Here's the second video we showed during our mission ed visits. This is our informal photo presentation which is simply set to music with a few captions.

It's a lighter look at our lives at work and play, but mostly at play!

Part 1 is here.

HOPE (Hands On, Prayer & Evangelism) Home Based Care Team video produced for our 2010 mission education trip to the UK. We used this video as part of our main Powerpoint presentation.


This video is a follow up to our previous HOPE video

Part 2 tomorrow

As many of you are aware from our recent mission education trip to Blighty, things have not been right in our church for quite a while and things really came to a head late last year when two of the elders resigned and left within a couple of months of each other. In short it boiled down to leadership issues.

On our return home we heard a few things about the church, though sadly nothing from the leadership about what was likely to happen and on Sunday Grace Community Church closed up and finished. For those members of the church that choose to, there is the option of moving back to the church we planted out of almost seven years ago. For ourselves we'll be spending time in prayer, seeking God as to how he wishes us to move forwards in his purposes. As such we would really value your prayer support over the coming weeks. Pray too for our many friends in Macassar and Firgrove as they struggle to make sense of what has happened.

So, we'd only been home for the afternoon and it started raining. What's that all about then?!?

Despite being fleeced of ninety quid by the thieving swines at BA for having bags over 23kgs (despite our almost 300kg allowance!) we had a long, smooth and easy journey. It's good to be back home and really pleased to be in the midst of unpacking and sorting things out.

Life is slowly getting back to normal as the boys are back in school, our fridge has been returned from the repair shop, and having spoken to many friends we're setting about catching up with many of them.

On Our way Home

We're off to Heathrow in the next few minutes as we get ready for our 12 hour flight home.

We've had a great time in Blighty and it was fantastic to see so many friends again especially those we hadn't seen for nearly 20 years.

Apologies to those of you we didn't get to see, hopefully you might be able to make use of our spare bedroom in Cape Town sometime soon.

Today was quite a monumental occasion as we did our last mission ed' visit with St. Mary's Cheadle.

What a great way to top off a brilliant week!

It was a very busy morning giving our powerpoint presentation in two services followed by lunch and a brief talk about some of our friends in South Africa and our photo presentation. This was all topped off with a 4 hour drive down South!

We're very tired now and looking forward to flying home on Tuesday evening but there is the small matter of packing and returning the car first.

We had a lovely nostalgic drive over to Sheffield on Friday - re-visiting the place of our University days, early courting places, first house, church etc. etc! We also enjoyed the beauty of the area as we arrived in some beautiful late afternoon sunshine and watched the water cascading over the Ladybower Dam.

It was great to stay with friends, Tim and Liz Rose, from old CYFA venture days, whom we haven't seen for a long time.

In the evening we held another of our Facing the Mountain evenings and were excited to host over 20 friends, all living in Sheffield (or close!)and all from different stages of our life in the past 20 years! It was fun to talk about old times, see how people have moved on and their children seriously grown up(!) and how we are all ageing gracefully!!!!

Ladybower Dam

On our travels to Sheffield along the magnificent Snake Pass we decided to go on a bit of a nostalgia tour and show the boys a few of the sites. One of the most spectacular is Ladybower Dam and to top it off the dam was overflowing which was a real privilege to see.

The boys enjyed seeing Ladybower but were incredibly disinterested in the few other things we tried to show them. Kids eh!

This evening we'll be at 30 Bannerdale Road, S7 2DL in Sheffield for our final Facing The Mountain Roadshow.

Please do join us if you are in or near Sheffield as we'd love to catch up with so many of our old friends.

Really hope to see you there!

Directions available here.

We're really grateful to the folk who made the effort to join us for our Facing The Mountain Roadshow last night!

Big thanks must go to the Markham's for so generously hosting the evening, providing plenty of food and drink whilst opening their house up without knowing just who was going to rock up or how many would.

