‘Men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed’ Psalm 72: 17.
Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly-shorn,
Thus, on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and lustre, public mirth,
To heaven, and the under-earth.
We see Him come, and know Him ours,
Who, with His sunshine and His showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome Him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart.
Music by John Rutter
Lyrics by Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
The cloud formation was amazing on our flight across. The sky was completely covered with the most delicate and beautiful ‘floating formation’ and as we soared to the heights, my thoughts turned to the Creator and Ruler of all things: ‘Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed’. Our prayer this mission trip: ‘To bless and be blessed’. Since our arrival in Emanuel (very late Monday night), every minute, every hour has been so clearly marked within our different roles, we can truly say: ‘I being in the way the Lord led’.
The students of Emanuel University are filled with the joy of Christmas, seeking to bless and be a blessing in the many and varied events throughout December. The Chocolate Season; Emanuel University Christmas Concert; Churches uniting for a time of Christmas Worship; Students travelling around homes and villages of Hospice Patients, Children’s Hospitals, to remove the darkness in many lives praying that they might see the light of life, Heaven’s Lamb; Casa Grace busy delivering Christmas Shoe Boxes around hundreds of poverty stricken homes. Through our time, a thoughtful gesture, an act of kindness, a loving glance, we too can be a blessing. Blessings abound where’er HE reigns and if we seek to bless and be a blessing the weary will find rest, respite from their sadness and sorrow.
Christmas is a blessed time of year, I keep reading ‘We see Him come, and know Him ours. Who, with His sunshine and His showers, Turns all the patient ground to flowers’. Yes, sunshine for some this Christmas, yet for many, showers. Daria (Hospice Psychologist) called on Wednesday to share lunch and request if I would extend my Hospice Home Visits to ‘special case’ adult patients. The following day we visited Sisters Arora, Elizabeth and Doreena. In a few days, I will share my heart with you, just now I find it difficult to put into words, simply because I cannot say to these precious Sisters or their little ones ‘Merry Christmas’ or as in Romania ‘Craciun Fericit’.
Estera (Hospice Social Worker) called and we have planned our timetable of visits for the next three weeks. Estera and I smile each time we travel to Beius; it is a long journey and eventful. On this occasion our hearts will be filled with joy, before visiting Ella we will purchase a new cooker and sink unit. Imagine the joy and excitement when the working kitchen is finally finished, as this will be Angelina’s first cooker (the picnic stove will not be required this Christmas). The Lord touched the hearts of a couple in Northern Ireland and they certainly have blessed and been a blessing to this family. Denisa plans to call with me this week (in between classes); what a difference for this young lady when we reflect on last Christmas. Your names will never be forgotten by those you have blessed and so on their behalf I convey their love and thanks to those of you who faithfully prayed. Your blessing was given unsparingly.
Dr. Moore has been extremely busy lecturing in the Masters programme this week, continuing his writing on the Book of Galatians ‘Glory In The Cross’, preaching in a village church on Sunday. Next week commences with Radio Voice of the Gospel and School of Practical Theology. Retirement? Methinks not! Rather Retyrement!
Monika has made arrangements for me to visit the children from the Orphanage, Disabled and Abandoned Departments and yes I am meeting Dora on Tuesday afternoon (I can’t wait) but first I must buy the largest set of crayons I can find with a matching colouring book and of course a much longed for puzzle.
Special gifts have also been sent from Northern Ireland for Ella, Denisa and Dora, Blessing in abundance. My personal blessing has been seeing ‘My Girls’ again – all calling at 205 and ‘curling up’ on the settee, our time to share together and pray together. They know they are loved and close to my heart.
What sweeter music can I bring? If I can offer only one prayer, Lord may it be one of ‘Thanksgiving’.
Shirley, 10 December, 2016