Church Visits

Sunday was a busy day with two mission education visits. The first was to St. Christopher's in Pott Shrigley and we had a great time catching up with friends and making some new ones. We were really encouraged by the response of so many in the church. It's good to know that our partnership is valued, so a BIG thank you to all in Pott Shrigley! We talked about our work during the service and afterwards had lunch with many of the church folk, after which we showed our photo presentation which seemed to go down well. We also had a really good afternoon & evening with Steve & Anne on Saturday. Steve cooked a lovely meal and we were joined by another couple from the church which made for a fun evening.

Catching Up With Friends

We had a great time catching up with a few friends over the last few days.

We had a lovely riotous tea with some old friends, Jane and Derek and their 2 children on Wednesday. The children really enjoyed playing cricket in the garden after tea and it meant that we did get a few minutes to catch up with 10 years' worth of news!

On Thursday evening. We hosted a small gathering and were amazed that friends were prepared to travel quite some distance to come and see us for such a short time. We would have liked to have more individual time with each of our friends but sadly that's not possible. However, our 'Chill & Chat' evening was a suitable compromise and we're really grateful to those of you who rocked up.

Fun In The Park

We're managing to have some great family time here in Cheadle which is a real blessing. We're so grateful to the Berry's for letting us house-sit as it means we can just relax and be ourselves without having to worry about being on our best behaviour.

We've also had some useful time with the key players of St. Mary's in Cheadle and look forward to our partnership with them going from strength to strength.

We've also had some really good times catching up with friends, some of whom we haven't seen for a few years. We always enjoy catching up with friends.

Madiba Speaks Out

Nelson Mandela finally spoke out against the Desperate Despot last-night, describing the situation as a "Tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe". A brief sentence of a few simple words which could have a massive impact upon Zimbabwe. The Desperate Despot will of course ignore Madiba, but it is very likely that many other African leaders will not ignore him but will be stung into action by the great man.

If Madiba can't motivate other African leaders to take a stand against the Desperate Despot then no-one can!

"Only God Can Remove Me"

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." Romans 13:1-2

I've been wondering what to write about Zim for a while now as each time I read my favoured Zim blogs or hear from friends I simply want to cry. Zim is in a total mess all because the Desperate Despot won't let go!

Tonight we received the following email from our best friends in Zim. All I would say about this email is that in all the years that we've known these friends they've never once expressed any notion of leaving the country they love so dearly nor have they ever expressed any fear, until today. Read it and draw your own conclusions.

Plane Spotting In Cheadle

We've had a fairly hectic time in our first full week back in Blighty. After all going down with various illnesses, we then had to hotfoot it to central London for our 5 yearly tropical medicals. This took 3 hours for the whole family - deep joy! - and at one point involved trying to get a urine sample from Eli and having 2 nurses injecting the boys with 2 different vaccines at the same time in each arm. This was not nice, and unfortunately, has to happen twice more before our return!

The Local Church Responds

This video below was put together by Every Nation church in Somerset West to show the church's response to the recent xenophobic / racist violence in South Africa. It's not often as a church we get to respond to an international news event so it was fantastic to see the Bride of Christ rise to the occasion and meet the needs of thousands of displaced people. New Gen' church themselves accommodated about 700 people in their new & as yet unused church building.

Tiny Bubbles Come To Play

The morning that we flew to the UK turned out to be a really special one as the children from Chris Nissen's Tiny Bubbles creche were invited by Joel's school to come and play for the very first time. It was a freezing day, but so much fun was had as around 60 children from many and varied cultures spent the morning together playing, learning and having a fantastic snack lunch. From the point of view of the children at the International School it was great to finally meet the children they so faithfully make sandwiches for every Thursday. As for the Tiny Bubbles kids - well just look at the pictures!! We hope that this 'exchange' will be the first of many.

Mission Ed' Has Started

We arrived safely back in Blighty last week after a long flight of 12 hours. The plane was a smaller Airbus so it took longer and had no personal TV screens so Joel didn't enjoy the flight. Also, Joel was suffering with a virus so by the time we arrived at Grandad's he was burning up and the last 24 hours have been quite stressful. Thankfully he seems to be picking up now, but please pray for him. Subsequently Paula took him to the Dr's on Sunday morning and he was diagnosed with a middle ear infection.

"I can see clearly now.."

It was Johnny Nash who sang the words "I can see clearly now, the rains have gone" in his song I Can See Clearly Now. Thankfully the storm clouds that were gathering over the local townships seem to have been blown away. There was no resurgence of the racist violence which engulfed so many and left thousands displaced.

We really thank God for answering those prayers!