“Is This ‘MY’ Moment?”

‘We have this moment to hold in our hands
And to touch as it slips
Through our fingers like sand.
Yesterday’s gone
And tomorrow may never come
But we have this moment today’.  
(Gaither Vocal Band).

Our life is but a moment’s time; days, weeks, months, years, soon we are gone.  Our moments are precious.  We, as individuals differ, thus, our moments differ. Some have a breath-taking moment; a moment of longing; a moment of regret; a moment of pause; a moment that has changed life forever.  Whatever our moment, we must hold it firmly in the palm of our hand.  Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come. Today, give one of your moments to touch with love, to speak a tender word.

Photo by Kseniya Mazaeva from Pexels

This morning, I embraced a ‘pause’ moment, as I quietly envisaged a beautiful little girl running through the poppy meadows of Romania with her ‘Daddy’.  Mircea the young man of thirty-three has lost his battle with cancer after a long and extreme period of suffering.  His little girl of three was his special treasure, the delight of his life. Grasping the hands of his loving wife and devoted mother, he softly whispered his final ‘Good-Night Daddy’, knowing he would not see the delight of his life as morning broke.

Kevin and his mum wait patiently for the results of the second biopsy. He has undergone an MRI scan which is showing a nodule around his neck area. The surgeons are unclear in their diagnosis and other tests will be necessary.  Kevin was born with a deformity in his feet and although he has undergone many surgeries to date, he is scheduled for a further surgery as he is still unable to walk properly.  However, the first priority is to identify this new nodule and to receive clarification from the second biopsy.  

David (14) diagnosed with mixed Tetra Paresis and Polycystic Hydrocephalus. He is lovingly cared for by his mother who loves him dearly. The father abandoned him asking his wife to choose between her husband or her son. 

Naomi (3) has been diagnosed with stage III cancer. She is helped through the feeding programme. They live in a village about 50 km away from Oradea. They need to come regularly to the hospital for check-ups. Naomi has 9 siblings, and 5 of them are under 18 years old. She has a sister, Ana (14) who has had to leave school, abandoning her education in order to assist with the care of her little brothers. 

My pen continues to write and yet I have another ‘pause moment’ to ask myself the question: ‘How can one measure the price of love?’.

Elisabeta, a precious friend of many years, is stable as her cancer is in remission. A home filled with moments of blessing.  During my visits with Estera, Elisabeta would read the Psalms and John, her husband, sang so beautifully.   A tiny one room with dual purpose of living and sleeping quarters.  As with my dear Catalina, my moments were precious.  

Tabita (40) and her son, David (14). Tabita is a patient who lost her stomach a few years ago due to cancer; now the condition has deteriorated.  The medical team have advised that her life expectancy is short as her weight is plummeting due to lack of food and nutrition. Tabita is a single parent as she is separated from her husband who is unwilling to care for David in the event of his mother’s death.   The wider family plan to send David to America, where he has other relatives. Tabita’s mother is trying to care for her beloved daughter in her final days.  David loves his grandmother and is shaken by the uncertainty of his future.  His grandmother is too ill to care for a young teenager alone.  The family are part of a Pentecostal church in Oradea. The Church are praying the Lord will heal Tabita but we know our times are in His hands and we rest in the providence of a loving Heavenly Father.

Georgeta (49) must undergo an immediate mastectomy which is urgent to prevent a cancer relapse.  Georgeta was diagnosed twelve months ago with breast cancer and multiple metastases throughout her body. During recent investigations, no sign of metastases could be found in her body, confirming the chemotherapy has proved highly efficient. Georgeta holds this moment as a miracle from God. The doctors have advised a total mastectomy is necessary which could save/prolong her life. 

My friend Szabo Emeric was promoted to Glory a few hours ago.  I paused for a moment of quietness, reflecting on my first visit with him and his dear wife who is blind.  A humble home yet a home with an overwhelming sense of the sweetness and presence of the Lord.  Bedridden and suffering from Colon cancer, Brother Emeric wanted to sing, although his voice was weak and his body worn.  He shared his testimony, his service to the Lord spanning fifty years. His voice was tired and low. During the days of the revolution he had faced many strong winds of sorrow and persecution.  Telling his story, he would stop for a moment and smile, there was a longing in his eyes; he was homesick for heaven and so today another soldier has come home.  The table in heaven will make room for one more.  His battles are over, he has won his war, he is safely home.