We had a brilliant evening catching up with some great friends and it was really good to be able to talk a bit about what we're doing out in South Africa and the challenges ahead.

Midweek Mission Ed'

This week in Cheadle is turning into exactly the kind of week we've always wanted with our supporting churches.

In between last Sunday speaking at St. Cuthbert's and this Sunday speaking at st. Mary's we've been busy with some midweek meetings. The joy of the midweek stuff is that we get to meet smaller groups of folk and speak a bit more candidly about the stuff we're involved with.

St. Cuthbert's

It's great to be back in Cheadle again and to be seeing a lot of old friends. We lived in the area from '95 for a few years before getting involved in overseas mission and always enjoyed the area, though we were gutted to learn that Haji's Kebab Shop has closed!

After a long drive on Saturday it was good to decamp from the car into John and Tricia's for a relaxing roast dinner before a busy morning at St. Cuthbert's on Sunday morning.

Our visit to St. Cuthbert's was great! We shared our Powerpoint presentation in the service which was followed by a cracking lunch and our photo presentation which was well received once again.

One of our biggest prayers on this mission ed' trip has been for the boys, that they wouldn't feel like a circus sideshow. Once again this prayer was well answered in the form of 8 year old David who befriended Joel & Eli almost the second they walked through the door. This has happened time and again at the churches we've visited and we're really grateful for small mercies!

Good Evening

One of the joys of our mission education trips is getting to spend time with family and friends and finally after many attempts I managed to spend an evening with my brother.

A good evening was had which was topped off nicely with a visit to The Windmill for a real ale or two.

Next stop Cheadle to spend time with great friends in Cheadle and Sheffield. We're really looking forward to the next 10 days!

Paris Part 2

Things started well and just got better. The Eurostar was simplicity itself and a very pleasant ride. Arriving at Gare Du Nord was a cinch and our hotel was 3 stops away on the Metro. It also happened to be smack in the middle of two Metro stops, a 10 minute ride into town and a 10 minute walk from Sacre Coeur. Fantastic!

We had a great time mooching around the city, enjoying the sites, cuisine and the wine. We'd gone just to chill and other than visiting Notre Dame weren't too fussed about seeing too much else.

We'd certainly been loaded up with plenty of advice on the best things to see and do which we totally ignored.

Notre Dame didn't disappoint and Sacre Coeur was great with stunning views across the city. For some reason I was expecting the Eiffel Tower to be oversold and disappointing, but quite the opposite. What an amazing achievement and a stunning piece of engineering!

Things in life I'm tired of:

Being lied to,
being lied about
and blame shifters.

The lying I can handle even if it does annoy me but the blame shifting is something I'm, not sure I'll ever get to grips with, especially when it's Christians doing it!

In the bible there are two clear models of manhood, Adam and Jesus but for some reason there are Christians out there who seem intent on modelling their lives on Adam, the ultimate blame shifter.

In the words of Mr Smee: "It's all a bit tragic really!"

Jigsaws

Life is not like a jigsaw puzzle. It doesn't come neatly packaged in a box with a picture on top to show how the pieces go together.

How we wish that more folk in life would grasp this simple analogy and accept that often in life we make it up as we go along and have to trust that we're making the right decisions for the right reasons.

As Christians we pepper it all with prayer but that still doesn't give us any superior knowledge as to what is necessarily the right or wrong way. We step out in faith, trusting...

I'm beginning to really understand what Jesus meant when he told the disciples that the kingdom of heaven belonged to those who were as innocent as children. So often folk seem to think they have a better knowledge than others or a better grasp on things but in reality they're a million miles from the mark.

Paris

The city of love with the love of my life.

What more can I say?

Paris

We're off to Paris on the Eurostar in the morning for three glorious nights sans enfants and can't wait!

No kids, no phone, no internet, no interruptions. Just great company, lots of great food, French wine (still the best by a long way) and some of the best sights of Europe.

Do Not Disturb!