Leeds Office or by sending us an email. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated!
Thirdly, there are also some practical ways on how you could get involved too. Like maybe you are planning to come over on a Mission Trip – that will be great! Put on your artist hat and please come and join the adventure of COPs or even as a camp volunteer. Or maybe you want to donate stuff that can be used for our programmes – we always need small toys (they make great Mystery Box items) coloured pencils, stickers, puppets, games, etc. We even need a good sound system for the outdoor events… You see, there are many ways you can contribute! And may God bless you for it!
I will leave you now with this thought: whatever you can do, do it! Now is the perfect time to support our ministry in sharing the Gospel among the young generation. I myself am challenged with this, but I do believe it is an opportunity and a great chance to make a very significant difference for many. So, do not hesitate to write to us, call or send an e-mail. As always, I will reply as soon as possible!
May God bless you richly!
Director of Ministry