‘Joy and deep poverty!’ Truly strange blending
Fulness and emptiness! Contrasting themes
Spiritual richness and temporal leanness!
None but the Spirit could wed such extremes.
‘Joy and deep poverty!’ Servant of Jesus
Doth it perplex that thy portion is this?
Doth it offend that reward for thy faithfulness
Seemeth to lie much in things thou must miss?
‘Joy and deep poverty!’ Pause thee, and ponder!
Joy for thy spirit – the world cannot give;
If therewith leanness, extreme limitation
Mayhap ‘tis by e’en such need thou shalt LIVE!
(J. Danson Smith)
I paused after reading verse two of the above poem. The tenderness of my heart; the parting; the loss, experiences, reminding me that the threads of sorrow are also important threads used in the tapestry of life. I quietly ask: ‘Lord, let me hear thy voice’. The remains of the previous day still caused pain. I needed to hear the sweetness of his voice. This mission trip has been as no other. I have been to the very pit of a coalmine coming face to face with the true cost of pain. Nothing this world can offer will ever compensate for the loss of my precious Denisa to Lilliana or my little angel Dada to Pertruda. The hearts of these mothers are broken; others running away, reality as their companion. The village homes; the unwanted child; the crowded market place filled with empty faces of homeless vagabonds; a young gypsy mother rummaging through overflowing bins of garbage with a scantily dressed baby wrapped in a shawl crying with hunger. Has my vision been impaired seeing only what I want to see? I feel I have just returned from a desert without road or track where the soil beneath my feet was barren and dry. And yet I long to return to this wilderness of suffering, to drop seeds on purpose that will take root and grow. Home three days and yet longing for those I love in the land I love. Romania is my home, my people, even the forgotten and unloved in Cighid. They may not be able to communicate but they have touched the very core of my heart. Yes, I am disturbed within and yet as I walked and prayed I felt the dew of stillness assure me that there are those who will stand with me in this project to provide bedding and clothing for these fifty adult orphans. Without asking, the Lord provides. A few hours ago a gentleman spoke with me; instead of birthday gifts on his special birthday he requested donations for Tell Romania. He smiled in agreement as I requested his gift will commence the £2,500 required for the Cighid Project. We leave on 01 October dv, Hamilton to return to teaching in Emanuel and preaching, and I plan to take the resources with me to Cighid the following week. The choice rests within our hearts to bless ‘Even One’?
Our return flight was from Cluj Napoca (3 to 4 hour drive from Oradea) granting the opportunity to meet Gabi from Iochebed, spending also a day with my friend Violeta who graciously drove me to two new works; namely ‘THE FARM’ and ‘CASA FILIP’.
It was a joy to renew fellowship with Gabi, to hear of her planned events throughout the summer months, to read her heart as she lovingly spoke of the poverty aspect in the homes of young gypsy mothers with large families where owing to having only one pair of shoes, only one child can attend school each day. The joy of reassurance filled my heart as we donated from the unfailing supply of our gracious Lord the sum of £3,000. ‘He hath filled the hungry with good things’ (Luke 1:53).
‘THE FARM’ has to be seen to be believed! Five acres of land where volunteers (including orphans from local orphanages) are busy levelling the land, brushing up cement, cutting grass, hedge trimming, while a local builder is erecting an amazing place for orphans to come on a regular basis where they are offered the opportunity to learn life skills, discover talents and abilities. At the age of eighteen the transition out of the institutions is frightening for one who has never known the outside world especially when you are without identity papers! The Farm will offer a home base, an address to allow each individual orphan to receive their own personal ID. Emil is the newest employee as a farm maintenance assistant and he is the first to call this place “home” officially. A team led by David Morton (a Director of Tell Romania) has just returned from a work trip in May where he was joined by builders, joiners, plumbers, electricians … interested? David’s next work trip is in September! Our friend Allan Hopper has taken on the role to oversee as Project Manager.
‘CASA FILIP’ I looked at my friend Violeta as she kindly carried two cool drinks to a shaded part of the gardens surrounding Casa Filip. Even in the car as we made the long journey to The Farm the thermometer was reading 36 degrees and it was hot! A keen gardener (of a past day) I was admiring her attention to detail, her love depicted in the choice of flowers. My thoughts turned to the loss in her own personal life of a beloved husband whose life was totally dedicated to the Lord and the gain now offered to countless lives. It felt good to chat as friend to friend; we smiled together and yes cried together as we remembered Filip who was loved by so many and a precious student to Dr. Moore in Irish Baptist College.
The accommodation is outstanding and is a miracle of love and grace, offering a place to stay to patients who travel from far away villages to Cluj for cancer treatment. The accommodation is extended to relatives or friends who accompany those receiving treatment. The demand is high with bookings into 2020.
So important to live only for God and to fulfil his purpose for all of our days. As Job said, ‘I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause’.
Shirley, 07 July, 2019