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Maria’s News, June 2020

Turmoil….

When I hear this word in English, I imagine a Jacuzzi bath that is out of control! Like, the water is bubbling soooooo fast that there is no time to enjoy the bath anymore!!!

And to be honest with you, this is how I feel our world is feeling today!!! Everywhere is in so much panic and stress, people are running around like ‘headless chickens’.

….yet in the storm, God is telling us to BE STILL!  But HOW?!?! …. by trusting and resting in Him! Easy to say, perhaps harder to do, so lot of people tell me. And yes, I agree. But we are His children and we really must trust His words.

My biggest lesson recently came from my brother Dani. He has been through a hard time after 12 years of marriage. Even when his wife left him, divorced him and gone with another person, my brother did not hate her or talk bad about her. He is ready anytime to forgive her. (sorry to say but for me, not so easy 🙁 ). We all try to encourage him and yet he is the one encouraging me.

So, it seems impossible to stay still? On a human level yes, but not with God!

In Smiles this past month we had ups and downs too. Even in ministry, we are reminded regularly that this world is not always an easy place to serve.

Things are trying to find their routine as lockdown is eased, but it is very hard to plan, or to do anything without government coming and telling you “this is changed!…..starting from yesterday”. Sadly this is how the Romanian Government often operates – with retrospective announcements!

Every single month starting from April 1st, we had to go to our staff and talk to them about what’s happening next. We thought at that time that things would be ok by the end of May …… but sadly it’s not yet. We try to find solutions, options to keep projects and people, reorganise the work programme, but not all the time are we successful. So please pray for us! Pray for all the decisions we have to take. Some are harder than we anticipated. Pray for the staff too. Yes, as you always tell us, we do a great job, but this is possible only because of God’s Grace and commitment of staff.

With currently no mission trips from UK or USA we need to rethink things within our programme. I never thought that I would miss my friends so much! I always looked at them as my ‘battery chargers’ – but not having any Teams this year is very hard. Christmas was a long time ago!!

I can’t wait to have the first team arriving here!! It will be cause for a big party trust me!! So, I pray for each one of you that had in your mind a visit to Romania to please not give up. Yes, if forced to postpone, consider a different week between now and Christmas 2020.

If that is impossible, please plan now for 2021 – but however you can do it – please come to see us!!!

As for the daily projects here in Romania, like I have said before, we are moving forward!!! Our Residential Care Centres are at full speed and the rest of our projects are perhaps on average at half speed. It is good in part because we Romanian’s drive way too fast!

The feeding programme for the kids in Tileagd is running really well. If Meda and Ghiuri are one day delayed, perhaps due to weather, the kids are coming to them asking “where were they?”. So, THANK YOU for making this possible.

Meda delivering food
In Rapa
– pastor Vasile and Alexandra have made sure the kids have food and the families have supplies week by week.

We have not been able do this in Gepiu…….so what’s happening there at the moment?

Due to the restrictions on gatherings and schools being closed, Gepiu is currently suspended! Because Ioana is such a talented and committed person, she agreed to move to JFL as the Social Worker to assist with all the work there as Rebeca gets ready to leave soon on maternity leave. So please pray for Ioana as elderly care is a newer area of work for her, and pray for Rebeca to have a blessed few weeks off!  I was telling her to enjoy to the maximum level, as once the baby comes there is no QUIET TIME.

Because we still have a little more free time than normal, one day this past month the Cihei office staff…and some from our Elderly Centres, all went to Arpasel and worked in the Glasshouse! We had a great time. Spending it together and also helping our colleagues there to get ready all the orders for Lidl Supermarkets.

So, there is still lots happening around here, even if it’s not at full speed.

But as I said at the beginning that we often live in a turmoil, and I was very sad to receive the news last week that my dear friend, Carol Woodward died from her battle with cancer. After a few years of battling, she left this earth to reunite with Stephen, Barbara and soooo many other dear friends! I’m sure for her it is a better place, for us here it’s a sad loss! But we live in the hope that we will see each other again when we all get to Heaven.
Carol at Tileagd Christmas 2018
My dear friends, if you still wonder if Heaven exists, I tell you it does. And although I LOVE long baths, I hate it when the water is cold, or too many bubbles. This world will not change, but steadily get worse! So, let us get ready for the final destination, where everything will be truly great!!

Lots of love in His service
Maria Hava
Director of Operations Romania

maria.cimpoca@thesmilesfoundation.org

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