Monthly Archives: May 2013

One Step Forward, Three Feet Down

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This spring has been one of intense spiritual, personal and relational growth for both Clinton and I. As we’ve been diligently calling people, having meetings and walking through the doors God opens, we have felt that we move forward one inch at a time in this season. Somewhat like “one step forward, two steps back”, except that we know God is moving us closer and closer to Kenya every day. So, no backwards movement, but instead of leaping forward, it’s one step forward in building our ministry team and 3 ft. down in our spiritual development and growth.

It’s been a time of restoration and rebirth. Restoring relationships from the past and giving them new life that will last for the years and distance to come! It’s been a time of deep spiritual awakening in both of us, much like this spring season has been. As the snow has come and come, shrouding any evidence of new life from our view, we’ve had to cling to the hope that much is taking place beneath the surface. Then at its given time, we will witness a vibrancy and abundance of color and life springing forth, the beauty of God’s creativity and wonder, beholding its splendor all summer long.50 percent

We believe the end of this small season is very near and that we are entering into a fresh season of abundance and breakthrough in building our team. We are excited to share a recent milestone of not just reaching but quickly surpassing 50%!!! We know the remaining amount will prove to be a much swifter process for us than this first half. So much was accomplished in our family and in our walks with the Lord during that important time, that we now stand on that foundation and move with joy forward into the reality of the next season God is preparing for us!!

Join with us in faith and prayer, as we see this come to pass this summer!

As we have done all along, we rejoice in your partnership with us and presence in our lives. We know this journey has been unlike any other and we are so thankful for your friendship and support of all God is doing to get us to the field and all He is preparing even now for when we arrive!

 

In His Service, 

P, C, E&e

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April Update from Colin and Fey!

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Here and There ~ Part 2

In the last prayer letter we wrote about the challenge of living on two continents; enjoying family and friends ‘here’ in UK, whilst also wanting to be back ‘there’ in Kenya, especially now that the cell ministry continues in the capable hands of David Kimeli. The title of that letter has taken on even more significance for us because of some serious health issues with our daughter, Rachel. Fey felt the need to remain in UK to give the family support at this difficult time and after prayer and discussing the issues we made the difficult decision that it was right for Colin to return to Kenya to undertake the busy training programme we had committed to. So now we are both ‘here and there’ and finding God’s comfort as we are parted for the first time in 50 years for more than two weeks. It’s now been six weeks, and it could be for many more yet. Please pray for us as we struggle to adapt daily to living as singles, and also give thanks for the wonders of e-mail and Skype

There is so much to share that we are putting our prayer requests on this first page and then hope you may find time to read  on the second page some background to those situations and a few of the exciting stories that are happening with the ministry

Prayers for Here (UK):

  • Pray for Fey as she seeks to support Rachel and the family.
  • Pray for improvement in Rachel’s health, for the wisdom of doctors and specialists as they seek to improve her conditions.
  •  Please remember to pray for Rae’s husband Paul, and their children, Zoe, Eli and Ben and their partners as they support Mum and Dad.
  • Pray for Fey as she copes with practical issues needed to maintain our home and for her time spent meeting and helping friends.
  • Pray for wisdom in dealing with the exciting enquiries we are getting from people exploring joining the ministry out in Kenya.

Prayers for There (Kenya):

  • Give thanks for the peaceful outcome to the Kenyan elections, enabling the country to progress, and ministry to continue.
  • Celebrate a successful 2 week  training trip into Uganda and the beginnings of a fruitful partnership with Life Ministries who want to champion cell church ministry in that country.
  • Pray for David and Colin as they undertake a challenging 1,500km trip training at 6 different venues in Western Kenya, from 18th May to 3rd June.
  • Please remember a similar trip planned to Coast in June, and that God may find a way for Fey to come out to join in the work.

Tales from Here and There

Here (UK)

Although there are times of loneliness and an occasional sense of lack of direction, Fey has found many positive things about her time of remaining. She has spent time with her many friends giving extra  pastoral attention to those who need it, and she has shared teaching at the regular Cell Training we have at All Saints. A month or so before we were due to leave for Kenya we discovered some major problems with the two flat roofs we have on our property, and Fey is now site managing a good team of roofing people who are putting on new boards and replacing bitumen felt with a more durable rubberised sheet.
Time spent with Rachel as she attends doctor’s appointments, and just being available at other times is proving important. Rachel and Fey were able to spend a weekend at Sara’s and the three important women in Colin’s life enjoyed hanging out together. Pray for Rae who faces a skin cancer operation this first week of May, and for other medical issues needing resolution.

Fey has also dealt with some early enquiries from SIM about people exploring joining the CellKenya team as missionaries. This is exciting, as it is another part of God’s unfolding plan for creating a big enough team to carry on developing the cell ministry alongside local churches in East Africa, even long after Fey and Colin retire from the field.


