THE LIGHTHOUSE

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’.

This morning I composed my heart before attending my appointment in the Orphanage Building, Oradea. I felt anxious, tense, uneasy in my spirit, telling myself ‘I am only a woman’, ‘I am just me’. Questions filled my mind until I focused on a few Biblical ladies used by God in His time and plan. What qualities should I possess? RUTH was totally dependable in and out of season. JOCHEBED AND MIRIAM were resourceful Women. DEBORAH was an able Leader. Keeping these thoughts close in my heart, these Women became my companions. I was met by Elena, Director of the Centre where the Disabled Children and Orphans attend for various forms of Therapy. Then Lavina, Director of the small Orphanage housing the Abandoned Babies. I felt the warmth of their welcome as we shared our hearts and chatted freely one to the other; they knew I was not speaking idle words.

Casa Grace installed a programme namely ‘Kingdom Kids,’ Dora, a member of Casa Grace Team works five days each week voluntary in the centre offering Therapy to improve the quality of life, the Psychomotor recovery of children with special needs.

The small Orphanage is a place of transition for the Abandoned Babies in the hope of Fostering; the very sick children with various malfunctions will remain there until…? Abandoned Children with disabilities don’t know love or affection, they lack stimulation and development. Long term, this leads to language, attachment and sensory problems. As I touched tiny little cheeks this morning, some could feel my gentle touch of love, sensing my heart towards them. Others lay unable to respond, their tiny frame displaying dysmorphic features. Tears filled my eyes as I left. Yes, they are ‘Other People’s Children’ but they are worthy of my time and total commitment. All children have the right to feel loved, nurtured within a safe and loving environment. They need to be held, cuddled and rocked to sleep. Mihai is presently assembling two new Rocking Chairs purchased in Ikea, Hungary, to be placed within the Centre and Abandoned Baby Wing.   Thank You to a ‘Mother’s Heart’ back, in Northern Ireland, who made this possible, her Act of Kindness has offered a new beginning for these little darlings.

God can do significant things through the insignificant. A few warm coals is all it takes to light a fire. Together with your help, it is the desire of Tell Romania to create a Play Room for ‘These My Little Ones’. It will be called ‘ADAM’S ROOM’   Many of you have been praying for little Adam who is still in hospital, his oxygen level is causing concern. How can we help? Together we can open a door, a new day of discovery through the ‘World of Play’ where Adam and his friends can become brothers and sisters playing together. A Nursery Carpet, Wooden Nursery Table & Chairs, Toys (6 months – 5 years) for stimulation purposes (music, sounds etc.), Wooden Puzzles (5 – 20 pieces), Toy Storage Boxes, Sleeping Bags (Designated Sizes), Pampers, Various Creams, Lotions, Baby Wipes etc. I transfer this need to the Lord in total dependence on Him knowing that He will send from His Open Arms of Love. Hear Him say: ‘Suffer the little children to come …’

The journey to the various Casa Grace families spoke of wasted years, lives searching for identity.  It has been ‘A Long Walk Home’ for many to reach a place where they belong, where they matter, where they have a place to rest their head.  Many broken pieces remain in need of mending. Elisabetha greeted me, as I entered her yard, I could not help but notice every DIY tool, wood, equipment you could imagine. Her husband, Nicolae is hard working and provides for his wife (who was raised in a Stage Orphanage) and five children. The father’s wage is extremely low, they are unable to sustain a home of their own, they share a house with his parents. What is the price of love? Sacrifice!   Nicolae tries to provide for his family and parents, it is difficult to feed nine people every day on such a low income. As I was leaving the yard, I couldn’t believe my eyes – the base of a Singer Treadle Sewing Machine made into a Bar B Que for his children. Things can get lost, people can lose their way – yet we read in Ezek. 34: 16 ‘I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick’. The family are members of a local Pentecostal Church and are accepted, loved and encouraged.

