“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. When we do that we will be able to make of this old world, a new world. Love is the only way.” Dr Martin Luther
I am sure some of you were watching and heard these words quoted by Rev Michael Curry at the Royal Wedding of Harry and Megan. A most inspiring sermon, which has become one of the most talked about subjects of the day.
God’s work is about God’s love, and God’s love is central to God’s work through Smiles. Many who have visited comment that the staff evidently love God, a love which overflows to the children and people whom they serve daily. Love has always been a key word; Sharing Love, Hope & Faith to Romania; helping people Grow; Caring for those in need.
I ask you to consider for a moment why and when you fell in love with Smiles, what inspired you to support, read our Newsletters or go on a Mission Trip? Go back there and stay in that place! God has always been showing His great love for His people through Smiles as we have expanded, followed the visions which God placed on Kevin’s heart, built everything with the desire to share God’s love; giving Him all the glory. This remains the same as we work through project re-structure, personnel changes and new project development. To quote Adi; “We need to get more into ‘Christ-sharing’ so our material support will only be a practical example of ‘Christ’s Love’ for people.”
I encourage you to stay close; support these guys in their work. They are focused on something real and lasting. They need us, perhaps more than ever; please be faithful and stand with us to see development, change, growth, and more lives filled with a real understanding of ‘God’s love’, as His name is glorified above all things.
Our first Smiles Prayer Day was a blessing and strength to us all. Thank you for joining us, it is essential to the daily functioning, and will become an annual focus day in the Smiles Calendar. Prayer is our life-line.
I have some events to share and thank you for. We are very grateful to you all for everything you do to raise funds; hopefully these reports give you ideas to try yourself some day! Fundraising follows in the life-line.
- The Scottish folk have completed 60 of their 108 mile Ayrshire Coastal Path walk. There is still time to donate a gift to this event!
- I visited Friendship House in Belfast, the ladies committed to collecting from our Wish List.
- Crossgar Coffee Morning, Cake Sale & Car Wash was hectic and fun; raising £1,384 ($1,938).
- A most enjoyable Hymns Night in High Kirk, Ballymena was a real blessing with a collection of £580 ($812).
- Another wonderful Coffee Evening and Craft Sale in Artigarvan raised £713 ($998).
- We have Quiz Sheets out in various places, a great idea for fundraising.
- Chris Pope organised a Presentation of his trip and super Pudding Party in Wellington Church, Ballymena; raising £732 ($1,025).
Thanks to our experienced drivers Richard and Alan, the Container arrived safely, was unloaded speedily and returned back to NI within 5 days. Huge thanks to McBurney Transport for their continuing support in so many ways, and James Kernohan & Sons for covering costs incurred for PSV.
As I write tonight, the packing has started again! We are blessed to have John Adams and Darren Getty sponsoring and driving a September load. Therefore we are appealing to you to collect from our Wish List. Please distribute lists anywhere and everywhere as we focus strictly on these essentials. Contact me if you have access to other items such as equipment for our Residential Homes or Schools. Bulk supplies are most welcome; eg Toilet Rolls or Bleach Bottles on pallets. On the UK main land, if you can source pallets of such items, contact Dawn and we will try to arrange transport to NI. Wish List Link
Finally a few words from Mission Trippers this year;
“I came home from Romania and our time with Smiles with a deep burden for the children I met, especially those from Gypsy families where there is no tradition of literacy. I think of children whose whole family is illiterate, growing up in homes where there are not only no books, but no printed material of any kind. These children are at such a disadvantage. I have committed myself to pray for two boys in particular with whom I made a connection, a 5-year-old who was abandoned at a hospital and currently fostered, and a teenage boy – Rudi and Alex.
I also came home with a deep appreciation of not only the professionalism of the staff of Smiles, but their passion and deep caring love for all the people in their charge, despite all the frustrations. I realise that this work will only bring lasting benefits in the long-term, and will therefore require long-term perseverance.” Rev Robert Kane.
“My trip to Romania for me meant me stepping out of my comfort zone & fully relying on God’s leading & guiding; trusting Him fully. Each day we were faced with different challenges; some happy and some sad. It tells us in the Bible that God showed us how to love first, so that I could go and share love in Romania and bring a smile.” Jacqui Henderson.
‘Love is the only way’.
Thank you for all you do. Be blessed as we continue together to supply and support this great work Sharing Love, Hope and Faith to Romania; helping people Grow; Caring for those in need.
Development Ambassador & Volunteer Coordinator
The Smiles Foundation