Thanksgiving and Prayer
Philippians 1:6 “..being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God always finishes what He starts. He has called us to Himself and started a good work in us, and He will finish it! He has started an incredible work in Smiles and He will finish it!
I have been thinking of each of us as Volunteers; our commitment to Smiles to play our part, to face the difficulties along the way, trusting God to reach where we cannot reach ourselves. I thank God for every effort to raise funds and awareness, there are amazing things happening both here and in Romania. God wants us to continue serving with confidence and commitment, whatever He has given us to do for Smiles.
Our Smiles Day events have been varied and successful, as well as receiving individual donations made towards this year’s challenge. I have many reports to share, trusting you will be inspired to try one of these yourself. The total so far is £10,396 ($13,515). That is such a wonderful blessing, thank you for taking part!
The Friendship Group in New Row Church, Coleraine hosted their annual Coffee Morning, this year in the snow! It was a super morning, such an encouragement; donations of £235 ($305) as well as beautiful knitwear created with tenderness and given with love. Jean Barclay was with me that morning so we had the opportunity to update the group on this year’s work in Romania.
Jean also came to Dunseverick Primary School to share Smiles with the kids in Assembly. The teachers sacrificed their Christmas presents for a donation from school families; a total of £250 ($325) towards education within Smiles. We had quite a session of questions and answers!
Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade have been busy for us throughout the year. Main Street Garvagh BB collected fabulous Wish List items for the Container. Dunluce GB had a Fireside quiz and raised £88 ($114) Mosside GB chose knitting as their Charity work and presented us with 2 colourful blankets which will keep someone very warm.
A Fireside Quiz is a great way to fundraise; one in particular raised £477 ($620)! Another recent idea was celebrating a ‘significant birthday’ with a donation gift from friends to Smiles, a wonderful total of £640 ($832), something we could all think of for significant birthdays!
Liz and Andrew’s Creative Hands Group were busy on St Patrick’s Day at their Craft and Coffee Day at South Beach Baptist Church with the special appearance of their Ukulele Group. Everything looks fabulous and a lovely total raised of £400 ($520). Thank you again for your continuing efforts.
A Big Breakfast turned out to be a ‘huge’ breakfast with 450 meals served throughout the event. Garth from the Grassmen spent the morning with us; kids enjoyed the stalls, videos, getting autographs and photographs! It was a superb family day and we are very grateful for a whopping result of £3,870 ($5,031). Thank you to the many people for all the sponsored food and prizes, everything donated enabled Smiles to be truly blessed.
Singer Pandy Walsh presented Adrian with a Cheque from the sales of his album ‘Family Christmas’ for £1,000 ($1,300). We are very grateful for this willingness to share his success and make this very generous donation.
How can these reports encourage you? Consider a similar event for yourself, offer a presentation in church, school or youth organisation, sacrifice your Birthday gifts for a donation to Smiles, or suggest someone else to do that – a family member or good friend! If you need help, contact me or Luke and we will do our best to help you. We really want Smiles to be known, to see income increase and offer all the support they deserve and need for the work in Romania.
The Container is filling up and we have a very busy few weeks ahead of us to complete the loading of much essential aid. We have been very blessed with bulk donations of toiletries, cleaning materials, baby food; as well as our constant supplies of clothes and shoes. Thank you for your donation!!
The departure date is Saturday 5th May 2018. We are most grateful again to McBurney Transport our sponsor for the trip, with 2 drivers giving their time to do the delivery and helping to unload in Romania. We trust God to bless them for their commitment and continue to provide us partners for this essential work.
Our annual Wish List Days will be at Tesco Ballymena on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th April 2018 from 8am – 8pm. We need help! These are important days to volunteer, helping us complete the Container to travel. If you can help for a few hours on the rota at Tesco door, contact John on 07831 415241 or Adrian on 07709 578950 or myself for further information.
We have many churches, groups and individuals gathering items from the Wish List, so consider this as another vital part of our volunteer work through providing essential aid.
Kevin always gives us plenty to think about in his monthly reports. Every day Smiles needs prayer so that God will continue ‘completing the work He has started’. Our new Prayer Day, scheduled for 6th May 2018 is a wonderful opportunity to focus our hearts and minds together on the challenges, praise Him for all the great reports and miracles that are before our eyes, draw on God’s strength with confidence, seek his guidance for the work we love, and commit ourselves to being a valuable part, in whatever way we can.
I encourage you to meet together in groups wherever you can; let us allow God to flood Smiles with all that is needed and much more, to continue the valuable work of making Smiles and changing lives for eternity.
6th May 2018 is a special day and important for the life and future of Smiles. Plan to Pray with us on that day. It will make a massive difference!
Thank you for your continued support and for all you do.
He is Risen!
Development Ambassador & Volunteer Coordinator
The Smiles Foundation