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Susca, Romania

Maria’s News, July 2020

…what does HOME mean for you?

I won’t start to tell you everything that it means to me, because my next update will still find me talking about this one:). But when I hear the word, HOME, my mind goes to my childhood. A small village called Susca, near to the Serbian border, blessed with everything you dream of….mountains, water (Danube river), few houses, nice people…..BUT to be honest, since my grandparents died, I go less and less to my village! So, then I realised HOME means people, friends, family! And as long as I have my dear ones close to me, no matter where I am, I call it home!!!

BUT I’m looking forward to my ETERNAL home, as my list of dear ones, who I miss, is getting longer and longer ‘on the other side’. And there, we will party all the time and face no more separation. One big Celebration in the Presence of God.

Still, what is HOME for you!?

For people in the work we do here in Romania, HOME has soooooo many meanings!!

• for some of them, HOME, means the street, the derelict buildings, the heating pipes where they try to get warm during the winter
• for some , HOME means the mud house they live in and they see as the nicest palace in the world
• for some, HOME means a concrete building that they’ve worked all their life to have on their name!
• for some, HOME means the projects that we have around Bihor county (our elderly centres in Tileagd , Salonta, Oradea)
• for some, it means just a safe place where they can run and know they are protected.

Let me tell you a true story, that really inspired me this month about the importance of having your own home.

Many, many years ago, 2003 , we helped a lot of families in the city of Oradea.. a lot of them were living in the buildings that belonged to the mayor office. Often we paid the rent for them, but our intention always was to see them on their own feet. Sometimes, this dream became a reality, sometimes a nightmare! This story is a reality.

I remember in 2010-2011, when my colleague Marius Pop (a Smiles Social Assistant at the time) came to the office and said: “HEGHEDUS family will be evicted and they need a place where to stay””. Honestly, they were not on my ‘favourite’ list! BUT on Marius persistence, we gave them the option to stay in a Smiles house in NYUVED. So, they moved there!!! All ok until one day Mrs Heghedus came and said : “I would like to buy the house, to be on my name, can I do that?!

Because we asked permission from the sponsors to sell the house, we told her yes. Of course we asked … and how will you pay for it? She said: “from my salary!”  EACH MONTH for the last 4 years she paid in the Smiles bank account £100/$130!

THIS YEAR, in April when the pandemic started, I asked Corina if Mrs Heghedus paid. I was shocked when Corina said, yes she did, and she would like to do the final side and put the house on her name!
I could not believe it!

YOUR generosity as Smiles supporters, and HER faithfulness and HARD work, I managed to sign the contract with her this past month!!! AND THE HOUSE is totally hers. She is the owner.

But why I was shocked? Well, I’m sure that in UK and America, there are lots of people that had difficulties because of this Covid Virus …. And she could have been one of them. During this time, she lost her husband. So everything was left for her to do alone! He died of cancer earlier his year and left her alone. The day we signed the papers and she saw the Deeds in her name, there were a lot of happy tears!!!!!

Not ALL the families have a happy end to their story, but I tell you a few names that had and for that, I’m really happy and thankful to God for the input that Smiles had over the years in their lives!

So I can say that for: MONDOACA family, Luci Haias, TOROK family, IUGA family, Teodora’s family, Mariana’s family, the COMAN family … HOME for them means the house Smiles purchased many years ago, during 2002-2004, and allowed them to live in!

I’m sooooooooooooooooooo happy that ALL OF THEM KNOW that we have an eternal HOME in Heaven, and we need to understand how to get there! Not working to pay a Loan, the Rent or a Mortgage … but understanding the Love of God and His Grace. Once we accept Him as Lord and Saviour – we are given the keys to our Eternal Home and our Name is in the Book of Life – the Deeds of Heaven.

So THANK YOU dear friends for your faithfulness in helping us month by month.

Yes, we still deliver food, we still take care of people in need, we still have the elderly, we still feed the kids and educate them…..we still have looooooots of work and together as a family we can do it!

I would like to leave you with a nice song, and to encourage you to make sure you are building you eternal HOME ……as we can meet and spend looooooooooooooooots of time together…..forever!!!!

Be blessed dear friends and I’m looking forward to seeing you soooooooooooooooooon.

In His service

Director of Smiles Romania

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