No greater love

‘And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them…Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.’ (Mark 10: 13-14)

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.’ (Psalm 139: 13-18)

No greater love

Only days in my beloved Romania and yet the pain I feel, the suffering I encounter, is unreal. Who am I?  What am I?  My love, my time, should not be limited but given freely to the frail elderly within days, hours of eternity, the tiny baby, toddler so sick, a faint smile is even an effort. Oh, that my heart would be a harbour of safety for ‘my neighbour’ a place of shelter shielding from the strong blast of adversity that blows.  This morning as I mediated on the ‘Love of God’ I bowed my head in shame as I thought of my shortcomings, his unconditional love that is mine until my final day.   To love may cost but it’s worth it all if my neighbour will come to prove in the days of testing, trial, love will be impelled only by the best motive.  I Cor 13: 13 …’but the greatest of these is love’. The longing of my heart is to serve him, in days of uncertainty and disappointment I need to know this too is by divine appointment, a higher authority has made my choice.

There are many forms and expressions of love.  The bond of friendship is a gift from the Master’s hand.  A long day of travel (Tuesday) and humanly speaking ‘The Moore’s’ were a little tired but more so hungry.  My heart missed a beat arriving at Emanuel University (very late in the evening) to the aroma of a freshly cooked chicken sitting on the step of our student room. I knew immediately who had left it there.  My dear friend Monika.

‘Is that the front door bell?’  As I opened a beautiful smile hidden behind a bunch of ‘pink’ flowers stood before me.  ‘I cannot believe you are finally here’ said my friend Estera.  We exchanged our tokens of friendship when suddenly I remembered. ‘Oops I should now call you Dr. Estera’.  ‘No I will always be your Estera’.  The union shared by friends is a priceless gift; how can I fail to recognise such humility and tenderness.  Our hands are clasped in service with the teams of Casa Grace and Emanuel Hospice.

Entering an area of uncultivated ground, housing many Roma families, I could actually feel the suspicious glances of the elderly, hear the laughs of the dark eyed little ones running inquisitively towards the car. Simona, the mother of baby Alexandra hugged me, her long dark hair covering her face to hide her tears.  Mihai (her husband) had just returned from the forest, he had been able to borrow a horse and cart, collecting wood from the falling trees to keep his precious family warm. They have no money for winter fuel and with a new born baby, two adorable little girls, his love in action spoke volumes.  ‘Sit please, sorry the bed is broken’ yes, a very humble home, yet filled with a warmth outweighing their pain; baby Alexandra was loved, if only a borrowed love for a short time.   As we clasped our hands in prayer, the heart of this young mother softly said through her tears that she gave her precious darling back to a higher love.   So poor they had to borrow the money for the funeral expenses but rich in so many other ways. I was surrounded by an Immeasurable love. My friend Sheila from Ballyclare asked me to take a card of sympathy having known the pain incurred in the loss of a child.   Estera translated and even though separated by many miles, our love was kindled and enhanced by a heart of compassion who didn’t forget to care.

Love deeper than any sea must flow through a side ward in Timisoari where Nathanael (13) advanced cancer, diagnosed with Carcinoma, lies very sick.  His parents are going through a valley of unbearable pain. 

Stefan (11) with Spastic Tetra Paresis (1.5 stone); his younger brother has just received the same diagnosis.  No mother, yet the love of an elderly grandmother physically unable to care for these two very sick little boys, in love keeps her promise to never leave them.  One look at their little faces when her presence fills the room, soothes and calms their little hearts of fearfulness.

‘But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.’  My thoughts turn to Alexandru (late eighties) suffering with terminal cancer.  During his younger years employed as a member of the Secret Police during the communist regime.  He is open to hear the Word of God.  As the team care, comfort and minister to these precious people, pray they will not only hear but receive the Word of God.

As I watch Hamilton ‘At Home’ teaching, lecturing, writing I see the darkness of last year now filled with a new light.  This can only speak to my heart of an over-coming love.  At present he is in discussions regarding the translation into Russian of the Pastoral Epistles with a view to publishing. Next week he will participate in the Masters Programme, focusing later in the month on the International Conference.  Tomorrow evening it will be our joy to attend the Opening Service of Thanksgiving in Emanuel Baptist Church.   The potential of hundreds of young people … methinks would Hamilton be young again?  To everything there is a time, a season.

