I've been watching with interest over the last week or so the debacle surrounding St. Paul's and the ridiculous way in which things are being managed.

I feel I should make some things clear at the outset. Firstly, I support the Occupy London protest and think it has a very simple and valid message that the City and govt need to listen to. Secondly, St Paul's is not a 'house of God' or a 'house of prayer'! Many may well disagree with this but as far as I am concerned it stopped being either of these things the day it introduced an admission charge. Today if you want to enter St Paul's it will cost you £14.50. I've never paid to enter a house of prayer and don't ever plan on doing so! Put quite simply, St Paul's is a museum, nothing more.

B. A. Eli

In honour of our school's International Day tomorrow Eli asked for his hair to be like B.A.'s and Daddy simply couldn't refuse the opportunity to have a go at doing it.

Eli's well chuffed with it!

Not sure what his teacher or the Principal might think of it, I guess it might have to disappear in time for Monday morning.

So often in life it is the same people who do everything and this is often met with criticism or complaint.  In the case of Chris Nissen Park we are always so thrilled to see men and women who are solid, full of Jesus Christ and committed to serving in their community taking on the roles.

It is so exciting to see again two of the HOPE Home Based Care team taking the lead in Chris Nissen in the fight against crime. All of these ladies are loved in the community and we are proud of them. In particular go Anne and go Aunty Poppy!!












Wristgate

I had my last appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon today and he was well pleased with my progress.

After just 4 months, yes 4 months! I have 99% of movement back. The scar is diminishing and the swelling is almost gone. The surgeon reckons it will be a while longer before it's all normal again but he's really happy with my progress.

I've been cycling again for the last three weeks and generally carrying on as if nothing happened and barely notice my wrist anymore.

It really is quite amazing that things are looking so good just a short 4 months after a major break and major surgery!

Definitely no more ice skating for me!

Ernest Update

Thanks for all your prayers for Ernest!

Ernest was discharged from Hotties yesterday (Monday) and went home with his family. He was much stronger than he was on Sunday afternoon, sitting up, moving his arms and able to speak a little. Please continue to pray for healing for Ernest.

Thankfully the family are truly amazing and are caring for him brilliantly. Apparently there were 40 of them at his bedside during visiting time on Sunday! They mad sure he had a physiotherapy referral before leaving as well as a home based care referral and hopefully he'll get some help from the Macassar stroke support group.

We really are grateful to God for the healing Ernest has already experienced but please keep praying for him and his wonderful family.

Ernest

My friend Ernest had a serious stroke during the night. His family are with him at the hospital and I'm just about to go and join them. Things aren't looking good for him so please pray for him.

As we said in our Macaasar Update post below "This year has been a real rollercoaster ride with some scary white knuckle moments!". Arguably the scariest of these whiteknuckle moments has been trying to sort out where we go after leaving Crosslinks at the end of the year. Many of you will be aware that we've been mission partners with Crosslinks for the last 12 years and earlier this year we mutually agreed to call it a day in our partnership. 1999 seems like a long time ago now and we've had many good times serving with Crosslinks in those years but often there comes a time when priorities and views diverge onto different paths and as such it's time to bid farewell to Crosslinks though we'll remain with them until the end of the year.

We've been looking at a number of different options ranging from calling it a day and returning to Blighty to calling it a day and living in SA to trying to be obedient to the calling on our lives and pursue the purposes of God in our lives.  

Guess which route triumphed?

Bandana Day

It's Bandana Day in South Africa as we're all encouraged to wear bandanas with the Sunflower Fund logo on to raise awareness of leukaemia and the South African Bone Marrow Registry which exists to find and match bone marrow stem cell donors for patients who need a transplant, such as those with leukaemia and other life threatening blood disorders.

This is particularly pertinent in our house as Dean's younger brother Stuart died in 1995 after a two year battle against leukaemia. Dean is very proud of the fact that Joel has taken a photo of Stuart to school today so he can tell his class all about him.

Despite the silence on the blog things have been busy and lots of things have happened which we haven't blogged about as we needed to wait for confirmation etc. Some of our biggest news will follow in another post in the next day or so but we're very excited!

This year has been a real rollercoaster ride with some scary white knuckle moments!

On returning from Blighty in January we learnt that the church we were serving with was folding and as such our deployment with Crosslinks also folded. We then set about seeking a new deployment and were very excited about where we believed God was leading us and were hopeful that Crosslinks would also be excited. Sadly this was not to be and in July we mutually agreed to part company after 12 years.

This was a major whiteknuckle moment as we had no idea where we should turn for covering and support. A wise friend encouraged us to make sure that we were hearing and listening to God's voice in the midst of our turmoil and this was sterling advice. Over the next few months we were asked many times about returning to the UK and many offered advice about applying to this or that mission agency.

However we were convinced by the Psalmist who wrote: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). So often this year as we've sought to do things with a view to make things happen our efforts have fallen flat only for God to step in when we've got a grip on this scripture. Each time we've been still and waited on God things have happened! This really has been the story of 2011 for us.

Holiday Time

We've just had a fantastic break as we enjoyed our annual holiday. It seems to have become a bit of a tradition to go to Greyton but to be honest it suits us as a family as we've all had a great break.

Dean got to ride with his boys again which they all love and Paula got some well deserved peace and quiet with a good book and cup(s) of coffee.

One of the real joys of this holiday has to be the fact that we park the car on arrival and don't use it again until it's time to go home. Bliss!

Not much more to say other than can't wait to go again next year!