The Smiles Outreach Team and its new members …
I promised a while ago that soon I will let you know about the new members of the Outreach team – I think the time has come, given that they made it through the first month in the job! Some could say this, in itself, is a great achievement, as Smiles’ work is very unlike any other. And sure enough, you need to be a particular type of person to handle all those visits on the field, or any other programme for that matter, that the work might throw at you.
For many months, we were keen on finding the right people to work within the new structure of the Outreach Pillar, given that a major emphasis is now put on rather practical Christian life, which means love and compassion should always be displayed, as well as strong and decisive actions, being required. We had good colleagues before and we appreciate their contribution, but we really needed to find some people that were ready to be a true Christian before being a solid social worker, or psychologist, or anything else. And while the job of finding such people might look easy – trust me, it is not!
After doing the promotion for the vacancy, we had a number of people applying and we were blessed to receive several good candidates. After a lot of thinking, praying and consideration, we decided to take Sefora, Adriana and Ruben, as new members of the Outreach team, completing the current objective when added to Ioana, Pastor Vasile and myself. They will need to go through a serious process of understanding and assimilating what Smiles is, what its projects do, but we are confident they will do that just fine, and we also believe each one of them will discover what is the exact calling they have from God, and in what departments they should become specialized.
They joined us on April 1st. Because time was of the essence, as these months were rather busy and at times frantic for me, I thought it would be a great idea to apply to them the easy process of learning … by throwing them in the deep end!
Basically, I wanted to see if they have the stomach for the kind of work we do, particularly when it concerns Gypsy communities, homelessness, difficult and even disturbed beneficiaries, as well as managing kids and their enthusiasm when it comes about COPs! (Children’s Outreach Programme) All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover they were indeed ready to take all of these experiences under their belts.
Sefora is a qualified and experienced psychologist. Although her work was mostly within the more formal setup of a counselling practice, she is keen on understanding God’s calling for her in helping other people to another level. We were very glad to see she is an organized and detailed person, she prefers having a clear image about things; still, as the work in Smiles often means adaptation and quick learning, she is good with that and most importantly, she seems ready to give it a try!
Adriana, her sister, has been involved with kids before and she is most likely to assume that role in the future. She is loving and friendly, but she could also be rigorous, just enough to keep the children in place, as far as I can tell. Both sisters are part of a local church where they have been involved with Sunday school and they both are devoted Christians with good hearts.
Ruben is from Turda, Cluj County. He studied here in Oradea at the East European Bible College and he’s well prepared for working with people of various backgrounds. He has a quiet personality – or maybe the girls were just a bit overwhelming for him – but he is a great guy. He has some experience working with Gypsy communities and he is excited by the thought he can pray with people, talk with them, help them, have fun with them, and be their friend. Oh, and he can play mouth harmonica rather well! Cool!
Time will come when you’ll hear even more about them. For now, I just wanted to let you know we are on the right path it seems.
Those of you who enrolled for the Virtual Mission Trip in April will have had the chance to see the new guys and go with them out on the field. I enjoyed being out with them and while I couldn’t go everywhere, Ioana, who now has considerable experience within Smiles, accompanied them and they were all fine. About Ioana, despite her being part of the Smiles team for so long, she is as new to the Outreach Pillar as the other three. The difference of course is that she knows Smiles and its projects much better and that enabled her to help the new members greatly.
So, after the initial shock and consequent processing – there was quite a lot of that, I could tell – the new components of the Outreach Team develop and grow into the ministry more and more each day. Challenging as it might be, we trust that their desire to do God’s work will keep them strong and they will soon become great workers into the Field of sharing the Gospel with underprivileged people, families and communities. I look forward to sharing more about these exciting developments in the coming months!
Thanks for your continued support.
Director of Outreach
The Smiles Foundation