NINETEEN precious people have lost their battle with cancer during the month of June.  A further nineteen homes crushed by pain, suffering and now loss.  No soft rose petals only briers and thorns lined their pathway.  I took a moment to list those I have known, loved and lost.  Tears drop on to the keyboard as I write, my Dada (4) who told Mummy to stop crying as Jesus was coming for her; my precious Denisa (24) who fought so hard to live; Baby Alexandra; Brother Florin; the list is endless.  I wonder was my service acceptable? By God’s grace, I will meet them in Glory.  

My friends Monika, Estera, Gabi tell me my families and patients miss ‘my smile’.  These are my sad moments.  One week after my wedding in 2012, Hamilton and I left for Romania; a silent professor was worried – how would I react?  I knew the moment I landed I had left myself behind. My weeks there getting to know the people, the culture, resulted in the fact that my life would never be the same.  At first, I tried to hide the ‘me’ inside, the fear. But God had reshaped my life.  These people have left a lasting impression. How I miss them! My times with my patients and families.  It is where I want to be, but until we can be together my love and footprints remain.

Gabi writes:  Sister Shirley, we are so happy that we can work together to save lives and souls. Praise the Lord for His mercifulness and kindness that He shows every single day. We chose to be in His ministry whatever the cost, the times or trials.  Our trust is in Him, He guides us gently in this ministry according to His time and purpose.

Fear is a powerful emotion, an overwhelming experience leading to a feeling of failure of the unknown tomorrow.  The indefiniteness and unpredictableness is a stark reality for many young Roma girls.  I ‘shrink’ in my chair as I share with you four case studies this month.

Perla is facing the trauma of providing for two babies.  Her husband is serving a prison sentence. She came to us, desperate, as the financial hardships were overwhelming.  Iochebed provided basic provision for survival. We will continue to monitor the situation and support with wisdom.  Please pray for Perla and her babies, pray they will find the Lord and pass through these difficult times.

Anisoara has six children, one with serious heart issues. We have scheduled him for a consultation and will cover the cost incurred plus the medication. Pray for this little boy that the Lord will smile in healing. May our witness result in the salvation of this precious family.

Iasmina (16) has made the choice to fight for her unborn baby. Unfortunately, she has issues in the pregnancy. The tests have highlighted serious areas of concern.  She will require further tests as the pregnancy progresses.  We have covered all costs to date and will continue to do so throughout the pregnancy.   Pray for her and her unborn baby that the pregnancy will run smoothly throughout the full term.

Moise is the new-born baby of one of our clients.  Baby Moise has a deformity in his legs, both legs have had to be immobilised.

You do not know these young girls; they are a face, a person you read about, a nobody.  They live from day to day on a daily provision of nothingness.  They have no money for basic necessities such as food and clothing and exist in meagre surroundings.  We are privileged to receive treatment, surgery, medication ‘free of charge’ – not so in Romania.  Hospital treatment, medication is not free – a precious brother in the Lord had to pay for a bandage for his surgery wound.  Sensitive issues to me and ones that make me feel I am the ‘nobody’. Would I survive?  Would I accept? 

My friend Dora has such a compelling passion for all the severally disabled, down syndrome, orphan children and the abandoned babies.  Monika was stopped on the streets of Oradea this week by a parent overwhelmed by the love and care offered free by Casa Grace to her little one.  The seas of bitterness have swept over many who do not know the meaning of ‘love’.  By donating to the Feeding Programme and supplying a treat (one sweet) during therapy, you bring a smile to a pair of dark eyes and a mop of curly hair.  May the Lord bless you for thinking of and benefiting these special children. The Lord has remembered young Florin (9) as a friend and sister in the Lord has donated a sum of money for clothing and shoes. A very special little boy who has little or no clothing, no expensive or up to date toys yet he is friendly and talkative and continues to smile.  He is receiving personal therapy from Dora as he will require surgery on his feet.  He is prone to fall as he is unable to walk properly. Work with children with disabilities means:  hours of work, repeating the same thing until the child will learn it; and then continue to repeat it so as not to lose it…. The work involves: love passion and a lot of patience, to get a small progress… Even a smile.  Precious moments. 

