My apologies as, except for a brief email on 17 July, this is the first newsletter since the end of May.However since then a lot of good things have been happening not the least of which has been three visits to Little John’s House where our folks have helped with their Summer Schools for special needs children from around the Sibiu area:
· First of all Karl Bailey from the Lantern was there from 19-26 July, the first week of the School, when he had a great time and summed up the week by describing it as “love in action”.
· Next, Vanessa and Holly Ashby from St Barnabas joined with six others from Nottingham and they described LJH as “amazing, it was a truly inspirational place full of love for the children and young people” and “a brilliant week where I had an amazing time and we met great people”.
· Finally, Angie and Francesca Meyer together with Crystal Brown, also from St Barnabas, spent the following week [16-23 August - or 24 August if you allow for the fact that they didn’t arrive home until the early hours of the Sunday morning!]. They described how they helped, along with the rest of their team - to entertain the children each morning; once they’d tidied up, to enjoy discussion and visit the surrounding area [inc mud baths] in the afternoons; and spend time together for worship, prayer and fellowship. Two of their comments were – “very thankful to be able to go on this trip” and “this has been the best experience of my life, the children have changed my life”.
When I last wrote, there were 7-8 persons wanting to visit Romania this month. Now there are 13 –all paid up and rarin’ to go!!
In just ten day’s time, another team are going to help Phoneo in Reghin, led by Walter Meyer, it comprises Darren Baker, Ollie Harding and Brett Andrews, who each went there with Walter in May plus, Duane Willard and Rex Smith – both of whom Darren knows through his work in Lymington. At the Mission Sunday held at Canford School in July, some of you will have heard Brett testify about thegreat time he’d had there and the effect on his life – it was very moving.
This time the team will be helping to build for another large family whose house has literally collapsed around them – bigger than that they built in May so it can also accommodate an elderly relative who’s been kicked out of her home.
They are also hoping to take much needed good quality second hand clothing for adults and children and Phoneo has just asked if we can take toys, especially construction kits such as Lego/ Duplo for a new children’s programme they are about to start. I realize it is very short notice but if you can sort anything you no longer need, please contact either Walter at St Barnabas, Robin Christopher at the Parish Church or myself at the Lantern, before Friday 12 September, it will be very much appreciated.
NB. The house they worked on in May was soon finished and it’s pleasing to report that the Uila family are really appreciative for it has made such a huge difference to their lives. They have settled in well, Mum and the baby are doing fine and Dad and all of them are now much more positive about their future.
Problems with the land acquisition at Rapa have now been overcome by Smiles and so we are sending a team to help them from 21-28 September. Led by Robin Christopher [PC] and Richard Naish [Lantern], it will also include Ian Pratt, Peter Owen and Richard Harding from the Lantern, Dave Hobson formerly of the Lantern - whom many of you will know, plus a lady whom I’ve yet to meet whos replacing Lizzie Peters [Lantern] who has had to withdraw due to a leg injury.
Robin visited Smiles in August to oversee and help build the foundations for a hygiene block for toilets, showers and washing for the whole community and the team are aiming to be able to put up the walls and add the roof before leaving Smiles to complete the facility.
There are eight families in the Rapa community including about 15 children and whilst Robin was there four of the men got very involved in the work and it is to be hoped that with appropriate encouragement and help from Smiles they will continue to help and enable the whole community to be re-housed asap.
Whether or not we shall be involved must await important decisions to be made once these two weeks are over and our contributions to each project have been considered very carefully. It seems that both Phoneo and Smiles would make very worthy partners but we must determine where our limited resources are going to most effective.
Whatever is decided it is a fact we shall needs “loads of money” and to this end we are starting fundraising with a dinner/dance at St Barnabas on Saturday evening 29 November. As soon as details are available, I do urge you please to get your tickets. NB. Arrangements are in hand to ensure the delays in serving food are minimized. Watch this space for other exciting events in 2015!!
Last month our first Romania pray-station was held. Whilst few in numbers, those present were able to concentrate on important issues and such opportunities are to be encouraged. They will continue to be at Richard Naish’s, 124 Lynwood Drive Merley, on the third Thursday of each month from 8- 9pm. Dates for the next meetings are 18 September, 16 October and 20 November. Prayer is very important to us so do please consider coming along.
In any case, will you now please pray:
· give thanks for all those who’ve visited Little John’s House. For their safe return, for good relationships and the great times enjoyed by all.
· give thanks that Phoneo staff and others were able to finish the new house quickly as possible and that the Uila family have settled in well.
· for the two teams visiting Phoneo and Smiles later this month. That God goes before them to prepare the way; for the leaders; that the teams bond together well; for good health and protection at all times and especially for good weather so that the building work is not delayed.
· That the forthcoming dinner dance will be well supported and enables our fund-raising for 2015 to get off to a good start.
· for His blessing on Smiles, Phoneo and Little John’s House and the wonderful work each are undertaking in His name in Romania and for His guidance to us as we make important decisions about our future partners out there. and as always for:
· that all we are doing is in accordance with His will. We can make our plans but the final outcome is in God’s hands. Proverbs 16 v1 [TLB]
With every blessing John Clift [01202 884043] 4 September 2014 NB
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