How much does it cost?

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(the image above is a free tom use image and not of any child mentioned in this post)

Zoltan (65), one of the adult patients receiving care from Emanuel Hospice Team, during the initial visit looked into their eyes and asked: ‘How much does it cost to pray for me?’ Another two elderly patients who declare themselves to be atheists, through the love, compassion and ministry of our devoted team are now open to the message of the greatest love of all. The heart of the eternal beats with love for all. ‘God Is Love’ and this love is given freely and without cost. Sickness; hunger; loneliness are unwelcome intruders.  Who is willing to soothe the pillow of hardship where desolation is a constant visitor.  ‘Love Your Neighbour…..’ Whether rich or poor, we are bound by love to love those we may think inferior, sunk in the depths of poverty, the shoeless, penniless, homeless man or woman  wandering the dark streets in rags … This is the kind of love I want to possess, a love flowing from the Holy Spirit, not a love of momentarily emotion.  George Matheson penned the beautiful hymn: ‘O Love That Will Not Let Me Go’.  I cannot close my heart to such powerful words of challenge.  Can my love offer rest; restore hope; light in darkness?

Baby Alexandra’s condition is deteriorating. How can I comfort dear Sister Simona as she sits alone in ICU where every second is precious as the life of her little one slowly ebbs away?   The added worry when the baby is in hospital is that her husband is unable to work as he cares for the children.  Simona will soon give birth to her fourth child.  Recently I shared the story of Damian (14) who was baptised in Emanuel Baptist Church with his mother.  A recent MRI scan has confirmed his brain tumour continues to develop.  His mother is devastated.  There is so much pain and suffering surrounding the work of the Hospice Team.  Patients whose day to day companion is non other than intense pain, pain for the one suffering and the loved one watching helplessly. The children who are struggling with the loss of a parent.  The Podariu Family – I knew the father well and visited many times. He sold his car to pay for surgeries that would give him longer with his wife and son.  He wanted so much to live but lost his battle just before Christmas. His young son is finding the loss of his father too much to bear just now. For Emeric suffering from colon cancer and who has undergone many surgeries, there is no morning sunrise, only the darkness of night.  Simona (46) with terminal cancer whose loving husband and son cannot face the fact that soon she will be gone.  A valley of tears for young and old and yet we know that whatever challenges or fears we face, once we fix our eyes on Jesus, all questions are answered and all fears dispelled.  ‘But we see Jesus’. Heb 2: 9.

In the stillness of my heart I have been carried during these days as I wait on news from USA.  Adam entered my heart during my first visit to the Abandoned Baby wing. His amazing dark eyes and curly hair melted my heart.  Adam has gone through windy storms in his short life and as I trace the hand of the Lord placing him in the care of missionary parents, my prayer is that this ‘special’ little one will grow to be a man set apart for God. The first stage of Adam’s surgery has taken place, lasting nearly seven hours.  Adam remains linked to the machines.  It is planned that within one month the second stage of the procedure will take place.  The race of life can take a different route, regardless of many obstacles and various difficulties; the Lord made a way when there seemed to be no route opening before us. I was guilty of not having sufficient faith for the present.  A lesson I needed to learn!  Dora sent me a video clip of Stefania in her chair, she was like a little dove, pure and fragile who had found the freedom of movement. The sparkle in her eyes told me all I needed to know. When we pray, we receive.

As I walked through a snow shower this morning, the chill and coldness of the air caused me to think of those whose nights of fear are cold and unwelcoming as they face the unknown morrow.  Another two little ones were brought to the Abandoned Baby wing this week.  I do not know nor can I begin to know the inner thoughts that lie behind such decisions, but this is reality.  All I know is that even with their many medical problems, they need love. Love is patient, Love is kind, Love never fails. It is easy to choke our emotions and walk away. ‘Thank you’ for your actions of love in your faithful giving to the  monthly Feeding Programme. What a large scope love provides for us; so many little flowers in our garden need love and attention especially one in particular, ‘Forget Me Not’.The postman normally places mail in the mailbox outside. However this morning he choose to ring the doorbell. There before me was a shoebox! A belated Christmas gift? As I opened the carefully packaged box, tears streamed down my face. My friends at Casa Grace had sent some tokens of love for my beloved husband knowing his passion for Romanian Honey, together with beautifully crafted cards.  How much does it cost to love?  To my friend Monika and team – thank you for making me feel loved and special.

