Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and incredible support this past month. It is wonderful to see the Lord at Work as He moves the hearts of His people to meet the tremendous needs and opportunities here in Romania. A great deal of work has been undertaken this past month with some wonderful results and we should give thanks to God for His faithfulness.
Dezna has been the height of activity in April with work everywhere from the many hands that contributed to the effort. It was wonderful to have a team from England who worked hard every day despite their painful back and arms from painting ceilings and walls day after day. The dedication of the young and old who come to serve was truly amazing. Thank you for the work done in April, I look forward to the next team in May!
Our own contractors have also made good progress with a refitted kitchen as well as on the huge garden area, water pipes and electric cables have been laid below the ground. Levelling the land has been a big undertaking before laying out the BBQ area, Camp Fire and Prayer Garden. It’s all going to be beautiful!
I continue to ask you to please consider your special gift for the Dezna work. Telephone the office to make a gift by Debit/Credit Card. You can send your gift through the post or go on-line now to make a difference for children this summer who need to hear the Truth of the Gospel that will have eternal consequences.
The kids are getting very excited to attend Camp in Dezna. We have over 200 booked to come this summer and need to underwrite £70/$90 per child to have a week of Camp in Dezna. Would you help sponsor a child to attend Camp? I believe it could change their life, and I know the experience in Dezna is going to be very special for those able to go. If you can help, donate your gift and designate it to ‘Dezna Camps’. Telephone the office or go to the website. Dezna Outreach Centre & Casa Torch.
On May 1st, Ioana Tamas will be taking a group of Gepiu teenagers for 4 days of Camp to Dezna. She will be supported by Luke to entertain, take care and share Christ to the young people for whom Dezna is all about. This will be a ‘little-test’ to see how Camps can function in Dezna and although the facility is far from ‘finished’ – it will be a wonderful opportunity for Ioana to try out ideas and make plans for the summer Camps, that are not so far away now!
Ioana was thrilled to make a long weekend trip to England in April, visiting Yorkshire Camps and participating in activities with those on an Easter Camp. Ioana said, “I had a good time, had lots to see, and I’ve learnt new things”. A great experience which was really appreciated.
Our sincere thanks to Andy & Dave and the team at Yorkshire Camps for welcoming and sharing their experience with Ioana. Dezna Camps now has new heights to reach for! We can’t wait for the fun to begin!
The Container in Northern Ireland is continuing to be filled. It is now scheduled to be closed up, fully loaded we trust, by May 24th. Any help you can give with providing the final critically needed supplies will be truly appreciated. Contact us for details on where to send or take your donated gifts in the next couple of weeks.
We are thankful to so many who have already donated supplies from our ‘wish-list’. We now have just a couple more weeks of collection time before the closure of the Container Doors and the truck will leave Northern Ireland again by the end of May.
We are once again appreciative for the generous support of McBurney’s Transport who underwrite the 3,500mile round-trip. They have willingly made the trip so many times over the past 6 years – the company demonstrates the generous heart of God in such a practical and meaningful way. Thank you McBurney’s.
I am thrilled our work with Residential Care is so well appreciated in all the facilities – Salonta, Oradea and Tileagd. Today we publish our latest ‘Thankful Heart’ video from a resident at our TAL facility. (Tileagd Assisted Living). I must be honest with you, when I watched the video, I wept with lady Ana and I truly encourage you to listen to her story. A true reflection on a hard life that needs a little help in her final days.
I trust you will also be moved by the video, the pictures and brief write-up. If you can assist those at TAL or other residential homes who need support with their costs, please check our specific web-page. Residents Needing Support
As I said last month, we had offered appointments to two new people to join the Field Project team. I am delighted to report they both accepted and now Samuel and Iby have a lot to learn within the expanded Field Project. More news will follow as they settle in and become more familiar with all they have taken on.
Meanwhile, as you wait for information on new team members, be sure to check out updates from well known members! Reports for April are available today from Director of Operations Maria Hava and Development Ambassador, Luke Wathen. Enjoy the news!