Two of the most beautiful dark eyes greeted me as I called with the next family. Raluca (6). ‘I remember you, you took my picture’. ‘Yes, and I remember you, how could I forget you, you are beautiful’. Raluca ushered me into their tiny one room apartment where she, her brother Marcus (13) and Mum reside. Rough seas have surrounded Anna Maria (Single Mum). Tensions led to separation and now alone she cares for her children. ‘All I want is peace and quietness’, she whispered. Her income is one hundred and eleven pounds per month for the family. Does she complain of her lot in life? ‘I have found the Lord, I have been baptized, I am not alone anymore, I have Christ in my life, what need I more’?  She has found forgiveness and knows that God loves her unconditionally. As I left, Raluca placed her hand in mine and walked me down the many steps to the van (carefully watched by her Mother from the top floor window). ‘Please run back to Mummy and I will wave to you; quickly now’. Off she went skipping happily back into the safety of this tiny one room apartment, not overflowing with plenty but filled to overflowing with love. Anna Maria has come to know that God is the God of forgiveness and reconciliation. He is the God of the Second Chance.

Another ‘Weary Walk’, yet such comfort I find as I read Psalm 145: 15-16, ‘The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing’. Catalin is forty two years of age and is left alone to care for his five children (5 – 12). How can I describe my visit today? They have no resources and live in one room within a block of social flats. There is no running water, no kitchen facilities, no bathroom; all tenants share one communal bathroom and laundry room. (There are many tenants). Five children sat huddled in one corner. They attend school, then go to a Day Centre until 5 p m each day. Catalin has no permanent job, but tries to find work each day in order for his family to survive. The second oldest Mara (11) is clearly traumatised through the loss of two Mothers in her short life. Five Cadbury Easter Eggs donated by Agherton Mother’s Union, Portstewart, were given to the children; their eyes told a story. One of the little boys said, ‘I love chocolate, but I have no Mummy to buy it for me now and we have no money’. They are all looking for a Door of Hope in this valley of despair and pain. The pain remained with me as I journeyed home to be greeted by a loving husband. ‘I have been praying for you Shirley, how did things go today?’ ‘Please now, I just can’t’, I responded. The image of those five little darlings without a Mum to tuck them in each night. Lord, give me a faithful freshness where and when needed. Other People’s Children?

We drove a further thirty miles where I met the Rogojan family. They reside in a village many miles from Oradea. John is forty two years of age, his wife Leontina is forty two and they have three beautiful children – Alexandra (11), David (9) and Nathanael (2). The house is isolated as the family are six miles from the nearest shop. A long way to carry groceries or travel to school.  As we entered the home the smell of bread baking in the oven filled the room. Leontina proudly showed me her ‘Breads’ cooling outside. John is a lay preacher within a local Pentecostal Church and leads the worship. There is no running water in this village and through the Water Protection Team coming from U.K. next week, Casa Grace will install the necessary pipes replacing their current water supply (rain water), complete with a Washing Machine and Sink Unit. At present, they borrow a Washing Machine.

Speaking of a Washing Machine, it was a joy to-day to receive confirmation that Dora’s father John received delivery of a new Washing Machine – he was overjoyed as this was a surprise for him from a couple in Northern Ireland who had a heart to help. His current appliance is over twenty years of age. Thank You for your heart, your Act of Kindness as ‘Unto Him’.

Col. 3:12 ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’. As I think on this verse and the gentle knock at my door just now, I see Miriam, holding a beautiful bunch of Peony Roses – an Act of Kindness. Silvia and Oana in touch every day – Acts of Kindness. The Theology Students who carry my ‘heavy’ bags of shopping many flights of stairs to Room 205 – Acts of Kindness.

Alice, (20) a very accomplished young Art Student with amazing skills and potential.   Individually gifted by the Lord and who possesses the most beautiful gentle and humble spirit, held her first Art Exhibition in the State Library of Oradea. Her work and creative skills display excellence, yet she quietly smiles and says ‘It is the Lord, I give Him all the glory’.

We all have possessions, treasures we cherish. God is my most important possession sending ‘treasures’ to bless and enrich my life. Earthy treasures I gladly leave behind, His treasures I hold in my heart.

‘Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.’

Shirley, 06 May, 2017

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