Searching eyes of hope

Searching eyes of hope

‘You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand. And satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145: 15-16)

I am running out of time; soon I must leave the place I love and those I love. My heart is filled with conflicting thoughts, yet I know the greatest treasure I can possess is the gift of love. The door of love must be open to all, not choosing whom it will serve.  The bud of a rose waits patiently knowing it will require the moisture and nurture a loving hand can apply.  Looking through the windows of room 7 just now, as I see birds diligently searching for food, an actual stabbing pain fills my heart. I must confess I feel an uneasy concern reflecting on returning from visits to find the brother and sister of Baby Florin running in between cars begging for bread.  Our eyes met and it hurt as I feared the consequences if seen by Child Protection. The traffic always seems to ‘halt’ outside the one bedroom flat where I used to visit Denisa; I recall visits with Dada, Emanuel, Florika, Dorina. Oh my heart covets those times!  Cherished moments when I received so much from the little they had to give.  This morning my heart was encouraged as I read: ‘The Lord spreads a table for the sparrows and clothes the wayside anemones in exquisite beauty’, knowing deep within that we are dearer to him by far.  My patients, families, orphans, disabled children and abandoned babies have all been wounded; I can never know the mental distress build within hearts that have suffered. The troubled mind as the midnight hour of despair consumes as the cankerworm. I pray as I visit, I will know guidance and calmness, applying the precious ointment of his presence, telling them: ‘He is the peace that passeth all understanding’.  Matthew Henry confessed: ‘I forgot to ask special help on the day’s work and so the chariot wheels drove heavily’.  There is blessing for all through his pardoning grace.

The sun shone through the windows of Cihei Village Church adding a glow to the faces of the village ladies who sat on the left-hand side of the church.  As I passed each wooden pew the ladies extended their hands in welcome, ‘Pache, Pache’.  I was deeply touched by their humility as they quickly returned to their pew with their scarf-covered heads bowed again in prayer.  The gentlemen all seated on the right-hand side remained in quiet meditation.  There was a holy hush and an awareness that this place was greatly revered.  The worship was uplifting as children, teenagers and choir all participated in a celebration of praise.  Soon it was time for the sermon and as my husband entered the pulpit everyone stood in respect for the Word from God. The secret of our inner life, our thoughts, emotions, is the spiritual bread and wholesome food we receive. Tonight, the Word of God was received with an immeasurable hunger.

Today, I felt I was walking through seedbeds of sorrow.  It has taken me some time to place my thoughts on paper as I recall the remains of my day.  Two female patients both called Catalina.  My first Catalina, recovering from surgery for a partial removal of a large neck tumour.  Her throat is swollen and she is finding it difficult to swallow.  There is a bond between us and she talked of her family, her forthcoming eightieth birthday on 7th November, I could see it was painful to talk.   As I sat beside her, I told her of a Saviour whose Word is rest and who knows all about our tomorrows.  We prayed together and waving goodbye she softly said: ‘You will come again in Decembria?’  She already knows the answer.  

Catalina number two was a very tall lady, an artist by profession, hosting many Art Exhibitions during her lifetime.  Her elderly husband lay in an unmade bed on one side of the room suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, separated in his mind from the memories of pleasure and normality, while his beloved wife of forty-four years lay on the other side of the room.  Their living conditions disturbed me greatly as Catalina has just completed a course of Chemotherapy.  I could have stood afar, removed my thinking as I gazed around the unkept room, but they are unable to care one for the other and often are without food.  Many occasions when our team calls, making a welcome cup of tea, they are so thankful; they never complain.  Catalina made her way to sit beside me as I tried to lift her husband Stephan from his lying positionshe quietly whispered ‘He has been a very supportive husband until this happened …’ I am unable to write any more as my heart is overwhelmed with such sorrow. Today I feel as if a sword has pierced deeply into this humble home.

It is impossible to describe my feelings as I enter another door of great sadness. A few days ago, I wrote about Stefan (11) weighing only 1.5 stone; his little foot broke as he was turned in bed.  Stefan died yesterday.  My eyes seem to see only moments of great sadness and it is changing me.  Lives close to eternity, so many wasted years.  John MacArthur wrote: ‘You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read’.  With tearful eyes I pray for courage to continue to do the things I feel totally inadequate to do. My friend, Dr. Beni Paul, the only Physician within the Emanuel Hospice Homecare Team is in urgent need of a specific medication unavailable in Romania.  Ampules of Hyoscine (butilscopulamine) are required for terminally ill patients nearing the end of their earthly journey and unable to swallow; it will ease their spasms.  I recognise my limitations and inadequacy but I have proved prayer changes situations.  If you are from the medical profession and can offer advice, please contact me.

Another morning with the abandoned babies.  Elijah, blind and deaf was unsettled. Dora reached for her mobile phone and turning to the Christian Music Station placed it inside his cot. His tiny fingers covered his blind eyes and finally he fell asleep.  Unwanted, unloved, this is the only home he will ever know.  Sadly, he is one of many. The progress of the Down Syndrome Children is a credit to Dora who gives so much love and patience and of course a Cadbury’s chocolate if they do well. Dora has a great policy: one to you and one to me (she loves Cadbury’s Roses).  My very special friend Lulu was discharged from the system when he turned eighteen a few months ago and is now in another placement for adult orphans.  Pray for this young man who has been in our care since infancy, but now beginning his adult life in an unfamiliar village many miles from Oradea.

