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.
As we began praying earlier this year and seeking God for the future we joined Love & Grace Church in Mitchell's Plain and submitted to Graham Manuel's leadership. For us this has been a fantastic year and we're really grateful to Graham for his love and support and for taking risks!
Early on Graham felt God gave him a vision for planting a new church into Macassar and so the small crowd of us traveling in from Macassar began praying into this and meeting as a life group of Love & Grace on Wednesdays.
As we've grown in spiritual strength we've shrunk numerically but God has remained incredibly faithful and we now have a very strong committed core of folk who are really enjoying meeting together. I also feel immensely humbled and privileged to have been asked to lead this group as we seek to plant a church into Macassar early next year. This is another whiteknuckle moment but as I rediscovered in Disneyland in January, I love rollercoasters!
We recently had a celebration meeting in Macassar which was a really good time and we're planning on doing another one in December as we establish a presence in the community. We've also been doing some outreach and getting to know some new folk who will hopefully join us.
I'm particularly excited about the leadership of the Macassar crowd as there are three of us that God is raising up and between us we have amazing wives with not a hint of the Jezebel spirit which can be so destructive.
Wednesday nights are now a real joy to look forward to as we're seeing folk growing in faith and going from strength to strength. I floated home a couple of weeks ago after one of our group prayed out loud for the first time in about three years. This might seem like an insignificant thing but this amazing lady had previously been told that she didn't pray properly so she simply stopped praying, publicly that is. To see her stepping out once again is pure joy!
So as it stands we're a small but solid group of folk travelling through to Mitchell's Plain on Sundays and meeting as a life group on Wednesdays and seeking God for the future. We're really excited by the vision God has given Graham for Love & Grace church to plant a new church in Macassar and can't wait to see where God leads us in this.
We really need your prayers in the midst of all this!
Please pray for me as I've been asked to lead the Macassar work. Wisdom, Grace, a willingness to learn and an open heart to God and his word are things I covet at present.
Pray for the guys God is raising up into leadership, pray for wisdom and strength and for their amazing wives.
Pray for Graham as he chases after the things of God and seeks to be faithful to the vision God has given him.
And please pray for Macassar as we get more and more involved in the community with a view to planting the church.
God is doing a new thing in Macassar and we feel immensely privileged to be a part of it!