Last Sunday I preached at The King’s Church Mid-Sussex. We enjoyed a great day, and in the evening Jim Partridge, the pastor, announced to the church that Wendy and I were going to move and join the church. To our utter delight, this was met with applause and cheers. What a huge blessing for us!
In spite of Val Taylor’s suggestion on twitter that it was the appeal of a flashy Perspex lectern that attracted me, there is a little more of a story to tell.
When we handed over Newfrontiers to these exciting new teams that have been raised up across the nations, Wendy and I moved to be in London, where we deliberately downsized, for economic reasons, to a very small house with three bedrooms. Since being here my widowed elderly sister has come to live with us. Also one of the bedrooms is my study/office. We therefore have no spare bedrooms. We also only have one reception room so live a rather cramped lifestyle.
Each year I have a day or two together with David Holden, Colin Baron and David Devenish. We do this so that they can keep an eye on me and make sure that I’m doing ok. It is a very loving thing that they do in their crowded programmes and I have come to appreciate it enormously. To my surprise, in December when I met with David and Colin (Dave D could not make it this time) they urged me to move out of London and find a bigger setting. This was quite a surprise, but they were fairly urgent. David even had a recommendation, namely the possibility of moving to mid-Sussex. He told me he was going to speak to Jim Partridge.
We spent a long time talking and praying together and at the end of the day I must confess I was stirred, and returned to share the news with Wendy. We have actually followed through this counsel, believing it is genuinely from God. We have raised a buyer for our home and have found a house in Burgess Hill that we really like the look of and have had an offer accepted on that home.
Whenever I am asked to tell the story of Newfrontiers I always make reference to this particular church because it was the very first one that we helped to get started. It started in Nigel Ring’s home in a nearby village, and has grown to be a pumping church gathering 4-500 people per week in a large former warehouse in Burgess Hill. I was delighted to find when I met with the Elders that they have a very large vision, including strong involvement with Edward Buria in Kenya, and also in Bulgaria, Romania and other locations.
It is very near London Gatwick airport – not irrelevant to my lifestyle! – and they have significant premises with space for an office for me. I look forward enormously to being back in a living office situation with a team of brothers, something I have profoundly missed during my four years in London. I love being with brothers. I love the vitality of a team that is frequently together. I look forward so much to praying with them and being with them.
I hope soon to have news of a move and we would love to be there by the spring. Watch this space for more news as things open up.
Later this month we go to be with Scott Marques in Zimbabwe for Megavision where hundreds of beautiful believers will gather. I look forward to preaching there, after which we will be in Cape Town for two more weeks. Hopefully everything will be moving into place back here even while we are away.
Your prayers and love would hugely be appreciated.