My remaining weeks are filled every day visiting patients and families not forgetting opening the many boxes Alison is sending on a weekly basis for urgent needs only as requested.  Although exhausted after travelling I was compelled by love to go to the centre to see my babies.  Dora and Mihai were waiting for Monika and me and it thrilled my heart as we played with the children in Adam’s Room, the door kept knocking. So many Therapists with their patients whether orphan, down syndrome, abandoned wanting to use our room. I was reminded of the harvest of joy the Lord brings to his children.  I felt so lowly in heart and so thankful for the privilege in being a small part of the team of Casa Grace.  Impacting precious little bundles of joy who just love to be cuddled.  Papers have been submitted to approve my visit to Cighid next Thursday; pray the Lord will continue to open our hands to hold with love.

Remember the patients of Emanuel Hospice, elderly and infant. The needy families of Casa Grace. The Orphan, Disabled, Down Syndrome children and the Abandoned Babies.  Sister Gabi who heads the work of Iochebed in Suceava.

I will sign off now feeling your prayerful support, knowing in the obvious obstacles, impossibilities, darkness, his love is hidden in my heart.

Let us together be a torch of light.

Shirley, 05 October, 2019

The Greatest Gift – The Call of Love’

‘Love suffers long and is kind; love …’ 1 Cor. 13:4

During my years in Strathearn Grammar School, one of my favourite school productions was ‘Oliver’.  Many are aware of the theme song sung by a very young Oliver: ‘Where is Love?’ Dreaming, searching, longing to hear that one familiar voice or feel the softness of her motherly touch. He longed to belong, to mean something to someone.  ‘Where is Love?’

I ask this question each time I visit the unloved and forgotten; yes, my tears flow in secret as I try to ponder ‘why’? But then I find in my broken moments I have Jesus.  Robert Murray M’Cheyne penned: ‘A believer longs after God, to come into his presence, to feel his love, to feel near to him in secret, to feel in the crowd that he is nearer than all the creatures…’  The call to love is a personal choice, one we can choose or decline.  How blessed to live in a home filled with love. Not so for places I am called to serve, I encounter tears of brokenness, disappointment, tears of simply longing to belong.   You may not be able to accompany me as I leave for my beloved family in Romania but your love can give me the much-needed strength for each day; each patient, child, family, the beggar on the street all differ, individual personalities with different needs.   Answer the call of love by setting aside a special time each day to remember them.  ‘If we make our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love, then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.’ Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

Tell Romania supporting those in deep poverty.
Image by Not an image of a child mentioned in this post.

Heavy dark storm clouds are hovering over my dear Sister Simona, the rains of grief are unimaginable as she walks a deep valley of intense pain.  ‘Mummy, where is my baby sister Alexandra? asks little Deborah (2).  A young Pentecostal family who love the Lord and serve in the Church, whose hearts are broken.  Sister Simona gave birth to little Ishmael during my last visit in June – two adorable little girls love their new baby brother but do not understand where their baby sister has gone.  I arrive in Oradea on Wednesday, 2nd October, Estera and I have planned to visit to this humble home on the Friday.  As we share together, may the dark shadows lift and may Simona know that even though her heart is broken that the LORD is her Shepherd and as he has charged himself with her care, she is safe in his fold.

A beautiful little boy only three (Kristof) diagnosed with Leukaemia.  His young mother of twenty has another little girl aged one year old.  Please pray for this young mother who has to travel many miles to Timisoara during Kristof’s chemotherapy. The call of love demands sacrifice at times.

Narcis is a precious little boy whose father died from cancer four years ago.  Narcis attended the Hospice Summer Camp where it became evident to the team he so needed to be loved. Although living with his step father and brothers, he still longs for his father.  Again I ask that you would remember me as I visit this family that through the constant love and care of our Godly team, Narcis will no longer question in his heart ‘Where is Love?’ but in the unexpected things see the Love of God in action.

A new programme for bereaved and sick children is an extra road I will travel this mission trip.  Little ones who have known joy, now sorrow, their special moments with Mummy or Daddy gone forever and they wonder in the quietness of night ‘Where is Love?’  Will I find it tomorrow?  Help me fulfil a wish, ease troubled minds.  I know I will meet insurmountable difficulties and wonder can I take the pressure of this added responsibility? Psalm 59: 10 ‘My God with his loving kindness shall come to meet me at every corner’.  Help me put food on their table, light on their path and joy in sad little hearts. The rents of time can soon be mended but it will take time – yours and mine!

