Last March I wrote a blog announcing our intention to move our home base from Kingston-Upon-Thames to The Kings Church mid Sussex. Having agreed the sale of our house in mid January 2016, I naively expressed the hope that we might have moved by the Spring.
Now, as 2017 opens up before us we have actually arrived after several setbacks, delays and considerable difficulties. In reality we actually moved at the very end of August, but for a number of reasons it seems as though our move has only just taken place.
I guess foremost among those reasons would be our preoccupation with my sister and her failing health on our arrival here, followed by just over a week in hospital in Brighton and her sudden and very unexpected death. Home base radically changed.
Christmas then dominated December and now January 2017 has arrived and we feel we to have fully arrived, not only at our new address, but more obviously in a new chapter in our lives.
A new chapter
We love our new church, originally started many years ago in Nigel Ring’s home and now led by a great team of elders led by Jim Partridge who formerly held a major role with Spring Harvest but now leads a very lively church with a big vision. Our three excellent carol services held on December 18th were attended by over 900 people and in a couple of weeks time we start a regular second Sunday morning meeting to cope with the growth that God is graciously giving us.
This week I will be teaching the church on God’s lavish grace, and a date is fixed for me to address the church on being filled with the Holy Spirit. We certainly want to make our contribution here and it is planned that next term Wendy and I will host a weekly Life Group based on Acts 2:42. I am thrilled there is also a Saturday early morning prayer meeting which I love attending.
At home and away
My sister’s death also means that Wendy and I are free to travel together again and have plans in the coming year to be in the States, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, USA again, Greece, India, Doha and Dubai, and at least one more visit to continental Europe.
I have been inspired to read that George Muller, a hero of mine for many years now, handed over his orphanage work when he was 70 years old and then engaged in 17 years of international evangelism, returning to Bristol aged 87!
Our Newfrontiers global conference in Turkey last October was a huge blessing. Our teams from all over the world gathered in extraordinary unity, love, and mutual delight, embracing and affirming new team leaders from Armenia, Ukraine, Russia and India. Also, July 5th is a date set apart for a day of prayer for all our British based church leaders at Westminster Chapel. What a thrill it will be to gather in our hundreds in the presence of God to seek him for his blessing on the nation. Can’t wait!
One of the great joys of returning to Sussex is to be with churches which I remember starting in homes with a handful of people, now gathering in great warehouses in their many hundreds, so that together they represent thousands across Sussex in churches which a few years ago didn’t exist. Praise the Lord!