Ordinary people doing extraordinary things….
On Christmas Day, I’m sure some of you listened to The Queen’s speech. I was particularly inspired by her thoughts, and her willingness to share her faith and how she draws strength from; ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things’.
She said; ‘Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life and never travelled far. He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billons of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love.”
These words have drawn my mind to reflect on the past year with Smiles, and just think about what is happening in Romania through the commitment and dedication of ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things’ – how? ….Because of our extraordinary God.
Often we are asked to pray, and we do. Often we are included in a vision, becoming part of something that we are trying to achieve. Yet time and time again we are amazed and surprised when it happens and is successful, when people are healed, when the test results are good, or when the money becomes available and the project is complete.
As I reflect on the past year with Smiles, the ground covered and achievements are incredible. All that God needs is right in front of us, all around us and often hidden in our pockets or buried in our minds as something impossible. Our God is a God of miracles, many of us grew up learning the stories, yet we are amazed when we see a miracle today, and often we call it something else. Our God is a God of miracles today!
My word which I have been given on my reflection is ‘tears’. This morning I read in Revelation 7:17 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
I have been accused of my bladder overflowing, and spilling out through my eyes, but I’m strong enough to take that! I admit I have shed a lot of tears on Mission, and at home when I read reports and hear what’s going on.
Tears when a child squeals with delight at the gift of a little toy, a car or a doll, tears when a mother receives a food parcel to feed her hungry children and clothes to heat their naked bodies; tears when villagers are baptised and handed the keys to a new home; tears when elderly cry through loneliness, or despair over a lost loved one; or tears of delight as children dance in the lounge of the JFL, or sing and bring gifts; tears just as we pray together.
Tears when a lady, having suffered a stroke, makes her own Christmas card, tears of joy walking in the park enjoying the trees and lily ponds, reminiscing of days gone by; painful tears when praying with a daughter whose mother is very ill in the dementia suite. Tears of pride when the children sing in Tileagd Church, or the Gepiu kids pray before lunch, or just sit on my knee for 10 minutes and stroke my hair; tears on love for people I have got to know over the years. And simply just tears when Kevin cuts another ribbon; and tears of thankfulness to God for his provision in all these things.
And tears at home when a Gift comes in to support the work, another person signs up to a Mission Trip, another Monthly Sponsorship starts…..just when God uses ordinary people, like you and me to fulfil His work, and bring a little heaven to earth for His people in Bihor.
Friends, the good news as we begin 2017 is this; we need you! Just ordinary people doing extraordinary things with great love and then watch God perform His miracles. I know many of you can identify with my tears I have described, and have shed yours with me on Mission and at home. I know your response to a Mission Trip or to a Presentation. You are amazed and inspired by the commitment and dedication of Kevin and all his Romanian staff, and you want to be a part of it. Please partner again with us this New Year, tell your stories, seek more opportunities, and let’s be a part of enabling this extraordinary work to grow.
Our immediate focus is our Smiles Day on Saturday 4th February 2017. All I ask is that you do something, just something simple to acknowledge the day as a contribution to a much greater plan. Let me know what you are hoping to do, and we will fill the website with all our events to encourage each other and pray for each other that day.
Our colleagues in Romania need us to be active in the UK (and America) for them. They depend on our hard work and support, they rely on our prayers and encourage us to visit on Mission Trips to stand with them and help them.
Kevin is 60…..HAPPY BIRTHDAY from us all!! You will have seen the birthday appeal, to contribute to the End of Year funds, clearing deficits and allowing a fresh start. Let’s go for it in 2017, remembering that every contribution is significant, it is your dedication and commitment that will make a difference, so please join me in a year working together with great love, and making a huge difference to so many with Smiles.
Thank you for all you do, and may you know His love and peace in 2017. I look forward to hearing from you very soon.
Development Ambassador & Volunteer Coordinator
The Smiles Foundation
Telephone: 0788 087 5845