Eva (50) diagnosed with a brain tumour is very weak. The burdens of each day outweigh days of pleasant memories.  She feels her prayers remain unanswered and needs reassurance.   Please pray a place can be found for her to live during the freezing Romanian winter months as she can no longer remain at home and needs to be safe and warm. 

My friend Barbara reminded me that even when we have God’s calling, we still need friends to help when the weight of it all becomes too much.  I thank the Lord for the many friends who have been sent to me, whose commitment is unending and whose passion is unlimited. In I Samuel 17: 47 we read: ‘The battle is the Lord’s’.  There can be no defeat when all the planning and responsibility belongs to him.  Queen Victoria said: ‘We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat.  They do not exist!’  I go with a new determination; I am on my final countdown – days to go!

O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my Guide.

Mihaela is only twenty years of age and has three very young children. A little boy of three, a little girl of twenty-two months and a baby girl of six months – three little steps and stairs.  Mihaela met her husband when she was only fifteen. Last year they came to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour and were baptised.  Shortly afterward her young husband was diagnosed with blood clots on his brain, and he was hospitalised for a period of time. Because he has been unable to work, they can barely afford to eat.   This needy family will receive from the Iochebed Feeding Programme; clothes for the children will be supplied and medical bills covered.  A beautiful young Christian girl, young in her faith with so much need, yet testifying that her faith in the Lord Jesus has brought peace to her heart.  Last month we shared the situation of Sister Vali.  We wish to extend our thanks to the brother who donated £200 towards the purchasing of a new stove.  The village churches are also trying to fundraise.  Togetherness!

£20,000 is required each year specifically for the Feeding Programme(s), Casa Grace, Emanuel Hospice and Iochebed, I do have moments of fear when I feel myself wavering. It is in these times I need to quietly remind myself that our love must be poured out as a river;  we must be seen as a place of refuge, repair and at times even though the thorn may prick and wound, once we see the beauty of the Rose, we know that if the battle is the Lord’s, the resources will come and will prove all-sufficient.  Shirley, isn’t your hand clasped tighter now?   This morning I read: ‘He that goeth aside to sit quietly in the secret place with the Most High, will find him coming over so close that this man shall be lodging under the very shadow of the Almighty’.  Psalm 91: 1 (Free trans).  My father taught elocution and as I write I can remember clearly one poem entitled: ‘If Jesus came to your house, I wonder what you would do?’.  

As I read the unending case files that continue to come, I trace lives filled with human misery and degradation. Lives filled with shame, humiliation, lack of self-respect and vast disappointment.  They come feeling insignificant as others pass by, they long for a listening ear and a hopeful future.  Normally the parent or parents are young; facing eviction, without food. In one new case the father and mother are in their mid-thirties.  Although both parents work, their income is £120 monthly!  The sons are mentally retarded and attend a special needs school.  They are not a Christian family and clearly need the Lord.  We pray as we have accepted this family into the Casa Grace Feeding Programme that they will come to know the Lord.  That their failures, fears will have a future.

It is not the time to rest, we must finish the work. You may not know the full blast of winter or feel the woe of a troubled mind.  Some must go and some must stay but together we are one.  Will you continue to mend the nets with me?  I never cease to marvel that the God I serve cares and understands the ‘ALL’ things of my heart.   My friend Heather, The Wardrobe, Ballyclare, always inquiring about the work, always expressing genuine interest has placed her love in action.  For the third time in succession a supply of new clothing is being sent to Romania.  ‘Heather, where are these to go?’ I ask. ‘Shirley, wherever they are needed most’.  These are my moments of elation.

Fyffes banana boxes packed to perfection all waiting to leave the shores of Northern Ireland bringing warmth and love to cold and lonely hearts.  Friends who have lovingly purchased new items for the various projects, outfits for the abandoned babies, new clothing for Pro-Life ages 2-5.  My silent companion continues to walk with me as do many others, I am never alone.

I never walk alone, in stormy weather,
When winds of trouble sweep about my head;
I know I’m safe, because we are together,
And ’round me His protecting love is spread.

Please remember:

  • for individual patients please refer to ‘How’s Your Heart’ blog.
  • Sister Ecaterina and her elderly husband struggle alone day by day.
  • Stefan (11) diagnosed with Spastic Tetra Paresis (1.5) stone in weight.
  • Natanael (12) carcinoma – waiting surgery, at present undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
  • Desperately poor families barely able to survive.

Blogs will arrive weekly during my mission trip updating you on the various works incorporating Dr. Moore’s preaching in Churches, Radio ministry, involvement in the Masters and new PhD school; also, with the theology students of Emanuel University and the International Conference.

