Welcome to Christian Charity World as we contemplate stillness.
"Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Last year I was in Romania with a group of volunteers as we helped the Christian charity Cry in the Dark with renovations to their orphanage Casa Lumina. It's always rewarding when doing such work particularly when we had all the young people around us inspecting our work and with some of them wanting to get involved as well. It gives a personal feel to the work knowing that these are the people that we are doing it for. Which made it very emotional as news unfolded during the week.
There are 22 orphans at Casa Lumina with varying degrees of life limiting illnesses or disabilities. Each one has a personal assistant and these personal assistants are not funded by the charity but by the government. During our trip it was announced that the government was pulling out of all funding of personal assistants. The economic crisis had hit Romania as hard if not harder than many countries in the Eurpean Union and this was one of the measures the powers that be had, in their wisdom, decided would claw some money back. This was devastating news with possibly devastating consequences. Without personal assistants, some, if not all of these young people could end up back in state run institutions; the places from which Cry in the Dark had strived so hard for so long to take them away from. But the consequences could be worse than that. It could feasibly take upto a year to get the orphans back into one of these institutions and if Casa Lumina had to close because of lack of finances they could end up on the streets.
One evening an emergency prayer meeting was called. We were invited to offer our prayers in an open session so all those who felt the need to openly say a prayer to God could do so. Many words were offered to The Lord in a desperate plea to help in this time of need, all being heartfelt as our emotions ran high. There were prayers for the leaders of the government, prayers for the trustees of the charity and prayers for the security of the orphans and staff alike. Then a simple prayer was offered.
"Be still and know that I am God"
The mood dramatically changed. When we realised that we needed to be in touch with God first and then he would answer our prayers, the sense of desperation and frustration evaporated. God is in control of everything for our good and yet in amongst all our emotions that obvious fact had been fundamentally overlooked. We had been looking at human ways of finding answers to the situation rather than just relying on God. Now in our quiet we could contemplate God's greatness and feel comforted that God would do right for Cry in the Dark and Casa Lumina.
Life has its ups and downs and when we seem to be on that downward slope we can feel angry, desperate, helpless. The tunnel can seem pitch black with not even a glimmer of light at the end of it and our despair and confusion can force a barrier between us and God. This is the time that we need to be still, and in that stillness focus on God. For God does things for our good.
As I write Casa Lumina is still providing amazing love and care for 22 young people. Cry in the Dark was founded on faith in God and has continued for over 13 years to support those in need in the impoverished areas around Bacau in North East Romania. In our stillness pray that this may long continue.