Sadly, as two new folks arrive, two are leaving. After 13 years with Smiles as Residential Managers of our Emergency Housing Unit – Petru and Maria Fule are retiring due to health concerns.
Maria has recently undergone some serious treatment and tests for her heart, and the doctor’s conclusion is to take Medical Retirement a little earlier than planned. We have only recently been told of this decision, so we will assess the options for the future and keep you informed as decisions are made.
Sometimes life and ministry, feels like you take 2 steps forward and one step back and at times it is hard to understand God’s Way. But we don’t need to understand everything, we just need to trust and be faithful – so this is what we intend to be, as God continues to Work His Plan for the development of Projects within Smiles. There are many opportunities that seem to keep rising-up and we are seeking God’s Heart and Purpose in all these situations.
After so many years of serving here in Romania, I am more aware than ever that God works in Seasons. What He started 20 years ago does not necessarily continue another 20 years. When the season for that project is over, we must be sufficiently courageous and confident to move forward, into new – even uncharted territory – to see what God will do in the new season.
For many, it is human nature to stay in the known and comfortable territory, but for me it is unwise to fight the changes, if the change is of God. I have always been one ready for something new and maybe part of the reason Smiles has ventured into so many different areas of service, is because I love the new challenge and unknown territory that awaits when following God, by faith, wherever He leads.
So, I am excited by all the opportunities that appear to be in front of us. I pray you will stay with us as we faithfully move forward with God. I cannot tell you what Smiles will be in another 20 years, but I can honestly say that when we established the Work in Romania over 20 years ago – I never expected or anticipated what we have today. It was hard to imagine and believe what was possible through faith in an incredibly powerful, loving and faithful God. Let’s pray for the journey together, wherever He takes us and pray we’ll have the courage and commitment to go where He leads and do as He asks.
So – the Mission Trips for 2019 have started and we had a great first week with those who came. Have you made plans for your trip yet? There are many opportunities to consider. Whether you come alone, or as a family, school or church, just plan to come.
Call the office or e-mail for further details now. If you’re not familiar with our Mission Trips – take a look at our webpage: Hands On Mission Trip Experience.
We have received more bookings from those interested to be part of the Official Opening of Dezna Outreach Centre the weekend of September 28th/29th, 2019. More than 50 from the United Kingdom are now booked to be celebrating with us. We are formatting an exciting programme for the weekend so don’t miss it. We will be closing guaranteed reservations for the 4-Day Weekend by May 31st, 2019 so you have limited time now to make the decision. Option for the 9-Day Mission Trip will remain open longer but why not make your decision today!
The two options on offer for attending the Official Opening are as follows:
The 4-Day weekend – to arrive Friday September 27th and return Monday September 30th.
Or the 9-Day Mission Trip – Arriving September 21st and returning Monday September 30th.
Please contact the Leeds office (0113-276-5060) or e-mail email@example.com for further information on booking. Don’t forget, anyone booked on another Smiles Mission Trip, anytime in 2019, will receive a voucher for free attendance for the 4-Day Official Opening weekend.
Smiles Prayer Day is almost here. May 5th, 2019. We ask you to Pray for the work of Smiles every day, but this Sunday has been set-aside to have as many as possible in one day bringing our petitions before God. Remember the projects and people we serve. The staff working within Smiles. Please also pray for the finances and support needed to fulfill the huge demands upon us day by day.
Remember – when you pray, God hears more than what you say, answers more than we ask and gives more than we imagine in His own time and in His own way!
As we recently all celebrated Easter, I trust you felt a new refreshment from the Living Inspiration of a Risen Lord. The hope and purpose we feel from the Empty Tomb is a glorious reminder that we serve a Conquering God. One that even conquered death. Let us live each day with passion and energy that comes from the Giver of Life.
Thank you for continuing to support the Work of God through Smiles here in Romania.
Sincere blessings to you all.
Chief Executive to
The Smiles Foundation