Our life group in Macassar last night was such an encouraging and humbling time.

It was a real privilege to hear testimony after testimony of how God has moved mightily through the year to bring folk to the point of being excited about planting a new church into Macassar early next year. For some of the guys there last night this has been a torrid year, starting with the collapse of the church and the hassles resulting from it. Some have then lost jobs, had to move house a number of times, had family members die, one of our number has lost two brothers this year! Others have had to look after extended family to help out financially in tough times and one family have had a terrible time with drug dealers and all sorts of related nonsense.

Through all of this each of us was able to testify to the goodness and faithfulness of our God and how he's moved throughout the year to bring each of us into a very different place from where 2011 started. Some have new jobs, some have moved jobs closer to home, some have got new homes and others have seen their daily lives transformed through prayer and God's amazing grace.

We floated home last night!

On top of all this I feel so incredibly humbled by this amazing group of folk who are so committed to planting into Macassar and seeing God's kingdom extended and his name glorified.

To be a part of these guys lives is an awesome privilege!

Weekend Stuff

Summer seems to be toying with us at present as the weather has generally been pretty good during the week and then pretty horrid at weekends. Winter is definitely hanging on to the bitter end!

This last week and the weekends either side of it has been a good time for us as we've managed to sort out and rise above a bit of rubbish that was thrown our way and as a consequence find ourselves in a stronger position than before.

Praise God for friends who believe in the best of you!

Dean has particularly enjoyed the last two Sundays as he was invited to preach in Simon's Town last Sunday and at Love and Grace yesterday. It is a real joy to be able to share the Word with folk and an immense privilege too.

I've been really encouraged of late by John Wesley and more particularly by an excerpt from his diary. John Wesley (with his brother Charles) is one of the biggest names in 18th century British history, though his impact goes way beyond Britain's borders.

So here's the excerpt from his diary:

Sunday, A.M., May 5 Preached in St. Anne's. Was asked not to come back anymore.
Sunday, P.M., May 5 Preached in St. John's. Deacons said "Get out and stay out."
Sunday, A.M., May 12 Preached in St. Jude's. Can't go back there, either.
Sunday, A.M., May 19 Preached in St. Somebody Else's. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn't return.
Sunday, P.M., May 19 Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday, A.M., May 26 Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.
Sunday, A.M., June 2 Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.

Over a period of five short weeks Wesley was handed a seemingly never ending stream of discouragement and an endless array of obstacles being put in his way to prevent him from continuing in his ministry.

Here's a tale of two guys I care for very much and have a huge amount of respect for and two guys who are struggling through very different but equally tough times.

As I said a few posts below Ernest has just suffered a massive stroke. Thankfully he has an amazing family around him who are taking excellent care of him. As an outsider looking in it's a real privilege to see just how well loved Ernest is. My family circle consists of Paula, my fantastic sons and my brother. Ernest had 40, yes 40 members of family by his bed the afternoon after his stroke! He's back home now and being the fighter that he is he's slowly picking up, though his speech has regressed and it's hard to understand him which obviously frustrates him. Despite this I was very moved when he asked how Paula and my boys were this morning.

Please keep Ernest in your prayers.

Hopefully many of you will have received our November update by email. If you haven't had it and would like to receive our monthly updates and quarterly prayerletters let us know and we'll add you to the list.
Now that we're (almost) no longer Crosslinks mission partners we're taking control of our monthly updates and prayerletters and we want to distribute these by email as much as possible. In fact we will no longer be sending the monthly updates by snail mail, apologies if this impacts you. If you have been receiving our news via snail mail but you have an email address please let us know as it's so much easier (and cheaper) to email them. If you're old fashioned like me and want a piece of paper in your hand then it's easy to print.

It feels good to have spent what feels like ages sifting through the mess of the various mailing lists etc we've inherited back. I think we've rationalised and organised everything appropriately but I guess time will tell. One thing we are excited about is that after a lot of work our email lists are fully up to date and as a result the potential readership of our updates has just doubled. Fantastic!