Since my last report a lot of things have happened in Smiles. Sometimes the wind of change is scary, but equally change is not always bad, most of the time it can work for the good. We know from the bible that ‘that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ Roman 8:28
We strongly believe in this verse and even if at times we don’t understand what God is doing, we trust in Him. And because we know we are called to do this work, He will take care of the battles for us.
At the end of December, Anca our psychologist in the Joint Facility of Love announced to me she couldn’t continue working with us as she was very busy in her practice in Oradea and was not easy to come every week in Salonta. At first I panicked and then I started to pray for God’s wisdom and for His help. I felt so sorry for the children with Down Syndrome, as we started the new programme last year and now we need to stop it as we could not find somebody to come and do activities with them.
After many prayers, I spoke with Rebeca to see if she was interested in taking on this programme, and I was thrilled she immediately said she would be more then pleased to continue the work we started. We met in January with the parents of those lovely children and I now understand what a huge help this programme is for them, both parents and children.
I asked Rebeca to share with you her thoughts about her work for children with disability:
“It is a blessing for me to work with these lovely people. Seeing the smile on their face when we do different activities is the best sign for me that this project is important. When we announced that the activities will continue at the centre every week, they were very happy about it. Some of them don’t have too many friends. Some don’t even go out from their house. In this project the beneficiaries are 5 adults and 2 children with disabilities. Some of them studied in school, some didn’t go to school at all. Also, there is a teenage girl who is going to school. We have a woman aged 41 who didn’t go to school. She lives in a village and she started to be more active at home after coming to the centre regularly. Her mother was very impressed. She was encouraged to socialize and play different games with other people at the centre. But even that was a big challenge for her. So, if at the beginning she was just a visitor for the activities, being very nervous, now she is getting used to having people around her and more than this, she started to engage in different games with us. Thank God for the progress in her life! As we discussed with the parents, they are enthusiastic about having this opportunity in Salonta. Coming into a place where they can feel accepted and loved for who they are is the most beautiful thing. Thank you for your prayers and support! I am sure God will reward you!”
God is good and works so beautifully and we praise Him for taking care of our needs. We see Gods hand in the little things and also in big things too. In the Oradea Centre, February was a hard month. Eight of my staff were on medical leave to do with a flu virus that was in Oradea, but in all this I was thankful to see that we have there a team of people that are ready to step in and cover all the shifts. Once again I could see that my staff are in this job not just because of the salary but they are very interested that the elderly do not receive less care than they need because we can’t cover properly the shifts. Dr. Diana did a great job and managed to keep this virus away from the residents. We survived the month and we pray for better times. Please pray for us too.
Another change that we had to face was a new social worker in the Tileagd Centre. Together with Ligia in January we had a group of social workers who came for the interview, and we prayed we will choose the person who will be best for the project. Both of us were scared not to make a bad decision as we know the social worker plays an important role in the resident’s life. God answered our prayers and amongst those that came just for the job He sent us Diana, a very young Christian lady.
Here is what Diana thinks after a month of working with Smiles:
“When I choose to be a social assistant, I never thought I would work for “Smiles”. It’s very important to have nice co- workers around you, so that the job does not become routine. God offered me the chance to work for this Foundation, to know a wonderful team, to help the beneficiaries, to be beside them, to encourage them and to be involved in all types of activities. My desire is to be a person than can be counted upon. Working for SMILES is the answer to all my prayers. You are all wonderful and I’m thrilled to be part of the team.”
God answered to Ligia and my prayers by answering to Diana also, I believe this is the way God works all things for the best for those that are called according to His Will.
Gepiu Community Centre…not yet hit by the wind of change, but who knows what God has in plan. Whatever will happen I know God will provide for all of those children we help. He did in the past, I am sure He will continue to be faithful.
Ioana, the social worker for Gepiu is telling you about the way she sees God providing for their needs there in Gepiu: “Thinking about Gepiu Community Centre I wonder if I could write in words every blessing, every test that we got through during last year until today. And I realise that I can’t, but I can try telling you about some of them for which you supported us in prayers, being here or just giving some donations to help us go forward in fulfilling God’s work. One of our necessities was a printer, for helping the kids with their homework (some teachers just ask, but they don’t think a little how these poor kids will manage with doing homework if they give just one worksheet). Printing documents for the centre or for others activities. Thank you for making this possible! Through God’s Grace, and praying every day for continued support, we try to bring some light, some joy and a smile on these kid’s faces, though all our activities!”
So my dear friends, when the wind of change is blowing I believe it is for good, we don’t need to get scared or fear, we just need to stay close to God and He will help us to continue the work He asks us to do.
May God bless you for all the good you bring to all the people that we help through different projects.
The Smiles Foundation (Romania)