Neither of us are public speakers, but just like Moses God has been putting us to the test!
We have managed to clock up about 1,300 miles, travelling to and speaking at Ipswich, Bromley, Watford, Bristol and Ilford Baptist Churches. It has been hard going as the majority of the churches have 2-3 services on Sundays and we were required to speak at them all. With the great use of modern technology – Skype, we were able to do 3 services back to back with the Churches in the Swindon group. We were able to share about the work we will be doing in Thailand and Paul even threw in a sermon on some of the visits!
Although it has been tiring, we have been greatly blessed by the support, encouragement and prayers received.
During our time at IMC, we would also like to thank you for your emails, cards and gifts. Thank you for making us feel so welcome. We look forward to keeping you updated in the coming months. We have received great hospitality, love and tasted some lovely food and cake(s)!
We would also like to say a big thank you to our home church, New Testament Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. For inviting us to speak and share recently. It was great to see so many familiar faces and be able to catch up. Again thank you for your continued support and prayers.
The end of term at IMC was marked by a wonderful service for students and staff, with time spent praying for each other and reflecting on the time we’d had together as well as on the future. A few days later we all went to the Baptist Assembly at Central Hall Westminster, London, where we were ‘valedicted’ as part of the Saturday evening celebration. We were all given a short time to say a little about where we will be going and what we will be doing, the whole congregation spoke words of commissioning and blessing over us. It wasn’t as intimate as the service at IMC, but we were overwhelmed by the wave of support and affirmation that we felt.
We will be having our home church commissioning service at New Testament Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire on Sunday 24 June 2012.
Having met Sarah in February 2010, just as she was applying to BMS, it seemed that God was putting a spanner in the works. After going through BMS’ though acceptance process, she was accepted in June 2010, started the mission training in September 2010 and completed the training at International Mission Centre, Birmingham in April 2011.
With the Lord speaking to me (re: Sarah and mission), I realised after waiting 4 years for Sarah (she was not aware!) and believing that she was the one whom God had set aside for me. I proposed to her in January 2011 and also started the process of applying to BMS also. Even though Sarah was accepted already, she had to go through the interviews and candidate board process again, so we could be accepted as a couple! We were accepted and affirmed in May 2011 and Married in June 2011.
With just a few weeks to go before we leave for Thailand the ‘First Stage is Completed’… September 2011 – May 2012, I have now finished the mission training. I have enjoyed the year, it has had it ups and downs and community living has been hard and fun at the same time. I have seen fellow mission personal’s willingness, their heart for Mission, I have learned from them and shared with them. I have appreciated having the time to draw closer to God, reading, studying, taking time out… and Oh, how could I forget and doing all the assignments!
With Sarah having completed the training the year before, she has had to defer for the year to wait for me! Twiddling her thumbs… No, No, No! Not a year wasted at all, she has been busy doing a 1 year counselling course at Newman University College, Birmingham. Which will hopefully enhance the skills that she will use whilst in Thailand.