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One Smile at a Time


Maria – October 2018

One smile at a time….

I’m sure that we all loooove to see people smiling!! In a world like we have today, where many bad people are in the front line – people who don’t care about others, only themselves – rarely do you see happy people!

I believe that being happy is not related to the wealth you have, or your position in society or your looks. Being happy is about being ‘content’ – thankful with what you have and that must include ‘a relationship with God’! I know many poor people that are happy and many rich people that are sad!

It’s interesting when I say to people I work for the ‘Smiles’ foundation and they ask – “so you are all the time smiling”?! I can’t say yes, even if I wish I could. But the moments when I do – I SMILE with all my heart!

And I did this a lot this past month! Let me share with you why.

When I started working in Tileagd, our educational adviser Stephen Woodward, told me that “this is a 20 year commitment” …. we are at 15 years so far and I saw a lot of kids smiling! I’ve not been able to do it alone but with people like you, we are making great progress – so thank you for staying close to us! We might not change the entire world and make them smile, although it sounds amazing to try, but for sure we change the world for a few kids over the years! That is worth ‘smiling’ about.

The new academic year started at Tileagd Nursery with a really ‘positive vibe’. Another new beginning for us as leaders, assisted by some new staff, many new kids – so lots of people. We have a new upgraded playground, refreshed classrooms and the list can go on and on!

In the Nursery this September, we had two new teachers. Teacher Alina and teacher Adelina. Both of them with new fresh energy. At the interview we told them some of the practical work we confront in Tileagd. Taking into consideration that we have kids from the Gypsy Community and some from poor Romanian families so inevitably – they had a lot of questions!

Our biggest surprise was Rudi. Rudi is a child in foster care and he has been in our nursery for 3 years. Rudi is full of energy and always interrupting the class. This September, Rudi seemed to become a ‘new person’. Things changed during the summer and he was so happy to start again. He said to his parents, “I love it there and I love to go”. Exactly what we are trying to teach children, ‘to love to learn and to learn to love’!

Another case is a family with 3 children. I can’t say their names for the need to respect privacy at this stage, but they have been abandoned by their mother. The father had a choice to send them to foster care or to take care of them alone! He called me many times to tell me to take the kids and have them in one of our centres! I could not do it. I was thinking and praying to find other options. So we have included them in the full-day programme at the nursery. That means from 8 am to 4pm. Dad comes back from work at 3.30. He is happy he has a solution and thankful to God for people like you that support our work! For a child to benefit of this programme is costing us £10/$13 extra per month! Can you HELP US? A special gift designated to Tileagd Nursery will help us to help people who need us.

God is love and we see that in everything we receive from supporters along with everything we do! All this is happening because of people across the world helping us! Loving the Romanian people. Helping them to discover a Loving God. We are so thankful for everything you do.Maria at Nursery

And the same at the School. A new year … A new challenge!

Meda and Ghiuri – the leaders of the Gypsy community, have taken a greater involvement in the work we do there, as Geta the administrator of the school, had to leave due to health issues! Ligia stepped up, to also help the Educational work alongside the Assisted Living Centre and together we all try to make sure everything works well. And so far, it is! Praise God.

School OpeningEach day, as well as what we do in the nursery, we offer the kids breakfast and lunch, showers, clothes, medical supervision and many other practical things, but the most important one is love!

For example – David, and he is not the only one, needs a lot of love as he does not get any at home. His mum left the family and his dad is in the hospital for more than 5 months now – close to death! David is coming every day to school and we are the only support he has. David knows that if there is anything he needs, he comes to us, but more important he knows he is loved. A few weeks ago he cut his head with a bad gash and he came in our Nursing Centre to be cleaned and bandaged every day. What a great addition for our project in Tileagd!

Like David there are another 109 kids coming daily to school and nursery. They all need help and the only real help they get is from us. £10/$13 per month can go a looooooong way! CAN YOU HELP US?Hands on gate

September was a very full month in the Tileagd Project.

On September 9th we had a baptismal celebration. 5 people made a commitment that in the good and bad days, they will follow Jesus. Amazing! Answered prayers, for some we’ve been praying for years, for some for months! Ana (Reta), came to the church since we opened it in 2006. But she always said not now. Last year she was in prison for the entire year and there she promised God that if she could get out soon she will make the life commitment to Him. So in February this year when she was released, she told me: “this time I won’t go back”. What a joy to see her on the front row! There are still people that we are praying for, so the ‘job’ is not finished yet! Please continue to pray!BaptismsAlso, this month we had a few wonderful teams visiting. It is so encouraging to know we are not alone! I pray that next year we will have more people meeting together and working together! Every SMILE helps, and every pair of hands helps! There is lots to do.

But this month I would like to leave you with a challenge.

In the Tileagd Education project I need 50 people to support me with £10/$13 each month! This will help me to provide for a child – 2 meals a day, educational supplies and for the ones in the nursery, to keep them for the afternoon and pay the staff on duty.

Are there 50 PEOPLE that are committed each month to help me?

Donate via PayPal to Tileagd Education £

Donate via PayPal to Tileagd Education $

I pray and I believe there are and we can do it.

So, I leave you with this and next month I will update you how we did!

Thank you very much for your support but please do not give up! There is so much more that needs to be done and alone I can’t do it.

Maria and Stefan

Be blessed

PS. On a personal note. This month I came back full time to work:). If you remember 2 years ago, I gave birth to a really cute smart funny boy, Stefan! On October 6th he is 2 years old!!! I praise God for him and for all the blessings I receive from him. Now he is in nursery and I’m back to work!

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