Sometimes God comes into our established routines with the unexpected. Recently this happened to us. On a recent missions trip to South Africa God clearly see to Keith that were were to return. This was not something that was on our agenda. We have lives, happy lives, in the UK. Keith is leading a significant Elim church. Barbie is developing her career further as a midwife.
Yet the call could not be ignored. It came with tears. Lots of them. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy (Ps. 126:5). This verse was dropped into Keith's heart as he sobbed whilst driving over a mountain in South Africa. Barbie's experience has been marked with tears too. Not tears of sadness. Tears of a new burden. Tears for a harvest. Tears that water the spiritual soil to bring about a spiritual harvest: souls. Tears to bring change, to bring life, to bring hope.
So this year we put into motion the change to our lives. Keith has shared with the leaders of Life Church. It came as a shock to them but they're supportive. It's still a bit of a shock to us too! Barbie has told her employer and they too have been supportive. So now we are committed. We will both leave our roles at then of July 2018. We hope to leave for the missions field in early September 2018.
As part of the preparation we are enrolled in Elim's Missions Academy. This involves mainly work based at home, Skype conferences, and a residential week at the end of the process in May.
We have also been busy with some of the more mundane and administrative side of things. Barbie has to apply for her British Naturalisation. This might seem and
odd thing, but in reality her Indefinite Leave to Remain with cease if she leaves the UK. This means coming back in the future to see our children and grandchildren (more tears) would be difficult. After a lengthy process of getting the right paperwork together she will be submitting this on 3rd November.
We will also be visiting several Elim churches to share our full story. So far we have been to Ashingdon and Eastbourne, our old church, and their generosity has been overwhelming.
We will be at the following churches on the following dates, please pop in if you're around:
26th Nov - Reading
28th Jan - Tramway
25th Feb - Leytonstone
11th Mar - Westcliffe
We will be going to other churches too, so keep an eye out for our latest news.
Please pray for us in the coming months as we transition into this new ministry.
Please pray for Life Church as they seek a new Senior Leader.
Please pray about whether the Lord is leading you to become a prayer partner and/or financial supporter.