Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:13-14)
Our commissioning last Sunday (August 3) was everything we had hoped it would be. It was not so much a tearful farewell, as a joyful send-off from our church family of the past nineteen years. Special thanks to those visiting friends who joined us on the day – a reminder of the way in which our concept of ‘church family’ has been redefined over the past eighteen months.
Keith – That said, it was the final ‘man-hugs’ with a couple of guys that brought a lump to my throat. They were among the first to welcome me to the church back in 1995, and have continued to both challenge and support me in word and deed ever since.
Elspeth – I expected that saying goodbye would be too much emotionally, and was surprised that I held everything together. Then about 3am the following morning, I woke up, and cried at the thought that it was all over – 19 years of learning, growing and serving.
Next weekend sees us dash to Sydney for a family wedding, and yet more farewells. Please pray for us in respecting the emotions involved. It is easy to be focussed on our excitement at serving, and miss the potential impact on relationships of being away for two years.
A fresh dozen…
Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. (Psalm 66:5)
Since our last blog in July, the Lord has moved an awesome outpouring of generosity. We have committed to the Pacific Orientation Course, with our initial costs covered in full by the advance financial support received so far. As to our ongoing position, we have pledges and gifts totalling 88% of our required support – so if you are able to commit $30 per month, contact us this week to be one of those dozen 1% supporters.
We can do nothing more than trust Him for the remaining 12% pledge as we prepare to fly from Cairns to PNG on August 14. Humility has become a way of life for us now. There is no other way to react other than to acknowledge that God is at work in all things. We continue to receive support from folk we have not even met – and are reminded constantly of the prayers of many paving the way.
- Praise God for an amazing month! In our weakness He is strong.
- We need to give time to what matters, namely relationships – with God; each other; family and friends as we say goodbye.
- Uphold us in all the ‘little things’ – safe travel, remaining calm, managing to sleep.
- Pray for the 20 people taking part in POC, and the leadership team. It will likely be a challenging time culturally, socially and spiritually.