CANFORD MAGNA CHURCHES - MISSION 2 ROMANIA
Several people have said that many in our churches aren’t aware of what goes on when we visit Romania. You should know, if you read these newsletters, but if you know of anyone who is in the dark then please ask them to email me so they can go on the list.
Well, we’ve completed our “experimental“ year with both teams having returned safely last month after their hard week’s work in Reghin and Rapa respectively. For those who didn’t realize, these two places are some 200km apart and it’s another 150 km or so to Rasnov where we were last year.
The team, which Walter led in Reghin, were fortunate to enjoy very good weather. They had another great time and further cemented their relationship with Phoneo. They were able to help build one complete house for a family whose home had collapsed around them and even managed to provide a toilet down the garden with left-over building materials. As the grandmother who lives there said – I feel for the first time in my life I will have something – love God’s way of showing His heart. Three of the comments I heard from mainly new members of the team when they arrived back on the Sunday morning were - “inspirational”; “the time just flew by”; “it opened my eyes”.
As the Phoneo team were travelling back down the M3, the Smiles team was already in the air. It had been a long morning for Steve Dean who drives the minibus for us whenever he can. He is tremendous and we all owe a big debt of gratitude to Steve for, as I tell him – if we don’t get our folks to Luton airport then they won’t make it to Romania. So again Steve, very many thanks for helping on this very important leg of our mission trips.
The Smiles team was welcomed with pretty awful weather for the first two days but things brightened by the Tuesday and they made very good progress building the shell of a hygiene block for the people of the Rapa community. Several of the local men helped enthusiastically and it is our prayer that they’ll continue so that the whole community is re-housed in as short a time as possible. One young mother, was heard to say how pleased she is that at last her children will be clean and acceptable to go to school for an education, which she herself had never been able to have.
All the team members were very impressed by the Smiles organization and in particular, their inspirational CE, Kevin Hoy. Ian Pratt described him as “A practical Christian who believes the gospel and the love of Jesus is lived out in himself and his staff…….witty and self-deprecating, he seems to know and encourage staff at all levels”. A wonderful witness to us all!
Other comments from team members included – “fantastic humbling experience; a truly uplifting week; I feel closer to God as a result of the experience; had an amazing time; the work ethic was excellent” .
Both teams were able to take a large quantity of clothing and footwear, plus quite a lot of Lego to be used by Phoneo in their new children’s programme. It was all much appreciated and thank you so much to everyone who donated and apologies to those from whom we couldn’t accept as there was already so much.
As the dust settles or, as the mud dries out at Rapa[!], we have to decide which organisation we would like as our partners for the next 2-3 years. It won’t be easy as both Smiles and Phoneo are brilliant organisations doing some wonderful work for the poor people in their areas. The love of Christ is so evident amongst all their staff and it’s been a real joy to work with each. As well as much prayer, we are currently awaiting further answers from them to see how they feel about us and then we expect to be able to decide.
NB. Little John’s House have already said how very much they appreciated our people who helped with their Summer School and they’d welcome us again. Hopefully we can send a complete team in July 2015 so if you, or anyone you know, is at all interested please get in touch straightaway. No commitment expected at this stage but it will be good if we can gauge numbers and availability asap.
In the meantime, we are planning and looking forward to our grand dinner/dance at St Barnabas on Saturday 29 November. This promises to be a great evening with a 3-course meal, live music, displays and the latest information about our plans for next year. Tickets are selling fast so please contact your church office as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Our pray–station last month was attended by nearly twice as many as the first one. The next is on Thursday 16 Thursday at 124 Lywood Drive. So don’t be shy - it only lasts for one hour [8-9pm] and you will be very welcome.
If you aren’t able to get along then do please pray anyway:
· give thanks for all the members of the two teams recently back from Romania. For all they were able to achieve, for the good relationships built up with our hosts and for their safe return.
· also, thanks for all those who have donated so generously this year – enabling us to complete all that had been planned and still have a small amount left over to start next year’s programme.
· for all the arrangements and for a good attendance at our dinner/dance on 29 November.
· for His continued blessing on Smiles, Phoneo and Little John’s House – on the wonderful work each are undertaking in His name in Romania.
· for His guiding hand on them and each one of us as we pray, consider and finally decide with whom [Smiles or Phoneo] can we most effectively partner next year.
and as always:
· 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] 12 October 2014
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