The final 

The last 4 years have been a whirlwind. There’s been ups and downs, tears and laughter, joy and frustration but most of all a closer walk with God.Today I shared my last talk and for now my last day with BMS. It has been a pleasure working with BMS and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work.

All the office staff have done an amazing job keeping me right with my paperwork and supporting me, thank you for all your hard work. 

A huge thank you to my RTL who has supported and encouraged me. To all the staff at IMC who not only fed me but showed me that I can learn and even have fun doing it!

Thank you to my fellow mission workers, you have been a blessing to me and I am truly honoured to have worked with you. 

The biggest thank you goes out to all of you. Those who have supported me, and followed my blog on this amazing journey. 

Please continue to pray for me and the next unknown step in my life.

Back to basics

The other day I was sanding and varnishing some chairs. For those who don’t know me really well I actually started out at college as a furniture maker and went on to do furniture restoration. For various reasons I left college before completing my course but I always enjoyed working with wood. In fact my first full time job was to varnish a load of chairs. The job was in a garden centre and I just fell into the work with plants and stayed. 
As I was varnishing I thought back to those days long ago and thank God that it was all in his hands. He knew what he was doing even if I didn’t.

As I got back to basics and was sanding down these chairs I thought about my time with God and about the country we live in. I was sanding away all the grime and dirt that had build up over the years. The years of use and abuse by people using these chairs who had not been kind to them. But as I lovingly striped away the dirt I came to see the original wood and the beauty within. 

I heard the other day someone say that Christians need to get with the times but I felt God telling me that we need to strip everything away and go back to the original beauty. The beauty of his love for us, back to the basic reason we were put on this earth. To worship God and only God.  

Raindrop remembrance

It’s 2am, piter pater, piter pater, I’m half asleep and slightly disoriented. The rain beating off the metal roof sounds like I’m in Nauta but I’m cold and wrapped in a sleeping bag. Then I start to adjust and know I’m in the caravan having a few days holiday with my sister and the kids. 
As I lie awake listening to the steady rhythm of the rain I am once again transported back to Nauta. I remember my friends and wonder how they are doing, they have had big storms in area, more rain than I am hearing. I pray for those who homes the rain is coming into while I am dry in my caravan.

I ask for your continued prayers for those in Nauta and for me in my last month of touring.

Harvest

This week and last have been all about harvest. I have been a part of school assemblies, all age services and also reflective services. I have been blessed and overwhelmed with the welcome I have received and enjoyed sharing about God’s harvest in Peru.
While reading the bible and praying this week a quote jumped out at me from Casting Crowns:

‘If you’re not praying, you don’t have a relationship; you have a worldview. Prayer reminds us that we’re talking to somebody who is listening.’

I’ve had so many conversations over the years about prayer and how people find it so difficult to pray. People can often make it over complicated which I feel detracts what it really is. This quote reminded me of how simple prayer can be and yet also how powerful it is.

The other quote that just this morning made me think was from ‘My utmost for his highest’ devotion:

‘Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion.’

I have been sharing about my service in Peru on my travels around Britain and the thing that strikes me most is my love for God grows every day. My love for his people and especially those people who are forgotten about by society. 

I want to encourage you today to pray, pray and sow a seed into other people’s lives and your own. Prayer draws you closer to your Heavenly Father. As you pray your love grows and you can’t help but serve Him.

Have a blessed week as you draw closer to God and see a harvest in the lives of others and yours. 

1300 miles

I’ve gone further than The Proclaimers would have! 

Scotland, Wales and England, the tour has definitely got underway. 

Over the last few weeks I have  driven over 1300 miles, slept in 9 different beds, spoken at churches, prayer meetings and BBQs and met some lovely people along the way. This tour has been all about sharing what God has been doing in Peru but also in my life. Thank you to all the churches I have visited so far, you have made me feel so welcome and blessed. 

I never enjoyed public speaking but time and time again I see Gods power and love in action when I stand up and his word flows from my mouth. I’ve said before I’m a gardener not a preacher and I stand by that but I also know we go through different seasons and God gives us the strength for everything He asks us to do. 

I still have 2 months of touring Britain and I look forward to meeting more of you all along the way.  

Reverse culture shock

I’m back…..

Below are the top 5 things that will will take a bit of getting use to, good and bad.

1. Water

It comes straight out the tap and I can drink it from the tap. It tastes so good. It is also hot in my shower. I think that is the first hot shower I have had in over 3 months and it was lovely.

