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Ecclesiastes 3

From Luke, UK Development Ambassador, July 2021

“A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;” Ecclesiastes 3:5

Despite the postponement of the restrictions being lifted across the UK this verse, specifically the second half of it, seems very appropriate. Covid has brought separation to so many lives, families and friends and embracing each other in the literal sense has been impossible in many cases and actually discouraged!

But we are all looking forward to a time in July when we fervently hope and pray that things will be more open. It will be a time to embrace each other again, to reach out to people we have missed so much and spend time with them.


Will you join me in praying that the distance between countries can soon be confidently bridged as well?


In the UK and Romania, the vaccination programs have been working hard and the numbers of people receiving it are excellent. 
I pray that Governments and travel operators will recognize this, as they plan to implement new rules for travelling. That they will allow greater travel with simple requirements that we can follow. Just knowing clearly what we must do would, in my opinion, be enough for lots of us to resume travelling and look to return to Romania.

Now, even without needing international travel, we can look ahead to a summer that will have greater freedom, it is my hope that you will join us in a Summer Fundraising Drive.  Specifically, starting with something that fits with how a lot of people feel and with activities they want to do already. Meeting together with friends and family for a time to catch up.

So, could you consider holding a Kid’s Summer Party for Smiles, specifically to support the Camps in Dezna?

Kid's Summer Party
Whether it is the kids in your family or a group of kids from your church this will be a great chance for them to have fun in a group, something that has been missing from their lives for too long!


Many kids that I know through family, friends and church connections, have had to put up with missing out on a Birthday party this past year as well! A Kid’s Summer party could also be a chance to celebrate, belatedly, all the birthdays that were disrupted by Covid.


If you could get together and as part of the event, use a Resource Video that we can provide to show those details your party can help with, then that would be amazing.
I am sure you will enjoy the video and the stories it contains and after you have shown it just draw your guests’ attention to a way to donate, it could be a collection there and then, what they can support via the Dezna Camp fund for children from under privileged backgrounds to come and enjoy a camp. It is just a short part of the event and does not dominate, but it provides information that can be backed up with literature that people can take away as well.

Dezna Camp

But the bulk of the event is your group spending time together! Something we have all been denied for any degree over the past year and a half. Hopefully with the summer months, despite it being a British summer for many, being open you can enjoy games, pool parties and many other options. 
This way you have the flexibility to create an event you will all enjoy and can include a short but effective promotional slot on behalf of Smiles.

Please if you could plan for this and let me know if you are going to do one as we would love to share images and stories of people supporting us while enjoying themselves!
Plus, if any of you have any questions at this point then please do not hesitate to contact me, luke.wathen@thesmilesfoundation.org or via Facebook.

Youth Zoom
Lastly, I want to remind you of the Smiles Youth Meeting that is fast approaching on the 10th of July
The sign up for this has been very encouraging and it will be wonderful to see friends who we have missed. But it is also not too late for you or people you know to sign up!

Whether you have been to Smiles or not and whether you know lots about the projects or not so much, we would love to be able to welcome you and get to know you.
The videos, stories and time together will have something for everyone to take away from the experience.

There is also a video that you might find useful to share with friends, family or anyone else who may be interested: Youth Zoom Video Link

Thank you for all your support and prayers! May God bless you and keep you safe.

Luke Wathen

UK Development Ambassador
The Smiles Foundation

Email: luke.wathen@thesmilesfoundation.org

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