I attended our Harvest Service this morning where we were reminded of God’s unending faithfulness towards us and His promise that while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest shall not cease. The beautiful displays of flowers, fruit and vegetables were a tangible reminder that our God is a generous provider. One of the names used by the Israelites to describe God was Jehovah-Jireh. The meaning of this name is “The Lord Who Provides”. The name is literally “The Lord Who Will See To It”. What an amazing promise – the Lord who knows my need, who is able to meet my need in just the right time, and the only One who can meet it fully.
And what an amazing privilege it is that He allows ordinary people like you and me to be a part of that provision. Every month over the past couple of years as I read this page, I was encouraged and uplifted by the stories of ordinary folk doing something to help the work of The Smiles Foundation – volunteers who had a heart for others and were prepared to spend some of their time and energy to make a difference in the lives of those that Smiles were supporting in Romania. And this month, it is my privilege to let you hear about a couple of stories of people doing just that.
Robert Kane ran the Causeway Coast half marathon – 13 gruelling miles from Ballintoy to Portballintrae, over beach, cliff top and pathways in memory of Barbara Morrison. In doing so, he raised just over £2,000 ($2,600) which is going towards the Dezna Outreach Centre. Well done Robert.
A team of young folk from Crossgar Youth Fellowship (near Coleraine) were out on a Mission Trip in August, and hosted a homecoming report where friends and family gathered to hear what they got up to while they were out. We were treated to some wonderful stories of their week along with tea, buns and cake afterwards, and the offering that night came to £812 ($1,064).
Richhill Presbyterian Church held a praise and worship evening called “Then sings my soul”, telling the stories that inspired the hymn-writers to pen the lyrics of many of the favourite old-time hymns, raising £1,885 ($2,477).
The container is now filled with much needed items and ready to head out to the Smiles Centre in Cihei, leaving Northern Ireland on Saturday 3rd November. Thanks to everyone who has given of their time to collect, donate and pack the lorry. Special mention must go to Jean Barclay and our other Scottish friends who filled a van and got the ferry across to Northern Ireland to deliver the last few boxes and bags that were packed in, ensuring yet again that the container is full to overflowing. Remember to keep John Adams in your prayers as he drives the 3,500 mile return journey to Romania and back.
In closing, can I point you to a couple of Facebook groups that have been set up for Smiles supporters to find out more about what is happening locally – the Northern Ireland Smiles Supporters group and the Scottish Smiles Supporters group
These pages were primarily set up for all the supporters of The Smiles Foundation in Northern Ireland and Scotland, enabling them to keep up-to-date with what is going on with fundraisers, news etc, but I am glad to see that supporters from other areas and many of the Smiles Foundation Romania team also follow what is going on – they are an easy way to share information with a wide audience. They have also been used by Mission Trip teams to share photos, reports and video diaries of their time in Romania.
Finally, we read these words in Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” I started this page by saying how encouraged I was every month when I read Barbara’s Volunteer Corner, filled with stories of so many ordinary people doing their bit to make a difference in the lives of those that Smiles were supporting in Romania. I thank God for each and every one of you, for your dedication to the work of The Smiles Foundation, and hope that the stories this month encourage you to keep on with the harvest work you are doing for God’s kingdom. Together we can make a difference.
God bless you all
Northern Ireland Ambassador