I started to write the blog yesterday, as I normally do on a Monday...but I didn't really know how to word it, so left it until today.
Many of you have been following our updates regarding our office and how God answered prayer in that our time there was being extended until 2018. Well, things have changed again and not for good.
We have received notification that we have to vacate the office by the end of May and it seems this is final.
We would ask you to pray very much for wisdom. We are unsure what our next move is.
Please do pray that God will guide and direct.
We are thanking God for His help over another week.
We received a report from Joyce regarding some of the ministry issues in Uganda. She had a really good time as she travelled a few weeks ago to some areas in the border area of Uganda and also Western Kenya. It was a long, tiring journey which was hindered somewhat because of heavy rain, however the Lord really helped and there was much excitement as she introduced the lessons to children in different venues. There is a great hunger for the Word of God.
Joyce is now in need of more lessons. She has also been asked to visit some Schools to teach the children. She is considering taking one week each month to evangelise in this way. This will require additional transport. We would also like to send her more teaching visuals from Nairobi to help her in this ministry. It will most likely cost around £50 to transport everything she needs from Nairobi. Pray that God will work everything out.
I had previously mentioned a possible change regarding the electricity supply to the office. The landlord wants individual meters installed and so we will have to pay around £40 for this. However, it should work out cheaper for us in the long run.
Registration of our NGO in Uganda is a slow, difficult and expensive process and something which we would like to see moving quicker. Please pray that this can be sorted out.
We have had disappointing news from the organisation in Uganda who supplied us with Bibles. They have increased their prices by £2 per Bible. This is frustrating as our supplier in Kenya recently did something similar. This means that we are currently back to one supplier here in Northern Ireland but the problem there is that it can take many months for the Bibles to actually reach our people in Africa. Pray that we can find another local supplier and/or that we can find a quicker, yet cheap, way of transporting the Bibles from here in the UK to Africa. The need for Bibles is of big concern to us. We have asked for up to date figures of Bibles needed for both Kenya and Uganda. We are waiting on the final figure from Kenya, but in so far as Uganda is concerned the figure needed is 1048. We estimate that even more will be needed for Kenya.
Please pray for Eunice as she tallies up the final number of Bibles needed. She is very busy at present trying to keep up with the marking of lessons and dealing with visitors to the office. She is also currently taking some exams in regard to the computer course she has been completing. We thank God for the benefit this has been to the work already. Pray that she will continue to know help.
Please pray that God will continue to provide for allowances for these two ladies. Without them the work in Africa would not continue. Both could do with more help. Pray regarding this. We also need to pay some small allowance to the one who is developing our child protection policy. This is a responsible position. Pray also for the need of a good reliable accountant in Kenya. We have been let down so many times in this regard. Accountants have taken on the work, get so far, decide they can't finish after all but still expect to be paid. We really need someone reliable who will complete the task they have been taken on to do. Some of these issues take up a considerable amount of time as we try to keep on top of things from the other side of the world.
William and I have had another busy week but we thank God for the privilege of serving Him. Yesterday, Sunday, was a good but tiring day when we drove for 5 hours! We had 3 meetings to either attend or take and we thank God for His help as we shared God's Word. We travelled from home in Portadown to Omagh, then back home for dinner. It was then quickly on to Lisburn in the afternoon to take a meeting. It was then back to Portadown again for a quick tea before travelling again to Magherafelt for the final meeting of the day. Needless to say we were very tired by the time we arrived back home again last night.
We appreciate prayer as we go through the many tasks of this week. Over the past few weeks I have spent more time than normal out of the office which means I am a bit behind in some of the work mentioned in previous posts. If you waiting for correspondence from me, please accept my apologies for the delay. I hope you can be patient a little longer. Hopefully this week will get me up to date. I am also working in and out of the house as I am having a problem with the internet signal in the office. Hopefully this will be sorted this week. Pray for these very practical issues.
We thank God for His goodness to us. A couple of times over the weekend we have been asked if the work is still going on. We found that to be a very strange question....yes!!! This is God's work and it is still very much ongoing and we are still very much called to His service. Please pray on for us as we pray and discuss many issues. Pray that we will have guidance and wisdom in every issue.
On Saturday evening we spoke at our last Feed my Lambs booking for a little while. We absolutely love sharing about the work, but we are thankful; and ready; for a little break. Since Christmas we have had many meetings to raise awareness and prayer support for the work and have been very encouraged by the interest shown. We are especially encouraged that so many of those meetings have been new openings for us. We continue to accept bookings; for the immediate future or long term. Please feel free to contact us any time. We already have a booking for 2017.
Thanks also for your prayers for William as he was responsible for speaking at a meeting on Sunday evening. The Lord really helped and blessed.
Although we now have a space of time without "promotional" meetings for FML, we do have other meetings to take and other commitments. This coming week William will once again lead a meeting and I will play. In addition to this we will be taking another meeting. On this occasion, William will lead, I will play and I will also bring a short word. Please pray for the Lord's leading in preparation. Praying that even the picking of hymns will be led of the Lord. We need to prepare and print a hymn sheet for one of the meetings, so that is another task for this week.
This week William also has other commitments and I will be attending a committee meeting for another project we are involved with. We will share more in our prayer letter.
The prayer letter is indeed another project we have started work on. We had really wanted to have it issued sooner, but we have been waiting on confirmation of something quite important which we wanted to include in it. Pray that we will have this very soon and can get the prayer letter out.
At the start of this new financial year, we are also developing a new computerised database for accounts. Pray for help in setting this up. It is obviously easier if it is done now at the start of the new financial year so pray that we will have time to work on it.
We had mentioned before that we were also developing a new child protection policy. This had to be postponed for a short time but we are hoping now to resume this important project. We are working alongside a very experienced child protection worker from Kenya who is very aware of procedures there. He has agreed to be the child protection worker with FML also. Pray for us as we liaise with him over the coming weeks to complete this project and also to develop more training etc.
Meantime, we do offer a basic child protection email course. Quite a number of people have taken this course in the past. Normally groups worked at the same pace in that assignments had to be completed and returned by certain dates. At times this was very difficult for some students, as they often needed to use the internet cafes/cyber to do the course and the failure of electricity also made it difficult at times to keep to the deadline. We are now enrolling again, but this time we are trying a different format in that each student can work individually and return each assignment as they are able with no deadlines. We can see advantages and disadvantages of this method in comparison to how we worked before, but thought we would give it a try. This means that I can't plan ahead just as easily and allow time for marking as I don't know when the courses will arrive with me. Please pray that I will be able to fit marking into my schedule as and when the assignments are returned. We thank God for two Pastors in Uganda who have enrolled in the past week. Pray that the course will be a help to them.
This update has been mostly about the work in Northern Ireland this week, but please do continue to pray for Joyce and Eunice as they are equally as busy in the ministry.
Finally, please do make our financial needs a priority for prayer. We have quite substantial arrears in our office rent which need paid as a matter of urgency and also a large number of Bibles needed. Please pray that God will step in and provide the need.
Thank you for praying.
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regular updates and thoughts from Northern Ireland and Africa...