A lot can be said about this. The Bible talks a lot about the importance of having a thankful heart. Lots of quotes have been written about this in songs, poems, and so on…….but sadly, people are still NOT thankful!
Why? I think because they are thinking just ‘for themselves’. And it’s painful to see around you how this ‘simple’ attitude of ‘thankfulness’ or lack of it, is bringing so many problems and frustrations all over the world!
One of my prayers during 2017 has been for God to help me to have a more Thankful Heart! And I’m thankful to Him that He listened to my request!
I will not have space to write all the good things that happened to me this year because there are sooo many, but I will tell you just a few of them from this past month.
Why I have a thankful heart?
I just arrived home from a visit to the United Kingdom for nearly 3 weeks. It was really great, but I’M THANKFUL TO BE BACK HOME! When the plane landed in Oradea, yes you’ve heard right ORADEA…. and the people in the plane starting clapping I could not stop crying. It was so emotional. I can’t even imagine how will be when we will arrive home in heaven!! I’m sure it will be amazing. Until then, I’m thankful to God that I have a house where to live and return home to, for family and friends!
The time in UK was divided between the Tour and the annual Trustee board meeting, which is why I stayed on longer than the team who returned home soon after the Tour finished.
The Tour was great. A real challenge as it was for the first time ever in Smiles history we had a Tour without Mr Hoy! Yes, he was not with us! No, no, no he was not on holiday! But while we traveled across the UK, he was in America and to find out more of what he did read the monthly E-Mail update that he writes every month. But coming back to our Tour, I’m really THANKFUL to all the churches that hosted us, all the people that came to listen to our stories and I’m thankful for the time they put in to organising the event.
There were two moments on the tour that I would like to share with you because they really touched my heart!
One was in Ireland, because Northern Ireland has a special place in my heart. People there are very Godly people. We had two presentations there and between them there were more than 200 people present. I saw a few of my friends that I’ve made back in 2004 and even today they are ‘still there’ for us. Commitment is something that you rarely find these days in our world, but I’m THANKFUL to God for all the committed people who support the Smiles work.
And the other in Teignmouth. The evening started with a welcome and a story form an older lady called Ruth. What is special abut Ruth is the fact that with her ladies group, every single month they meet and each of them put a 5 pence aside for Smiles. Over the years, more than 10 years now, they send to Smiles more than £3000! ($3,900) And I’m really THANKFUL to God for people like Ruth who are taking the small things in order to complete the big one! Their money is as important as a big donor.
That makes me and my colleagues to be more responsible and make sure that every time we spend the money people donate to our projects we are actually spending God’s money. It’s a great opportunity to be able to do that. I’m sure God can do His work in this world without us, but what an honour it is to know that he chooses us for the ‘job’!
I can continue with stories from the Tour all day long, because I’m thankful to know that we have so many friends across the UK who are sacrificially giving month by month in order for us to be able to do the job.
I can tell you as well about all the people that this past year gave up at their time in order to come to see us in Romania and once again, encourage us and tell us that “we are not alone”. I’m thankful to each one of you who are giving up at your time in order to do Smiles work, whether in Romania in the UK or in America, it does not matter. I really want to say thank you for this!
AND I’m thankful for all the people that pray for us day by day! The job we do is not easy. Actually it is getting harder and harder. That means it’s easier and easier to get discouraged and give up, BUT your prayers are felt. When we say “I can’t do it anymore” God gives us new strength! And that’s amazing!! Thank you for this.
I’m also thankful for the fact that Stefan came back home safe and in one piece after the UK tour. I was very nervous and some people criticised me for taking him on the road, but I’m amazed of God’s blessing and protection over him and over us! He did not have one day feeling bad, or cold. He enjoyed all the time spent with people and making new friends. Thank you all for being so nice to him. And I’m thankful to my babysitter, daddy Cornel for being there to help me!
I told you that another side of my visit to the UK was the annual Trustees board meeting. Yes, I’m thankful to be a part of it. I’m thankful to God that I’m surrounded by Godly people that have the same vision and passion. To share God’s love with people. It is amazing to see these people serving and helping the people of my country. I will never understand why, but one day when I get to heaven, I will ask God for sure.
Now, being back home I work on getting ready for the Christmas mission trip season. I’m looking forward to this. I get ready to go and buy all the goodies for the SOS!
I’m sure that everyone dreams of gifts and a good time with our loved ones. BUT there are sooooooo many people in Romania and around the world that do not have a family, or food on the table, a nice word, or a hug! You can help us to share as many gifts and hugs as possible by sponsoring our SOS project.
And because this is my last report on the year 2017 I’m thankful to each one of you that take time to read month by month my updates. Be blessed dear friend and thank you for being a blessing!
Director of Operations Romania