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A new way to feed

My son waits at the Hospital“After today, we won’t need to worry about how to get fluids in you” we said to my little man as we tried nearly in vain to inject one 5ml syringe of water into his mouth at a time. “you need to drink lots for your surgery. We’re going to put a special tube in your tummy so we can put the water straight down there and then you won’t have to do this.” Truely it has been so very difficult to get my son to drink anything at all. He drinks around 500ml a day of a special kids formula, and that’s it. No water, no solids. That’s his entire nutrient and hydration input. For all guesses he should be malnourished by now, but somehow, by the grace of God, he’s still fighting on and still looking relatively healthy – if not a little thin.

PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, a procedure in which a flexible feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. PEG allows nutrition, fluids and/or medications to be put directly into the stomach, bypassing the mouth and esophagus.

We’ve been waiting for this surgery for over a year now, having been pushed back multiple times by waves of COVID infections shutting down elective surgeries in hospitals. Partly that’s because we’ve gone with the public health system because of our belief in such things, but honestly I don’t think we could have gained much in this instance by going private. As I write this, I’m sitting in the waiting room in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, passing the time while his mother accompanies him for the last bit of prep before the surgery. It’s a quick procedure and older kids and adults go home the same day, but he’ll be here under observation for a few days while he heals up.

We’re very excited about this change because it means that we can always give him the nutrition that he needs, even when he’s unable to cope with eating it orally, but also it means independence from the very specific brand of formula that’s the only thing that he will drink and, coincidentally the only thing that will meed his needs. With the tube we have the option to blend real food super smooth and feed that to him instead. Some dieticians in this country are concerned that you can’t guarantee your own cooking will give him all the nutrients that he needs, but that isn’t really any different from feeding our other two kids. On a rare occasion they’ve been known to survive solely on chocolate cereal and chicken nuggets, but on the whole we manage to feed them a nutritious diet – so why not apply the same effort to blended food.

As I round out this blog post, his procedure has been completed successfully and now we’re just waiting on him waking up and beginning his recovery.

Answered prayers

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already lived in Australia for over 5 months. When we arrived I was determined to try to keep this blog updated so friends around the world could know how things were going but that obviously hasn’t happened. For a long time there didn’t seem to be anything to report; Chris had some casual work but I spent most of my days sitting on the sofa and trying to find ways to occupy myself. We were both beginning to get frustrated and in my prayer times I was often encouraged by the thought that everything could turn around quickly. To those who know God’s faithfulness it will come as no surprise to hear that is what happened. When we made the decision to move out to Australia we had some thoughts and dreams as to what we wanted to happen: Continue reading Answered prayers

1 year on

It’s been a whole year since the 9th of June 2012 in Berkhamsted, England where we exchanged rings and promised to love, cherish and obey. Life has changed dramatically for us. Not only did we get married – we also moved a long way from our friends and family, one of us moved to the other side of the world and we both took on new and very different lines of work and a lifestyle with a significantly different economy.

Continue reading 1 year on

Counting the days

June 9th 1:30pm BST / 10:30pm EST

It’s only 9 days now until Ruth and I tie the knot here in Berkhamsted, England. We’re both super excited and thankful we can count the days on our fingers now. Everything seems to be coming together quite well for us as far as wedding planning and preparing for the future.

We will be broadcasting the wedding live over the internet from our church streaming channel:
Note that this is not going to be a television worthy production, but you will be able to see and hear all the essentials if you want to stay up till 10:30pm EST. You can see another wedding has been recorded as ours will be to get an idea of the quality of coverage – though our ceremony will be quite different!

Ruth and I have been going through The Marriage Preparation Course by the makers of Alpha with our pastor and would happily recommend the course to new couples.

Our first couple of months in Carlisle seem to be shaping up as well. We have both been selected to be involved in TeenStreet – a huge Christian event challenging teenagers to live for Christ – in July and we have both been recruited for the Go conference – where new missionaries come to be equipped before going out into the world. I will be doing audio visual and Ruth will be looking after kids and consulting with families entering the mission field.

We can hardly wait for our new life to begin. We are seeing God’s provision for us every day in having enough money to buy food and bus tickets, to the big things like wedding rings and houses. Ruth’s monthly support income is almost at 100% – we are just seeking God for another £100 – £200. She is also looking for part time teaching work to give us enough to live on. If she is unable to find enough work, my monthly support will need to increase by up to $600 per month to give us spending money for things like groceries and public transport. Please continue to pray that the rest of the figures add up and we can begin serving God without being a burden to the organisation we go with.

Ground work

Having spent another week in Carlisle – this time on my own – what do I have to show for it? I have been working on a project which will allow people to easily give monthly to the ship Logos Hope. There are many people out there – some Christians and some not – who would like to make regular contributions, and the technology needs to catch up. Over the week I have made enough progress for other people to take on the job of testing and implementing it. It feels good to have achieved something in the time that I’ve spent there. Others really appreciated the work I did.

