These past few days I have been in a dark and lonely place, seeing first hand the darkness of situations I cannot control. It has taken hold of me, especially when I see the smile of welcome even in their personal desert place. Being realistic it is the most loving environment imaginable; their resilience touches my heart as they hold you tightly and whisper ‘Multumesc’ (Thank You). For some, (young and old), time is limited and so every second, every moment is cherished. Two young siblings asked if I would send a picture of their Mum (taken on a recent visit). I knew the reason why and found this small request incredibly humbling. I was privileged to share in the Hospice Christmas chapel with Marinela and her dedicated team. It has been a difficult year as they have lost 145 patients, I could see the pain on their faces and feel the burden in their heart. They attended the funeral of Sister Aurora on Friday (mentioned in an earlier blog) and were attending the funeral service of Sister Helena, a member of Emanuel Baptist Church after chapel. It is an amazing work they do as Unto the Lord, but the road they travel is difficult.
As I listened to my husband preach in the village church of Hidshel de sus, one of his points was not just facing but climbing ‘our personal mountain’ making reference to Sir Edmund Hilary (1953). My thoughts turned immediately to the highly treasured memory of our beloved friend Pastor Filip Faragau who shared these words shortly before his ‘Home Call’ in August.
Sometimes it takes a mountain
Sometimes a troubled sea
Sometimes it takes a desert
To get a hold of me
Your Love is so much stronger
Than whatever troubles me
Sometimes it takes a mountain
To trust you and believe
Violeta, is facing her mountain this Christmas without her beloved Filip; Emanuela, facing the same mountain without her beloved Andrei called home only a few short weeks ago, yet her sadness is mingled with joy awaiting the birth of their firstborn child. Abigail’s little ones (5 & 4) asking ‘Is Daddy coming home this Christmas?’ Please remember these young widows who have never faced such high peaks, such high mountains before; whisper their names in prayer. The Apostle Mark gives us a glimpse of our Lord who was so ‘moved with compassion’ that He and He alone made it possible to feed the five thousand. What a privilege is ours to embrace, to face the joys and challenges of ‘others’ as if they were our own. ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep’ (Rom: 12v15).
I have had my own personal mountain this trip. I confess there were times I wanted to ‘run and hide’. For two days I struggled with my emotions still asking the same question ‘Lord why so much pain?’ I refer to the psalmist David, ‘I waited for the Lord to help me out of my pit of despair’. And so as I waited, I felt the arms of grace gently lift the heaviness from my heart, replacing it with trust and a renewed commitment, assured that God is God enough for every mountain and even in His greatness He has time for the humble. My life is but a moment in time; how will people remember me? What legacy, what evidence will bear my name? May I have the courage and perseverance as in the words of Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), ‘I must do, not what I must know. What matters is to find a purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I should do’. These brothers, sisters, little ones, have become my life; may my words be life to them as I visit the homes of Emanuel Hospice patients.
It was minus 9, heavy fog, frost, snow as Estera and I drove to the village of Mihai Bravo, for my final visit on this mission trip. Lorena’s Mum came running to meet us (no coat), so glad we had TIME and in her words ‘just for me’. Her husband is unsupportive in unimaginable circumstances. She struggles each day with what I have found to be the saddest situation I have ever encountered on my home visits. Her brother is very attentive, always helping, chopping wood and the Lord has sent support from Christian families who live close by. As I entered the darkened room, where the whole family reside, there in the corner of a bed lay an almost invisible figure, little Lorena who is thirteen, unable to speak or eat and whose little body is wasting away. I lay on the bed beside her, stroking her hair and she opened her eyes and tried to make a sound. Her mum wept with joy, just to hear a sound from her little girl who was a normal child playing in the village until four months ago.
From January to December 2017, Tell Romania pledge another year of service to Emanuel Hospice, Casa Grace Foundation and Child Life Romania, (All ministries associated with Emanuel Baptist Church, Oradea). The urgent needs are Monthly Food Parcels; Medicines; Finance for Medical Treatments/Scans. Winter in Romania is cold; my heart ached as I visited a terminally ill lady, watching her try to find warmth from a tiny flicker of a flame. She was burning a sawdust block as a substitute for wood. ‘I have no money for food so how can I buy wood to burn?’
Pastor David McFarland is a highly esteemed friend, who also manages our online ministry. David added this link to our poster on a recent blog.
Shirley has designed a poster that includes photos of those mentioned in the blog (used with permission from families and Casa Grace). To download and print follow this link or access it on the TellRomania web site. Perhaps you can use it on your church notice-board. Shirley has a larger version (A3) of the poster available ready printed. Please contact her directly if you can use one. Thank you.
If you feel God is directing you to help meet this need, please forward a cheque made payable to TELL ROMANIA. Shirley Moore, B5 Ocean Green, Ocean Drive, Portstewart, BT55 7RU. Direct Debit details available also.
£15 per month will help one family each month.
I close with the words of the prophet Elijah: ‘Please bring me a cup of water and bring me a bite of bread too.’ We know there will always be plenty when we ‘Give With Our Heart’ as ‘Unto Him’. Four days to Christmas; I know the gift I will lay at His feet. What gift will you bring? Please, (I ask) help make a difference.
Shirley, 21 December 2017.