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Luke Wathen

Luke – A Report from the Field

Hello everyone,

May I take the chance to wish you a late, Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed your festive holidays – both Christmas and New Year. Doesn’t that seem a long time ago now!

But now we are all back to work and well settled, I want to share my thoughts on a New Year that is full of exciting new opportunities and new experiences, especially for me as I go about doing my first three-month period in the UK as a Development Ambassador for Smiles.

Whilst I have experienced presenting to audiences at the Mission Centre in Romania or on the Staff Tour back in November, it is quite different presenting alone in a variety of situations, even though the audiences are encouraging and receptive people!

luke presenting

So, despite there being a little bit of nervousness, the main feeling at the moment is one of joy. Joy, because I am contributing to helping the people of Romania in God’s name.

Of course, you and all the staff at Smiles, also do everything in God’s strength as well. There were many new experiences in my first two years working in Romania when I just relied on His strength as mine was nowhere near sufficient.

luke working on site
Sometimes it was a physical strength for the building in Rapa and the Tileagd Assisted Living Facility, sometimes it was for emotional strength because I heard of and saw tough situations that so many people in Romania still face every day. It is very hard to deal with all the emotions day by day.

But it is these experiences that I will be presenting as I travel to interested groups in the UK, alongside presenting the great opportunities for you to be a part of! Spending time each week with the Rapa community as they begin their educations is just one example that is so inspiring to witness. I could list many, many more examples now, but instead I will ask you to pray about how you can be part of God’s work within Smiles this year.

Perhaps you are part of a small group, maybe a school, church, youth work or any type that would like to hear and see more about Smiles from me in person. I would love to come to where you are in the UK to share more information with you, please contact me via my email if I can assist you in unwrapping Smiles more in your area.
Mission Centre
However, there is also the option of coming directly to our Mission Centre in Cihei, Bihor County, located in NW Romania. Spending a week or more there, being able to go to our projects each day, will unwrap the amazing truth and possibilities of the work of Smiles, far better than anyone could during a Presentation. Of course, sometimes it all starts with a presentation so please consider a starting point that is best and appropriate for your area.

Coming to Romania provides you with more than just information, it gives you a first-hand insight into the ways the projects run day to day and even more importantly you meet the wonderful people within the projects who need your support.

Once you do this you will start to hear about their lives, establish friendships and have experiences of your own that you will never forget! But don’t just take my word for it. In the Mission Trips section our website, in the subsection “Hands-on Mission Experience- Home!” There is a short video featuring comments about coming on a mission trip from people who have been from the UK and the USA and who have often been more than once!

Please, if you have the time watch the video and explore our website for more information about the Mission Centre you would stay in, specific areas you can work in on a mission trip and practicalities like dates to come on.

At Smiles we want to do everything we can to remove obstacles that might prevent anyone from coming, ensure you have a happy, safe and blessed experience.
Spring Specials
Finally, please also take the time to read this month the special promotion that we are running where the prices of visit is reduced for certain weeks in the next 3 months. Please look at this as it could be to your advantage when thinking or planning to come to Romania.

Thank you for reading this update and if I can ever be of assistance to you please don’t hesitate to contact me via my details on this page!

May God bless you all.

Luke Wathen
Smiles UK Development Ambassador
luke.wathen@thesmilesfoundation.org

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