(Hebrews 12: 27)
Is this really the final day of February? Where have the days gone? The tiny snowdrop amazes me as it persistently pushes through the hard and frosty soil. So delicate yet determined even though a struggle to make it through. A reminder of the cold and frosty winter surrounding many I love in the land of my adoption – Romania. Each day a struggle; unloved, forgotten, acceptance of who or where they are; their true value as an individual, a person. My heart yearns to comfort the suffering, to tell them of the great love my Lord has to offer. He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. May they clasp their hand in His.
Yes, I am still ‘By the Brook’ – questioning in the secret corner of my heart ‘what am I accomplishing?’ What a faithful God have I, no mistakes in God’s timetable. While my heart is in Romania, I am here and here for a reason. My service is not restricted to time or placement – the call of my heart remains unchanged. To do what the Lord is telling me to do and to serve where He also leads. The heartbeat of mission is doing as God instructs in His time and plan – the choice is not mine.
February has blown winds of unimaginable pain and suffering. A few days ago, I thought my heart would break in two as I received continuous emails, spoke with Daria, Estera, Monika. ‘The cry of the broken.’ Every situation different with one underlying factor of extreme pain and loss. Psalm 91: 1 assures us that ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest …’ I have found myself reading this Psalm over and over. ‘Shirley, is this where you are resting today?’ Possessions can be removed, change is evident but our hope remains in the ‘Things That Cannot Be Shaken.’ We know they will remain. Pray for our ministry, our outreach, that we may point precious souls to the foot of the Cross. Pray with me each day as I list the prayer points for you to write upon your heart.
Sister L (Pentecostal) age 20. On 14th February this precious Sister was cooking food on the furnace. She placed the pot on the ground and went to fetch the lid, when she returned her little boy of 22 months had fallen into the pot. An emergency team concluded the burns to be 60% covering his entire body. The little one died. The pain of loss and separation is personal and real. Thank the Lord we were able to assist with funeral costs. Please remember Gabi and the team of Iochebed, every day they face pain and suffering, we stand with them in provision of medicines for babies, critical needs, heart rendering situations. Let us continue to show the love and compassion of our Faithful God.
Estera (Emanuel Hospice Social Worker) is in daily contact with me as she knows my heart and the love for ‘My Children.’ Little Deborah (3) also lost her battle. Her young mother gave birth the following day after she passed away. The funeral was five days ago. Emanuel (15) was buried the day before. I am so thankful for the opportunity of knowing the parents and loving these precious jewels who were sent to us for such a short time. Thank you for your heart in providing food for these families. Your heart of compassion has fed the hungry and dying until their final days.
Little Kevin is stable; Ishmael (6) will have to wait for his 20th surgery as this cannot take place just now. We rejoice that Ishmael’s father has come to know the Lord and is being baptised in April. This is the true fruit of our labour. To God Be The Glory! Dada (4) is receiving chemotherapy just now, we wait on results regarding a possible Bone Marrow Transplant. Her smile remains unchanged – she is adorable.
Denisa wrote to me (I quote): ‘Last month was difficult. After chemotherapy my blood values were very low. I received transfusions of platelets and blood each week but still unable to receive treatment until the values of blood grow.’ Denisa is an inspiration, displaying such courage and determination, please remember this very special young lady whom I have grown to love.
Daria (Emanuel Hospice Psychologist) telephoned last week updating me on the various patients I know and love. Pray for Daria as she offers bereavement care to the many grieving children who have recently lost a father or mother. No one can comprehend the inner pain of loss, yet it is clear in their searching eyes as they try to tell you ‘I am fine.’ Please remember Chisty, Carla, Alex, Raul, Luis, Larisa – all different children with one common factor – ‘the pain of loss.’
Sister Elena has recommenced chemotherapy, at present she has a severe infection due to low blood count.
Sister Nela is trying to regain her mobility after many months of being bed bound. Her desire is to walk again.
New patients to add to your prayer list:
‘A’ a gentleman of (48) – advanced brain tumour, paralysed and unable to communicate. Pray for his wife and their little adopted daughter (4). His time is short.
‘M’ a lady of (48) suffering from breast cancer and recently diagnosed with multiple bone metastases. She is a widow and her son has just commenced university. Pray for assurance in this situation where they feel all is hopeless.
‘L’ a lady of (47) dying from gallbladder cancer. Pray she will open her heart to the message of salvation before it is too late.
People need the Lord; pray for Daria and Estera as they offer counselling, care, food but more importantly as they share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus to these precious people.
We rejoice with Lajos (husband of my friend Bobby). A few days before Bobby died, she wrote a letter to her beloved husband and placed it in the Bible we had bought for her during her latter stages. Lajos found the Bible containing the letter and through reading verses underlined, came to know the Lord. He began attending Emanuel Baptist Church and was baptised a few weeks ago. This is the core meaning of our service. We should never pass by – we should stop, tell them the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
Monika (Director, Casa Grace) continues to see God at work as she embraces the sorrow, hurt and disappointment of the desperately poor, the unwanted orphan, disabled child, abandoned baby. At some point in each of our lives, we face trouble, we cannot escape it, it is part of every day living. We have the joy of belonging to the ‘Family of God’ of placing our fears and sorrow into Higher Hands. Pray for Monika in her role as she encounters the hurt found in the streets of Romania.
The family of Emese need our love and support. Two beautiful little girls trying to reason ‘Why my Mummy?‘
My little Adam whose time in hospital seems to be more frequent now, the staff in the abandoned baby wing mourning little Adrian who although nine, his tiny multiple malformed body was wrecked with continuous pain – his cot is now empty – the pain of loss.
Sister Anna from a Roma village, widowed and four children – awaiting surgery.
And of course ‘Our Beloved Dora’ loved by so many and who prays for ‘Sister Shirley’ every day that ‘soon she will come back with lots of presents for me.’
We embrace the needs of heartache, pain and suffering. My husband will leave next week for Romania taking much needed resources for the second quarter ending 30 June, 2018. Pray for Dr. Moore as he visits those in despair. We may question, not fully grasp or understand why but we must pour out our heart in trust knowing that in our ‘Dwelling Place’ here is rest, shelter in the comfort of the heart that was broken for us. The threads of our tapestry may be tangled, perhaps broken but in the words of a ‘Golden Oldie.’
Someday the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King.
And I shall see Him face to face
And tell the story – Saved by grace.
May this be the core of our mission to tell the story ‘Saved By Grace.’
(Hebrews 12: 27)