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Maria at Tileagd

Maria’s News, September 2020

It’s ok NOT to be ok…

Yes it is!!!

It is ok to recognize when you feel overwhelmed and tired, when you feel like you’ve had enough and want to give up. It is ok not to be ok, when you feel like nothing is going well around you, when you feel alone and misunderstood! WHY?!?

Because in moments like this, you realize you are more than ‘flesh’. God created us as amazing creatures! He put the best in us! Yet we, the human being, spoilt it through our actions and lack of faith. BUT by trusting in HIM, even in the darkest moments, we know that our life is MORE than today! Our end goal is HEAVEN and through FAITH, even in the darkness moments, we will get through, I’M SURE!

This past month I had lots of moments when I said: “I’m ok” and I wasn’t!

In my work this past month, I had moments when I was very confused and asked God WHY?

The COVID crisis seems to be getting more and more out of control. People FEAR for everything. Of course, I believe the virus exists, so we must take care of ourselves, we need to protect ourselves, but there are so many times that things are exaggerated. It seems ‘Fear’ controls so much these days!

People fear for losing their jobs, losing their home, losing the dear ones ….. even losing themselves!

It would be selfish to say that … Smiles is not affected! Well the truth is, we are!!! The good news is that we have faith in GOD who knows everything, and there will be good things coming out of this crisis! He was always faithful to us and I’m sure He will be this time too. It’s a matter for us to WAIT and TRUST!

HOW is it all actually affecting us?

Well, there are projects that since March have functioned in a ‘slow mode’. Some projects are on ‘pause’, and some are still at ‘full speed’!

The Field Project has been on ‘slow mode’ since the crisis started. We have still been able to do a great deal, but in new and different ways. Family Care has been the main focus of the Field project with many needing support, even more than normal, due to the problems created by the COVID crisis.

For the projects that were on ‘pause mode’, like the Educational work (Tileagd School and Nursery, Gepiu Afterschool and Rapa) the government says that in September we will start again. The problem is the uncertainty of ‘how’! It will come with a lot of new rules, and to be honest with you, I’m very unsure how to make it really work in our situation without creating more problems. (by not respecting the rules, we risk fines and they can close us down overnight).

SO, WE NEED A LOT OF EXTRA PRAYERS this month! From September 1st, I will have many meetings with the school and nursery teachers, with the leadership of the projects and with the authorities! Pray for wisdom! Pray also for clarity and focus on our ‘Calling’. Yes, we want to ensure our children are educated, but the primary purpose of Smiles is to do everything in a Godly manner and fulfill our mission of sharing the Gospel, making Disciples and building the Kingdom of God. No COVID crisis or pressure from Government should divert our attention from our main purpose in this ministry of Smiles.

Other projects on ‘pause’ like the homeless village, COP’s , Dezna Camps – still have no news on when they might be able to operate! We do all we can in order not to lose contact with people and communities, but we miss them! In Dezna we continue to work on the heating system that will help us to function in the winter, so we will have a ‘Year-Round’ facility which will be great.

Please pray for these areas of ministry. Pray for PROTECTION for the people that are involved directly and for the beneficiaries also.

The projects running at full speed, the Residential Facilities, also have a lot of challenges! We are in the 6th month of the COVID crisis and until now, GOD PROTECTED us greatly. I’m sure that He will continue to do so, even if there are times when we feel tired and worn out! Until now we did not have any cases within our centres, but recently, with people taking holidays, we started to have problems upon their return.

So now, we have a few cases of staff testing positive, but not yet the beneficiaries. PLEASE PRAY FOR EACH ONE OF THEM! They are getting tired and once the results are public, the state will isolate again the staff in the centres. Is not easy as many have families, kids and responsibility back home. Children are not in school so caring for them is a daily pressure.

I’m really thankful for the leadership of the 3 residential centres , Simona, Ligia, Carmen, Mioara , Ioana, Diana and the 2 doctors, Dr Diana and Dr Timothy. PLEASE PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!! They need extra power (and protection) in order to be working day by day.

So my friends, I’m at a stage when I’m not 100% ok. I’m overwhelmed by all the things that are going on, hard decisions that need to be made, things that we need to put in place! Many things and lots to do!!

I NEED YOUR PRAYERS! For me and our entire team.

Through FAITH we can do it! ….and as I was reminded again this past Sunday in the church the verse from Matthew 6:34 “” therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…each day has enough trouble of its own

Let’s take one day at a time and with HIS POWER we can pass through even the COVID crisis.

I trust God that with His direction and intervention, we will come through even stronger and better, equipped for the challenges ahead to see our Calling and our Mission fulfilled.

Lots of love, in His service


p.s. I leave you this song that I love …

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