The Mustard Seed Tree ….
“The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:31
I was reading about the illustration of the Mustard Seed this morning, while thinking of where to take our Volunteer Corner for this new month of March. It challenged me to think for each of us as Volunteers working effectively for Smiles, how all that we do can have a significant and powerful impact on God’s Kingdom in Romania.
Those little seeds must be sown, we must share our stories; tell of the great work that is going on, report the healings, the rescues, new beginnings, opportunities and the great need to reach more people. It may take time for fruit to come, for you to see your efforts as significant, but I encourage you today that we must continue to sow wherever we can; together we will make a difference.
Each month Kevin challenges and inspires us with the wonderful vision to go forward and the reality of the financial needs. Last month, Maria’s report was so powerful and challenging; the photographs having a deep impact on many of us, that I personally could not read it and just do nothing. Did you feel that too?
You may think it frightening to read some of these figures and what lies ahead … but no, together we can share the load and raise essential funds, but that is best achieved together. Broken down and divided between us; each little “Seed” of effort given to God for His purpose, can produce “The Mustard Seed Tree”, something far beyond our imagination, but according to He will, in His time!
My challenge last month for our Smiles Day was; “please do something”, so I am thankful to those who have organised a fundraiser and those who have one coming up. If you have not yet got a little ‘seed’ up your sleeve, please join us soon or get in touch with me and I will help you. We need everyone working together to provide essential funds to have a greater impact on projects.
Marion Morgan and friends organised a Jumble Sale which raised an amazing £500($650). What a great idea, something well worth considering.
John and Joan Mayo hosted a Smiles Quiz at Chadsgrove School. John wrote; “It was a very successful evening, with 16 teams taking part, raising an amazing £756.60 ($984). The Quiz was written by Sheena Ball’s husband Jim, who came up from Gosport to help us on the evening.
I am sending cheques to the value of £1,000 ($1,300). Besides the Quiz, some is from our granddaughter Lola‘s Smiles Box, our Smiles Box and donations in lieu of gifts.”
Myrtle Irvine and Liz Robertson joined with the Air Ambulance for a very successful Coffee Morning in the Cathedral in Enniskillen. The total for Smiles is £825 ($1,072). Lucy Linton has been creative and extremely busy with her new sewing machine she received for her 9th Birthday. She made a selection of beautiful make-up bags, shopping bags and purses to sell from her own stall, raising £76 ($99)!! Well done again Lucy, we are delighted to see young people involved, and look forward to you being able to go to Romania yourself, and visit the boys and girls there.
Lynda and Derek Donaldson have been busy again too with their popular February Hot Chocolate Afternoon raising £400 ($520). As Lynda described this as a quieter than usual afternoon, I think it is a wonderful achievement, and a much appreciated result.
Liz and Andrew Houston have been out and about again doing presentations, and reported their visit to Dreghorn bringing in £200 ($260).
Dawn has been investigating smile-Amazon as a fantastic way to donate to Smiles while you shop on line. I’m sure lots of us are buying from Amazon quite regularly. Please have a look and nominate Smiles as your chosen charity. (due to be a live option from March 1st, 2018)
I am delighted to tell you that we have started filling the next Container of Aid; leaving early May. As always we are extremely grateful to those who make this possible. Our goal is to fill the Trailer with exactly what is required, so that we are fully supporting our colleagues on the field and meeting needs through our donations. Please take note of Our Essentials Wish List, and if you can arrange a collection of items in Northern Ireland, please do so, and we will be delighted to pack them in. We will be holding our Wish List Days; look out for those dates, and please give us a few hours of your time to collect, pack or transport during those busy days. If you can source bulk supplies of any item, talk to me as soon as you can!
Finally, Mission Trips; if you are booked, I am delighted to welcome you to the best experience of your life, and ask you to start preparing your heart to ‘GO and SERVE’. I have met with our NI Teams and we are getting on well with Fundraising Events for the year. Please be active in Fundraising if you can, as your funds sent ahead enable planning of great programs for the Mission Trip Season, when we will reach many people in a practical way with the gospel of love and hope.
Remember from the smallest Mustard Seed, when planted, becomes the largest of all garden plants with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade. Apply this thought to what you can do for Smiles.
Thank you, and be assured God will bless what we do together.
Development Ambassador & Volunteer Coordinator
The Smiles Foundation