Breaking News: Donations to Smile Alliance

Praise God! He is so very awesome and He is smiling, rejoicing and laughing with us today. The Smile Alliance International board of directors, its supporters, and friends and our workers in Ukraine are excited that through many small and two large donations in the last few months it looks like God is giving us the okay to proceed with the Smile House Project. It was been on hold for several months because of lack of funds but we have all felt it was a matter of timing and that eventually God would give us the direction to continue with it.

We are so thankful for the generosity of all our supporters. Many of you support the work each month and I know it is a big commitment from often limited funds. Without your steady, committed support our ministry would be unable to continue. I want to thank each one of you—every penny that is invested in this work is important to us and we strive to use it wisely for God’s glory. Luke 21:1-4 tells of the widow who placed two small coins—her last—in the offering plate. Jesus commended her and her story lives on over the centuries as an inspiration to all of us. In the same way we are inspired by each of your contributions to the ministry—spiritual, emotional, financial and physical.

On Monday, June 25, I told a friend that I felt God was telling me that it was time to step out and go forward with plans. Many have fasted and prayed for this project and for some kind of confirmation as what direction to go with it. In the meantime, unbeknown to us, Mr. S and the contractor had been getting bids on windows and doors. A generous donation of $20,000 had been sent to SAI a couple months ago for the use of the ministry in Ukraine. It is being used for dental needs, some much needed items for poor children in the villages, and some basic ministry needs. Yet there is still a large part of it which can be used to put in a well and possibility some plumbing in the building.

The past few months have been very busy (see www.smilealliance.blogspot.com) so we took a much needed break from ministry for three days to visit some castles and historical ruins with a Ukrainian friend, Yuliya. I will post pictures and commentary on http://www.livinginukraine.blogspot.com/ this afternoon. Anyway, when we got home and I checked my email yesterday I found a wonderful confirmation that we are to continue to move forward. But let me go back three years before I continue with this thought.

At a Commission for Children at Risk conference in Rome, Georgia in November 2004, I met a very nice lady named Karen Jones. We spent time praying together and have kept in touch over the years. At that time, she told me of an estate which had been designated to help the orphans and poor children in Ukraine. She suggested that SAI apply for some of the funds. Through a set of unusual circumstances the people appointed to administrater the funds were unable to do so, and it went back to the drawing board. Last September, we received a call from a man, Greg S., who was helping the judge determine the distribution of funds and he asked for information on the organization. Sherry Longbine, Patty Radzykewycz, and I sent him information about SAI, Smile House and other projects. There were many months of silence and then in January we heard that SAI had been selected with two other organizations to receive funds from the Estate of Merritt Orr in the state of Texas. We had no idea how large the estate was or how much SAI would receive. It’s been interesting waiting and wondering. We all knew that whatever the amount—whether small or large—it was just what God had planned. So we waited.

Back to yesterday, the check came to P.O. Box 240 yesterday—mailed probably on Monday—about the time I felt we should step out and go forward with the project. The amount: $107,710.43. SAI received 40% of the estate. Praise God! We are so thankful that this person whom we were never able to meet had a heart for the children of Ukraine. Through his kindness many, many children will be blessed. We are all rejoicing, seeing God’s leading, knowing that He is in control. This amount will help finish the windows and hopefully the dental portion of the building. Estimates for the final finish work on the whole building are around $450,000 but volunteer labor and donated materials, it could be a lot less. This is just the amount needed at this point in time and we thank God for it.

Richard and I wanted to share this with each of you so together we can all send our thanks to a loving, heavenly Father who has dreams much bigger than any of us can imagine. This huge project is often daunting but it is His project. Our motto is Psalm 115:1 and will continue to be. May each of you be truly blessed as well and be able to see the plans He has for you.

Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory and honor because of Your love and faithfulness. Ps 115:1

Vicki and Richard

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