How will they be remembered? How much more can I give? I readily identified their human need, their painful emotions. The Chigid orphans are not part of a local community or accepted, but long for a place in this world. The banging on the car windows with fifty pairs of peering eyes jolted my thinking.  As we unpacked the car I was surrounded, touched, finally my friend ‘Penquin’ as I affectionately call her, came forward with a daisy and placed it behind my ear. Perhaps their rank is of less value, yet I could recognise their longing for intimacy from someone who cares. I had purchased 100 of everything (track bottoms; pyjamas; socks; towels; soup and dinner plates; sweets). I thought my heart would break as I watched how the ladies choose a pair of pyjamas and kissed them, followed by the men who kissed the towels, or when Dana (Suprvisor) said: ‘I cannot believe you have brought us proper dinner plates. We have only tin plates.’ The young man, let’s call him Mr. C, always accompanies me to and from the high entrance gates, stayed by my side as my protector, raising his voice on occasions when he thought the occasion warranted it.  My friend Pauline and her team (Ballycrochan Baptist Church) lovingly sent beautiful warm blankets which quickly made their way to the three bungalows.  Fifty adult orphans with severe disabilities, all in their late forties/early fifties with the mind of children. We all have special moments, special days, I hoped today was special, I tried to make it so.  Love came down at Christmas; early December we plan to hold a Carol Service in Cighid, endeavouring through the aid of Flash Cards to tell the story of the Lamb of Christmas, the Babe of Bethlehem. I wonder how they remember their childhood Christmases?  Let’s together make this Christmas a memory. I will need soft dolls, torches, footballs, Play-Doh, colouring books and crayons.  Let’s show our love this Christmas to those who have never known what it means to matter to someone, in fact to anyone.

It is 4.30a.m. (your time) again; yes, another busy day for ‘The Moore’s’ as the ‘Professor’ was engaged in the International Conference held today with seven participants reading papers.  Romania, U.S.A. and N. Ireland were all represented. Each day is different, ordinary days, days of weakness, days of suffering but whatever we face, we must fully discharge our task with patience, kindness, in a quiet and loving manner.

It was with humility I accepted the invitation from Sister Druta to visit in her new one room apartment. Facing eviction, Sister Anna never lost sight of her faith that God would make a way. The Lord gave this gift to her and through the love of the Family of God, the roof has been renewed; water installed; bathroom built and suddenly this place of disrepair is her palace. The top floor actually consists of one tiny hall with four doors all housing four families. There is one shared bathroom. It is still her palace.

At times a short sentence can be the sweetest: ‘Shirley, where have you been?’ Five short words containing such trust and that famous smile of welcome I have come to love.  Our special Dora becomes increasingly precious to me, her love for people and her thankful acceptance for every gift she receives. Looking behind me, she asked ‘Where is Dr. Moore, I have been praying for him’.  Dora has the mind of a child but her tender personality is her legacy and how she will be remembered.  She looked tired today with little evidence of motivation. Her father (John) expressed concern seeing her weakness and lack of strength. Her medication is increasing daily and the lack of energy and fatigue is evident.  ‘Well now, let me see what I have for you, wow a Disney bag of goodies from Auntie Heather and a Rainbow bag of goodies from Auntie Barbara.  Paddington Bear and Mr. Teddy were the first to be unwrapped and hugging them she said: ‘Shirley, I hope these were not too expensive, please thank my friends in Ireland until I see them’.  The Colouring Books, Crayons, Coloured Pencils, Diabetic Sweets and a very special Pink Girls Bag, were placed in order on her table by John.  ‘Daddy, please don’t take my books away’. The laughing and excitement filled the tiny kitchen area. John’s life is devoted to ensuring Dora knows love and security. Children are a blessing and even though I never knew the blessing of parenthood, my quiver is now overflowing with ‘My Children’ and of course, My Dora.

The first publication written by Dr. Moore on 1 and 2 Timothy & Titus will now be published in two new languages! The translation into Hungarian is well under way and arrangements for a Russian translation is commencing.

The commentary on Galatians Glory in the Cross will be released on 1st November, published by Apostolos in the series, Faith builders. Another book vital for Romania with its message of the sufficiency of the cross for salvation. ‘Justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law,’ Gal. 2:16. Pray a translator will be found in the coming months.

Sunday will be a special day as we travel to serve in the Church of a former Theology student, Andrei Miraute. in Shafronia, (near Arad). Andrei is my adopted son, now married to Ligia (one of my girls from the Beauty and Holiness group).  My heart is overflowing with joy to know the future they will share together serving the Lord.  Each for the other, both for the Lord.

This weekend many Churches throughout Romanian will come together giving thanks to the Lord for the fields of plenty.  Still, Searching Eyes of Hope, robbed of love, wander the market places without knowing the sweetness of Harvest. 

‘Love is the chain that binds’
Shirley, 18 October, 2019