This ‘season’, as regular readers of my blog will know, is one of the toughest ‘boot’ camps God’s ever put me through: I AM so aware, and assured, that the season was originally God-instigated, but that, at times, the enemy has capitalised by trying to ‘stick his oar in’ and make the going even tougher! I’m grateful for what I’ve learned during these months: I’m grateful for the new, or refined edge, to my faith, has been sharpened. I’m grateful that God has, like right back at the beginning of the life/ministry He called me to, frequently in these months, taken me right to the edge of my faith, and caused me to take a step further than I’ve been before. It’s not always easy – no, let me rephrase that – it’s NEVER easy (!!) to get to a point where you think you’ve already gone past your limit, only to find that the boundary lines of your limit have moved, and you’re in a new dimension of trust, and faith.
Right now, I SHOULD be in Romania: that I’m not, is not down to anything other than my own clumsiness. I tripped up a step in my own house (that I knew was there, of course: I’ve been stepping up it for 5½ years!) and with things in both hands, so unable to break the fall, landed flush on both my knees, with all my weight, while my right shin …er… ‘heavily engaged’ with the steel bar at the edge of the step… for new readers, you don’t have to go back far in the blogs to know that my knees are something of a burden to me – for now! Not being able to walk for 24 hours wasn’t the best thing I could have happen when that day I was leaving for Romania! It was only going to be a 4/5 day trip, with Colombia the day after flying home from Romania: with 3 great guys going to Colombia with me for anything up to 18 days, I know that I had to get my knees somewhat better before leaving for Cali on Thursday.
So it’s given me more time to do things at home, to deal with mail, messages, etc., For someone who’s life is travelling, these days it’s just not possible to travel without a laptop, which is an essential tool for everything I do…. here’s where (I think) the enemy stuck his dirty paws in – yesterday, in the middle of preparing stuff for Colombia – travel details, preaching stuff, and so on – (and not being ‘tech’ minded at all!), I thought the my browser needed to be closed and re-opened as it was running slow… and then it stopped. So I closed the laptop, rebooted it – only to find that it wasn’t the browser, it was much, much more serious. My laptops do take a beating; continually switched off and on, continually carried around in bags, hoisted into overhead luggage compartments in planes, and this current one is 6 years old – positively geriatric in computer terms. The hard drive had died. The screen has been failing for ages – with lines down it, meaning that the monitor is shot, too, possibly the video card. And I’m in the middle of the toughest finance test in 36 years of ministry!! – now, needing a new laptop before I head to Colombia in 4 days’ time…
When a hard drive goes, it’s awful: things like my password manager software is on it: other files that for one reason or another haven’t gone to that mysterious ‘Cloud’, so I’m asking God for supernatural recollection of passwords and other significant data that is on the deceased drive!
If you pray for me, will you pray very specifically, and urgently (!!) for the means to get a new laptop, please? I need quite a good one, as I do use it a lot for photography stuff on trips, also for video stuff (one day I’ll get to putting those things on the website!!), and it is essential for keeping in touch for upcoming trips and engagements, too. I’m writing this blog on my equally geriatric home PC, thankfully it still works, but it’s a little to cumbersome to put in my hand luggage!
Ministry has been lovely, though!! Last weekend, I’d been asked to speak at a ‘Café Church’ meeting, at High Street Presbyterian Church, Holywood (no, not California! – the other one, near Belfast, and with one ‘l’!). It was a really lovely morning. I prayed for a number of people afterwards, and got to know some of the folk in the church. The minister, Norman, was very encouraging, and has invited me to speak at 3 meetings early in May, so I must have done OK! It was good to meet up with a guy I’d met before, too, but not seen for a long time, who did some songs/worship in the meeting, Marty Clarke. I love connections… for me, it’s the only way I’d ever want to do ministry of any sort, through connections and networking.
I’ve had the opportunity, as always, to pray for a number of people individually, in their homes, and seen God bless and heal, or begin the process of healing, for a number of them.
And so, now – after the longest break in 18 years away from my (spiritual) home, 8 months, I look forward to Cali, Colombia, next Thursday. So much has been a battle to get this far that I’m convinced it’s going to be (as usual) the ‘best trip to Cali ever’! God worked his wonders in getting my airfare to enable me to go: now, I just need the cost of accommodation, food, and general living costs, while I’m there. And a new laptop! The faith stretching goes on…
I will try and blog again before I leave, and, God willing, I’ll have the facility for the daily blogs that are always so exciting (for me, at least!) to blog while I’m there. Please pray for Chris, Brian, Paul, and me, as we long to be a blessing to the churches in that amazing city, and see souls saved, and lives healed. Thank you 🙂