‘Remember, you are not a tree, that can live or stand alone.  You are only a branch.  And it is only while you abide in Christ, as the branch in the vine, that you will flourish or even live’, (Robert Murray M’Cheyne).

Shirley, 21 September, 2019

How’s your heart?

I want, dear Lord, a heart that’s true and clean,
A heart like thine, a heart divine,
A heart as white as snow;
On me, dear Lord, a heart like this bestow.

I want, dear Lord, a love that cares for all,
A love like thine, a love divine,
A love to come or go;
On me, dear Lord, a love like this bestow.

I want, dear Lord, a soul on fire for thee,
A soul baptised with heavenly energy;
A willing mind, a ready hand
To do whate’er I know,
To spread thy light wherever I may go.


‘With not a cloud between…’  Clouds have become a familiar pattern of my life.  Each time the Airbus soars above the differing formations of visible masses of condensed watery vapours floating in the atmosphere, my heart misses a beat. But then a calmness quiets my troubled mind knowing the journey will take me to those whose skies are constantly overcast and gloomy. Clouds eventually lift; but I am faced with ‘Waterless Clouds’ where the blackness of their darkened sky never lifts.   They walk aimlessly in the clouded water of muddy pools in normal day to day village life.  Of course, I would rather have sunlit days, but how can I sing verse two if I am not willing to answer this call?  Flights booked and we are counting the days until our return on 01 October.

Hamilton and I are back in Northern Ireland during the month of November as we have engagements to fulfil, returning to Romania at the end of November until after Christmas.  My hands and feet are becoming impatient, I need to return to those I love…  Pray I will know a tenderness of spirit as I face the many new challenges awaiting.   A new project for bereaved children, a deep tenderness of spirit must be part of who I am, if I am to be a wound-dresser, or comfort a little one crying for ‘Mummy’ with no one to hold a tiny hand or stroke a lock of hair until asleep. Let me with a melting love reach out and touch the forgotten adult orphans in Cighid, with their troubled minds without balance or security. Psalm 147: 3,4 ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.  He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth all by their names.’

New cases, families and children continue to enter our care. Depending on the circumstances and situation they can be linked to Emanuel Hospice; Casa Grace Foundation or Iochebed, all working as a team in lowly service among others.  This month I want to outline new cases, inwardly aware that at times the emails, telephone calls are all too much as I not only feel the pain but realise the need to ‘Be Still’. This morning was one of those mornings as with tears in my eyes I could feel the pain of my dear friend Sister Simona as she laid her darling baby Alexandra to rest.  Alexandra had been deteriorating and her little whimpers of pain grew faint.   Ten months of constant pain cradled in the arms of her young mum, now this little one is in the arms of the one who said: ‘Suffer the little children to come …’ Gazing through my window this morning, I questioned was it only weeks since I held this precious life in my arms?  I watched as the rain touched the leaves of the trees yet knew the real purpose of their journey was to reach the very depth of the earth and water the roots.  Oh that I might touch the very roots of lives that are dying without knowing the depth of the reservoirs of blessing!

How can I be uncaring when a sweet elderly couple are living in unacceptable unsanitary conditions, Sister Ecaterina is one of our terminally patients and her husband of forty-four years suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.  They are unable to care for one another and are often without food or medication.   The reality is that their family are uncaring and most of the time when one of our team call this precious couple are ‘hungry’. Do they complain?  A smile of joy fills their wrinkled faces each time the team arrive offering love, care and medication.  Only one of many cases.

Andrea (49) entered our care recently, her cancer then in advanced stages; now her condition has spread and has metastasised in her brain.  These are her final days.  She is a religious lady but needs the Lord in salvation. Henry Dyer penned: ‘God is great in great things, but very great in little things. Yes, I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed as the suffering continues.  But then I remember the quiet rains of dew falling readily from the support of friends and those who care. Then I know as George Muller penned: ‘ He is the God of my steps but he is also the God of my stops.’  I must stop and trust knowing that as in Isaiah 25: 4. ‘You have been a refuge for the poor; a refuge for the needy in their distress; a shelter from the storm…’  Together let us breathe a prayer ‘Lord let your steps be mine’.

Stefan (11) diagnosed with Spastic Tetra Paresis weighing only 10 kilos (1.5 stone) suffering every day due to his condition.  His mother left the family when Stefan became sick.  There are two boys and the younger brother has just been diagnosed with the same disease.  The boys are cared for by their elderly Grandmother, a wonderful lady; but at times the role of a carer for two sick boys is overwhelming.