I also had the chance to visit another church in Carlisle, which I really enjoyed. Carlisle Christian Fellowship is a small church that grew up out of house churches. They are fairly modern and charismatic and I’ve seen at least one thing in the news sheet about a kindness evangelism outreach this month. I had the pleasure of going to a men’s dinner at the church and connecting with some of the blokes there. I’m still not sure if this will be where Ruth and I settle, but it’s nice to experience fellowship with believers in a totally different place.

Ruth and I have also been looking at houses, and we think we may have found one close to the city center with all the furniture included. It’s a two bedroom terraced house – very typical English home. Whatever we decide on, OM will take care of all the rental agreements, which is very helpful for us.


Time to go

Well the day is finally here. Tonight at 6:45pm I’m hopping on a plane that takes me to the other side of the world. I’m heading to the UK where I will first meet up with my fiancee Ruth and stay with friends of hers while I get over jetlag. Then we’re off to Carlisle to connect with the missions organization we feel led to be a part of. We will have lots of meetings and get to see the house where we will live when we get married (I’ll be staying somewhere else for now). Then we are headed back down to Berkhamsted where Ruth is living to help raise awareness and funding there – whilst making wedding plans. Likely we will make more visits up to Carlisle before we marry but plans are just forming now. In June we will get married, honeymoon and return to Australia for a second ceremony before returning to the UK to start with OM officially on July 2nd.

What are we actually doing? If you’re not familiar with our plans to join OMNIvision and OM Education then please read this post about OMNivision:
Young family: OMNIvision
Ruth will be volunteering as the educational adviser for OM international including the ship ministry – supporting and resourcing the ship’s school, advising parents entering the mission field and recruiting teachers. She will also probably teach part time in some way to keep up with the education system in the UK.

Over the last week I’ve had lots of good times with friends from all different walks of life and with my family. I’ve had to say goodbye to the people I know and love, but I know it is worthwhile to follow the path that God has set before me and before Ruth also. We are both stepping out in faith that God will provide for our need while we respond to his call. I have had my share of doubts over the last few months regarding finances – but God has never let me down yet! Through a number of recent contributions, I now have nearly 70% of my half of our expenses pledged by generous people, and if Ruth is able to find part time work as she plans (definitely pray for this!) then I have almost exactly half right now. See how God is faithful? Yet He rarely provides it well in advance – He provides it at just the right time. The very good news is that for the short term our organisation will help us to make up any shortfall, but we still need our income to increase. Ruth is just in the beginnings of her support raising and we would appreciate your prayers for us in that.

We are delighted to go into this field of ministry with the prayers and best wishes of so many people who I consider friends or family. Regardless of if you give or if you even share our beliefs, we are glad to share with you what God is doing in us and through us as we follow this path.

Love & Blessings,
Ruth & Chris


It’s official, Ruth Spencer and I (Chris Young) are engaged! Now we can say that not only will we spend the rest of our lives together, but also that we will respond together to God’s call to mission. We were both already headed the same direction in life – now we can walk side by side.

Ruth and I met each other on board the M.V. Logos Hope – a ship that sails through God’s waiting world bringing knowledge through the good literature in it’s on-board bookstore, help for those in need, and the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ to people in every port city it visits. I was the Audio/Visual team leader, Ruth was the head teacher. We successfully ignored each other for 18 months of our time, our hearts set on serving God. Ruth has a passion for seeing kids of missionaries develop into healthy adults, and I have the passion to see technology and multimedia draw people to the heart of God.

In the beginning of 2011 we were in the same group of friends, and when by circumstance all of our other friends left for two weeks, we became good friends. God fostered a healthy friendship between us in a group of four, and at the right time both our feelings developed and I invited her to start a relationship. Of course in doing so I’m sure I barely managed to string a sentence together – I was so nervous, and Ruth hadn’t really seen our friendship in that light before – but after praying about it we decided to ‘go for it’.

We spent three months together as a couple on the ship, then a month apart, then a week together, then two-and-a-half months apart, then two months together in Australia. We’ve had the fun days, the exciting days, the romantic days, the boring days, the stressful days, the hard days and the sad days – and whilst we are neither of us perfect, we believe God put us together for good reasons, some of which we have discovered, and some we have yet to see.

Last Thursday we went to see Somersby falls – because of all the rain recently the waterfalls were in full swing. And when we had gazed a while on the falls and when we were left alone I asked her to marry me. Of course she said yes. I gave her a nice ring which I almost dropped in a puddle!

Ruth will be volunteering as the educational adviser for OM international including the ship ministry – supporting and resourcing the ship’s school, advising parents entering the mission field and recruiting teachers. She will also probably teach part time in some way to keep up with the education system in the UK. I will be joining the OMNIvision team – creating prayer resources featuring the unreached peoples of the world and providing the Audio Visual coverage of evangelistic and missional events across Europe.

