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

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

It was not a mild cheery day, rather a brisk wind filled the air, leaves that once graced the trees were blowing furiously filling the sky with a richness of beautiful autumnal colour. The clouds darkened as mild raindrops hit the car windscreen soon followed by torrential rain.  Summer had gone and the boughs of the tree were bare, but then all seasons come to an end.

It was another ‘busy day’ for ‘The Moore’s’  – every traffic light  ‘red’.  Waiting (patiently) for the ‘green’ to flash, I smiled as I gazed through the window watching the children crossing over, holding tightly to their brightly coloured lunch boxes,  back packs as they hurriedly made their way  to the other side of the road. Many entering a new season, a new beginning, the smaller ones skipping excitedly to school.  A future of opportunity stretching before them.

Aeryn (5) (my husband’s third grandchild) sent her grandad a picture – ‘My First Day At School’ with a tiny message ‘Thank you grandad for my back pack’. His smile as he opened the image said it all! How much we can learn from a child, I find myself lingering a little longer than necessary in their childlike world, it is the simple expressions of childlike spirit that captivate my thinking and fill my heart. My thoughts were clearly back home in Oradea as I thought of the hundreds of children without a back pack. Shirley, have you loved or felt enough?’. My thought mode was interrupted as I was alerted we were entering Ballymena where I was to meet my friend Alison McCloy. Car change completed successfully Dr. Moore made his way to Nicholson and Bass to finalise the production of his new book ‘Hope in the midst of Shadows’, available at the end of September. Read more

Silent Lives

Shirley"s Pen


Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God’.

(Jim Elliott)

This evening as I watched the shadows deepen, my thoughts turned to those who live silent lives of suffering in the Shadows of Life.  Shadows are silent, yet possess a beauty, differing in shape and size.  The summer sun can create a shadow, as can the pale beam of the moon, yet all bring a distinct silence.  The words of C.H. Spurgeon: ‘There are some of your graces, which would never be discovered, if it were not for your trial’.  I have known the silence of shadows but I came to know through personal experience that in the darkness of night when the silence was deafening ‘Standing Somewhere In The Shadows’ was One who could enter the depth of despair.  I had to learn to ‘dwell,’ to remain close at all times in all situations of life.  Psalm 91:1 ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow ……’  What need I more ? Read more


Shirley"s Pen

‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ Matt 22: 39

praying hands

‘Sister Shirley, where is love?’ This is one of the many questions I have been asked during the third week of our mission trip. How long should I keep on loving? As long as I have breath to love with my whole heart in serving others. In James 1: 27 we read that true godliness is ‘To visit orphans and widows in their affliction…’   The word visit means much more than just calling; it is used by Zechariah in Luke 1: 78 prophesying of the coming of Christ ‘The Sunrise shall visit us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death…’ I learn from this that the word visit means to minister in love, as Jesus did, sacrificing Himself for others. Love’s greatest example, giving all He had to give. Our love must always be sincere, patient and kind; we join our hands in the bond that ‘perfect love knows no fear.’ This is my service.

As I was preparing to leave for my visits on Monday, Hamilton asked, ‘Shirley, have you enough money?’ ‘I am fine, I have 20 Lei which will be sufficient to buy some black grapes for your breakfast tomorrow morning’ (no wheaten bread in Romania). ‘Please take this 200 Lei with you, just in case of an emergency situation you may hear of.’ ‘If it pleases you, thank you.’   I hurriedly made my way down the many steps and smiled as I thought of the heart and kindness of my husband, silently praying that I would have a heart of acceptance in the place God has assigned me to serve His people, a calling to carry the lost, dying, hungry. A small ministry but assigned to me.

As I looked at the broken down entrance to the back yard where a husband and wife occupy a tiny room, my heart sank. No health, no home, no food, no hope! As I entered, I tenderly sat down on the side of the bed where ‘B’ was lying, I kissed her forehead, noticing she had fallen and had severe facial bruising. She was pale and in extreme pain and through her tears she asked me, ‘Why is no one listening, why will no one help? I do not want to leave my husband just now. I know we are poor but I am human, I am a woman and only want to know if there is hope, but no one will help me.’ This adult patient is in the advanced stages of cervical cancer. Read more


Shirley"s Pen

How can we grasp the true definition of ‘Ultimate Loneliness’ unless our hearts have been captured by the graphic picture of intense pain, suffering, extreme poverty, abandonment, unloved, lost souls. The dangerous reefs of life have caused shipwreck in many lives whose only hope is to be found in God.

I ask myself ‘What is the value of my relationship, my first love; do I want to snatch such from the wild waves of life’s restless sea?’ Can I be a bridge builder? Offering a bridge of hope ‘For God so loved the world that He gave ……….’ My words must be washed in His love; the Word of God must be relevant to individual searching souls.

If someone had told me I would have encountered such a pool of despair … but one thing I have learned through ministering in this role of Tell Romania is that I must not question or become disillusioned. Although this week in particular I could have found myself like the prophet Elijah saying ‘Lord, I have had enough’. The pain was real as I visited the lost and dying, terminally ill, climbing many stairs where I found a mother nursing her daughter (48) caring for her granddaughter and great grandchildren. Another humble home once joyful now silenced by pain, yet a smile of memory filled her face as she clutched a photograph of her husband, then displayed her cross stitch work which I must confess is amazing.   ‘Daria, why so much pain?’ We both were silent!

Lord, I want to feel Thy love, caress these hearts of pain. Melt my heart, help me pierce the gloom. I find myself repeating the prayer of Jabez ‘oh that you would bless me…’

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