It is times like these when writing a newsletter makes you so aware of the ups and downs of life on the mission field. It also makes us extremely thankful to be in the position to share what is going on in life and to know that there are be people praying for us!
During May and June we returned to the UK for the Elim Missionaries’ Conference and Leadership Summit. It was amazing to have the chance to get together with so many of our fellow missionaries who serve with Elim Missions; meet up with old friends and meet others for the first time. We laughed a lot and enjoyed the training and equipping provided by our excellent team from Elim Missions HQ. We were spoilt with good food, endless tea, coffee and biscuits (which is very important to some of us!) and the chance to share and pray together. We cannot thank our International Missions Director and team enough for all the hard work they put into the conference to make it such a success.
Then we attended the Elim Leadership Summit where all the missionaries were invited up onto the platform to be prayed for (some of you may have seen the photos or video online). It was a humbling and encouraging time, especially being received so warmly by our peers and colleagues. It made us feel connected to the larger body of Elim in an incredible way. We are grateful to have had this time and experience. Coming away from the Summit feeling we felt refreshed and excited for what the future holds. It was wonderful to get the chance to share at the Young Leaders’ seminar and see the next generation being encouraged to think about the possibilities of serving or supporting missions. The two sessions held by the mission’s conference allowed us to connect with some new leaders and to share a bit about what we all do as Elim missionaries. This year has been a real blessing to us all and really helped raise the profile of the work of Elim Missions across the movement and for that we our truly thankful.
We also really enjoyed getting to meet some new churches this year as we went around the country to share what we are doing here in Paraguay. It was a pleasure to make new acquaintances, be able to put faces to the names we receive emails from and most of all to receive encouragement and hospitality from so many wonderful people. We anticipated it being rather stressful travelling around so much especially with a toddler, constantly changing location and beds. But it went really well and we thank you all for praying for our family.
It was great to be able to catch up with our families and friends too and attend some special occasions whilst we were back. For those we did not get to see this year, we look forward to catching up with you in 2018.
We were also able to attend John’s Grandad’s 92nd birthday, which was a very special opportunity as we are normally away for such events. Just after we had returned to Paraguay he passed away. Thank you to those who prayed for us during that time and made it possible for John to go back to the UK for the funeral. It meant a lot to us all and we are grateful that we had the opportunity to spend time with him this furlough.
Whilst John was in the UK our landlord in Paraguay managed to sell his house, which he had been trying to do for the last four years, so we were really pleased for him. However, it meant we had to quickly look for somewhere else to live within a month. With John being away for 2 of those weeks, it meant we only really had 2 weeks to find somewhere. After seeing many houses that were either out of our price range or were needing too much TLC, finally some missionary friends of ours let us know about a house in another town 16km away from the city we were living in and when we went to see it, it felt like a real answer to prayer. Please pray for us as we are getting to know our new town and starting to meet our neighbours. Pray that we will be able to make some new friends here and that we will feel settled quickly.
Please also pray we soon find tenants for our UK house in Carlisle, as it is putting a strain on our finances at the moment, which creates a bit of pressure when looking at our costs for the coming year. Please pray for peace for us during this time and that the next tenants will be good folks and stay for a long time.
We were so happy after our time back in the UK to reconnect with the people in the indigenous community and the young people we work with. We were warmly welcomed back and again could see how our our relationships had not been affected by our time away. When we returned to our bible story groups it was wonderful to see our regular group turn up and we were able to give out some donations of socks and cloth nappies as well as some knit wear which were well received. Whilst we were away some new babies had been born and we had the chance to go and visit them and since being back the chief himself has gained a new grandchild. Please pray for us as we continue to share our faith with these people and pray for them to know Jesus as their Saviour. The work with our young people has been really fruitful, but extremely draining. It makes us feel so blessed for the love we ourselves received when we were younger; the advice and care we were given (not always taken and implemented, but aways freely given!) The situations these young people are faced with and need to overcome are paralysing. We stand along side them in support and in counsel, showing them love. Please pray for these young people.
Thank you all once again for all your love and support and for encouraging us in all that we do and for helping make it all possible.
Check out the Gallery for some snaps from the last few months.
With much love,