Sincere greetings to all our friends and supporters of the Smiles Foundation.
I am delighted to again be able to share the news from both the past month and the days ahead. October was a very busy month, with over 60 guests at the Mission Centre, an Official Opening at Tileagd Assisted Living and new staff to settle in for Tileagd and Rapa. For the month ahead, November isn’t going to be much quieter with a Staff Team in the United Kingdom making 10 presentations in 12 days and I’m off to America visiting 10 States in 15 days – so really not much down time for sure!
As always, lots of news to share but as is normal in life, some disappointments mixed in with all the joy and excitement of progress.
I am sorry to announce that Nelu Cioara will not be travelling on the UK Tour as he recently decided to leave his position as Family Care Manager to better accommodate his family responsibilities for the future.
After more than 8 years with Smiles, we are sorry to lose a great servant of God within Smiles projects, but pray the future will be better for Nelu and his family trusting his new employment will allow the time and flexibility he needs for family responsibilities. Sincere blessings to you Nelu and thanks for all you have done for Smiles and those we seek to serve over the years.
Whilst sorry to see people leave, we are thrilled when new people come and join the team serving the communities within our projects. This past month has been very exciting following the appointments of Alina Miclea and Monica Popoviciu.
Alina is our new Community Worker and Teacher for the Rapa Literacy programme. Her first month has been a great success with the community loving her and the Mission Teams appreciating what she is doing as such a valuable and important task. Luke Wathen is so excited to be involved with the Rapa Literacy programme he has featured it in his report this month, so I encourage you to take a read.
Monica took on the responsibilities of Director for our Tileagd Nursery which is a huge administrative challenge but perhaps even greater, but overall more fun, she is also running the After School Programme for our 5th – 8th Grade students. Of course Maria always has something to share about the School & Nursery, so catch up on her news through the Director’s report.
Both these new team members have impressed in their first month. Please pray with us that the success will continue and they will be encouraged by the results they see in the children. These are also sizeable commitments for us to take on but we believe both roles are critical to achieve the best from the Rapa and Tileagd communities. Please support us in meeting the expenses of both projects.
I have also been a little more involved this term with the children, especially in Tileagd.
To encourage them to work hard and do well, our four younger grades at the Tileagd Complex School have a monthly assessment where their teachers decide the top 3 kids in class. Attendance, Behaviour, Attitude and Achievement are all taken into account, but the top 3 from each class get to choose a gift from a selection on offer. It’s like Christmas Day and the kids are very excited to choose their prizes. As you can see!
The 5th – 8th Grade has to work a lot harder for their treat, but last month they achieved a trip to the city with me! We went for a bit of shopping and then enjoyed pizza!! Another great success!
Perhaps the big event of the past month was the Official Opening of our Tileagd Assisted Living facility. On October 19th the sun was shining and it was a surprising 24C (75F) as we gathered for the Opening Ceremony.
22 people from the United Kingdom joined many of the Smiles team and special guests in Tileagd, plus the staff and residents of the Assisted Living facility. Special guests included the Vice-Mayor, Pastors from local churches, the Family Medical Doctor from Tileagd who collaborates with Smiles Dr Diana on medical issues at the facility. More than 80 people gathered to hear the brass band play before various speeches were presented and the Official opening completed.
Then everyone was able to tour the facility, meeting staff and residents who were delighted to have so much fuss made of them. Soon we were all enjoying a wonderful luncheon prepared by our TAL cooks. And what amazing food it was which sadly had to be cut short as time was moving on and we had a Thanksgiving Service starting at 1pm in the Tileagd Community Church. People gathered and many of the residents joined us, as they do every Sunday, for the worship and thanksgiving service.
Our trustee, Mike Wildsmith had flown over especially for the Opening and we were delighted with the message Mike shared. We were also thrilled to have Pastor Ilie Cimpoca speak who had been a significant help in the early days of the Tileagd church and of course, current Pastor Vasile Sana was also speaking.
Special performances from Tileagd locals, the Mission team and of course the brass band all made for a wonderful worship service of thanksgiving.
Just enough time for some visitors to tour the Smiles School in Tileagd and others to have a final chat with the residents who had all enjoyed a wonderful day and felt very special to have so many people visiting them and their new home.
One of the Assisted Living residents, Mr Sandu Ghiurcan was thrilled to be our guest this month on Thankful Hearts, because he most certainly has a very thank heart. Don’t miss the video, write up and pictures.
Our Director of Residential Care, Georgi Lazau has naturally featured the TAL Opening in her report this month so there is plenty of news to absorb on this wonderful facility – the newest of Smiles Projects and we thank God for providing yet another miracle in service opportunity to those in need.
Much of what we do could not be done without your support and the hard work of many teams fund-raising year round to enable our Projects to function.
Adi talks about our Cornerstone project this month – Family Care Project, so don’t miss his thoughts shared in his report and Volunteer Coordinator, Barbara Morrison also has a very encouraging report on fund-raising activities this past month. Barbara also launches our 2018 Smiles Day – so get all the latest news in her report.
Thank you again for your continued interest and support of the Smiles Foundation’s work. The UK Tour Team look forward to seeing you somewhere across the UK between November 10th and 20th. Please check the schedule and support them at a presentation nearest you.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet so many of our wonderful friends and supporters in America. If we haven’t arranged to meet yet and I am anywhere near you, drop me an e-mail and I would be delighted to get together if remotely possible in what is a very busy schedule. But I can always fit in another coffee stop or Mexican meal!
It’s staggering to think the next update will be December – the last month of 2017. What an incredible year it has been. Let’s make it a fantastic ending with a special gift for a Smiles Project in Romania. https://www.thesmilesfoundation.org/donate-2/
God bless you all and we look forward to seeing you or being in touch soon.
Chief Executive to
The Smiles Foundation