What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear these words?
Perhaps you think of the people that have a physical handicap! Sadly in Romania, disabled people have not historically received the respect and support they deserve.
Growing up, even though my family taught me and my siblings to respect everybody and love them as Jesus loves us, the society often teaches us to ‘make labels’. Without bad intention, I always felt very sorry for a person in a wheelchair or a person with a handicap and looked at them with different eyes! This month I spent a lot of time around people with disability and my thinking for a few years now is really different!
Let me tell you a bit more because it is related to the news from my desk and Smiles is involved in it!
This past month, we had in Tileagd a gathering where people with disability were invited to the Church. And there are a lot now who come week by week, but this time we had around 40 people, all with a disability!
They have a great time together with the people from the elderly centre and the Gypsy community! The worship and the fellowship together was really encouraging. From all the people that come, there is one man called Romi.
Is the second time in my life I have seen him, but there is something about him that is different! Romi ALWAYS encourages you, even if you are MORE ABLE , on your feet up and running and he is in a wheelchair! He prays for you with all this heart and each word that comes from him is with a very grateful attitude. Romi has a real passion for God. A passion that many people these days do not have.
Romi was “a perfect men” before the accident but after that he was confined to a wheelchair. So that became his ‘place’ to share Jesus with others around him, his mission field.
This causes me to ask ‘What is your mission field?’ It can be your family, the community where you live and even another country as many of you do mission trips here in Romania. The important thing is to SHARE LOVE.
So I am happy that Tileagd Church has learned that over the years and today people with disabilities are welcome.
But what has been happening in other parts of the Smiles work?
Well we had the first Mission Trip group of this year! I loved it!
Not only that we had great people visiting us but together we serve a great God! It was a very emotional one for me. I do not know why, but this time when I had the group with me I couldn’t stop crying all the time! Who knows what they were thinking of me!
Normally when I present Tileagd Nursery and School I ask people to help by sponsoring us so we can continue to provide the facility for the kids, or to sponsor some of the things that we need, but this time I did not ask for that. Of course, we still need the financial support. We still need people to support us! But there is one thing without which we can’t survive. PRAYER! And that’s what I ask for more and more. Prayer is like the diesel to the engine! It makes it go!
Please pray for Tileagd! Pray for Smiles! And on May 6th I believe thousands of prayers will be offered to God for the work, projects and people impacted by the Smiles Foundation.
Smiles Prayer Day May 6th 2018
Also during April we celebrated Easter in Romania. I LOVE the message that Easter gives. HE IS ALIVE! We serve, worship and pray to a God who IS ALIVE!! We just need to COME to Him.
A month in Smiles is not a good month without “office work”. Even though I do not like it that much I realise that in a big organisation like us it is very important. The time we live now and with the changes that are going on in our country it’s harder and harder to stay strong and to function. Each month is a real miracle and for that I’m thankful to God and for your support.
If you ask me what was the down side of this past month? It would be – Being let down by people!
But one dear friend of my family, who has been serving in Romania for 28 years now told me : “when we look down at people it’s impossible to not be hurt. If we look up and keep our eyes on God we are strong”. My friend is 78 years old and serving in Romania was not always easy. Being let down by the closest people that he helped was not an easy experience, yet he did not give up. He just started all over again. A great encouragement to see people focus on the END reward that we take up when we arrive in heaven. What a great encouragement!
Now we are getting ready for the busy summer mission trips, but not before we have a break time. Time to rest. So my report is written from my home village. I’m sitting in my yard, listening to the birds and having a chat with, guess who, a person that is ‘less able’ but really special! I love chatting with him.
So I’m leaving you now, but not before asking you to pray and TO LOVE all people and those who are ‘less able’ –
LOVE them even more!