The time has gone so quickly since we wrote our last blog, thank you for your patience. Our first Home Assignment in the UK, has also gone by in such a flash.
It was great to see our family and friends and also visit so many churches. We did about 19 speaking engagements, clocked up over 3,ooo miles visiting churches mostly in the South of England from Bristol – Norfolk and stayed in numerous houses.
We were blessed & greatly overwhelmed by the wonderful hospitality we received. It was great to see and meet up again with some churches we got to visit before we first came to Thailand, but also extra special connecting with some new churches and building some lovely friendships. We would like to say a big thank you to you all, you made us feel so loved & welcome.
It was strange coming back to the UK after being away for almost 2 years, it did take us a number of weeks to re-adjust to the British temperature, which was much cooler when we arrived in the early part of May and we had a few alien moments adjusting to the British culture again! Somehow, we both struggled to eat with a knife & fork, preferring the Thai way of using a spoon & fork! Some of you noticed this and was very accommodating to our needs.
We got to celebrate Sarah’s Mum’s 70th Birthday a few days after we arrived. We were kindly given national heritage member cards, so we managed to take the timeout on a few days, to visit the beautiful and breath taking surrounding of quite a few British national heritage manor houses. Including for our wedding anniversary visiting the Thai restaurant in Windsor where we had our first date! Topped off with seeing War Horse at the New London Theatre for Sarah’s birthday. England has some spectacular locations, scenery, theatre, manor houses and it was all made even better with the lovely weather that kicked in while we there. We really did enjoy our time in the UK.
We left the sunny isles of the UK (leaving you all basking in glorious sunshine) on Tuesday 15 July. Even though we enjoyed our time in the UK, coming back to Thailand, felt so much like home. As we stepped into our apartment the feeling of home just engulfed us, it was quite emotional.
We have come back to Thailand’s humid torrential rainy season, the large group of frogs that bellow joyfully after a heavy rainfall, Bangkok’s gridlock traffic, the howling serenade from the stray dogs at night, loud Thai voices and the consistent all day into the wee hours of the night, banging of drums from the students over at the university behind us – it is a large cacophony of sounds… but we would not have it any other way!
We have been spending the last few weeks getting back into a routine and took a much needed break before going back to work at NightLight. We had the wonderful opportunity to visit Hong Kong for 1 week; a great lively city with lots to do. With accommodation being expensive in HK, according to our budget we stayed in what can only be described as the smallest room for 2 people ever! It didn’t spoil our time though. We managed to pack lots in, even with time out at 2 beaches.
The highlight was visiting ‘Kowloon Walled City Park’ – ‘Kowloon Walled City’, where some of you might know that British born Jackie Pullinger (author of Chasing the Dragon) began her ministry, ministering to the many drug addicts, Triad gangs, homeless & prostitutes via her charity the St Stephen’s Society for many years. Many of these people & Triad gang members are now believers or Pastor’s. It was a great reminder of the work we do with NightLight and continued insight into God’s great grace and redemption for all.
On our return to work, we were warmly greeted and welcomed back with open arms. We missed the women at NightLight so much and we spent much of our first day back, catching up with many of them. Sarah also went straight back into teaching baking on her first day and was super proud to hear about the continued achievements that the baking team have been doing in her absence. It is great to be home and we are ready for the next chapter in our journey.
Next week Tuesday 12 August is Mother’s Day in Thailand, it is a day that is highly revered as it also falls on the same day as the Queen of Thailand’s Birthday. It is celebrated with a 2 day public holiday on Monday 11 August & Tuesday 12 August, giving many Thais the opportunity to go home to visit their Mother’s for an extended weekend. On Friday 8 August NightLight will be giving out gifts to the many Mother’s that work in Nana’s red light district. Please pray that the gifts will be well received and for the conversations that take place.
Please join us in:
Thanking God for –
– Our time in the UK on Home Assignment. The precious time we spent with our family & friends and the many churches we visited.
– Our safe arrival back in Thailand.
– The holiday that we had before going back to work
Please pray for –
– This next stage of our journey, as we undertake various projects & continued outreach. Paul will be starting to teach Bass lessons to the ladies in Thai, pray that he will be confident to use the language and for the women that will attend the lessons. Pray as Paul continues to do the financial reports for NightLight. Sarah will be continuing to teach baking, write grant proposals for the project and begin the process of looking for possible locations for the baking project to operate from, please pray for the baking team that their motivation to move forward with the project continues.
– For an increase in jewellery, t-shirt & flower sales, so the process of paying the women’s salaries and benefits continue.
– For Sarah’s Mum’s health – Her Mum has Parkinson’s, pray for her mobility and for the care she receives. She has recently been in hospital for physio rehabilitation and other health issues.
– For our health, strength & emotional well being.