We have been in the UK for more than 2 of 4 months and we have completed 6 weeks of our 12 week Mission Partner Pathway training. We have also completed 6 of 16 church visits/speaking engagements, we have officially passed the half way marker.
Yes we know the maths doesn’t quite work for the church visits but between Sunday the 10th of June and the 17th of June another 4 of those will be crossed off the list! We will also visit at least 4 schools in the next week.
What does all this mean????
We have been having a great time! The boys are enjoying their UK schools and are coping very well with travel around and about. We are loving seeing so many of you as we visit churches. We are feeling very loved and encouraged by all your interest and support. The only sad thing is that we are spread so thinly and only get to see most people once and some not at all.
The Mission Partner Training is fantastic. Stretching, Challenging, Interesting! Before we started some of our friends and supporters asked us why CMS were giving us this training. After all we have been working In Mission for the past 6 years in Tanzania – surely we could teach the sessions ourselves. Well Thank you for your confidence in us. Still we have learn’t a lot! Some of it very specific to CMS, some of it we wish we had known 6 years ago (issues around security and safeguarding etc) and some things we are re-visiting such as matters around culture. In fact the cultural stuff is great to be thinking and learning about because we already have a known context to apply it to. Much of the course involves a degree of theological reflection which we are both enjoying having the time and space to do.
We are also having fun! Especially with the Comms team who have been teaching us crucial things about how to stay in touch with YOU. Writing skills (!), how to take a better photo, how to make a video. All interesting and useful, the practical session’s also being a lot of fun.
We have got some homework to do as well and one is a project. We are researching provision in Tanzania for children/young people with Special Educational Needs such as Dyslexia.
While we have been on training we have been living in the CMS Community house alongside the 5 others on the mission partner pathway, the wardens and their son and some other CMS Mission Partners who have been coming and going. It has most certainly been an adventure all living together, cooking together and sharing chores. We have become like a family and we are pleased that God knew what he was doing and put us together in this house with these beautiful people. As one member of our new family often says…”It could have been a lot different!”
And so we have reached the half way marker. CMS are ready to sign us off as their employees, sekonded to the Diocese of the Rift Valley. They say we are ready, the only matters pending are our financial support – we are currently at 65% of the overall needed budget and the results from our medical check ups taking place on June 18th.
This is good news. We are set to go back to Tanzania on July 17th. If we haven’t reached our financial target by then we shall go back on a reduced budget. Either by putting some of the things in the budget on hold like pension plans or by taking a reduction in our stipend (monthly allowance). These things don’t stress us out because our God’s warehouses are full and he owns the cattle on a thousand hills but we would appreciate your prayers in this.
We now have a page on the CMS website take a look and see our profile latest link letter and hopefully a video of Festo and I talking about our call to action in Tanzania.
On July 15th we will have a Commissioning Service at 10:30 am at Holy Trinity St. Austell followed by a bring and share lunch. All are welcome to join with us on our last Sunday before returning back to Tanzania.
Photos coming after the prayer points 😉
Please pray for us….
- For continued strengthening as we travel, preach and spend time with our supporting churches. Especially for Zeph and William.
- As we finish our coursework and present our findings to the CMS staff team.
- For our financial need.
- For School, family and farm back home, missing us and us missing them.
Our family while we are on training.
Whilst doing Myers Briggs led by the fabulous Thalia, we were given a play-dough challenge to build a children’s park which was quickly scuppered by our leader, just as we were working well as a team, as she requested a parrot instead – all to test how our personalities react in these situations 🙂
Two of the comms team on the day when we were taught how to take a photograph. I was practising the rule of thirds.
This is my favourite from that photography session, it is of Paul Thaxter, Director of International Mission at CMS.
Bubble machine on Williams Birthday – He is now 3!
Festo and I speaking at the Africa Conference in Southampton.
Fun times over half term