Let me hear Thy voice

‘Joy and deep poverty!’ Truly strange blending
Fulness and emptiness! Contrasting themes
Spiritual richness and temporal leanness!
None but the Spirit could wed such extremes.
 ‘Joy and deep poverty!’ Servant of Jesus
Doth it perplex that thy portion is this?
Doth it offend that reward for thy faithfulness
Seemeth to lie much in things thou must miss?
 ‘Joy and deep poverty!’ Pause thee, and ponder!
Joy for thy spirit – the world cannot give;
If therewith leanness, extreme limitation
Mayhap ‘tis by e’en such need thou shalt LIVE!
(J. Danson Smith)

I paused after reading verse two of the above poem.  The tenderness of my heart; the parting; the loss, experiences, reminding me that the threads of sorrow are also important threads used in the tapestry of life.  I quietly ask: ‘Lord, let me hear thy voice’.  The remains of the previous day still caused pain. I needed to hear the sweetness of his voice.  This mission trip has been as no other. I have been to the very pit of a coalmine coming face to face with the true cost of pain.  Nothing this world can offer will ever compensate for the loss of my precious Denisa to Lilliana or my little angel Dada to Pertruda. The hearts of these mothers are broken; others running away, reality as their companion. The village homes; the unwanted child; the crowded market place filled with empty faces of homeless vagabonds; a young gypsy mother rummaging through overflowing bins of garbage with a scantily dressed baby wrapped in a shawl crying with hunger.  Has my vision been impaired seeing only what I want to see? I feel I have just returned from a desert without road or track where the soil beneath my feet was barren and dry.  And yet I long to return to this wilderness of suffering, to drop seeds on purpose that will take root and grow. Home three days and yet longing for those I love in the land I love. Romania is my home, my people, even the forgotten and unloved in Cighid.  They may not be able to communicate but they have touched the very core of my heart.  Yes, I am disturbed within and yet as I walked and prayed I felt the dew of stillness assure me that there are those who will stand with me in this project to provide bedding and clothing for these fifty adult orphans. Without asking, the Lord provides.  A few hours ago a gentleman spoke with me; instead of birthday gifts on his special birthday he requested donations for Tell Romania.  He smiled in agreement as I requested his gift will commence the £2,500 required for the Cighid Project.  We leave on 01 October dv, Hamilton to return to teaching in Emanuel and preaching, and I plan to take the resources with me to Cighid the following week. The choice rests within our hearts to bless ‘Even One’?

Our return flight was from Cluj Napoca (3 to 4 hour drive from Oradea) granting the opportunity to meet Gabi from Iochebed, spending also a day with my friend Violeta who graciously drove me to two new works; namely ‘THE FARM’ and ‘CASA FILIP’.

It was a joy to renew fellowship with Gabi, to hear of her planned events throughout the summer months, to read her heart as she lovingly spoke of the poverty aspect in the homes of young gypsy mothers with large families where owing to having only one pair of shoes, only one child can attend school each day. The joy of reassurance filled my heart as we donated from the unfailing supply of our gracious Lord the sum of £3,000.  ‘He hath filled the hungry with good things’ (Luke 1:53).

‘THE FARM’ has to be seen to be believed!  Five acres of land where volunteers (including orphans from local orphanages) are busy levelling the land, brushing up cement, cutting grass, hedge trimming, while a local builder is erecting an amazing place for orphans to come on a regular basis where they are offered the opportunity to learn life skills, discover talents and abilities.  At the age of eighteen the transition out of the institutions is frightening for one who has never known the outside world especially when you are without identity papers!   The Farm will offer a home base, an address to allow each individual orphan to receive their own personal ID.  Emil is the newest employee as a farm maintenance assistant and he is the first to call this place “home” officially.  A team led by David Morton (a Director of Tell Romania) has just returned from a work trip in May where he was joined by builders, joiners, plumbers, electricians … interested?  David’s next work trip is in September! Our friend Allan Hopper has taken on the role to oversee as Project Manager.

‘CASA FILIP’ I looked at my friend Violeta as she kindly carried two cool drinks to a shaded part of the gardens surrounding Casa Filip. Even in the car as we made the long journey to The Farm the thermometer was reading 36 degrees and it was hot!  A keen gardener (of a past day) I was admiring her attention to detail, her love depicted in the choice of flowers.   My thoughts turned to the loss in her own personal life of a beloved husband whose life was totally dedicated to the Lord and the gain now offered to countless lives.  It felt good to chat as friend to friend; we smiled together and yes cried together as we remembered Filip who was loved by so many and a precious student to Dr. Moore in Irish Baptist College.

The accommodation is outstanding and is a miracle of love and grace, offering a place to stay to patients who travel from far away villages to Cluj for cancer treatment.  The accommodation is extended to relatives or friends who accompany those receiving treatment.  The demand is high with bookings into 2020.

So important to live only for God and to fulfil his purpose for all of our days.  As Job said, ‘I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause’.

Shirley, 07 July, 2019

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.

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

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


Shirley"s Pen

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” John 8:12.

There’s a Lighthouse on a hillside. That overlooks life’s sea.
When I’m tossed about, it sends out a light, That I might see.
The light that shines in darkness now. Will safely lead us o’er.
If it wasn’t for the Lighthouse. My ship would be no more.

I thank God for the Lighthouse. I owe my life to Him.
Jesus is the Lighthouse. And from the rocks of sin.
He has shown a light around me. That I could clearly see.
If it wasn’t for the Lighthouse. Where would this ship be?

Everybody that lives about us, Says tear that Lighthouse down.
The big ships don’t sail this way anymore. There’s no use of it standing round.
Then my mind goes back to that stormy night. When just in time I saw the light.
The light from that Lighthouse. That stands there on the hill.

If it wasn’t for the Lighthouse? John 12: 26 ‘Put your trust in the light while you have it …’ Is this my Season of Duty? Is this my opportunity to be a ‘Beacon of Light’? A ‘Beacon’ serves as a light, a signal in a prominent position. Chains of ‘Beacons’ carry, bring ‘Good News’. If ‘I’ want to be a ‘Beacon’, let it be one of inspiration and encouragement, fixing my heart on God, asking Him to influence all my ‘Seasons of Duty’, to help me sow seeds that will grow and flourish. How do I respond to the cries of the poor, the lonely, the lost, the dying, other people’s children? I must find a sequestered spot where I can be hidden away with God, listening as to how He would instruct me to ‘Carry the Light’. Read more