Casa Grace try to assure all who come that joy can follow pain. My friend Emese went to be with the Lord one year ago; her two little daughters are filled with emotion and longing.  As a special treat the girls were invited to spend the weekend with Monika and her girls where together they cooked some favourite dishes Emese used to make. Smiles soon appeared on two little sad faces as they remembered ‘Mama’s Dishes’. It is difficult for those in need to measure faith not knowing what the next moment may bring. They have been disappointed, their peace disturbed, hope gone. One family I visited on many occasions need our prayers just now.  A sickly mother trying to care for two daughters and who has just received an eviction order. They attend the local Pentecostal Church. They need urgent accommodation.  Let us with one heart and mind pray that out of this crisis extraordinary things will follow to the glory of his name.

Poverty has knocked and continues to knock at the door of this grandmother who is caring for her granddaughter Claudia (12). They live in a garage!  Yes a garage!  The adapted garage belongs to the lady’s sister. There are many issues surrounding this family, causing the young granddaughter to harbour feelings of instability. Together with the benefits of pension and child state allowance they only receive £30 each week for food, heat, clothing.  Tell Romania stand with Casa Grace in supporting this family through the Feeding Programme, praying that the Lord Jesus will be their portion and that through our love they will find His abiding presence. Is a garage so different from a stable?

I admire and appreciate the beauty of nature; yet my eyes can never see as through the eyes of the artist who through his skill can portray perfection.  As I think on these things I wonder are my seeing eyes or giving hands beating with my heart?  Am I seeing, feeling the need? Is there a special place in my heart to display the richness of his love in giving with a whole heart. I take a deep breath as I face the responsibility of the second quarter of 2019 for the Feeding Programme. I confess I am caught up in this emotion but so blessed as I prove month by month ‘there is no lack of grain’. Emanuel Hospice, Casa Grace desperately poor, orphans, disabled and abandoned children, Cighid orphans all benefit from this programme and yet I feel compelled to go further.

I read a new case from Sister Gaby of a young lady aged thirty-two and facing another pregnancy. Rejected by family, abandoned by the father of her baby, now totally alone. The responsibility of two other children from a former failed relationship – her life has no meaning. She is unable to work and is afraid to continue to ‘beg’ on the streets for money to feed her children.  I must be true to my feelings – how can I walk away?  Iochebed Centre offer counselling, explain the love of God and the sanctity of life to those who see no other way out but abortion or placing their children with the state. They struggle to feed and clothe their large families, buy wood for the stove.  Pro Life Mission Project will offer help to these many mothers who feel all is lost, all is hopeless.  ‘THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME LIVE’ will offer practical help.  One package for each new mother and baby containing basic necessities i.e., baby blanket, new born clothes, baby feeding bottle, baby hygiene products, pampers. £300 will enable Iochebed to purchase Dried Milk for one month. Again I refer to my eyes and hands; they must beat with my heart. ‘He that saith that he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked’.  I John 2:6.

Why should I try to achieve great things when day by day I can keep walking humbly before the Lord?

For many, their plans of life are in ashes; the homeless beggar longs for new clothes, a place to lay his head; in hunger they search in rubbish bins for food, as they are starving, looking for even a crumb. Hope has left the sick and dying in despair; the unloved orphan, unwanted child have no loving arms to hold them.  ‘Lord give me an insight into the life of others; help me make a definite act of my own will to care’.  Who will join me?

Shirley.

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