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Luke Wathen

Luke’s News – Uncomfortable for God

Uncomfortable for God:

1 Corinthians 12:4-6
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

Hello everyone,

I hope 2017 has gone well for you so far and I pray the rest of it will be blessed! I am now coming to the end of my third month as part of the Smiles staff team. Working here is hard, continuous work but it is in God’s name so it is worth all the effort we can put in because he will bless it!

The reason I have used the verses from 1 Corinthians is because it really applies to the work that is going on in Romania, specifically to the people who contribute to all the different aspects of it.

Obviously the staff are a prime example of different gifts and services because Raul’s work with the homeless and Rebecca’s work as one of the social workers at JFL is very different! They, and all the staff, have amazing God given gifts and talents that allow them to work for God where He has called them to be.

Now from my point of view this is a blessing to observe and work alongside but at the same time it can be frustrating. I say that because I am still trying to figure out the exact gifts that God has given me, which means I am also trying to determine the how to serve God best as well.

This brings me to why I have called this report “Uncomfortable for God“. I believe that the best way of working out the answer to both how to use our gifts for him and in what type of service requires becoming uncomfortable for God alongside praying for his guidance as we do so!

It is then a two way relationship with God, he guides us as we move in His name. At this point I have to look at that phrase becoming uncomfortable for God. I don’t necessarily mean physical discomfort, like for example here at Smiles it doesn’t have to mean working on construction for a week in the middle of summer, which believe me is uncomfortable! Luke on construction

That may not be what God has gifted you to serve for, but I’m sure there is something here in the plethora of Smiles projects that He has. Whether it is working at JFL with our wonderful, elderly residents or at Tileagd school and nursery. Now you might be reading this thinking how do you know, I don’t have a clue what I am gifted to do? Well I would recommend as strongly as possible that you come to Romania and experience as many of the projects as possible that way you can leave your comfort zone for God and he can guide you towards knowing.

Let me use two examples, one from my experience is working with the young teenagers at Gepiu. They are fantastic young people but this was completely new to me as I had rarely worked closely with teenagers before and here I am doing it through a language barrier. For me working with them is harder than working with younger kids, it’s just a different skill set!
Gepiu meal
But I’m so glad that with some encouragement I tried this uncomfortable, at first, work because I ended up helping at a weekend sleep over at Gepiu with some of the boys. I say sleep over but we were still playing games at 4am so there wasn’t much sleep involved, but it was immense fun!

The second example is from a group of Americans who came to us for two weeks this month, they worked really hard! A lot at Tileagd and in the other projects too. But on the second Thursday of their trip some of them went to JFL 2 to work with some local young people with Downs Syndrome. A couple in particular took to this work like ducks to water and the others did also after overcoming initial uncertainties. By the end they were enjoying singing and performing to their enthusiastic audience, as the video attests!  Please watch – Animal song
Downs Syndrome at JFL2
In both examples we had to become uncomfortable before we learned and experienced the blessings of the Lord. I believe that there are some of you reading this who God is calling to come to Smiles and become uncomfortable for Him so that you can experience these blessings too.

Lastly, please don’t worry about the uncomfortable element, if it turns out that you feel uncomfortable in one area of work and you don’t feel that is what God has gifted you for then you won’t be forced to do it again. There is physical work, there is playing with kids, visiting and praying for the elderly and sharing fellowship with everyone in the projects. All these things a working for God and he prepares tasks for each of us specifically to do.

Please come and try to find yours here and become uncomfortable for God so that he can bless you as you work for Him in Romania.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please keep in touch with me any time on any subject.

May God bless you,

Luke Wathen
Smiles Development Associate

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