Hannah Whitall Smith once wrote: ‘Sight is not faith, and hearing is not faith, neither is feeling faith; but believing when we neither see, hear nor feel is faith… Therefore, we must believe before we feel, and often against our feelings if we would honour God by our faith.’
A thought-provoking statement. Retirement is a word not often (if ever) used within the Moore household. I was encouraged as I read the account of Abram’s life, a man of faith whose steadfast trust and unwavering obedience caused him to know personal blessing. When God says ‘Go’, we go in faith continuing to listen for His divine direction.
‘Perhaps tomorrow’. Two words uttered from a broken heart longing for assurance. Lives filled with ‘supposes’, living in fear, asking the question: ‘What can I do; will I be able to bear it?’ Dana, is a patient suffering from ovarian cancer which has now spread to her abdomen. Dana has undergone surgery to remove a large tumour. However, due to complications the surgeon was unable to close or to secure the wound with stitches or staples. Dana has since been discharged from hospital. The wound is not healing and our staff are dressing her open wound regularly. She tries to force a faint smile and whispers ‘perhaps it will heal tomorrow’. Hope remains, although our Emanuel Hospice team are aware her days are short. Dana does not know the Lord and very soon she will leave this scene of time. In the light of these circumstances, I ask you to pray Dana will think upon eternal realities.
Elena is a patient with breast cancer and bone metastasis. Unfortunately, she is proallergic to multiple types of medication. Therefore, the extremity of pain caused by the bone metastasis cannot be managed in an effective way. Different stages of life bring change, during these days of change may Elena know there is a God who is holding her and who cares about all that is going on in her life.
Irina, (recently widowed). Her beloved husband lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. There was little or no time for Irina to process before entering the depths of personal loss as she was still suffering from the sudden loss of one of her sons, who died suddenly from cardiac arrest. Her husband received his diagnosis very recently. However, the illness advanced very quickly. This poor lady is in total shock, trying to accept that she has lost a beloved husband and a dearly loved son. Irina sits alone crushing a handful of thorns in her hand. Hamilton is in the process of adding end notes to another publication. The title is so true to this particular situation ‘Beauty for Ashes’. May Irina know she can indeed find beauty in her ashes and that the Lord is aware of her brokenness.
Florin’s family. Florin passed away a few weeks ago. His family are broken, as the loss of their precious son and brother is overwhelming. His brothers are going through deep sadness, their tears expressing an inner longing for their beloved Florin. Healing hurts and it takes time. Difficult days for this family as they have another sibling suffering from cancer, as well as an aunt who has advanced cancer. Please hold this family in your heart during these days of trial. They feel they have too much to bear just now.
Madalina is a new patient. A beautiful little girl of twelve, diagnosed with a brain tumour. She lives with her parents and siblings; they are a very loving family who care deeply one for the other. It is a difficult situation where they look for solutions for the many challenges they face on a day to day basis. Following brain surgery, a couple of months ago, Madalina is unable to walk; she is totally dependent on her family. We trust the Lord to do the impossible in this difficult and tragic situation.
Cristi (7) a precious little boy diagnosed with cancer. Cristi relapsed and is now undergoing chemotherapy. He has two younger siblings at home but his mum needs to stay with him in the hospital. They are a poor family who live in deep poverty. Cristi needs to be close to his mum during these days but as a mum she feels faint in heart, fearing the future. We offer assistance through the Feeding Programme but we pray she may feel loving arms carrying her through these days of uncertainty.
Needy people whose lives are consumed by the emotional stress of sickness, the emotional strain of lack of finance causing many to live in the depths of poverty. As I try to enter into these situations, I ask the Lord for strength and grace for our teams who interact with the many case studies coming our way. Our Hospice team offer love and care but there is only One who knows the purpose of our physical weakness and our inner emotions. May they learn to give all their fear to the Lord, to know an inner strength in their weakness, to hear the whisper, ‘I will take you through’.
This morning, the showers seemed relentless. I joked with Hamilton ‘early April showers’ methinks, remembering the saying: ‘April showers bring May flowers’. Yet for many the flowers of May are buds of pain. No one goes through this life without experiencing personal pain and loss. Each one of us has lost a loved one; we have had to let our loved one go.
ADAM: The memory of the patter of the tiny feet of a fifteen-month curly headed abandoned baby in the Oradea Orphanage running into my arms has never left me. Adam was special from day one and dearly loved. Amazing eyes that penetrated deep within my heart, a very special innocence was evident as I remembered how his tiny fingers played with the buttons on my coat or how he would empty my handbag – simple, yet sweet memories engraved on my heart. Born with a severe heart condition, requiring a heart transplant, Adam faced and fought every battle during his six short years. The Lord placed his hand on this special boy.