Natanael (12) has been diagnosed with Carcinoma.  Nathanael has had sensitive surgery and will now commence radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Casa Grace Foundation and Iochebed differ in ministering to the needs from Emanuel Hospice and yet all as human instruments have their own individual roles to play.  My friends Monika and Gabi spend their lives mending broken people, removing pain, listening to heart-breaking situations and heart rendering circumstances.  Sister Vali (40) has nine children and although she is always smiling her heart is crying inside.  Vali came to know the Lord many years ago and has taken the sole responsibility for caring for her home and raising her children in the ways of the Lord.   Her husband is addicted to gambling and alcohol; because of these addictions she at times is left without home, possessions.  She is now facing serious health issues and her worry remains, ‘who will care for my children?’.  She has no heating and winters in Suceava are fierce.  We are praying the Lord will send the finance to enable the team to purchase a stove.

Summer camp in the beautiful mountains of Romania is a time of planting, sowing seeds that will remain, spring up and bloom. It is perhaps the only time a child can be a child and know the art of play or meet a special friend.  Why the tears on returning home?  For many homelife is difficult, filled with days of uncertainty.  I think of recently added families:  Casa Grace offer a sure foundation by example, No one is turned away.   Two little girls of five and three whose mother left them, now raised by their grandparents who have seven children of their own and where the grandfather is in the advanced stages of cancer.  Other families where three brothers of fourteen, eleven and one all with mental retardation and are very violent.  A single parent living in a social apartment, struggling to raise four children of fourteen, eleven, seven and one year old. Income £18 per month per person with only one room which is in extremely poor condition. Finally, another single parent family where the father (44) is struggling to raise his five children of fifteen, thirteen, eight, seven and six.  The father works as a security guard and the total income for the family of six is £80 per month.  These are the facts; the reality of families living in the depths of poverty, struggling on as little as £20 each week to pay rent, buy food, clothing.  They feel they don’t matter. As I look into the eyes of the children I see a quiet sadness that is part of who they are, young lives torn apart and destroyed by the aftermath of sin.

I have scheduled visits to these families in October, each day different from the previous, small places; a tiny room; a makeshift shelter, a hut but all a home to someone.  The orphan, abandoned child are at home in the Orphanage Centre and so with your help and support I continue to build a bridge of hope. The adult orphans in the forest area of Cighid need to know they are not forgotten and that they do matter to someone.  Depending on the finance raised for this project, Monika and I will purchase bedding, towels, clothing, boots, personal hygiene products in Romania.  Plans are afoot to hold a Christmas Carol Service with the assistance of  the music students from Emanuel University.  These fifty people need to know the meaning of ‘Redeeming Love’ for it is indeed a love without limit.

One child may touch your heart – I know many pray for one or more of my precious jewels by name.  My friends Barbara and Heather who have a love for Dora; ladies from Londonderry providing a new Christmas outfit for all of the abandoned babies; BW groups supporting the specific projects for Cighid Adult Orphans and Pro-Life; Alison, whose normal greeting is not ‘Good Morning’ but ‘Shirley, what’s next?’;  Mavis,  ‘What do you need?’; Pauline, ‘whatever the project I am behind you all the way’.

The Lord did not call me to work alone in this field, I have workers who encourage, water the fields, feed the hungry through their faithful monthly donations in gifting or direct debit.  It would be impossible to allocate £2,000 monthly without this vital support.  Yesterday, I received a photograph from Dora, smiles, smiles and more smiles from children enjoying their ‘afternoon treat’ after their therapy session, made possible through the kindness of a token of love from our team at home. Biscuits, juice?  Wow!  God has placed us all in the best place where we can work for Him.

Not so in haste, my heart! Have faith in God and wait;
Although He linger long. He never comes too late.
Until He cometh, rest. Nor grudge the hours that roll.
The feet that wait for God are soonest at the goal.
Are soonest at the goal that is not gained by speed.
Then hold thee still, my heart, For I shall wait his lead. (Bayard Taylor)

