The New Year hasn’t got off to the start we were hoping for, at least not in the United Kingdom, where I’ve been based since December. I am due to be flying to Romania Friday 15th, but with so many changes and ‘last minute’ decisions, it is hard to be sure of very much these days.
However, I am truly thankful to my God who gives assurance every day, that He is in control. Our task is not to question or doubt, but to be obedient with confidence that victory is assured if we remain focused on our Calling and Directives from the Master. Thanks be to God for His constant presence and steadfast Love.
Despite the challenges of the early days in January on the COVID front, I remain thankful and hopeful that the Vaccine is being rolled out and day by day, thousands of people are being protected – meaning week by week, the world is edging towards ‘normal’ once again. I know it is easy to feel we are in no better place today than 6 months ago … but we are! I sincerely believe that whilst the current time is tough, with the battle raging between the Virus and the Vaccination programme – the battle will soon be over.
I believe by Easter, as we will once again celebrate the Good News of Life, the Gift of God through the resurrection of Christ, so Good News will be evident for all to see, as we also celebrate the progress of a vaccine defeating this deadly disease we have come all too aware of over the past year. So, please dear friends, stay confident in Almighty God, the great Overcomer, even overcoming Death to be Saviour to the World.
It was with this hope that I was delighted to launch the results of the Smiles Strategic Review 10 days ago on January 4th. It was an extensive process I had worked on since September 2019. I trust by now you have had the opportunity to study the web-pages to see the changes, or listened to my 8-minute video providing a precis of the new structure.
I was blessed to get some lovely messages of support following the Review and whilst I appreciate it will take some time to see everything fully implemented, I believe we are off to a positive start.
Maria and Adi reference the developments in their Mid-Month Messages, so be sure to catch up with their thoughts. Luke also has a message to share, focusing particularly on special events coming up with the Count Down Challenge this month and a new Cookery Experience in February. Don’t miss these exciting opportunities to support Smiles in fellowship and fund-raising.
The Strategic Review and its implications to operational issues will be the main feature of the Smiles Open House on Saturday, January 23rd at 5pm GMT / 7pm Romania / 12noon EST / 11am CST / 10am MST / 9am PST. Trustees and the Executive Management from Romania will be joining us and will be happy to answer your questions. This will be a very special Open House at the beginning of this new year, so send me your e-mail request for the Zoom ID. You can also telephone the office asking for an invitation. Either way, we want you involved, and Invitation ID’s will be sent out by January 22nd. Don’t Miss it!
Also, for you Prayer Warriors who are the Lifeblood of Smiles, our next Smiles Prayer Gathering is scheduled Monday, January 25th at 7pm GMT / 9pm Romania / 2pm EST / 1pm CST / 12noon MST / 11am PST. If you have requested a Prayer Group Zoom ID before, you are automatically included but if this would be your first Smiles Prayer Gathering, drop me an e-mail or call the office requesting the appropriate ID.
Many of you will know, that February each year has become a focus in Smiles for extra Fund-Raising, originally to help us through the traditionally difficult early months of the year. You may have something planned for that fund-raising already, or you may be supporting Luke with his fund-raising efforts. But if you don’t have something specific planned, I would like to challenge you now to think about doing a fund-raising event for Smiles or praying about a special Gift to Smiles for our February Appeal.
This year, I would like to designate our special gifts for February to the new Outreach Pillar and the need of an additional budget for Adi to start seriously putting his Team in place for greater ministry through Children, Communities and Camps.
You may recall I mentioned in my New Year Message, the Outreach Pillar will need approximately £45,000/$58,000 extra to the current budget to fulfil the plans we have for each project to operate to its best potential. This is particularly relevant for the Children’s and Community Outreach. We want to start the search for committed, evangelistic personnel, who could serve in these areas of outreach. Talented, Godly people, who we can provide the necessary tools to do the job that will make a huge difference to what the Outreach Pillar under Adi’s leadership can achieve. Resources are needed to get it started and I pray we will see a tidal wave of support through the coming weeks designated to ‘Outreach’ and as able, we will recruit the Team and when you come on a Mission Trip this year, you can get to meet them and minister alongside them out in the field.
Excited? Then please start praying for a great response to our February Fund-Raising Appeal designated to the Smiles Outreach Pillar. The Smiles Foundation » Outreach Pillar
Even though we are still facing many restrictions, we at Smiles are arranging several opportunities for us to meet, discuss and enjoy fellowship ‘virtually’. Don’t miss them, because we will sure miss you if you’re not a part of them! Request your Zoom Invite now.
January 16th & 17th: Countdown with Luke
January 23rd: Smiles Open House
January 25th: Smiles Prayer Gathering
February 6th/13th/20th/27th: Special Fund-Raiser – Cookery Demonstrations
My sincere thanks for your continued support of Smiles as we embark on an exciting course bringing all the benefits and lessons of the past 30 years to help us achieve even more in the years to come. During these final weeks of restrictions due to the COVID pandemic, stay safe and stay strong – because God has a plan and purpose that only you can fulfil in the days to come.
I hope to see you at the Smiles Open House on Saturday, January 23rd.
Sincere blessings to you all
Chief Executive to
The Smiles Foundation