HIS EVER WATCHFUL EYE

I trust in God wherever I may be,
Upon the land or on the rolling sea,
For, come what may, from day to day,
My heav’nly Father watches over me.
I trust in God, I know He cares for me,
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Tho’ billows roll, He keeps my soul,
My heavn’ly Father watches over me.

Emanuel University 25th Silver Anniversary Graduation Week-End was for me (personally) a moving and memorable experience. Saturday Evening – the Graduation Ceremony followed by an inspired Concert of Music and Song was (I hesitate to use the word ‘performed’ as it was an offering of their ‘God Given Talent’) provided by the Music Major Student(s). Their achievement of excellence beyond words. Sunday afternoon – the hymn chosen by all 107 Graduates as the Hymn of Commissioning – ‘My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me’. As they slowly passed by I could see the sincerity and depth of each young life.

It isn’t difficult to ‘Trust’ when everything in our garden is in full bloom!   A different aspect, when the ‘blackspot’ appears on our roses! This hymn is a reminder that we can place our ‘Trust’ in God ‘In Season’ and ‘Out of Season’. Life will bring the stormy, rough seas, the lion’s den of temptation, the dark valley, but be assured My Heavenly Father is always watching through all the changing scenes of time. The Head Graduate, Larisa-Maria – her academic score was 99.9.3 – one of her professors whispered in my ear: ‘Perfection’. Yet, in her speech she spoke of her years of study in Emanuel and of how for her, it was the season of ‘Spring’ where she felt her heart opening as a flower where she was at all times surrounded by a richness of fragrance.

Lord Brian Griffiths was the Guest Speaker over the week-end accompanied by His wife, Lady Griffiths. I listened intensely as he spoke to the Graduates, taking for His text: Romans 12: 2. ‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God’. What a message! What a challenge! His passion, his love for young lives, the generation of tomorrow, so evident.  Returning home, in conversation (during supper) I remarked on the achievements of this true gentleman – yet so humble – so kind – so considerate of ‘others’. A shining example of (as we sing) ‘All of my ambitions, hopes and plans, I surrender these…’

Lord Griffiths spoke of his different careers during his lifetime. Pointing out the temptations to the students and the importance of being ‘transformed’ in their mind(s). Advisor to Goldman Sachs International Ltd., a member of the House of Lords where he was made a life peer at the conclusion of his service to the British Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher) during the period 1985 – 1990. Lord Griffiths serves as a Director of Times Newspapers Holding Ltd – a newspaper Company and Director of DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd.

The words of the Psalmist fill my heart as I embrace another week: Psalm 63: ‘O God, You are my God; Early will I seek you. My soul thirsts for you; My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water . . .’   The Baptist Union of Romania held their Annual 2 Day Conference last Thursday/Friday. Approximately 1,000 Pastors met in Oradea, many driving twelve hours plus to be present. Pastor Catalin Croitor called to spend some time with my husband, we had tea together and caught up on the latest from Suceava. We drove him to the Train Station for an overnight journey home (complete with the dissertation he submitted to Dr. Moore in 1998) – a trip down memory lane – it was great to see him so soon again. During one of the sessions, I was alone and took the opportunity to go to ‘My Heavenly Father’ – I was burdened about two particular aspects of the work and so as I do, I pray then record my concern(s); Child Life Romania, furniture for another room which can be available for ministry to students. My husband returned and said ‘you will want to see this email’ and as many of you know, internet access has been extremely difficult. The need was met. ‘Before You Ask’ – I hurriedly retrieved my notepad and asked my husband to read my ‘writings’ where the exact items listed matched the email! Why am I sharing this with you? The Lord continues to ‘mark our path’ – confirm His plans, but then again we read in the Book of Psalms:’ He waters, enriches, provides and blesses!

The response to Child Life Romania is attributed to God and God Alone – He and He alone is worthy of our Highest Praise. Sister Raelene Soritau (Child Life Romania) is to call with me Wednesday/Thursday. It will be a great opportunity to meet with her and be updated on the progress. Two of the graduates will also call later in the week – we see the works of God as His Eyes are always watching and always observing. THANK YOU to each one of you who have taken this project to heart; your gift of love will be greatly appreciated by the Maternity Hospital(s), Foster Homes and Group Homes – you have played a large role – these tiny, lovable but abandoned babies need someone to care. Thank You for restoring hope! I was moved to tears late on Saturday evening when a call came from Northern Ireland on my husband’s mobile, not realising she was telephoning Romania – the elderly lady wanted me to know she had a ‘box’ for CLR and when could I collect? We ‘quickly’ made arrangements – Tuesday, 30th June I have a dental appointment in Holywood, I will call on route home. Even now as I write David Morton emails: ‘ Buggies (twin/single), etc waiting for you’. And I become concerned ???????????????? ‘My Heavenly Father knows’.

Denisa will remain in Milan, Italy for some months now – she is weak but receiving the highest of care and in time the treatment, the transplant will take place. Please continue to remember the Lazau family.

Estera and I plan to visit a Gypsy Village later this week where many of the families are so poor – they struggle to find food and so to those of you who sent gifts for the Hospice Feeding Programme – again ‘Thank You’.

Perhaps a somewhat different update – this land consumes me. I love the people, the children, but need to constantly keep a ‘short account’ of my personal stewardship. Am I salt? Am I light?  I am so humbled by the support of each one of you, it is never taken for granted – at times I question ‘Lord, what are you doing’? Lord, where, what next’? Five Barley Loaves, Two Small Fishes – yet we can be filled to overflowing ‘In Him’. In the stillness of night when everything seems to multiply ‘It Is I, Be Not Afraid’.

He makes the rose an object of His care,
He guides the eagle thru the pathless air,
And surely He remembers me,
My heav’nly Father watches over me.
I trust in God, I know He cares for me,
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Tho’ billows roll, He keeps my soul,
My heavn’ly Father watches over me.

Shirley, 01 June 2015

NB   My next ‘updates’ will highlight the work of Radio / Preaching / Publishing areas           We value your prayers…

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