It’s a little strange for us to consider starting a life together when neither of us have full time employment. It would be much easier for us to both go and get jobs, but we believe that God is calling us to be a part of the worldwide mission movement, enabling others to go and tell the good news about Jesus. Sometimes I am sad that I can’t accept engagement presents or take any of my furniture or appliances with me into our new life, but we see following God’s plan and purpose for our lives as more important, and ultimately more rewarding. Of course if you would like to bless us in our marriage and our mission, monthly sponsorships of as little as $5 are what we need most. Please contact me if you feel you would like to partner with us.

Chris and Ruth


In April this year I am planning to move to the UK. “but why?” you might ask. The answer has to do with where God is leading me next in his plan for me. I know I wouldn’t have experienced the wonders that I did whilst traveling on the M.V. Logos Hope if I’d ignored God’s call – and now here I am again ready to head off.

You see, since I became a Christian (in my mid teens) I have had this focus. I want to use technology to help people draw closer to God. I want to get the technology out of the way of what He is saying to the Christian, and to the everyman. Have you ever been in a church service where the words never seem to come up on time? Or the microphone is never switched on at the start? Well I have, and I’ve made those mistakes too. Ultimately while we need the microphone and the screen in a large gathering, we don’t want to think about them instead of God and his purposes.

I’ve been looking for and praying for a way that I can use this passion in a more evangelistic sense. Whilst I love ministering to the saints – I feel a pull to be involved in some way in ministries that reach out to the unsaved. I am drawn to the big evangelistic events and the christian conferences that spur young Christians on to great things for God. I want to use what God has given me to enable others to reach the masses with the good news. I want to be a part of mobilising Christians to share their faith with their fellow students, their co workers, their families and even with people in other countries.

OMNIvision is a UK based division of Operation Mobilisation – an international mission orginisation with over 6100 full time missionaries in more than 110 countries. Whilst OMNIvision’s role in the wider organisation is small and unglorified, it is vital all the same, aiming  to fulfil psalm 96:3 – “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples”. It’s headquarters and studio is in Carlisle – on the Border of England and Scotland. Whilst they are involved in may of these large events across Europe, their core vision is achieved by creating 5-10 minute documentary videos.

Imagine if Christians around the world were aware of what God is doing in some of the most unreached places in the world. Imagine if they knew what to pray for, how to give and where they could go. OMNIvision’s professional camera crew travel to the places where the gospel is starting to take root and capture on video what is happening. Back at the studio, editors put together a short programme that transports the regular Christian from a cell group setting to the mission field – Seeing the faces, hearing the voices of the people who need Christ’s love. They are given key points to pray for. I will be involved in maintaining the OMNItube website where the videos are available to watch and download. Helping them to reach more people. OMNIvision are keen to have a developer like myself on the team.

I will be going there mid April 2012 and initially staying for 2 years, though I could possibly stay longer. I will be a volunteer, so I will need to provide $1800 per month to cover my accommodation, food, transport, insurance, superannuation and travel home. Of course without an income I need to depend on God to provide the funds for this call, and He does that through faithful sponsors who donate monthly anything from $12 to $100 and higher. If you would like to sponsor me for this amazing call, please contact me.

An update

Isn’t it amazing how time flies? It’s been over three months since I returned to Australia and it seems like only a few weeks. January has been a busy month in a sense, and yet there hasn’t been any big moments to write about, so please allow me to share with you what God has been doing with me in January

By far the most exciting part about January is that my girlfriend Ruth has come to visit me (and for February too!). For those who don’t know, Ruth and I met on the ship and started dating three months before we left to return home. She is a primary school teacher, loves God and is committed to missions. We have enjoyed a sprinkling of sightseeing amongst the very normal days of going to work and going to church. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to share meals with people who’ve prayed for me over the two years, and if you’d like to the the same, we’d be delighted.

One of the key projects I took on when returning home was to re-build the aging grace community website to cope with our ever expanding ministry. Whilst there’s still plenty to be done, I’ve been making steady progress and can now include a screen-shot for you. I hope to launch it early next month.

OM International (based in the UK) have asked me to put together a payment gateway for them allowing people to donate to the ship ministry directly from the website. It’s quite fun playing with credit card transactions and gateways and I’m learning a lot in the process.

Whilst the AV side has eased off this month, I’ve been able to install a more permanent system for the amplifiers at Grace Wamberal so to reduce wear and tear and setup time. I’m working on documenting every part of the AV system so nobody ever needs to be confused.

I am now in the process of applying for a UK visa. I went to Sydney recently to have my fingers and face scanned, and I’ll be sending in my application form next week. Please be in prayer that the application would all go well. I have my new brochures which I’ll be handing out, and I have a confirmed monthly support target and a breakdown of the costs involved.

I’ll be sharing at Grace Wamberal on February 12th and Erina Baptist on February 19th.

Please continue to be in prayer about my wrist injury. I have something called intersection syndrome which causes pain when twisting things (say, opening a jar) and using a computer – not good for a computer programmer! Progress has been made and prayer has helped, but there is still a journey to full recovery.