 ‘Thank you’ for loving  enough to care,

Shirley, 30 August, 2019

Follow Me

‘To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with him’ (William Carey)
‘Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us?  Can we not do more than now we are doing?’ (William Carey)
The above words written from the pen of William Carey captivated my heart.  Our mind can be absorbed by the emotion of the moment, but what after?  Presently my own thoughts are locked in darkness as I become aware of tragic situations. Ordinary men and women whose lives know nothing only sadness. Methinks ‘who is carrying out the work?’ ‘Only seven weeks until my return’.  My thoughts are halted as I focus on the unmeasured grace and love of our Lord Jesus and with a thankful heart give thanks for those who serve faithfully in love through the darkness of the hour, whose flame is not a weak flicker of warmth but a flame of passion burning brightly.  Last evening my sleep was disturbed as faces, names came before me.  The forgotten adult orphans dominated my thoughts and at one stage I sat on the side of the bed questioning ‘Lord, why so much pain?’. I have been there, I know the people, I know the places, I have seen them wander aimlessly knowing they did not make this choice.  I felt a tear sting my cheek as I remembered them running to meet our car.  I tried to see into their mind and envisage their thoughts.  My conclusion: ‘Someone does care’.  A story shared with me came to mind explaining why certain patterns of china were placed in the furnace not once but twice in order to become distinct in pattern. ‘Though it be tried with fire’. (I Peter 1: 7) In their darkness of the furnace may we bring a little light.

‘I would be simply used
Spending myself in humble task or great
Priest at the altar, keeper of the gate,
So be my Lord requireth that thing
Which at the needful moment I may bring
O joy of serviceableness divine
Of merging will and work, dear Lord, in Thine
Of knowing that results, however small
Fitly into Thy stream of purpose fall
I will be simply used!’ (selected)

This morning as I read my report from my friend Estera, I prayed that the Dew of His Grace would bring peace to Sister Simona whose watchful eye lovingly cares for her little Darling Alexandra knowing that every breath is a struggle, every waking hour brings pain.  Baby Alexandra continues to lose weight and is deteriorating day by day. Simona’s eyes should be filled with joy after the birth of her baby son, but her eyes are filled with tears knowing each moment is a moment less before parting with her priceless treasure.  A precious Christian family who need to feel the warmth of our flame burn brightly during these days of sadness.

The aged and infirm in Romania need to be loved. Many are alone, bereft of love and family.  A recent visit to an elderly lady before returning home touched my heart. Holding my hand tightly she said: ‘Once you are old you are useless and forgotten’. Her words penetrated my heart. Our elderly patients live for the visits of the Emanuel Hospice team and are open to the gospel.  They need to feel they matter, for many days are short, we need to share the message of the Old Rugged Cross.  I think of Ecaterina (75) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, with no one to care for her as her aged husband is ill and unable to walk.  They have expressed an openness to the Gospel – this is the core of our mission.

Many have been praying for Kevin.  He has just returned from Timisoara where a medical assessment was carried out to confirm if his cancer had reoccurred. The doctor said it was ‘A Miracle’ all was clear. To God be the Glory!  He will however require another surgery which will be significant for the condition of his feet.  Kevin has expressed concern regarding further surgery as he has been through so many procedures. He now has a fear of hospitals.  Please pray for our little friend Kevin.

For Ana the thorns of hardship are causing wounds that will not heal.  Twenty-two years of age and four little girls (5; 3; 1 and 10 months).  She came to Iochebed in desperate need of help.  Her husband left her after the birth of her fourth daughter. She has no money for food or milk for the baby and is now forced to live in a small place with eleven other people.  The Pro-Life Project have reached out in love, offering food, clothing and dried milk for the baby.  Ana was overjoyed and could not find words to express her gratitude.  Sister Gabi shared the Word of God with her assuring her that she is not forsaken and that God’s love is free just for the asking.  Remember Ana and her four little girls. The heartbeat of our mission remains unchanged in Oradea where we serve hundreds of families and children or in Suceava, a twelve-hour drive by car. Iochebed are issuing an appeal for BACKPACKS as hundreds of Roma children need one to enable them to go to school.  Unless you have a filled BACKPACK you cannot attend school.  One family possess one pair of shoes for eleven children meaning every 11th day the same child attends school.  Please pray the Lord will supply this great need.

Joel 3: 16 ‘The Lord will be the place of repair of His people’ There is no cloud in my mind as I read the reports, view the video clips and photographs received from the camps taking place throughout the summer.  Months of planning, preparation to enable hundreds of children to find a rose amidst the brier whose young lives are rooted in sadness by circumstances.  For many it is the only days when they can be ‘a child’ enjoying the art of play, meeting new friends, hearing the story of Jesus through morning and evening devotions. Their shadows of deep roots of sadness can bloom into fresh flowers of fragrance.  Tears run down many little faces as they wave ‘GOODBYE’.  Back home to….?

Casa Grace continue to work tirelessly ministering to the orphans, down syndrome, disabled and abandoned children.  My friend Dora sent me a video clip of MY ADAM, my heart missed a beat as I watched him ‘RUN’.  Adam is progressing after two recent valve replacements and as I trace his story from an abandoned baby to where he is now, surrounded by love and loved, I feel Adam’s life is part of God’s plan.

My children (as I affectionately call them) occupy my mind.  Early this morning I found myself writing: ‘Some are called to go; some called to stay; we are all called to serve’.  I am filled with a quiet calm as I share my heart with you.  I am constantly thinking of the little ones who have felt the pain of loss, their young hearts are broken as their mum, dad have prematurely been taken from them. Severely disabled children, I think of little Ella, Cristi, Diana, David, Alex …. The list is endless.  I only know on my return I will personally visit these children assuring them they are not forgotten.  Why another extension of ministry?  I still feel the warmth of a special friend clasping my hand and asking me not to forget her children. I dare not have said ‘YES’ if I am not willing to surrender.

I end as I began with the words of William Carey: ‘Surely it is worthwhile to lay ourselves out with all our might in promoting the cause and kingdom of Christ’.

Shirley, 08 August, 2019

The response of grateful love

‘That ye may be sincere and without offence … being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God’

Obligated by love, it is now time ‘TO GO’.  Time to return ‘HOME’.  We read in the word of God we are to ‘love one another’ and so I need to discipline myself, tell myself, I am strong enough to share the sorrow which those I love have come to know, to soften hearts that perhaps are unreachable, harbouring disappointment and loss. I go with the assurance that God is in control and that he and he alone can change any circumstance, achieving, attaining above and beyond all we ask.    Kindle the fire of prayer with me, pray as I serve in love, the depths of hopelessness will be replaced with a fragrance of HOPE.


I pause for a moment as I think of the costliness of love in the loss experienced by so many hurting lives, leaving many with a broken heart. Those who just look to be loved. Yes, I will visit Cighid again on this mission trip. Keep your fire burning. These will be emotional days of reunion and yet there is not only an urgency but a longing to go.  Help me show the loveliness of Christ as I visit new patients, new families; the Druta family where God has provided £1,000; Casa Grace are looking for a small rental in the centre of Oradea.  I hold in my heart that all important smile as I touch the little cheek of an unwanted baby. Go with me day by day, hold me close in prayer as I encounter new works, new challenges.  The pattern of my life?  Clearly set out for me, the Lord Jesus took the little children in his arms and … may I carry these little lambs in my heart also.

In the business of preparation today, my thoughts differ from joy to sadness. Those I long to see: Dora, Stefania, Elizabeth, Kevin, my treasures in the Orphanage and Abandoned Baby wing where thanks to a group of Ladies in Londonderry every baby will be provided with two new outfits, new shoes from Bishops, Coleraine. A cloud covers my emotions as I think of my visit with Baby Alexandra, Little Victor, the homes without my precious Dada, Deborah, Denisa …… the list is endless.  I go depending on the one who is my strength, leaving it all in his hands.  The words of a particular song fill my heart.

Draw me close to you
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear you say that I’m your friend
You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause nothing else can take your place
To feel the warmth of your embrace

He indeed is all I want; all I will ever need and so as He draws me close to Him during these days of emotion and discovery (there is still more to accomplish) I will be held securely in His embrace.

Pray for Hamilton and I as we leave tomorrow with the dawn.  I will send regular updates informing you of all my visits to patients, families, orphanage, not forgetting my meeting with Gabi from Iochebed.  An exciting two days of visiting new works in Cluj:  The Farm and Casa Filip.
These are days of faith stretching circumstance – walk with me.

Shirley, 10 June, 2019

Take a deep breath

Shirley"s Pen


As I walked into Dumbrava Rosa, a wind chilling factor came over me as I passed two newly built, freshly painted crosses,  bearing the names of two (relatively young) residents.  Two hundred and thirty homeless people reside there.   At least two deaths occur each week.  Mentally, I was unprepared, I took a deep breath, again I was surrounded by tragedy,  disaster and suffering.  Personal emotions prompt different responses; mine was a deep awareness of the destruction sin causes in the lives of those rejected by society.  Another humbling experience into the depths of deep despair, with fear and trembling and an overwhelming sadness in my heart I continued my journey,  meeting the residents who would remain there until their time on earth was finished. Many of the male residents were in wheelchairs or confined to bed, but as I entered the room and smiled into their dark eyes. Suddenly that cautious, sceptical distrust,  changed to a faint smile as their hands were stretched in welcome to this new visitor from the West. Read more

The Forgotten

Shirley"s Pen



Jesus said, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.’ John 10:10.