He was adopted by Christian missionary parents. These past days were special to Adam. Minutes before leaving his suffering body, Adam’s mum asked: ‘Are you afraid?’. ‘I am not afraid’ came the faint reply. ‘Please sing to me’. Adam went to be with the Lord as his mum sang his favourite hymn. ‘There is a fountain filled with blood’. Adam is securely held in the arms of the Lord. He does not suffer anymore. He can play and run in the garden of Heaven. Heaven must be beautiful. Pray for Adam’s family, it is devastating for the children to lose their little brother.
Would I like to walk a mud road of steep hills where masses of heavy green or tricking fountains are only a dream? Each day brings a new challenge to many disillusioned girls, left alone to care for their babies, facing the challenge simply to survive, to find wood, to find food even for one more day. These are the times I know obedience is a large part of my small service.
Sabina (23) is the mother of a five-year-old boy. Recently she gave birth but the birth had severe complications resulting in Sabina now having serious cardiac issues. During the month of February Sabina was involved in a car accident and suffered a fracture to her back. The doctors have now confirmed she will be unable to walk again and will not have the use of her left hand. May the Lord show mercy and may Sabina find peace and trust in the Lord.
Tatiana (27) is now entering her eighth week of pregnancy. Tatiana is praying the pregnancy will run full term as last year she suffered a miscarriage. She is trying to come to terms with the situation but has been overcome by the suffering of her loss.
Petruta has four children and like Andreea came to our centre requesting various tests. To her relief the test proved negative. In our counselling session we discovered Petruta had an abortion last year and is trying to come to terms with the decision she made. She was somewhat overwhelmed and unable to talk things through. We ask you to support this young lady in prayer that the Lord of all peace will speak to her troubled heart.
Four baby boys and one baby girl have recently been born to Roma girls through our work in Iochebed. Pray for Gabi, Mihaela and Loredana that the Lord will bless their labour of love to these girls. All situations may differ, yet for all, privileges have been removed and they feel rejected and alone. There is no outward expression of inward feeling; their emotions are protected by a safety valve, yet they cry for help. My friend Iris, just sent three banana boxes filled with new baby clothing. God’s timing! Gabi sends pictures of the babies from time to time and as I gaze into those gorgeous dark eyes, the perfectly formed eye lashes, nails, I see that our God sends beauty and perfection in all things created by Him. The Lord always sends May flowers just when needed – a symbol of His fathomless grace and endless love.
I lay awake most of the night thinking of my patients, families and my precious Kingdom Kids. One little boy bereft of love and affection who somehow received two shoeboxes, asked: ‘Would someone love me enough to send me two? ‘Are these really mine to keep?’. One simple gift of love and gentleness was priceless to a homeless young boy who for the first time in his young life had something that belonged to him; it was his to keep.
Sebi (8) whose short life has known only sadness. Sebi has never known love. His parents divorced, his mother left, leaving Sebi in the care of his father who neglected and abandoned him. His elderly grandmother wanted to care for him, but sadly she has severe medical problems which make it impossible for her to care for an eight-year-old boy. Sebi has returned to live with his father and stepmother. His stepmother tries to show love to him as she was abused as a child, abandoned and raised in a state orphanage. She has never known love and longs to know someone loves her. We, as a team in Casa Grace are drawing close to this family, supporting them with monthly food, hygiene and spiritual support. Please hold them in your hearts – may your love reach and touch them as you display the Old Old Story of Jesus and His love to them through our Feeding Programme.
Dominic (8) is full of energy, but sadly he and his mother live alone. Dominic’s father is an alcoholic and because of his violence, the mother had no other choice but to leave the family home. They lived in a rented flat in Oradea, but the monthly expenditure proved overwhelming for her. Sebi and his mother moved to a village approximately 40 kms from Oradea, reducing the monthly cost. With the help of her parents, she has purchased a derelict house in much need of renovation. Alone, she is slowly renovating, painting etc. The roof will require major repairs but as for now this will have to wait. Dominic, is taken to school by neighbours. Sadly he is totally alone until his mum returns home from work, as she continues the work in Oradea, commuting on a daily bases. Dominic is a happy child, who inwardly feels his mother’s pain and sadness. A hard life ahead for a young boy, an unknown future. Thank you for your contribution to the Feeding Programme, enabling us to offer much needed support. Please hold them in your heart.
During March, we encountered a month of intense battles as we were brought face to face with families going through deep sadness, difficult days of illness where we sensed a brokenness in need of mending. Levente, a young father who went home to be with Lord on 7th March, 2023. His two little boys asking ‘Mummy, if God is a God of love, then why did He take our Daddy?’
Mariana’s days remain uncertain as she awaits results. Her surgeon requested that Mariana attend in person to receive the news surrounding the removal of a large tumour and reversal of a colostomy procedure. Clouds continue to overwhelm her sky. We continue to pray Mariana will find the Lord and will experience a new horizon of trust throughout all her remaining days. As a mother, Mariana builds a future for her seven children, I pray she will build a life dependant on the love and security of salvation found only in Christ alone.
Monika who is suffering from advanced Glaucoma, recently diagnosed with a large tumour on her uterus.
The wind of change has blown for ‘Our Dora’ who was admitted to a Christian Care Home on March 11. Dora will be resident in this Care Home for approximately six months while her father, John, recovers from recent surgery.
We read in Matthew 5: 16 ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven’. We continue to shine a light into the darkness of many ladies who attend the Vocational Training Course. During viruses, heavy snow falls, torrential rain, village ladies made the long journey. They are made to feel wanted and important, to feel they matter. We pray for success as they come to the end of our six-month training course. Graduation Day is special.
My friend Dora wrote to me this morning – it seemed to be a morning filled with emails from Romania: Monika, Estera, Adriana, Dora ….. My heart is still tender as I process the loss of my Adam. I sat quietly for a while and thought of all the tender love multiplied by so many friends in creating ‘Adam’s Room’ where children continue to receive life changing therapy. I think of my Wee Elijah who used to touch my face as I sang to him. He is in now in the home of a young Pentecostal family since the fall. The family have three children of their own, but Elijah is very loved and precious to them. Each week the young mother brings Elijah to the centre, it is evident he is loved as the transformation is amazing. He is as happy as a little bird; it is sweet to hear him singing Christian choruses. Dora knew Elijah held a special place in my heart, she tells me the ‘kids’ miss me; I certainly miss them. But then, anything we love, we hold precious in our hearts. Presently all our children who attend for therapy mainly suffer from autism, down syndrome and severe disability.
One does not choose to be born into a life of poverty where every second, minute, hour is a struggle. Those who live this life long for the opportunity of finding a new beginning, a peace, in fact for many, a place of rest and refuge. I pray our centre may become this to young mothers and their special children.
Although our catchment area spans sixty kilometres, three sisters from the Roma community travel ninety kilometres by public transport to receive from our hand. Each return journey costs £20 in travelling expenses. One family consists of seven children, two who have severe disabilities. The little one of three years old is now displaying mental delays. There is an urgent requirement for the family to take the little one to a consultant, who, on reaching a full assessment of the condition can request permission for the child to be enrolled in our therapy programme. The other child is five years of age and has been diagnosed with neuromotor retardation, walking disorder, paralysis to the optical nerve in both eyes, causing both eyes to be crossed and is also suffering from severe rickets problems.
The second sister has ten children. Her little girl aged six has a tumour on her face causing facial paralysis.
The third sister brings her nephew to the centre as she is his main carer. He is extremely aggressive; if he does not receive attention he will react badly. In the past he has tried to burn papers within the house, becoming almost uncontrollable in his display of displeasure and aggression.
All three sisters attend the local Pentecostal Church. They are very respectful when bringing the children to the centre; their small humble gypsy homes are spotless. The father of each family is eager to work; however, the families are forced to enter the forest areas to pick wild mushrooms and seasonal forest fruits in order to keep the little ones from going hungry. We are making arrangements to extend our boundaries to facilitate this family from our Feeding Programme. We have forwarded finance to cover transport for three months to encourage the families to bring the children for therapy.
I have had to discipline myself on many occasions to have a quiet conversation with the Lord regarding those who struggle to survive, to keep my focus, my mind on those the Lord sends my way. Many die in obscurity; many suffer pain; silent clouds gather around those who know no peace. The Lord Jesus taught a very important principle regarding feeding the hungry. May I never forget, may I never be unmindful of those less fortunate than I. As mothers enter the centre, we have placed a box of new garments, knitted or otherwise around the reception area. During therapy, mothers can quietly and privately choose what is needed for their little one.
In addition to all the support we send, Tell Romania transferred three months travelling expenses to Casa Grace in order to show this precious family that we care and they matter to us. Let us make an important decision to be interested and involved in everything the Lord sends our way. We are important to the Lord; people should be important to us. We can set our heart to seek the Lord at any time or in any place, whenever our hearts are set toward God, He will commune with us.
‘God will help us become the people we are meant to be, if only we will ask Him’.
(Hannah Whitall Smith)
Shirley – March 28, 2023