‘Do not miss an opportunity’ …
I am just home from Romania and as always, I reflect on my days on Mission. I want to encourage all of you that your support, prayerful input and fundraising efforts are enabling God to do amazing things through Smiles. Daily, the committed and loving staff make a huge difference to extremely difficult family situations, in so many different ways. Thank you for being a part of that, and please continue as you can. Those who have been on Mission this year have really got their hands dirty, joined in the ministry with compassion and willingness. Thank you, we appreciate you.
If you’re still not sure, or still thinking ‘I don’t get this’; let me emphasise to you that being on Mission is receiving an opportunity that God gives to us all, placing ourselves in His hands, allowing His power, His will and authority to work through us in every place He sends us to. We may never know how God is revealing His love to people’s hearts because of our visits, or what He does with our tears. It is not about what WE get out of it, or about what WE are doing, it’s about what GOD will do with it … because HE is the God of miracles.
Almost every day I saw wonderful miracles in many different places and circumstances that made me think once again; ‘what would happen to these people if we were not here?’ One evening with Kevin, we had the privilege to help hungry children with a supermarket shop for their family, not sweeties or chocolates, but essentials; I was deeply challenged by the comment ….. ‘do not miss an opportunity!’ Please think about these words for yourself.
So what’s been happening in the UK?
Annette, our Ambassador in Worthing will be in Romania with her team as you read this:
She reports on the 10th Anniversary Children’s Parade & Charity Fair for Smiles.
It was 6.30am, I was in Steyne Gardens, Worthing preparing for arrival of 19 charities, Red Cross, fire engine, ice cream van, hot food van and inflatable rides, Mayor and Mayoress, deputy Mayor and our local MP to introduce the 19 schools arriving on the Gardens. In addition, a very special guest, Julia Donaldson, 2011-2013 Children’s Laureate. This year’s theme was “Anything Julia Donaldson”, so we were excited when she agreed to attend, perform on stage, & do a book signing.
It was hard work and took a year to prepare, but when the day arrived, the Gardens were transformed to a park of colour, with children and families having fun, it was worth every stressed moment. Seeing the ‘smiles’ on the children’s faces reminded me of why I have done this for 10 years… all to raise money for my friends in Romania, to spread ‘smiles’ from Worthing to Bihor. The children of Worthing certainly did that and we had a fantastic day raising over £500 ($650)
We have 25 in our WorthingTeam this year, the largest since my first trip in 2008 and over half for the first time. I am very excited and can’t wait to be there. Please pray that we bless those we meet, and that we are also blessed by the experience. I am grateful to everyone working hard in preparation for this trip. May God bless you All.
Rosemary and Violet Hunter hosted a ‘Skin Care Treats and Sweets’ evening in Bushmills Church Hall which was a very enjoyable and successful evening, with some great pampering followed by a buffet table of delicious sweets, raising £730 ($950). At the same time their Fireside Quiz raised £230 ($300) which is a great fundraiser for anyone to do.
Also, the Church hosted a Pop-Up-Shop which was great fun, attracting many visitors and generous shoppers. The policy was ‘take what you would like and give what you can’; an excellent idea, and opportunity for anyone to try. This one raised £403.85 ($525) Well done!
Kirsty Wallace and family held a Coffee Day at home which was a long day of fun and many cups of coffee with a wonderful total raised of £800 ($1040).
High Kirk, Ballymena hosted a most enjoyable ‘Let’s Sing Gospel’ evening of song and praise to God for the gift of music and writers. A Smiles presentation and collection raised almost £1000 ($1,300); a lovely evening.
Edward Morgan has been very active … raising £830 ($1,080) Amazing!!
At 72 years of age, the prospect of the Welsh 3 peaks challenge was daunting. Pen y fan (2907feet) in the Brecon beacons in South Wales, the other 2 are located in Snowdonia, North Wales. Cader Idris(2930 ft) and Snowdon(3560 ft).
Pen y fan first & very demanding and the prospect of walking the other 2 filled me with trepidation.
I did it, but certainly not in my own strength. The Welsh name for Snowdonia is ‘Eryri’ which means ‘the place of eagles’, and whilst walking I was reminded of Isaiah 40:29-31.
“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.”
My total actual walking time was 18 hours and I did it without even a blister!! ….because I did it for Smiles, and for God to have all the glory.
It is not about how much we raise, it is about our attitude and how we do it. I want to encourage you by sharing your events, always acknowledging that God will do miraculous things with whatever we give to His work, in His name. So thank you for your efforts.
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him.”
Continue in faithful prayer for every event and mission trip, as well as staff in Romania, Kevin and Dawn.
Development Ambassador &
The Smiles Foundation
Telephone: 0788 087 5845