‘I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread’ (Job 23: 12) NIV
‘I hoped today would be different’. The cry from a tear stained cheek, reliving overwhelming memories of former days. Lives emotionally damaged by the overwhelming hurricanes, floods, tornadoes of struggle, where the economic downturn brought loss, want, hunger and separation. A natural longing, a hope that today would be different. ‘Today is mine, Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now’ (Elisabeth Elliot).
In the cities of Suceava, Arad and Timisoara, conditions worsen, hospitals unable to house the sick, staff unable to cope under increasing pressure. Three hospitals remain closed and military control is still imminent. Our beloved friends in Oradea live under extremely restrictive conditions; one visit for groceries, medicine, wood permitted between the hours of 11am and 1pm. The dedicated team of Emanuel Hospice Homecare Team continue to visit the terminally ill. This past weekend was Easter in Romania; the team continued to work throughout the Easter holidays to ensure medical procedures were administered. Forty-seven patients had died in our care and in the county of Bihor, seven people have died as a result of COVID19.
Zeno (2), is high risk and needs to remain isolated. His older brother (7) is so gentle and cares for his baby brother with such love, it would melt your heart. Their mother cared for the abandoned children in the hospital but now needs to remain at home. She is so thankful to Agape Fellowship Church for sending the Silicone Tubes.
My precious friends, Magdalena, Ecaterina (both in their eighties), John and Elizabeth, fill my thoughts and yes, I wonder if I will ever feel the warmth of their hugs or see their smiles of welcome again?
As usual, I retire late evening to think when I should be sleeping. Last night was no different. I found myself waking every hour with the same question flooding my mind: ‘How deep am I anchored?’ ‘How deep are my roots?’ Both unseen, yet of significant importance – to be anchored, deeply planted. The same in building; our foundations need to be firm and secure. I have great admiration for architectural excellence displayed in ancestral buildings, stately homes etc. I am not equipped to build but in the thoughts of a quiet heart early this morning I found myself building. Yes, building a house of hope, restoration, love, safety, peace. The homes I visit are not so. No evidence of grandeur; only silhouettes of the outcast, shadows of rejected lives whose circumstance have made them strangers within their own community. They walk alone without identity, without a future.
Estera brought joy to my heart as she sent the images of two families receiving food and goodies for the children from the money we sent. Damian’s Mum expresses her love and thanks to you for your prayers, her heart is broken as she speaks of the loss of her only son Damian. It is a house of sadness, yet because they were remembered, it brought a faint smile.
Many will remember Ishmael who entered our care as a young boy. He is now ten and during his short lifetime has undergone over twenty surgeries. He remains extremely thin and his colostomy bag is uncomfortable and causing pain as he continues to grow and mature. Florina has been a faithful mum and a godly example to her children; the entire family attend the local Pentecostal Church. Florina was thrilled to receive the many bags of groceries and her teenage son overjoyed to receive one bag of Haribo, yes one bag! It doesn’t need to be expensive; just to know we care.
During a recent skype call to Romania, I asked a very precious friend, ‘How are you? I worry about you, are you ok…?’ Her reply touched my heart: ‘I am well, I am always worrying for other people, the patients, the little children, my colleagues, for dear ones to be safe and not catch the virus. I trust in the Lord; He is in control’.
These are the people I have the privilege to serve alongside; their humble spirit, gentle nature teaches me so much. Please continue to remember the teams of Emanuel Hospice, Casa Grace and Iochebed. Also, the young Pastors who are finding this situation overwhelming; the families who look at an empty chair where once a loved one’s presence graced the room, and whose love filled their heart.
‘I hoped today would be different’.
Help me build a House where laughter will replace tears, faith will replace doubt, strength will replace weakness. A house that will reach out and touch ‘Even One’.
Shirley, April 22, 2020
George Muller wrote: As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so is with the inner man. What is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God – not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe. No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts.
Tell Romania have transferred funding for medicine, food and hygiene provision to cover urgent needs throughout 2020. Thank you for your genuine interest in reading the writings from ‘My Pen’, your consideration, pondering over this ministry and placing your love in action have fed the hungry. Without your support real people would only be numbers. People matter to God and so they matter to us.