‘If I had a formula for ridding mankind of trouble, I think I would not reveal it, for in doing so I would do him a disservice’ Oliver Wendell Holmes.
August 02 my journal read: ‘Lord, draw my heart close to yours, although I feel shaken just now, I know you have a purpose, help me to recognise your plan and accept without question’. September: My writing has somewhat changed for the darkened sky of night is filled with promise as the dawn breaks through. As a wife, these have been days of anxiety, I lost count of the number of deep breaths I took as one prognosis after another was reached. I did feel alone with my thoughts, yet knew I was not alone. My heart burned within me and was stilled, I felt the presence of His empowering Spirit assuring me that in the midst of all this confusion the One who walked the Emmaus Road was walking with me. I recall those days as I sat in the hospital and remember reading ‘It is good to have things settled by faith, before they are unsettled by feeling,’ I hugged this to my heart for I was guilty of lacking faith (if only for a moment) but I had gained precious and creative hours with my Lord. I had time to think. Did my own life require a change? Attitude; Gentleness; Understanding. How can I know, how can I give unless I too have been shipwrecked on the seas of life? His standard requires a nature of compassion. I never want to give to receive praise, I just want to give where and when needed.
As I relate to the past weeks, the numerous times I looked at my watch wondering what next? I am thankful because I learned that the things that disturbed, upset my plans was all part of His plan. Job 23: 14 ‘He performeth the thing that is appointed for me’ . He holds our breath in the palm of His hands, therefore no trial will come without His loving purpose. ‘Life is beautiful not because of the things we see or do. Life is beautiful because of the people we meet’. Each one of us mean a lot to someone, yet nothing is more beautiful than feeling loved by our Heavenly Father. To know as we face a new day that He is the God of all our mornings.
My heart is filled with memory days in Romania. Special times, special people that time or distance have not diminished our bond. Come walk with me as I share day to day realities. The children of Emanuel Hospice live in my heart. Baby Florin, Deborah, John, Emanuel ….. I will never hold them again but I hold their memory in my heart. Estera contacted me very early this morning, a huge wave of emotion washed over me as I learned Robi (18) supported by our feeding programme lost his battle with cancer. Please pray for his mother, he was her only child. My little Dada (5) has battled leukaemia since infancy. I ask you to whisper ‘Dada’. Every waking moment, her Mum is heartbroken as she watches her little gem lose her sparkle. I do ask the reason ‘Why’ but I must wait for the answer, only eternity will reveal. Words fail to thank those of you who through the Feeding Programme show the love of Christ. One banana was such a wonderful treat to Baby Florin. Without you I would not hold this memory in my heart.
A very brave young Kevin has gone through three months of medical procedures in preparation for the first of many surgeries scheduled in the forthcoming months. Kevin is excited he will be able to walk normally for the first time in his short life (9) and cannot wait to play football. The Lord is answering our prayers, his little feet are turning, a miracle. ‘He took the children in His arms ……..’ Let us take all these children you have already read and will continue to read about in this update in our arms in prayer.
The four Toma sisters continue to make progress. Cosmina, Denisa, Ligia have been discharged from the various hospitals. Larisa suffered a partial leg and foot amputation and remains in hospital. She is the only child patient in the hospital. I hear the staff and adult patients really love her. We have such a caring Heavenly Father. Please pray the Lord will continue to draw close to this family. The condition of their brother remains unchanged. My prayer is that this family will know a special touch from His hand, so much tragedy within this household and yet the father and mother remain firm in their faith knowing the true meaning of these words: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’. I plan to meet with the family and offer support as the Lord provides on my forthcoming visit.
Casa Grace Foundation constantly walk through a great wilderness of lives overshadowed by poverty, hunger and rejection. The forgotten orphan, disabled child and the adorable treasures abandoned and bereft of love. Tears filled the eyes of the children who attended the Summer Camp as they boarded the coach to leave. One precious little girl (6) sobbed as her days had been so different, skipping through the beautiful hills of the Romanian mountains, playing childhood games with new friends. Her daily routine is caring for her disabled father – her mother disappeared shortly after giving birth.
How insignificant, how small the Feeding Programme seems as I focus on the bleeding hearts of pain and suffering; we need to fill the empty space of brokenness and yet there is more. Parents, Grandparents facing tremendous pressure to address schooling requests. Unable to cope with many unexpected additional items that here are a normal provision. The Feeding Programme is a must as I reflect on those I have loved and lost this year. Thank you for blessing them with food to eat. As Tell Romania will continue this vital programme, we urgently require hygiene items. No one should have to choose between essentials such as toothpaste or bread. Will you pour rain on the dry and barren patch of ground they call Home? We are here for a season and seasons come and go, the beauty of a summer day soon turns to the chilly autumnal days of winter. So it is with the seasons of life – for indeed to everything there is a season – and many are in the winter of their lives. Will you hold the hands of one struggling family this winter?
Tell Romania are extending their ‘small’ borders. During his recent mission trip in July, my husband boarded an aeroplane flying from Oradea to Bucharest. Although very sick at the time his heart was compelled to continue. He spent one day with Dr. Ioan Ceuta, in Bucharest Christian Centre. Grace Feeding Centre is a project designed for poor people – a warm meal is offered each day. Every week, Monday to Friday lunch is served to 250 beneficiaries also food is delivered to 20 elderly disabled folk. A day care facility offers hope for the future to 100 disadvantaged children. They receive social and medical assistance; breakfast, snacks and lunch. We know it is impossible to meet every need but we can offer little knowing it will be much when God is in it. Before leaving the airport for home, yes my telephone rang ….. ‘Shirley, you need to see this, you need to come, is there any way we can …..’ Hamilton, please just come home, we will sort’ You know his heart too well, his love and compassion for the lost and dying. ‘PEOPLE DO NEED THE LORD’. BUT THEY NEED SOMEONE TO CARE.
Still Waters Psalm 23:’He leadeth me beside Still Waters, He restoreth…..’There are times when stillness is much better than background noise. Tell Romania will have from January 2019 the facility to offer a place of rest and respite to those in need of time apart. A time to be alone with the Great Shepherd who will lead you into green pastures through your times of mediation with Him. A place filled with peace for those experiencing the trauma of physical emotion or spiritual brokenness. Situated on a private site in the beautiful scenic area of Portstewart, with wheelchair access, it is a place of relaxation, recovery and renewal and will primarily be used to minister to Romanian Christian workers and the needy who will come for a short visit. A walk from the shadow of life into the Sunshine of His grace. Please pray for this venture of faith that lives will be restored and come to know a personal experience of the words:
‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD’