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

Jehovah Shamma

(The Lord Was There)

Today I felt as though I was walking a road filled with Cactus plants; the roads are rough and uneven, yet it is a known fact that the flower of this plant symbolizes warmth, protection and endurance.  From the outward and inward perspective all I hold in my heart is the hardness of difficulty and the reality of pain, where life itself has become a burden to so many of my patients and families.  The darkest night has stars; these nights they are obscure from view.  I struggle to grasp, or even touch with my fingertip the very fringe of their need.  This morning my first visit with Emanuel Hospice to Elizabeth did not take place, this precious lady was taken from the scene of time in a moment, so soon, so unexpectantly.  Time is short for so many, they need to know that in the midst of their personal storm the Lord is the only one who can calm the raging seas, torrential rain to a whisper (Psalm 107: 29). ‘Take God on thy route and thou shalt banish wrinkles from thy brow.  Gethsemane itself shall not age thee if thou tread by the side of Jesus; for it is not the place of thy travel that make thee weary – it is the heaviness of thy step’ (George Matheson).


As Elisha I prayed ‘Lord, open my eyes’. I have no doubt that I will see things differently, remembering how the Lord stooped to pick up little children in his arms, how his humility touched so many. Visits today where somewhat different ranging from the local shopping mall to a small kitchen area with one wizened apple lying on a bare table.  It was quickly washed, dried and offered to me with a face of sincerity that touched my very heart strings. The humbleness of my friends makes me feel so small, so inadequate and I pray that the lowliness of Christ be real to those who pass my way if only once.

As we drove through the mountain area of Meirlau it was quite an experience.  Roads filled with cattle, sheep, geese all ‘SLOWLY’ making their way home.  ‘Shirley, it’s three minutes past five’ came the tones from the front seat.  My husband and I hurriedly made our way into the village church. I paused one moment, (even though a little late) and listened to the brass band play ‘Burdens are lifted at Calvary’.  It may be rough, it may be steep but ‘I will make the place of thy feet glorious’.  And it was! The singing of the congregation; the brass ensemble of the Meirlau Church; the prayers of the family of God; my eyes were opened and I felt my heart could minister in the emotion where for many the mower’s scythe had cut deep. Yes, we can grow impatient simply because we do not ‘stop’ to see even the beginning of God’s great mercy.

It has been seventeen months since my last visit to my friend Magdelina. A frail, smaller lady stood by the door watching for my coming.  I heard her sobs before I saw the small figure in the doorway.  I held her close as she sobbed ‘It has been so long, I never thought I would live to see you again’.  Her condition and circumstances have worsened and as we chatted around the kitchen table, our friendship seemed sweeter.  These people have become my people; my family; the children I never had.  Emotion fills my heart and yet I am ‘at home’.   Caterina was my next patient.  There on a small bed I found a quiet lady with a beautiful smile.  She is suffering from a malignant neck tumour which is now spreading to her ear and brain.  I noticed a sewing machine in the corner and she smiled as she told me she purchased this machine forty years ago and it is still working.   A seamstress all her life her sewing machine brought food to her table. ‘Being a widow was difficult, it was my only source of income to feed my children’.  I gazed at the self-portrait on the wall and the image before me. How quickly the petals of a rose fall quietly to the ground and how quickly our day comes to an end. Young Ionut (21) confined to a lifetime in bed, unable to make any movement with his legs and arms, he can only move his head and fingers.  At present I am trying to source a specialist wheel chair with extensions to 100cm wide to accommodate his left leg position.  The Lord provided the electric wheel chair for Brother Emeric. Let us by faith wait on God’s timing. Later, alone with my thoughts I prayed: ‘Lord, help me to give freely of myself as thou gave to me’. ‘A calm hour with God is worth a whole lifetime with man’ (Robert Murray McCheyne). Others may boast of themselves, their work or achievements: today I could identify with the words of a hymn my mother used to sing: ‘I see thee not, I hear thee not, Yet art thou oft with me’ And earth hath ne’er so dear a spot, As where I meet with thee’.

This morning as we drove to the village of Santa the meter was reading 35degs and it was hot!  Soon we arrived at the home of Sister Marioara Patcas. As I opened the gate numerous lines of washing softly blowing in the wind greeted me; but then this is a family of thirteen children. Sister Marioara and her children attend the local Pentecostal church.  A few months ago, her husband contracted a rare virus in the meat factory where he was employed, causing brain paralysis.  This precious sister smiled as she spoke of her husband and his Home Call all to glory.  Her children range from seven to twenty-four and work the land in order to live. The older girls were eager to introduce me to their younger siblings. I passed one cow where two little girls were carrying milk to the kitchen where another little girl was busy making cheese; my journey brought me to three little heads who seemed to pop up from nowhere as they joyfully collected eggs from their hens; ‘Do you think you will collect fourteen today?’ I asked.  Still more little heads appeared this time picking green beans from the vegetable plot for Mama to prepare soup for tea.  Me thought:  Milk and eggs for breakfast; soup and potatoes for dinner and all from their own hand.  The family wanted to plant Strawberries to sell at market also and the Lord met this need. Indeed, the lovely things of life are quietness and gentleness, and this family refreshed my heart with the love they have one for the other.  Four of the girls have just completed the Golden Needle Course in Casa Grace and proudly displayed their dresses and skirts.  Even in the tumult of recent months there was peace.  How blessed though the love of ladies in Londonderry a sewing machine has place of honour in this home. I thought of the verse in 1 Corinthians 3: 9 ‘God’s tilled land’ and thought today I visited ‘God’s Farm’.

We briefly called at the home of the Lingurar family to be introduced to their new baby girl of ten days old. Samuel (11) works very hard maintaining the ground for his mother, he enjoys building and fixing the wiring to ensure the hens do not take a walk on the busy road, ending up on a neighbours table!   In earlier blogs I shared with you this family were at risk also of losing their home – God proved he was the God of the impossible; there is now no risk of eviction.  As I think of recent families Sister Neli wrote to me about: Podila, Cir; Badea; Dobai; Druta to name but a few; different families, different needs, I feel privileged I am part of the strings in one of God’s instruments.

My final Wednesday (this trip) and I eagerly made my way to the Orphanage Centre.  My friend Dora was waiting for me on the balcony with Isabella eager to play. I so love my time alone with my babies and was encouraged during this mission trip with the possibility of two of my beloved little girls being fostered.   Adam, in the USA, who never leaves my heart, is progressing but still attached to all the machines.  Each day a therapist works to make him more independent of them.  He is a brave little warrior.  Could I ever have imagined the journey this little one would take. Adam is a miracle of God’s grace and mercy.  My heart is drawn to the abandoned, orphaned, down syndrome children as I find myself becoming involved at a deeper level, wanting to learn, to know so much more.  I suppose it is not so much what we have or possess but it is more how much do we give back to the Lord in our service no matter how insignificant?
‘Instead of the dry land, springs of water! Instead of heaviness, the garment of praise! Instead of the thorn, the fir tree! Instead of the brier, the myrtle tree!  Instead of ashes, beauty!

Methinks how much have I learned from the difficulties I have faced these past three weeks?  Some whose life has been filled with nothing but hard places but who have continued to travel their personal road of faith in the one who can replace the shade with the sunshine of his face.  ‘Sister Shirley, we are here’, the voice of Monika brought me back to the reality of the day.  Laughter filled the small hallway as John whose life has been dedicated to his beloved daughter Dora extended his hand of friendship.  John has lived a life of unwavering faith in God.  The winds of change blew only sadness as Dora is locked within her body; unable to wash, dress, walk, feed herself, her father carries her lovingly in his arms to the small kitchen table where Dora spends her days.  ‘Guess Who’ I called; ‘My Dora’ was waiting. 

Although in her mid-thirties she has the mind of a child of five; she kissed and hugged in her childlike manner until I could hardly breathe.  ‘I love you Sister Shirley but you did not come for my birthday in March’ – ‘I’m sorry, but I am here now and Auntie Barbara has sent you lots of gifts’. As Dora, anxious to see her special treats waited patiently, John told me he and Dora prayed for Dr. Moore every morning; how he wondered in his own thoughts would we ever return?  We shared thoughts from the Apostle Paul’s experience how the words of personal promise during his trial became precious. John is a special man with a special task and has known the joy of personal interludes of blessing.  All to soon it was time to leave but I will make the journey across town in October to see her. She will always be ‘My Dora’ waiting at her tiny kitchen table, this is her special place, her palace.

The village of Tileayd was quite an experience for Mrs. Shirley this morning.  I was warmly greeted by horses, dogs, goats, one-day old chicks fluttering all around me.  Taking a deep breath, I continued to bravely walk on.  Mihalia rushed towards me and ushered me into the one room she shares with her three daughters: Bianca, Laura and Alina.  Mihalia has no husband, no home and is so thankful to her mother for this one room accommodation.  Her simplicity of love caused tears to flow down my face as I asked: ‘What is your greatest need just now?’  She smiled, taking my hand and said: ‘God bless you for our food; food is all we ask’.  Her oldest daughter, Bianca is suffering from a renal tumour and is very sick.  Her beautiful dark eyes pierced my heart, there was no evidence of fear walking this unfamiliar road of uncertainty.  We talked for what seems hours and soon it was time to leave through the archways of amazing vines; sadly they would not be ripened until August.  Breakfast for ‘The Moore’s on Mission Trips consists of Romanian honey on toast with juicy Romanian grapes.  A picture of what will be waiting when we return.

Dami is an amazing young boy of fourteen, recently diagnosed with a brain tumour which is continuing to spread; his sight is completely gone. A painful process for this family as they watch their young son deteriorate. Dami wanted to be baptised with his mother as he said he didn’t want to meet Jesus without being baptised.   He hugged me warmly as since losing his sight this is his only form of greeting.  They are a very close family who attend the local Hungarian Baptist Church; they feel the nearness of the Lord and see the rainbow even in the thunderstorm.

Today a beautiful little girl of four lies ill in Timisoara hospital.  The only daughter of a young couple and their need is great.  Raluka suffers from Sarcoma which is a rare form of cancer.  Some patients may be cured if the main tumour is removed by surgery.  Already this little darling has undergone surgery removing her two ribs and part of her lungs. Whisper ‘Raluka’ tonight in prayer. Her parents are heart broken.

Soon it will be time to travel to Cluj where I will meet with my friend Violeta Faragau, together we will visit a new outreach for orphans namely ‘THE FARM’.  I will visit first and then write about this work.  Our second stop will be Casa Filip, a resource centre for those struggling with cancer coming to Cluj Napoca for treatment.  The house is in memory of Pastor Filip Faragau, called home 04 August, 2016. Sister Gabi from Iochebed in Suceava will spend the evening with me updating me on the work and progress of our new Pro-Life Project ‘Thank You for Letting Me Live’.  The Lord has provided £3,000 to purchase dried milk for the remainder of 2019.  We continue to reach with outstretched hands those who do not know the touch of love or care.

These have been emotional days for me personally, yet special days. In my mind I am still travelling the road to Cighid.  I cannot wipe the memory from my mind, I cannot forget the look of longing, the hand outstretched for someone to hold or even care.  Each evening I pass through those hoovering locked gates and always end up asking myself the same question: ‘Have I not sent thee?’  With unwavering faith in a God who never fails I launch a programme for the fifty adult orphans in Cighid. They urgently require bedding, special items of clothing, boots, slippers.  £50 per orphan will ensure all fifty will be warm this Romanian winter.  I feel as if my ‘nest’ has been stirred; I want to help rebuild these lives of destruction who cannot plan for the future; they live only in the day of an unknown tomorrow. They did not choose their lot in life but we can bring life to them as we stretch out our hand in love assuring them they are not deserted.  Although bereft of beauty and acceptance they must not be bereft of our love.

Fallen threads I will not search for, I will weave’ (George MacDonald)

Shirley, June 28, 2019.

The prick of a thorn

thorns-3521375_1920The Captain of the Wizz Air Airbus announced ‘prepare for landing’.  My heart missed a beat!  December 2017, my thoughts were somewhat different, wondering would I ever return?  The past experience may have halted my journey, introducing me to a road never walked before; the road of waiting and limitation.  I (impatiently) ‘waited by the brook’, reminding myself that the Lord knows my heart and in fact knows everything about me.

I was not prepared for the next step when Hamilton who had journeyed to Romania alone joined me on this road. I remember driving home from the Renal Unit and asking ‘Lord why me, why now?’  There is no balance or security as to what life may bring our way, God’s timing is a new day of opportunity and if we allow ourselves to ‘Be Still’ we will experience an intimate relationship with the one who is continually holding us with his right hand. Looking back, I learned that when we allow the Lord to carry us, especially through days of anxiety, his plan will succeed and we can rejoice in the Lord through it all.  The road has been long, differing bends, awkward turns, causing an apprehension of what might be.   It is difficult to sleep when thoughts overtake your mind, I watched the shadow of night disappear followed with the sun coming over the horizon. Another new day and yet I know I cannot depend on feelings that may change from day to day, I must concentrate on a road leading to definite challenges resulting in prayerful and thoughtful consideration with one goal: ‘What Can I Give?’.   I must listen for his voice.

Fourteen hours of travel was long and tiring – we climbed those amazing stairs to our student room longing for a cup of tea.  My dear friend Monika whose heart never ceases to amaze me had left supplies to ensure our comfort.  Suddenly a gentle knock at our door, the amazing heart followed by her amazing smile of welcome. ‘Please forgive me, I could not wait any longer to see you and give you a hug’.

The following morning, in fact just a few hours later I made my way down the stairs, staff, students calling ‘Sister Moore, is that really you? You are back at last’. Yes, I thought, I am finally home.   As I drove to the Orphanage Centre my mind kept repeating the words written by Walter J Mathams ‘Jesus Friend of Little Children, be a friend to me’.  Dora was waiting for me.  Elena (Director of the Centre) ran out to meet me, the questioning glances of parents were replaced with outstretched hands of welcome.  Roland who suffers from Down Syndrome kissed my hand which melted my heart.  ‘I remember you’. My feeling of apprehension was replaced with an inner confidence.  Claudia welcomed me to the Abandoned Baby wing and as I held baby Eric, Elijah and Isaac in my arms, listening to their cries, my heart broke as I wiped their tears.  Abandoned, severely disabled, left alone without any hope of a future.  Questions flooded my mind, their life span from infancy to?  I had no words, I found myself silently repeating the last verse: ‘Never leave me, nor forsake me; Ever be my friend; For I need Thee, from life’s dawning to its end’.

I am so thankful I have been given time to continue to kindle the fire in those who are dying without the Lord.  If I had the choice, I would choose to keep burning without wasting one single day. ‘Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself’.  These words pierced my heart as I opened a broken gate held together by string into a yard filled with ‘earthly goods’ from the families who have been evicted in April.  One elderly lady sat motionless, her bird cage hanging from a tree, one pot boiling on a makeshift campfire (in this extreme heat).  We can choose those we love but neighbourly love in its fitting place must reside within our hearts.  Today was beyond my comfort zone, I felt the need to calm my thoughts, to allow myself to be impelled with the best motive. I have personally proved the Lord to be my friend, I ask myself: ‘Am I willing to be a friend to these people?’ Hands were clasped in friendship as I met Sister Druta, the Lord saw her in her need and his compassions never fail.  A state apartment has been found in the centre of Oradea, close to the train station.  It is in a state of disrepair and has one disadvantage in sharing a communal bathroom with other residents.  I have spoken with Monika this morning; plans are in place to commence repairs immediately. The Lord’s provision through his people was £1,000 reminding me that the Lord blessed quietly and unnoticed, may I have a similar grace in bringing light into this darkness.  Love and Light go hand in hand.

Stefania was waiting for me in her Special Chair, again a provision from the Lord.  This is the season of joy in Romania, the fields ripening with fruit reminding us that the Lord sends his blessings in so many different forms.  Stefania is lovingly cared by her parents and grandmother who serve quietly with such patience.  This beautiful young girl is locked within her body and apart from her eyes is unable to move.  She is very intelligent and received a diploma in the Special Needs School.  The sacrifice of this family is evident yet there is no complaint, only courage to continue.  Let me learn from these people.

Visiting Romanian homes especially those living on the edge of a village in the Roma Community I am immediately struck by the colour displayed in the carpets on walls, beds, many woven by the elderly hands I now hold, the evidence of toil clearly visible. The ladies love to tell you of the background surrounding the beautiful designs possibly handed down from generation to generation.  It is emotional sharing with these terminally ill patients, Sister Elizabeth, once her threads of life were bright and radiant now the colours have changed weaving only dark shades.

Brother Emeric did not want to talk of his terminal illness rather to share his testimony outlining fifty years of preaching the gospel during Communist times. With tears streaming down his face he told me of his days in the Communist Army when his bible was discovered he was told to burn it immediately. He refused time and time again and even under severe threat he never wavered in his faith in God.  He was to prove the faithfulness of God in his miraculous escape.   I looked at his precious wife, herself ill and nearly blind, I thought really, we are all weavers in one way or another but until the pattern is completed, we must keep on working with the threads of life. He longs to see the sunshine but is unable to walk and because of his wife’s blindness she is unable to assist her beloved husband.  Emeric needs an electric wheelchair. Young Ionut (21) suffering from muscular dystrophy, both legs spreading 100cm.  Just now I am sourcing a special wheelchair or extensions to allow easy access to hospital.  The Lord will provide.

‘Good Morning, you must love this centre, you are back’ was the greeting of Elena, director of the Orphanage. What can I say, it is true?  And who should run to meet me but Aaron.  Aaron is a very special young boy who suffers from Down Syndrome who loves to draw special pictures of his Grandmother.  Then I made my way to the Abandoned Baby Wing again and this morning it was the turn of Bobby and Isabella to play with me in the Therapy Room.

My Girls still remain in my heart, there is still that special bond remaining after all the change the past four years has brought. I longed to see them once again.   Alice (who painted the murals on the walls of Adam’s Room) had a surprise for me: ‘I want you to meet Emanuel he is soon to be my husband’. Emma ‘I must see you, I will soon be gone’. Yes, Emma will take up a new post as a Physiotherapist thirty kilometres from Oradea. Sylvia calling with her husband Alex who was leaving for a one week Mission Trip in Moldova.  Oana, driving from Venice to introduce me to her baby daughter Elizabeth.  It seems only yesterday our ‘Beauty of Holiness’ group shared together – some married and proud mothers.  Life, love, hope, dreams fulfilled.  Gifts from the master weaver of life.

The road leading to the gaming area of Cighid was filled with pot holes, making our journey slower than usual.  Sunflowers in their hundreds filled the fields. ‘Sister Shirley, the sunflower oil’ Mihai informed me.  Just then as a flash of lightning, a young deer skipped from one side of the road to another.  Robin Mark wrote ‘As the deer pants for the water …’ As we continued our journey down the dusty road the two large locked gates hovered in the distance, the words ‘You alone are my strength, my shield’ filled my heart and I needed to feel the closeness of his presence for what awaited me. The greeting from the fifty adult orphans was overwhelming.  Although unable to communicate or possess normal skills they ran screaming toward the car.  Many recognised me and came touching, hugging, holding on tightly, following your every step; ‘I love you’ one lady aged fifty one said. I stopped, looked around and wept. Thirty-three females and seventeen males, precious souls who have never known a sense of serenity.  No blue sky only clouds of darkness and the depth of the tempest has left its mark, their foundations crumbled many years ago.

Estera and I entered a Roma village many miles from Oradea, a beautiful little girl (dressed in pink) her dark curly hair blowing in the soft wind, was walking the long and dusty road with her Daddy.   ‘Sister Shirley, this is the family we will visit’.  We seemed to drive for miles, passing one horse in a very large field; it certainly was obscure and far removed from society.  Simona greeted me but I could see as she tried to smile she had been crying.  In one corner of the small gypsy home a new born baby lay: Abraham Isaac and there in the other corner lay Baby Alexandra, her tiny body whimpering sounds of pain.  As I nursed this little darling you could see the least movement caused her pain. How can I define the pleasure of their new born son and the pain of their darling Alexandra? The sunshine is fading and is replaced by shadows as is the light with darkness.  Little Deborah (2) was busy emptying the food parcels we had purchased from Penny Market on route, she laughed with excitement as she found the items we had brought especially for her.  ‘Mine’ she laughingly said, rushing over to a special place of hiding.  It brought one moment of joy to this humble home. ‘Please tell me, what do you need; how can I help’? Simona knows that the Lord will perform whatever he has appointed for her and that he will be with her in the trial.  We will support this precious young family who continue to serve the Lord in the Pentecostal Church during these days of trial.

Kevin is back in hospital in Timisoara.  An MRI scan is required to ensure his cancer remains in remission.  I did have a special letter to deliver from his adopted Grandparents in Falkirk, Scotland. It is on its way.  I look forward to seeing him in the Autumn.

‘I never thought you would return’ cried my friend Elizabeth as I entered her small room.  Her husband John greeted me singing a psalm unto the Lord.  We shared precious moments together catching up on all the news from her family and grandchildren.  Elizabeth’s cancer is in remission and we thank the Lord for his mercies.  I placed a handbag filled with personal hygiene products on her table.  She wept as she told me she needed a bag but had no money to buy one.  Our Heavenly Father knows and cares.
As I reflect on the past two weeks this has been a Valley of Silence for me – I am finding the pain overwhelming – pain that pierces deep as the thorn that pricks.  The pain I feel when visiting the terminally ill, the pain I see in the faces of the orphans, the pain as I listen to the cries of the abandoned babies and the pain in Cighid.  I cannot speak of my Valley of Silence just now; it is a personal journey as I feel the heartbeat of those harrowed by care.  The dark mountain of sadness that towers over so many.  ‘Why?’ just now I cannot see but it is enough for me to trust his love.

One thing I do see and see clearly, we must continue to support in our Feeding Programme, in our care.  Earlier in this blog I wrote Brother Emrico needed an electric wheelchair.  Within one day I have received a text from David Morton telling me one is on its way.

Let us keep spreading our wings proving the Lord is faithful.

Shirley, 21 June, 2019.