After the ‘traumas’ of last year and not being able to walk for so long, it’s wonderful – post-move back to England – to be back on the road again, back in harness!
The move is absolutely right, though the limitations of my knees have meant that the flat still looks like Vesuvius has erupted, and a further ‘purge’ of my ‘stuff’ is essential to get everything in the flat! It’s most definitely been a giant leap of faith coming to Northfleet (next door to Gravesend) in so many respects, but I’ve always tried over the 40 years of this life God’s called me to never to shy away from wanting him to stretch my faith. A second floor flat in a block with no lift and about 30 stairs to climb (!) is a part of that, but I’ve always managed to get up the stairs and make it back to the flat when I’ve gone out! The cost of living in England is considerably higher than Northern Ireland, but I’m in faith that God, through whatever means he chooses, will meet every need. It’s worth it just to be at Eastgate Church, which is so alive with the presence of God, the vision so huge, the faith so high….
It also, of course, makes it easier to get to go to churches in Britain, no flight to get to England first before driving to wherever God takes me to be involved: and easy access to a variety of motorways – I’m just 5 minutes from the M2, 10 from the M25, which opens up the nation, albeit sometimes in a three or four lane moving car-park! Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton airports are all pretty accessible, with Heathrow being about an hour away on a good day.
So it was with delight that yesterday, I had my first ‘on the road’ visit to a church since moving in 3 weeks ago – the lovely Old Town Community Church, Eastbourne (probably 7 years since I was last there), with a couple of lovely friends from my new church. We arrived straight into a healing/deliverance need, my great friend Gerry Page led the worship, which was great, and then the three of us got into praying for healing and blessing for a good number of the people in the church. There were some healings, some that began the healing process, and – as it’s not possible for God NOT to answer prayer – others that will happen in the days to come. One lovely friend, Graham, who’s a musician, had a blockage in his ear, not good for a musician: it went yesterday morning. Thank you Jesus! It was a challenge for me, as I can’t preach sitting down – it just doesn’t feel ‘right’ (!) – so I stood for an hour, without a walking stick: I didn’t realise I’d spoken for so long, but once the testimony stories start, I find it hard to stop telling them! The hospitality was wonderful, the folk there gave us a gorgeous lunch, and it was so good to back doing what I love doing, even though I’m still really nervous before every meeting. More like that, please, Lord!
After almost a year ‘out’ with the knee issues of last year, I have this ‘fear’ (not really fear, but you’ll know what I mean!) that I’ll have fallen off of people’s radars when it comes to being invited to churches – so if I fell off of yours, here I am telling you I’m BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN! I’d love to come to your church/meeting/weekend away….. 07976 520325 is the number, and firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d rather email.
If you’re willing to help me get re-established in this way, I’d be grateful and love it: if you can help practically with finance, as an individual, one-off or regular monthly support (my rent is just a BIT higher than it was in Bangor (like 300%!), I’d be really grateful to you and to God. I can send standing order forms if you don’t pay tax, or Stewardship forms if you do. My landlord is lovely (he’s in the same church) , and I’m praying that I won’t ever be in a position where I can’t pay him! Bless you and thank you.
In a few weeks’ time, I’ll be heading off to Colombia, God willing – with my great mate Thanney, for lots of meetings, and the beginning of the construction of another brand new home for street kids. This time, four floors, having had to demolish the existing house, which is collapsing. When we went after that house 2 years ago, we were told we couldn’t have it: last July, Thanney talked to the community leader, told him the plans, and instead of having to buy it, we were offered the property rent-free for at least 100 years! I’ll be 166, Thanney 165, when we have the option to renew it for another 100 years!! The ground floor will be for our lovely friends Hendrick and Teija, and Wilmar and Marlene, for an ‘El Abrigo’ church, second floor for the kids to use during the day, and the community in the evening, the top two floors solely for hundreds of street kids to live.
Please pray the funding comes through, it’s been promised by friends in Australia when they’ve received it from Asian banks who seem to be holding it up!