Children of disappointment, the forgotten, the unknown, those left behind whose memory has been ‘blotted out’, robbed of ‘childhood days’.  They ask ‘will it ever happen; is there beauty to be found; who will scale these walls of ashes’?

We all require the use of a mirror each morning, as we look at our self-image. do we ever think as to how others see us or how they view our service? I do not compare myself to others, I just want to ‘fit’ into the plan the Lord has drawn up for my life.

With every kilometre my heart was beating faster.  My destination – an isolated forest many miles from Oradea.  During the journey my mind questioned how many stars fill the skies of these children, how many sunrises greet them each morning?  I was visiting the original Romanian orphans who were cast aside as ‘rejects’, left without hope, undiscovered, barely surviving.  ‘Shirley, these are not children any longer, these are adults’.  They ran to meet me, thrilled, excited to see ‘another face’. I DID NOT see children but forty nine adults with the mentality of a young child, their dormitories filled with ‘fluffy animals’. Some could not come to greet me, they sat beneath a copper beech tree silently rocking; there were blind, lame, mentally and physically disabled.  Read more

To God be the glory

Shirley"s Pen

Breakfast Time is never dull in Emanuel University, students hurriedly making their way to class for 8 a m – but this particular morning, a certain Professor was sipping a hot cup of coffee, glancing through the window,  as I was preparing to leave,  when suddenly he rushed into our tiny kitchen area ‘Shirley, it’s finally arrived’.  ‘To God Be The Glory’.  Plans change quickly in Romania.   ‘The Moore’s made their way ‘quickly’ down the many steps and by the time we reached our destination the 45ft curtain sider truck was already parking.  The excitement filled the air – my husband searching for available students to assist offloading while I contacted Casa Grace, Emanuel Hospice, Orphanage and Ichoebed.  Soon the work commenced – it was interesting !

The staff of all  departments arrived  and removed their designated items with Casa Grace transporting the items to the Centre for the new Therapy Room.  The following morning Monika, Mahai and I met Dora at the Centre..  Within two hours all boxes were unpacked, toys assembled and placed.  ‘Sister Shirley, please thank everyone for loving these children by sending so much, they have never seen anything like this . …..’ Elena (Director of the Centre) and Lavina (Director of the Abandoned Baby Wing) were overwhelmed by the choice of educational toys, volume, attention to detail in supplying the beautiful patchwork quilts, sleeping bags, medical creams …….   I only wish I could have seen the ‘little eyes’ filled with wonder as they entered the following morning, it would resemble a typical Christmas Morning but then methinks Christmas Morning in the Centre is not what we know at home?   And so I say to you all:  ‘Thank You’ from my heart and ‘Multumesc’ from all your friends at the Centre.

You will never know the difference you have made in so many unwanted, unloved little gems.


Shirley"s Pen

Our land lies in ruins now, but we will rebuild it better than before.  We will replace the broken bricks with cut stone, the fallen sycamore trees with cedars’. Isa: 9:10.

‘Change and decay in all around I see…’  Heartfelt emotion of lives in ruins, desperate cries for help. But how much of myself can I give?  I can identify with the prophet Nehemiah who when he first saw the ruins of Jerusalem, wept.  I have struggled these past few days, yet I am assured that God’s love is stronger than my heartfelt pain. I must be drawn by love to build a ‘Bridge of Hope’ that will join us in the bond of humanity and love.  Before departing from Northern Ireland, I sensed a ‘wind of change’ and thought I was prepared,   I remind myself that my passion, my vision has not changed, yet question why this particular path of darkness, brokenness, seems the most difficult.  I think of Anna who has been trying to ‘rebuild’ with two of her children a ‘Home’ after they spent six years in an Orphanage. Two days ago, the ‘Home’ she shared with ten families, burned to the ground.  Her land lies in ruins!  ‘Just a little glimmer of light’ I prayed.   He is able to restore, rebuild and so I wait knowing ‘My hope is in the Lord’.  At the outset of this mission trip, I pray that the Word of God will penetrate the darkness surrounding many and that they will know in their heart there is ‘Hope in the Midst of Shadows’. Read more