Monika writes:   What shall I say about this month? As all the other months of pandemic, this month was a hard month for all of us.  As I look back, even in the hardest days, because of Him, Casa Grace’s beneficiaries were supported and encouraged on a continuous basis. It’s a privilege to serve Him together with my colleagues, and to admit together that He is in control and a loving Father.  I give thanks for Neil and Mari who maintains daily contact with the families, encouraging them and offering them food and hygiene provisions. We know it is God’s love for these families, having the support each month, and we give thanks for all of you who have chosen to be close to these families who are going through struggles. May your love and care for them, lift them in the middle of dark days, and may they find Jesus and be rooted in Him!

A family with eight children. No home!  Ten people without a roof over their head now moving to a ‘make-shift’ home in a storehouse above a shop – third move in a space of months.  One child has health problems and all the children received treatment for it. It was a great joy for them to receive basic food from CASA. 

Another lady and her daughter received food yesterday. The lady struggles to take care of her daughter because she must work full days in order to survive. The father is disinterested in his daughter and chose not to be with his wife.  The mother struggles alone.  Her income is low and she lives in a rented accommodation.  To receive food from Casa Grace Feeding Programme is a blessing.

A needy family came to CASA and when they received food they wept. The help has only been occasional; but we would like to continue to help this family. Families are extremely grateful for receiving help during the pandemic when for some their income is nil due to unemployment.

Mariana has endured living life in a desert pit experience, cancer taking her young husband, fire demolishing her village home, the crushing weight as she battles her personal fight with cancer.  Mariana has been unable to eat or drink for some weeks as the effect of the chemotherapy closed part of her throat and she was extremely sick.  The consultant is planning to continue the final two treatments depending on Mariana’s tolerance level.  Surgery to remove the stoma has been scheduled for early September.  We wait with expectancy as we know that even though in faith Elijah heard the sound of rain – God made him wait.  We wait before a God whose love and faithfulness is unending.   We have been supporting this precious family with food provision and medical costs and will continue as the Lord provides.  Mariana is now in possession of the legal documents of her new village home, the keys are safely tucked away.  Monika will travel on Friday to chat things through as some refurbishing will be required to enable the family to move into their very own home.  We plan to assist with white goods etc.

The Vocational Training Room continues under the supervision of Dana, ably assisted by Berta and Stefan.  Three modules are on offer and already a long waiting list is in operation for the courses.  We have refurbished the room with sewing machines etc but there is an urgent need for eight Tailoring Chairs. 

I am proving day by day that donations in any form is never devoid of divine purpose and by divine appointment.  Brother Eric Thompson from Carrowdore directed a brother my way ….. Brother Jim delivered over two hundred packets of much needed Tena Pads. How can I do anything but rest in the knowledge the Lord is in control of ‘ALL’ things.

I have many moments, personal moments remembering Lights that shone brightly in the darkness of night.  At times I feel the need for quietness knowing that in our silent moments the Lord is moulding us for fruitful service.  Thinking on this, I refer to my beloved husband.  Hamilton’s passion for Romania is unwavering.  While there are two arms to Tell Romana – Theology and Humanitarian – the Moore’s serve as ONE.

Tell Romania leased Databases for faculty, staff and students, to ensure all have access to work online during this past academic year. He remains as Editor of the Emanuel University Journal, Semanatorul, (The Sower), published Bi-annually. The aim is to reach a level where, when faculty contribute, their articles receive points, which will maintain their standing as teachers recognised by the Romanian Education Authority. 

His book on the Pastoral Epistles, already in Romanian, has now been translated into Hungarian (there are many Hungarian speakers and Hungarian Baptist Churches in Romania because of its history). It is about to be published in Russian. The commentary on Galatians is now in the early stages of translation into Romanian and Russian.

A new book is due to be released in September, entitled Hallelujah, What a Saviour!  – a fifty-two-week Study book of how Jesus is revealed throughout the whole Bible. Two other books are in the pipeline:  The God who does Wonders and a commentary on the Epistle of 1 John. 

Often, I find my husband writing in the early hours of the morning, preparing a cuppa, I think to myself and smile, ‘Give your life to God and he will surely give you back your life’.  Lord, keep us faithful. 

There are moments when every step is illuminated, there are moments when our eyes grow dim, questions have no answers, what do I do?  Bow the knee.