There is a need….
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
I am flying back to Dublin following a week on a Mission Trip with a wonderful group of people who have stepped out to make a difference in someone’s life this week.
While we fly, the Scottish supporters are beginning their 108 mile Ayrshire Coastal Path Walk from Skelmorlie to Glenapp. Please cheer them on over the next few Saturdays as they walk to raise money for Rapa. Even better, send a donation! Thank you ladies; hoping the weather is kind and the fun mighty.
Last Saturday as we flew out, Richhill Team were busy at their Coffee Morning in Caledon Parish Hall, followed by their ‘Come Dine With Me’ that evening in Richhill Church; raising £2000 ($2,800)! They told me they stopped and praised God as they counted the money, realising He had provided for Smiles in an amazing way. Hard work; a wonderful result and great fundraising ideas for all to consider.
PEPPA has been a special guest at Wonderful Community Reach Tea Party raising £150 ($210). She’s very busy but a fantastic result! (Thank you Lynda)
Team Aghadowey were active again joining Smiles with Kids 4 Schools on a 10 mile Sponsored Walk; raising a super £673 ($942). Well done and thank you all! Sydney Collins hosted his Annual Quiz Night in Mary’s Bar which raised £300 ($420). Thank you Sydney for another successful evening.
Harley Rankin-Freeman is 8 years old, a relative of Marion Morgan, who some of you will know. He is a budding writer, having completed his first book ‘Professor Double-Clef in The Adventure Begins’. His teacher was so impressed she bought it for £20 for the School Library. However, Harley decided to sell copies to his family for Smiles and raised a whopping £60 ($84)! I like your style young man, thank you! God Bless him for this amazing effort and act of kindness to support those in need. I have read his lovely story. If you would like a copy, I’m sure we can arrange it with a small donation!
The 155th Belfast Brownies held their Annual Charity Coffee Evening for Smiles and sent me a lovely cheque for £200 ($280). Thank you girls for choosing Smiles.
Reflecting on the week in Romania and reporting on the amazing work going on across the UK as Teams prepare and fundraise for their Mission Trip, along with individuals who faithfully support the work in so many ways, I feel blessed to be a part of this Smiles family. This month I feel I should encourage ALL of you in All that you do.
Many are preparing to travel out, we have large groups coming together – it is an answer to prayer as God has given us the ‘desire to GO’, responding to His great commission.
One of our ladies this week commented that to ‘see it makes it real’, having heard so much about it and seen many photographs. It’s true! Another said the people ‘recognised me’ from my previous visit which confirms that a visitor is so important. Don’t we all love a visitor? Some of us met 4 residents in ECO who have no-one outside of Smiles to visit them – how sad is that? But how wonderful we were there to visit them.
Why do we GO? – there is a need to GO! A great need for us to be there to support staff, be of assistance, to see what’s going on for ourselves and bring home our own stories to share with others.
And why do Smiles seem to have a never ending request for funds…..because they meet NEEDS; they are making a HUGE difference to many, many lives every day!
One morning, as we met to pray, we thought about the Starfish Story. A young girl throwing starfish back into the sea from a dry, hot beach was asked why she was doing that, as there are so many, you can’t possibly save them all. As she lifted a Starfish and threw it back into the cool sea-water she said, ‘perhaps not, but I can make a difference to that one.’ This familiar story made me very thankful that someone thought enough of me to pick me up, pray for me and lead me to a better place which changed my life!
As we take these beautiful people from where they are or have been, we are beginning on a journey to make their lives better, together. Smiles do not do ‘mediocre’, but strive to do ‘excellence’ in buildings, programmes, staff; everything they do. Why? Because there is a need, and the people deserve it!
So, to our faithful fundraisers, supporters and sponsors; be assured every pound or dollar is needed to improve lives. We appreciate every gift given, demands are great each month and Smiles are very good stewards of God’s money.
Having just witnessed joy and delight at a BBQ for the elderly, beaming smiles on an outing to the park, tears listening to their stories, and Tileagd Church packed with a disability group sharing song and testimony with bursting hearts, I emphasise the need to be faithful to this organisation who are wholeheartedly doing God’s work, and fulfilling His purpose.
Please join us for our Prayer Day on Sunday 6th May. Make a difference as we Praise God and Pray into the needs. Sam and I will be opening our home between 2pm and 6pm if anyone would like to pop in and spend time with us in prayer. For details, e-mail or telephone me.
Finally, please pray for the Container which will leave on 5th May, planning to arrive in Romania Monday night 7th to be unloaded Tuesday 8th. I will report fully on the successful results next month.
My sincere thanks for all you do.
Development Ambassador & Volunteer Coordinator
The Smiles Foundation