‘To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with him’ (William Carey)
‘Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?’ (William Carey)
The above words written from the pen of William Carey captivated my heart. Our mind can be absorbed by the emotion of the moment, but what after? Presently my own thoughts are locked in darkness as I become aware of tragic situations. Ordinary men and women whose lives know nothing only sadness. Methinks ‘who is carrying out the work?’ ‘Only seven weeks until my return’. My thoughts are halted as I focus on the unmeasured grace and love of our Lord Jesus and with a thankful heart give thanks for those who serve faithfully in love through the darkness of the hour, whose flame is not a weak flicker of warmth but a flame of passion burning brightly. Last evening my sleep was disturbed as faces, names came before me. The forgotten adult orphans dominated my thoughts and at one stage I sat on the side of the bed questioning ‘Lord, why so much pain?’. I have been there, I know the people, I know the places, I have seen them wander aimlessly knowing they did not make this choice. I felt a tear sting my cheek as I remembered them running to meet our car. I tried to see into their mind and envisage their thoughts. My conclusion: ‘Someone does care’. A story shared with me came to mind explaining why certain patterns of china were placed in the furnace not once but twice in order to become distinct in pattern. ‘Though it be tried with fire’. (I Peter 1: 7) In their darkness of the furnace may we bring a little light.
‘I would be simply used
Spending myself in humble task or great
Priest at the altar, keeper of the gate,
So be my Lord requireth that thing
Which at the needful moment I may bring
O joy of serviceableness divine
Of merging will and work, dear Lord, in Thine
Of knowing that results, however small
Fitly into Thy stream of purpose fall
I will be simply used!’ (selected)
This morning as I read my report from my friend Estera, I prayed that the Dew of His Grace would bring peace to Sister Simona whose watchful eye lovingly cares for her little Darling Alexandra knowing that every breath is a struggle, every waking hour brings pain. Baby Alexandra continues to lose weight and is deteriorating day by day. Simona’s eyes should be filled with joy after the birth of her baby son, but her eyes are filled with tears knowing each moment is a moment less before parting with her priceless treasure. A precious Christian family who need to feel the warmth of our flame burn brightly during these days of sadness.
The aged and infirm in Romania need to be loved. Many are alone, bereft of love and family. A recent visit to an elderly lady before returning home touched my heart. Holding my hand tightly she said: ‘Once you are old you are useless and forgotten’. Her words penetrated my heart. Our elderly patients live for the visits of the Emanuel Hospice team and are open to the gospel. They need to feel they matter, for many days are short, we need to share the message of the Old Rugged Cross. I think of Ecaterina (75) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, with no one to care for her as her aged husband is ill and unable to walk. They have expressed an openness to the Gospel – this is the core of our mission.
Many have been praying for Kevin. He has just returned from Timisoara where a medical assessment was carried out to confirm if his cancer had reoccurred. The doctor said it was ‘A Miracle’ all was clear. To God be the Glory! He will however require another surgery which will be significant for the condition of his feet. Kevin has expressed concern regarding further surgery as he has been through so many procedures. He now has a fear of hospitals. Please pray for our little friend Kevin.
For Ana the thorns of hardship are causing wounds that will not heal. Twenty-two years of age and four little girls (5; 3; 1 and 10 months). She came to Iochebed in desperate need of help. Her husband left her after the birth of her fourth daughter. She has no money for food or milk for the baby and is now forced to live in a small place with eleven other people. The Pro-Life Project have reached out in love, offering food, clothing and dried milk for the baby. Ana was overjoyed and could not find words to express her gratitude. Sister Gabi shared the Word of God with her assuring her that she is not forsaken and that God’s love is free just for the asking. Remember Ana and her four little girls. The heartbeat of our mission remains unchanged in Oradea where we serve hundreds of families and children or in Suceava, a twelve-hour drive by car. Iochebed are issuing an appeal for BACKPACKS as hundreds of Roma children need one to enable them to go to school. Unless you have a filled BACKPACK you cannot attend school. One family possess one pair of shoes for eleven children meaning every 11th day the same child attends school. Please pray the Lord will supply this great need.
Joel 3: 16 ‘The Lord will be the place of repair of His people’ There is no cloud in my mind as I read the reports, view the video clips and photographs received from the camps taking place throughout the summer. Months of planning, preparation to enable hundreds of children to find a rose amidst the brier whose young lives are rooted in sadness by circumstances. For many it is the only days when they can be ‘a child’ enjoying the art of play, meeting new friends, hearing the story of Jesus through morning and evening devotions. Their shadows of deep roots of sadness can bloom into fresh flowers of fragrance. Tears run down many little faces as they wave ‘GOODBYE’. Back home to….?
Casa Grace continue to work tirelessly ministering to the orphans, down syndrome, disabled and abandoned children. My friend Dora sent me a video clip of MY ADAM, my heart missed a beat as I watched him ‘RUN’. Adam is progressing after two recent valve replacements and as I trace his story from an abandoned baby to where he is now, surrounded by love and loved, I feel Adam’s life is part of God’s plan.
My children (as I affectionately call them) occupy my mind. Early this morning I found myself writing: ‘Some are called to go; some called to stay; we are all called to serve’. I am filled with a quiet calm as I share my heart with you. I am constantly thinking of the little ones who have felt the pain of loss, their young hearts are broken as their mum, dad have prematurely been taken from them. Severely disabled children, I think of little Ella, Cristi, Diana, David, Alex …. The list is endless. I only know on my return I will personally visit these children assuring them they are not forgotten. Why another extension of ministry? I still feel the warmth of a special friend clasping my hand and asking me not to forget her children. I dare not have said ‘YES’ if I am not willing to surrender.
I end as I began with the words of William Carey: ‘Surely it is worthwhile to lay ourselves out with all our might in promoting the cause and kingdom of Christ’.
Shirley, 08 August, 2019