As we got to grips with all the moving and handing over our roles in August 2015, we finally had time to think about planning some of the adventures we have had on our hearts for a while.
After 8 years of being invited to visit friends in Sweden, we boarded a plane and set off to explore the Swedish Archipelago, which is a series of islands close to Gothenburg. Our friends,Â who were students with us at Christ For The Nations Bible College in Dallas in 2003,Â are now leading Smedjan Church in Skarhamn.
We were thrilled to spend a week with Fredric & Malin Crona and their beautiful daughter Lisa.
We visited several of the small islands and enjoyed worshiping at their church, even though we didnâ€™t speak the language! There was lots of laughter as we reminisced about our time in college and the fun we had was relived as we made more great memories together on this trip.
Following Godâ€™s leadingâ€¦
During our time in Sweden we had lots of quality time to talk and explore together the possibilities of our next steps. Sweden was the 27thÂ country we had visited and as we considered our future, we felt strongly that our time of travelling was not over. As we waited in Gothenburg airport to board our plane back to London, we made the most of the airportâ€™s free internet and went online and booked tickets to Dallas, Texas for 8thÂ September, so just 7 days in the UK to pack!
Dallas has a special place in our hearts since living there in 2003/04 when we trained atÂ CFNI. In recent weeks, we had been in contact with several of our friends who work on staff at the Bible College and now having 2 of our Youth Group training there, we felt it would be a good place to visit for a while. We knew there was a conference planned for early September and we offered to serve on the team to help facilitate this. With a last minute trip to Wales to visit family, this meant we had been in 4 countries in just 7 days! We arrived in the USA late Tuesday evening and hit the ground running as we attended a briefing 8am next morning. Thankfully jetlag had no effect on us and we had an amazing first 3 days with some of the greatest staff and students you could ever wish to meet. We were overwhelmed by the reception we received from our friends and the many students we had got to know in recent months and years. At the conference we enjoyed the ministry of the guest speakers Heidi Baker, Dr. Caroline Leaf and British Evangelist Nathan Morris.
Current & Future PlansÂ
We have been really blessed to be able to stay at Simon & Jessica Dunnâ€™s (Pictured left) home for the first week of our stay in Dallas. Simon is the Worship School Director and he & Jessica have stayed with us in the UK twice when they led CFNI Outreach teams to serve at our church in 2014 & 15 and it was great fun to spend time with them again.
Our return flight date to the UK is 4thÂ December and so far we donâ€™t have a plan for the next 3Â months and are taking each day as it comes. Christ For the Nations has played a very special role in our lives for the past 12 years, training us, sending 3 summer outreach teams to the UK to support us and our church and facilitating 2 interns to volunteer with us in Wellington in recent years. Two of our youth from King’s Church Wellington where we pastored for the last 10 years are currently attending CFNI.Â Tom Booth and Alex Lane are both doing so well and it is encouraging to see how they are thriving in this environment and making the most out of every opportunity.
Tom Booth is in his first year of study and Alex Lane is in is final Semester at the School of Worship having almost completed two years. It was fun also to see Tom Booth playing bass at the Antioch Church midweek service which he attends regularly and to see him in college enjoying every minute of his experience here. Alex leads the Youth Worship at Antioch too and it has been great to catch up with him and girlfriend Amy. Alex’s younger brother Will is currently waiting to hear if his application for CFNI has been approved as he plans to come to Dallas to study in January 2016. Having 3 students follow in our footsteps and attend Bible College as a result of our 10 years in England is such a blessing to us and part of the legacy we know will continue to impact the next generation.
Currently, with no paid employment on the horizon for us, we feel Christ For the Nations Bible College is a great place to sow back our time by visiting the college and encourage staff and students as we wait for God to show us our next assignment. For 10 days the Federation of Ministers and Churches who licensed us as ministers have allowed us to use a guest apartment on campus. This week we have a loan of Simon Dunn’s big yellow truck as he is out of town. We feel so at home on CFNI Campus and are enjoying being around so many faith filled incredible people. Christ For The Nations is training and equipping future leaders and world changers and if we can play even a small part in helping to make that continue to happen we will count our time here well spent.
Friends are such a blessing!
We have been so blessed in the UK and abroad since stepping out in faith to serve the Lord.
Having no permanent base in the UK has had its challenges and we are so grateful to our friends Jack & Anne Hunter and Frieder & Grace Kreschnak for opening their homes to us as we finalised our personal arrangements and made our travel plans. It was a blessing to be able to use the church storage facilities for a while in July and August as we sorted out the few personal belongings we had left and decided what we needed for the immediate future.
How you can support us.
Being away from home with no house, car or job is nothing new to us as we did something similar 12 years ago when we first came to Christ For The Nations to train. It feels a little different now being 12 years older, but our faith in God is stronger than ever and we have more than a decade of experience under our belt of God providing and doing the impossible during that time.
You canÂ support us as we travel by emailing us with your news! Hearing from friends and family back home is always an encouragement and we love to support you and pray for you too!
You can support us by praying for us!Â Nothing happens without prayer! Pray for wisdom for us, health and strength and clear guidance of what the Lord wants us to do next. Pray for affordable accommodation, use of a vehicle during our time here and provision for living costs.