30 May 2011

We've arrived...

Just a quick post to let you know that we arrived safely, and have just got back to Sao Paulo after a great weekend in Rio de Janeiro with a Brazilian pastor and his family. More details and photos to follow, but again thanks for all your prayers!

25 May 2011

Here we go...

Well the ash cloud seems to have behaved, our bags are just inside the weight limit and the security staff were only slightly distracted by the Lady Gaga lookalike who came through at the same time as us. We're ready to board, so just wanted to say thanks for all the cards, emails, texts, and prayers. We'll update this again once we're in Brazil!

18 May 2011

The Great Commissioning(s)

One week to go, and any sense of order we might have had is rapidly disappearing as we desperately try and remember everything that needs to be done before we go. Organisation has never been our strong point!

In between all this, however, have been some especially poignant moments for us as we have been commissioned no less than six(!) times in preparation for the task ahead...

The end of term at IMC was marked by a short service for students and staff, at which we were able to pray for each other and reflect on the time we'd had together as well as on the future. Then, after Easter, we all went to the Baptist Assembly in Blackpool, where we were 'valedicted' as part of the Saturday evening celebration. We were all given a short time to say a little about our story, before the whole assembly spoke words of commissioning and blessing over us. Although the scale of the event meant that it wasn't as intimate as the other services we had, we were overwhelmed by the wave of support and affirmation that we felt.

On stage at the Baptist Assembly. Photo (c) Baptist Union of Great Britain

The following weekend we were down at James' home church in Bexhill. They have three services each week and wanted to give space in each one for us to share what we're going to be doing and be prayed for. In between we had a bring and share lunch at the church, which was a great chance to catch up with people, including some old friends we hadn't seen for a while.

Finally, last Sunday we were at Romsey, where again we were given a chance to share and were prayed for. This time we had Arthur Magahy from BMS who preached and spoke about the work of BMS more widely. Again it was great to see some old friends as well as have a chance to say goodbye to many people.

Huge thanks to all of you who came and were involved in any of these services, especially to those who travelled some way to see us and say goodbye. It is such a privilege and comfort to have so much support and prayer and to know that, as we said in the services, we go to Peru not on our own but on behalf of all the Baptist churches in the UK. These are occasions that we will treasure and look back to, especially when times are tough!

We will try and post at least once more before we go but for now, it's back to the packing!