I am delighted to have the opportunity once again to share with you many of the amazing things God is doing here in Romania through the Smiles Foundation.
This past month and indeed each and every day – I am reminded of the importance of TEAM WORK.
I read again recently the words of Paul when writing to the believers at Corinth, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work“ (1 Corinthians 3:6–8).
Smiles Staff and Smiles Supporters may not even know each other and yet they are effectively working together. In recent days I have seen fantastic team work here with our projects and particularly in Dezna where of course there has been a tremendous amount of hard work to be completed to reach this important day.
Executive Management, Social Workers, Project Managers, Accountants- even one of our Physiotherapists have all been to Dezna working incredibly hard – doing things outside their regular duties or responsibilities – and yet working together, even at different times, to achieve the ultimate goal. These wonderful staff have joined Building Contractors, Mission Team guests and full-time Volunteers like Luke to help us fulfil the Vision we believe God Gave to prepare Dezna Outreach Centre for Action!
What an amazing job they have all done and will continue to do in the months ahead.
Most importantly, we have had in our sights June 29th as D-Day for Dezna. The Day we needed the facility ready for welcoming the first group of children for their Summer Camp. So many times, it felt an impossible challenge – but God delights in the impossible. I delight in the impossible – because when we recognise the challenge is ‘impossible’ we can only depend on God to provide a miracle. And Yes, once again God has done exactly that! Why not pause a moment and give thanks right now for God’s Endless Miracles in our daily lives!
June 29th, 2019 Adi and Ioana ensured everything was ready in the centre. Some of us had been there most of the week to help get things done. Ioana has moved to Dezna for the summer and will be preparing over the weekend for the first group of kids arriving Monday, July 1st to begin Camp.
Many of you have seen the progress of the facility over the past year since Smiles started the work. From the first day in 2018 when we couldn’t even open the door due to overgrowth some 2metres (6 foot) high of weeds, brambles, bushes and trees. To June 28th 2019 when I left Dezna with rooms looking like this:
So many people working so hard. Some very young …. but didn’t stop them recruiting friends!
To all the people over these past months who have contributed to Dezna – whether in hard graft or financial support, and for some a big chuck of both, I say THANK YOU for being part of the incredible TEAM WORK that exists in Smiles.
So – Dezna Outreach Centre is ready, and as you read this, kids are there enjoying camp. Many of you have supported the Camp Sponsorship program that is helping us offer Camp to so many children. Watch our updates over the coming weeks and pray with us that through the Camps, many children and youth will be able to learn more about our God and be drawn into a closer personal relationship with Him.
Whilst there is still work to be done, most of it now is on the exterior – both the building and the grounds.
A team in June came for a lot of outdoor work and some very significant changes happened.
A Prayer Garden structure was erected that will be the focus of our Memorial to Barbara Morrison. We also had a 6 metre (18 foot) Cross put by the Camp Fire area where many decisions for Christ will be made. On a slightly lighter note, the BBQ area was finished and I’m sure the kids will enjoy their first BBQ on Tuesday July 2nd!
All the guys laying concrete, building the BBQ, building wood structures and varnishing have all been part of that great TEAM, God has used to fulfil His Purpose. It doesn’t stop though – next week we hope to lay up to 500 sq.mt. of Turf (5,000 sq.ft.) With having no Mission Team next week, Smiles Staff will be faced with the task and I hope we’ll manage it as the investment in Turf and transport is over £2,500 ($3,250) so please pray for our efforts as we try to provide a good green area for the kids to play on.
As this month progresses, plenty of Mission Trip guests will be arriving at Cihei. 64 are anticipated during July. They will be enjoying our regular projects of Residential Care, Field Project, COP’s and no doubt visiting Dezna to see a day of Camp in full-swing!
We had a great team of 21 in June from Louisiana, America who did a fantastic job working in Dezna and contributing to all our programmes throughout the projects.
We also had the CONTAINER arrive June 3rd right on time and within 3 hours of arrival, the Truck was empty. My sincere thanks again to all those who contributed to the success of the Container bringing such urgent supplies to Romania for our projects. Thanks again to McBurney’s and Alan Carmichael for the gift of Transport to help God’s Work here in Romania.
We also had some fantastic fund-raising efforts this past month. Doon Academy in Scotland raised £230 ($300) in no time at all. Nicole Willis held a High Tea for 2 hours, and she managed to raise this money even at her School! An absolutely amazing achievement and one Nicole will be proud of for some time to come. Nicole presented the money to Smiles Ambassador, Jean Barclay who was overwhelmed at such a figure, and of course, that such a young lady would go out of her way to make this happen for people she has never met.
In Northern Ireland, Ian & Wendy Steenson decided to absail down Europa Hotel in Belfast raising £230 ($300) in the process. People do crazy things for wonderful reasons and we thank them all for their support.
So many people are supporting Smiles every day and it’s important for me to get around to them closer to home at some point to say a personal ‘Thank You’. The demands on my time here in Romania make it difficult but each year I set aside time to visit your area, at least if I’m invited!
In November I’ll be back on the UK Roads. I’ll be in Northern Ireland from 14th through 21st and then possibly Scotland on 22nd and south coast of England 23rd & 24th.
If you would like the opportunity to hold an event for Smiles, let me know or contact the Leeds office so we can put an itinerary together soon. I’m proposing a Smiles Forum event featuring a short presentation to update folk on Smiles Projects, including the Dezna Summer Camps and the Official Opening in September. There will be a time for Q & A from the audience followed by refreshments and fellowship.
I hope to have a Forum held every night and have additional meetings, one on one or smaller groups during the day. Let me know if you would like to be involved.
I’ll be able to explain even more at the Forum’s but I’ll also be launching next month our full Mission Trip programme for 2020. We have some exciting new plans for visitors so watch this space, month by month.
In addition to Maria’s regular report, which I recommend you read, we also have an update this month from Luke and a special report from Ligia at Tileagd Assisted Living. Don’t miss them and do let the contributors know you have read their report and praying for the needs featured.
Adi has also produced another Residential Video ‘Thankful Heart’. This month featuring Mia Morgovan, a resident at our JFL facility in Salonta. (Joint Facility of Love).
I trust you will enjoy the video and brief write-up. If you can assist Mia and others at JFL or at ECO and TAL who need support with their costs, please check our specific web-page:
So, another month ends as another starts. Always so much to share and I thank you for your continued interest in all we do. Thank you for partnering with us to reach the Romanian people with the Love of God through all the projects we have been challenged to begin and to maintain.
If you have any questions on any areas of our work, please write to me and as soon as my schedule permits, I will get a personal response to you. Enjoy all the news!
Sincere blessings for all you do.
Chief Executive to
The Smiles Foundation