Introducing Jim Dodd, Smiles Development Ambassador for America
We are always thrilled and thankful when some one steps forward and offers their time and energy to furthering the Mission of Smiles.
Jim Dodd from Spokane, Washington State, did exactly that. Totally unknown to anyone in Smiles, Jim called the office one day last August, saying he would like to be involved with organising and leading Mission Trips from America to Smiles Romania. It was interesting, because only days earlier, during an International Trustees meeting, we had basically concluded it was difficult, if not impossible, for us to find a suitable Development Ambassador for America! Difficult for us, but not impossible for God to lay the desire on someone’s heart to get up and get something done.
I subsequently enjoyed a Zoom meeting with Jim and got to know a little more about the man with vision, energy and a desire to get things done.
Jim’s Pastor, Kurt Bubna of Eastpoint Church, Spokane Valley, WA said:
“Jim Dodd is a rare man with both passion and compassion for helping those in need. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious. I have also watched him adjust to a variety of situations and challenges with grace and creativity. Jim has my highest recommendation!”
So, I explained the way Smiles works in this area and Jim was keen to explore the possibility of becoming a Smiles Ambassador with specific focus on Mission Teams. This was a perfect and no doubt Divine match for what Smiles and Jim were looking for, without knowing each other whatsoever. God is Good and Amazing!
It was agreed for Jim to move forward, he needed to know and experience for himself, something of what Smiles was and did in Romania. Wasting no time at all, by October 7th, Jim was boarding a plane in Spokane WA heading for Oradea, Romania. The next day, I was there to meet him, and his week of Smiles began.
Jim’s visit was an inevitable ‘whistle-stop’ tour of many of Smiles Projects.
Friday, he visited ECO – Elderly Care, Oradea as well as Gepiu and the Youth Team meeting.
Saturday we were off to Dezna, which Jim found absolutely amazing. Being very much the outdoor type, he would have loved to stay a few days there and attempt some of the mountain trails that many of us are yet to explore!
Sunday we started at Tileagd Community Church which is always a place that demonstrates ‘a difference’ for visitors to experience from ‘home’. After a great Sunday Lunch at the Mission Centre, we were off on our travels to JFL – Joint Facility of Love, Salonta and then onto the Glasshouse to see the work being done there.
On Monday, Jim was off to Tileagd again, this time with Maria – visiting the Nursery, followed by the Community and then to TAL – Tileagd Assisted Living.
This was proving a busy day, but far from over yet! Maria had the After-School Club scheduled and sure enough, more than 50 kids arrived for lunch, learning and fun. During all the fun, Jim was taught by the Gypsy kids how to ‘dance’. Probably an experience he was not totally ready for! But certainly, it added to his cultural experience!!
Tuesday, as Jim was thinking it couldn’t get any wilder, Adi took him on the Field, visiting families, the homeless and communities in Mierlau and Rapa. Jim was overwhelmed at the variety of Smiles Work and became particularly connected with one of the Homeless beneficiaries, Mr Stefan – who Jim managed to pop back and see again the next day.
Wednesday had been set aside for meetings to follow up all the visits and how Jim’s desire to organise Mission Trips could work within the Smiles Foundation. Thankfully, enthusiasm remained throughout, and serious discussions and ideas for future development were shared. Needless to say, there were many ideas for planning a launch that would increase Mission Teams from America in 2021.
Jim was on his back to America the following day and we are delighted discussions and commitment have not diminished since October.
We are therefore delighted to welcome Jim as Smiles Development Ambassador for America. A voluntary role he is excited to be starting in earnest immediately.
Jim is particularly focused on new contacts and interested Teams from anywhere in America. Those who have been with Smiles for many years will continue to have Kevin as their main contact, but where Jim can assist, he will be ready to do so for anyone he can.
So January 2021 Jim is on the task. We have Flyers and Posters being printed if they are not already with Jim for distribution. Jim will be ready to talk with you and consider the options for a Mission Trip from the USA this year or next.
The Smiles Foundation is holding Mission Trips throughout the year. Take a look at all the options available: 2021 Mission Trip dates
Jim can help you, your family or friends to join any one of the scheduled trips. Or if you have a Church, School or Community Group interested in a trip, Jim can work with you for an Exclusive Trip for your group.
Jim also would like to build his own groups from various parts of the US so as to accompany them on the trip leading it from the Airport in America, out to Romania and back again.
Jim is thinking his first Trip could be June 19th through July 3rd, 2021 but he will be ready whenever you want to go!
Contact Jim by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or telephone: (509) 818-4721
And make a start for planning the trip that could change your life.