In my homeland Australia right now it is my birthday – but thanks to moving to the UK for a time, I conveniently have an extra 10 hours of being twenty something, rather than thirty. So, what do I have to say for myself?
The last few weeks leading up to my birthday have been difficult at times because I feel sad that I am so far from my family and from the friends that I’ve known for the longest – that whilst I know that I’ll have a good celebration here, I’ll be missing people who would need to sell all their earthly things twice over to attend. But is there something more than that? Do I fear the big 3-0? Continue reading Last thoughts of a Twenty-something
This past week we’ve been blessed to have my parents come to stay with us. Mum and Dad have been to the UK before – the last time they came for our wedding. This time was special because we got to host them and show them our little house and where we work – and the surrounding area that we now call home. Continue reading Family time
Our first Christmas together as a married couple was also our first opportunity (and perhaps the last for a while) to share Christmas with Ruth’s family. We are really blessed to be able to drive down to Norwich to share in the celebrations. We were able to spend time with Ruth’s Parents, Gran and Uncle and partner (pictured).
We were also fortunate to visit Ruth’s sending church NBC for their Nativity and Carols services and see some old friends over the pre-Christmas weekend. It was a great time of refreshment for both of us.
One way to measure how we have settled in Carlisle might be to ask what church we go to. Well we haven’t really had the chance to decide.
Recently we’ve taken a liking to st Paul’s. It’s actually an ELIM church that recently purchased this quaint old church building (says the Australian).
We feel really welcomed by the pastor and the congregation every time we visit and we’ve found the service style very enjoyable. There are lots of churches in Carlisle, each with it’s own style and strengths and weaknesses – and we’re sure we’ll never find anywhere quite like NBC or Grace but we think we could be quite happy here. We’d like to hear the senior pastor preach (as so far we’ve only heard the associate pastor) before we commit to coming every week.
We’re also thankful for the Christian community of OM. This morning we spent 2 hours in prayer for outreaches and ministries in Europe and the Mediterranean as part of our work time. We also have worship times together 2-3 times per week and devotions together. We’ve often been invited to people’s houses for dinner – and this Friday we’re going to a worship evening at someone’s house. Praise God for community.
Please pray for us as we slowly settle in to our new surroundings, new leaders, new friends, new church family.
“We’re just glad to have you for Christmas” were my Mum’s kind words. After two years away from home missing Christmases and Birthdays, it was good to be home this year for my birthday, Christmas and New years. Often I think to myself that even though I would never change where God has taken me, I have in some way neglected my family and friends back home – that I’ve travelled the world doing God’s work, but left friends in the lurch. Spending this season at home, before jetting away again is an opportunity for me to make up for lost time. To spend quality time with my family, to help around the home where I can, to laugh, cry and hope with friends wherever they are at in life and to share with anyone who wants to know a little of what God has been doing in my life. My prayer is that God will use me in the time that I am here to bless people.
I was also delighted to spend this Christmas Eve at Grace Wamberal. I put in many hours of planning and two days of maintenance work to bring our lighting installation up to scratch for the carols service. It was so rewarding to see it on the night – everything working and arranged for the best coverage. Few if any people commented on the lighting this year, and that’s actually the way that I think it should be. They didn’t notice it at all, rather they were rejoicing and celebrating Jesus birth. When large numbers of people notice what I do, whether positive or negative – I know I’ve done something wrong, because my job is to point to the saviour, not to wow people with special effects.
As the new year dawns, I’ll be getting back to working in the church office on websites near and far in addition to continuing work on the audio visual equipment. I hope to be of the best use to the kingdom of God that I can be during these summer months at home. In April I will be heading over to England to be involved in an Audio/Visual missions movement called OMNIvision. I wish you and your families and friends all the best for 2012.