“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
Just before New Year I attended the funeral of a very dear friend and Smiles supporter, Lorraine McKeeman, who battled with cancer for many years, having lost her husband just 8 years ago too; at just 55 years old. The Rector acknowledged her commitment within her church, community and to The Smiles Foundation, which involved her doing something for us EVERY week, for as long as I can remember. As I wiped tears from my eyes, he said not to be sad, but hold onto the ‘faith’ which reveals a little glimpse of heaven, in return bringing us ‘hope’ and therefore giving good reason to keep ‘love’ alive. I was inspired by his words, these words which are fundamental within Smiles.
I realise, and I hope you do too, as we read the Monthly Newsletters, and recently Kevin’s New Year Message, that The Smiles Foundation is making a huge difference to so many people every day. We have great plans to go forward bringing hope into many more lives and reveal that ‘little glimpse of heaven’ to many families, communities and individuals. Hope in a food parcel, a new sweater, a doll, a new roof, a new home, a safe house, a residential home, an education, baptism, marriage, prayer, a community centre, a church, a loving visit.
As my first report of this New Year, I want to emphasise and remind you that our efforts are essential to help support this amazing work, allowing God to do what may seem impossible to us. My friend Lorraine collected Sanitary Towels and Paracetamol every week, filling many boxes for the Containers. Her part was so vital to the bigger picture of Smiles, as she quietly ‘served others’ with her collecting and giving since the very first time she heard of us through a Smiles Presentation. She knew she had something to do; she was tireless in using her gift to ‘serve others’.
Let’s begin by focusing on our Annual Smiles Day on 3rd February 2018. Whatever you do, please do something!! (On or around that date).
Involve friends and fellow supporters around you and let’s bring in some vitally important funds to cover the various challenges and opportunities that you have been reading about. For example the unexpected Fire Upgrade, the challenge of the value of the Pound Stirling on exchange, the completion of the Lounge in Tileagd, or toward our greater plans with Dezna and the Glasshouse.
These are life changing plans, Smiles are in ministry to serve the people who are in need, not walking past because the task seems too big or will take too much effort, but stepping out and onwards with faith, vision and a passion to fulfil the call and command on every Christian life.
Will you take my challenge to please do something?
I am thrilled with our list of Events so far; Coffee Mornings, Sponsored Walk, Bag Pack, Fashion Show, Concert, Hot Chocolate Day, Craft Fair, Big Breakfast, and an Old Hymns Evening. Many of these are running into March, so there is plenty of time for you to plan something to be a part of our Fundraising focus. If you need ideas or help, please get in touch with me.
Many of you know Luke from visiting Romania, or perhaps met him during our November Tour. Together, we are really trying to Develop and refresh the UK interest in Smiles, which will lead to Mission Trips and increase our Fundraising activity to support our colleagues on the field.
We need people, we need work to be going on all year, we simply need YOU to commit to us, stretch a little further and be a part of ‘serving others’.
To conclude I thank you all for your efforts and help in everything you do. I have been sent reports of a couple of recent events to share with you.
Lynda Donaldson wrote;
“We had a little joint fundraiser on 20th December 2017, (yes 20th!); a Kids Christmas Crafts and Mince Pie Mingle. I was delighted with the turn out; we raised £300 ($390), to be shared with Smiles, Meningitis Now and a Heart Unit. 2 of our toddlers have been poorly in the past.”
Andrew and Liz Houstoun have been busy again in West Kilbride; a Craft Day bringing in an amazing £300 ($390).
It is always very encouraging to hear of your events and efforts, so please send me a short update and a couple of pictures. We are here to encourage each other and cheer each other on in our work.
I’m going to say it again, please do something!
Join me in prayer for The Smiles Foundation over the next weeks and months as we begin to settle into a New Year of work together. Pray for Kevin as he directs, Dawn in Leeds, Maria and management staff, project leaders, staff and beneficiaries, challenges and opposition, victory and change, vision and hope, funding and support, Mission Trippers and sponsors. Praise God for the wonderful opportunity He grants us all, to be a part of His Kingdom work with Smiles. Praise Him for the year we have ahead of us to ‘serve others’ through Smiles, bringing light to many lives and glory to Him. I look forward to hearing from you very soon.
1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Development Ambassador &
The Smiles Foundation