Set your affection on things above…
Spring and Easter are fast approaching us. I love this time of year, watching flowers peeping through the ground following a sleepy winter, new life, refreshed life, ready for a new season of beauty and production. All of God’s creativity around us, all its splendour and beauty right in front of us to enjoy.
This month I want to share the final reports from our Smiles Day and announce our total this year has reached £7,901.69 ($10,272.20). Thank you for making a difference this winter, adding some extra income to enable the guys on the ground in Romania to reach our friends with much needed love and support. We are blessed, and thank God for every opportunity and donation.
Mike reported on the Fundraising in Liverpool; ‘Six musicians from the Vocal Department of Birmingham Conservatoire performed a series of Song Cycles from England, France and Germany on Friday 24th February. Around 60 people enjoyed an intimate evening of high quality music. During the interval a brief video presentation about the work in Rapa was shown, and £250 ($325) was raised towards the ongoing support of the work in that community.’
Liz Robertson has been losing weight and wrote; ‘I was weighed on Tuesday 28th February, and since 3rd January I have lost 10 pounds. I intend to keep going over the next few weeks until I lose 1 stone (14 pounds). In any case, I need to keep on with Weightwatchers to avoid putting it all back on again! My sponsors have all been very supportive, and I have raised £332 ($431). I will add Fundraising money so far this year for my swimming with Neil, which will bring it up to £492 ($640), and I’ll just round it up to £500 ($650)!
Rob & Margaret advertised heavily in Redcar for a collection of CD’s and DVD’s as a special ‘February Focus’, which raised an amazing £106.34 ($138) through MusicMagpie. (http://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/)
Neville and Myrtle Pogue in Benburb Presbyterian Church hosted a ‘Team Benburb’ Concert featuring Gospel group ‘Emmanuel’ on 25th February. The evening was well supported with a nicely filled Church, wonderful worship and testimony, and a Smiles Presentation followed a lovely supper served by the Team, with a Smiles Table and Craft Sale. We had a most generous collection of £839.35 ($1,091).
Susanne McNeilly, with help from family and friends, held a very popular ‘Pudding Party’ in Kells Presbyterian Church on 25th February. This evening was thoroughly enjoyed and raised £510.00 ($663).
New Row Church Fellowship, Coleraine held a coffee morning with a Smiles Update presentation which was very well attended and raised a total of £225.00 ($292) They also presented some of their beautiful winter work of Knitted Clothes and Blankets to send to Romania.
We have had other great Fundraising Events this month too …. Sydney Collins held his annual Table Quiz in Marys bar in Magherafelt. Thank you Sydney for the great evening, which raised £530.00 ($689)
The Aghadowey Team have been at a Boot Sale in Coleraine Vineyard with 2 van Loads of stock, selling an amazing total of £630.00 ($819) plus Quiz sheets £150.00 ($195) Thanks to all for your ongoing hard work and commitment.
We have various events in place, please look at the Fundraising Events page on the website. If you can attend or support any of these, I’m sure the organisers would be delighted, or maybe you could pick up an idea and organise something for yourself.
It may be a new season, but the work in Smiles continues every day. They need our prayers, our financial support and our visiting on mission trips.
As Easter approaches and we reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sin, it is a time to grasp how much God loves us and actually he wants to bless and prosper us. Do you really think about that often? We should be in no doubt of the enormity of God’s love. Jesus died to open the windows of heaven over us through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The life of God covers us in the blood of Jesus! Power now lives in us because we are a temple of the Holy Spirit.
This Easter, I invite you to celebrate how God is using each of us in Smiles. Each month we read wonderful stories of God’s power and miracles within the Smiles family and how more and more people are finding hope again, because someone cares enough to share the love of God with them.
Our new Clubs and restructured ministry will provide focused and complete support to all seasons of life. The new words are GROW and CARE; ‘Helping GROW those who feel disadvantaged’ and ‘Showing CARE to those who need it most.’
Please pray for this new structure, for complete focus on where God is taking the work and who He wants us to reach every day. Are you giving a gift to someone this Easter? Prayerfully consider giving a gift to one of the Smiles Clubs this month to celebrate Jesus, and to thank God for His unfailing love for each of us.
Offer LOVE, give HOPE, help GROW, share FAITH, show you CARE! Contact the office, and please give a small ‘gift of love’ this Easter.
Thank you always for all you are doing. Have a blessed month and please get in touch with whatever you are getting up to for Smiles.
Colossians 3:2 “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth”
& Volunteer Coordinator
The Smiles Foundation
Telephone: 0788 087 5845