2. Food

Lots of different food to try. I haven’t ventured into a supermarket yet as the petrol station alone overwhelmed me. The choices and the prices!

3. Help

The men around me are not insisting on helping me with my heavy bags. I noticed this first in the airport, not a trolley in sight and 3 suitcases. I partly like this as I am capable to carry a lot of things but I did get use to stepping back to allow men to help me carry things as it would offend them if I didn’t. I will say though I enjoyed the minute we were in Scotland as the banter rose around me and we were all joking together with stangers.

4. Weather

It’s so cold. I’m walking about with a fleece on while everyone else is wearing shorts and t-shirt. It rained all day yesterday but people were out and about. In Nauta everything shuts down in the rain.

5. Money

The money seems so huge here and there is a new system to swipe your card at tills that is way to easy. I think I have spent more money in these 3 days than I did last month in Peru. I need to find a job!

Well I will now be off on holiday with the family as I still haven’t seen most of them and then I will start home assignment. I hope to see you at a church near you. Have a great weekend. 

Gracias a todos

This week has been all about the last-minute things. I have been painting and feeding plants. Along with this has been the usual admin tasks of closing bank accounts and canceling my Peruvian visa. I am now a ‘tourist’ for the last 2 days here in Peru.

I have also had the pleasure of being able to say my ‘see you later’s’ (never goodbyes) to various people. I was able to fit in a quick visit to Arequipa to see everyone there and tomorrow we have a lunch planed with the pastors and friends in Iquitos.

The rest of this blog will be in Spanish and is a huge thank you to all in Peru who have supported me and will forever be in my heart. (I was told off the other day that since my blogs were always in English my friend was not able to read them).

Entonces……..

Gracias a todos mis amigos y amigas aqui en Peru. Gracias a los pastores en Loreto que han sido muy amable y generoso conmigo. Me han dado la bienvenida en sus hogares y han compartido tanto conmigo.

Un enorme agradecimiento van a mis maestras de espanol Lula, Sandra y Aby. Sin sus paciencia y determinacion que nunca habría aprendido el espanol que tengo. Ustedes me han ensañando mucho mas de lo que creía que era posible. Que Dios les bendiga y les guarde.

Peru y su gente siempre tendra un lugar en mi corazon.

Please pray for me as I start my journey on Monday and get back to Scotland on Tuesday evening.

Just Be Held

Over the last few weeks I have been in a bit of a daze with so many emotions running around me. With all that is happening back in Britain at the moment I fear I am returning to a very different country than I left. I’m being torn between the amount of work here in Nauta still needing doing and the longing to be with and help my family.

Hold it all together

Everybody needs you strong

But life hits you out of nowhere

And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting

Chained by your control

There’s freedom in surrender

Lay it down and let it go

As I was painting yestarday singing away to my music this Casting Crowns song came on. The words stopped me in my tracks and made me praise God.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held

Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Just be held, just be held

As I go into my last week I relax in the knowledge that God’s got it all, I’m doing what he has asked of me and I need to ‘Just be held’.

 

May and June in Photos

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Tampa team having a kids night.

So much has been happening I thought some photos were needed!

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New painting has been keeping me busy.

 

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New fence so we are completly enclosed.

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Kids playing at the training week

 

 

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Laura teaching creation care.

The other photos would not load due to the bad internet but i hope these give you a flavour of whats been happening.

 

My last training week

What a training week to be my last before heading home next month. It has been an amazing week. We have received the most people since the training started. We are working with pastors from 2 different river community’s.

40 pastors/leaders have turned up and about 10 kids. Laura and I have been racing round trying to find enough bedding and places for people to sleep. Thankfully people are not that fussy and are happy to sleep on a thin mattress on the floor. While I was waiting in the queue for lunch the cook looked a little flustered and said they had ran out of spoons for the soup. I rushed to the house and grabbed the few we had and when I got back they had ran out of bowls. I eventually got to the front of the queue to discover fish was being served, I thanked God that there was no more plates and went back to the house for a fried egg.

Last night we were challenged again when our prayer for rain to fill the tanks cam with great force. As Laura and I mopped water from our house that was pouring in we had to then move some peoples sleeping arrangements as one room had flooded.

The pastors are amazing though and don’t really complain. They are here to learn and that is the main point. They are still laughing and joking and all in good spirits.

Today on the last day of teaching I am sitting listening to Laura talking about creation care, how to look after the earth God has blessed us with.

Genesis 1:1 In the begining, God created the heavens and the earth.

I am reminded why we are actually here, why God had called me to Nauta in the first place and thank God that the work will continue.