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Maria's News - Quality Street - August 2018

Maria with the Potioc family

Maria – August 2018

“Quality Street”…

I’m sure you know the box of chocolates called this. Do you like them? Do you really like all the flavours? To be honest with you, I do not really like them all. But when I buy the box I have to buy it all, with the good ones and the bad ones even if I like only 2 flavours the best!

I’ve heard in the news that soon we’ll be able to choose what type of flavour we want. Buy them individually. Wouldn’t that be nice if it could be the way with life too? But we can’t!

So what’s left to do? The hope and the trust, what God promised us that will be with us through good and bad times, through happiness and tears, through joy and sorrow and the list can go on and on!

This past month I feel that my life was like a ‘Quality Stress’ chocolate box! Yes, sweet because above everything else I’m a child of God, and yet sour because I live on this earth!


July started with the sad news of my dear friend Barbara. July 12th was the day that I will never forget. I was in Dezna, early morning, getting Stefan ready to go to breakfast when I received a phone call that said: Barbara’s gone home! It felt like my whole life stopped! I could not believe it…until the moment that I arrived in Ireland at Barbara and Sam’s house. Then it was real.

Barbara did not come out to greet me and give me a hug, but instead she was in a coffin. She was there, dressed nicely, with her Smiles badge on.

You see, I’ve never met mother Teresa but I’ve met Barbara Morrison. I had the privilege to work alongside her for the last 10 years. She was my personal shopper, my friend, my counsellor, my aunt – in fact a lot of things.

She loved God, Sam, her church, her friends and family. SHE LOVED SMILES!!! She never got angry with people but she was hurt and disappointed when they messed up. One of the last discussions I had with her was about my disappointment with my ex-colleagues that let me down. She was also hurt by their actions but you know what she said? “I’m very very disappointed, but God will take care of this situation too”. I still do not understand why God took her home! Maybe He had an important presentation and He needed the best speaker …. and that was Barbara!

One day I will ask Him why, until than I live with the great memories of a really special lady and will never forget her! With everything I do, I want her to look down and say: ‘well done my little friend’!

Once I came back to Romania from the funeral we had another busy time with the mission teams. A team from UK, immediately followed by a team from America
Having a large team from the US here for 14 days, meant things were really busy and we all got involved in the day to day projects. I’ve done things that I’ve missed doing for so long, such are often the demands of leadership and certainly motherhood.

For example, when Adi was asking me to help him with translation for the team, I had to choose between going to an State institution or to go on the Field project!
Because I’ve never liked office work that much I choose to do the field projects! Little did I know how blessed my day would be and how much I would enjoy it! I visited 4 families with different problems but the last one really touched me and reduced me to tears!

The Potioc family. Mum and dad with 4 kids. The young mothers’ father died 6 years ago and her mum got married again. She left the kids alone when she decided to move with the ‘new man’.
The young family faced a hard time. A hard time that made them stronger and I’m really proud of them to see the young women they became. Their dream is to have their own house. Today they live in a Smiles house and they have the assured security of it. Meanwhile they need some basic needs meet. Like having a wardrobe, a bed, and a table! So I’m happy to be able to help them because guess what? WE RECEIVED THEM IN THE CONTAINER!!!

I know that many of you are wondering if we will do another one since Barbara is not here anymore! I’m really happy to tell you that Sam is 100% behind it. It will come in September.

Please continue to pray for Sam. He is a strong man of God and he knows that Barbara is in a great place, but he has the burden of counselling all of us that are smaller or weaker!

Another great thing that happened this past month is the Summer School Programme we have in Tileagd. I love to see the little ones coming to nursery without anyone forcing them! Many of them do not have anywhere to go so this is a really great escape! Please continue to support and pray for the educational side of the project we have in Tileagd. We continue to have a lot of things changing there this year but I’m telling you more in my September update!

Maria and Stefan in Tileagd
So my dear friends, life is like a quality street chocolate box. We have to take it all , with all the flavours, options and some surprises – even if we don’t like it.

I just pray for the wisdom we need from God to do it right!

And before I close, you know what the top of this month means for me? The realisation that I have a HUGE FAMILY! THE SMILES FAMILY! I knew that we are a lot but when the sad news came about Barbara, the way that the family gathered really impressed me! I pray that loyalty and closeness will continue.

If here was so nice, how will be in heaven? AMAZING!!!

Let’s make sure we get there! Ensure our walk on the streets is a quality walk!

Be blessed


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