There (Kenya):
Colin returned to Kenya at the end of March and joined with millions of Kenyans giving thanks for the peaceful outcome to a contentious election process that gives hope for a stable government team facing the many challenges ahead for the country. He was also back in time to spend four days away with the rest of SIM team at their Spiritual Life Conference where the speaker’s focus was particularly on facing the costs and challenges of being called to mission. (God whispers again!)  The day after SLC, Colin flew to Uganda to explore possibilities for training there. Whilst lifting his case into the taxi in Nairobi, he pulled a muscle in his back and the first week of training and travel in Uganda was accomplished supported by prayer and strong doses of paracetamol! After meeting with partners at Life Ministries, Dixon Oboywa, and Isaac Kagoda, they travelled 300km north of Kampala, crossing the Nile, to Gulu to train pastors amongst the Acholi people. We trained cell principles for 3 days to 23 pastors and leaders from 16 churches, and they really engaged with the ministry. You can see this from the joy on their faces in the ‘graduation’ photo. Colin had to adjust quickly to the culture and found himself eating local foods like buck cooked in peanut sauce, a fish and millet dish called simsim and drinking tea laced with strong ginger. The ladies bringing bowls of water to wash hands before a meal would get down on the floor two or three paces away and approach you on their knees! We returned to Colin and Dickson in KampalaKampala and, after a couple of day’s rest, repeated the process in a large city –centre church. Here over 50 leaders from 17 churches and organisations attended and were equally enthusiastic. A few days later we received an e-mail from the pastor saying, I just want to say thank you and team for the Cell Training Seminar conducted at our Church. It was really good and timely because we have been struggling to becoming a Cell based Church and I believe with all knowledge & skills you have passed on to us, the Church will be transformed to a CELL CHURCH aiming at making more disciples and  reaching communities”. Together with Life Ministries it looks like we have found our cell champions to birth the work in Uganda and we anticipate God doing great things there as churches learn to ‘Grow and Go’.  Please continue to pray for this new initiative.

-Colin & Fey

A Dream Directed- Part I

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“The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

As we’ve gone down this road toward Kenya, now 18 months, I have striven daily to surrender all hopes, dreams and plans to the Lord in complete submission to His amazing Call on our lives. When I made that definitive choice two and a half years ago one of the biggest dreams I let go of was believe it or not, Disney World. Since my eldest daughter was 2 years old, I have longed more than anything to take her there and just see her face light up at the sights. As she grew older and came more into her princess-y self, that desire only increased for me. Then we had a second daughter…. I researched and researched, ordered the vacation planning DVD and the whole nine yards. But when I said “yes” fully to the Lord and surrendered my future, family and finances to Him, I knew that those dreams had to fall by the heart-in-handswayside for the time being. And I was alright with that. In fact, it was an honor because of all that He is and all that I’d asked Him to be and do in our lives. I trusted Him with those dreams and just asked that when He gave me back dreams for my heart they would be His dreams for our future, family and finances and not my own. I knew that in doing that, whatever He would concoct in His infinite wisdom and resources would outshine any creativity or “ingenious” planning abilities I possess. So, I peacefully resigned the idea of taking my girls to Disney World until maybe our first home assignment, assuming we could afford it.

Well, we have been neck-deep in support raising, schooling, reading and more reading, and living with family, for a year now and to be honest, there is a weariness that’s been taking it’s steady toll on our family for some time now. But the concept of taking a “vacation” seemed irresponsible to me when weighed up against the massive goal we’re striving towards: getting to the field. When weighed up against the daily need of a nation that is our heart’s home now, how could we stop for even a moment in the pursuit of reaching that home? So, when the subject has been brought up by others over the past year, I have to say, I’ve dismissed it instantly. Yet, this past March it was brought up again and this time it was more than just a vacation. It was Disney World or Disneyland. BEFORE we leave for the field. Um, this was dismissed instantly on multiple levels. Finances, obviously. Timing, naturally, and the sheer “frivolous” nature of this kind of trip in light of everything was more than I was willing to entertain for even a second.

Yet the Lord began to move in my mind and heart and over a series of several days, continually brought the idea up again and again. In the middle of the night, in the middle of conversations, again and again. I finally stopped and just asked Him what He wanted me to do with it. He said, “Research it.” So, I began the process again of creating out of thin air a little trip of wonders for our little family, not sure in any way, shape or form if this would be possible. But in faith and obedience, I searched. Well, much to my surprise I found a trip to Disneyland to be reasonably priced (much more than Disney World which would have been 3 times the cost). I let go of some of my more grandiose initial ideas, like staying in a Disney Hotel, and doing the food plan, etc. and found that taking a bite of humble pie doesn’t taste all that bad after all. ;o)

Anabella HotelAs I narrowed down the search, a hotel kept popping up again and again. I dismissed it because it was 3 stars and our budget only allowed for 2 star hotels. But there it was popping up. I looked at the pictures and found it to be the sweetest, loveliest hotel I’d seen so far but saw those 3 stars and continued on with my diligent 2 star search. But something or rather Someone, kept that little hotel in the back of my mind and finally I just had to figure out why it kept popping up. As it turned out, the hotel was offering a 3rd night free special which bumped it down to a 2 star price range! I contacted our travel agent right away and when she came back with the final numbers of the hotel, tickets, etc. it came in lower than I had estimated. This particular hotel offered discounts with our travel agency! I knew at this point God was in on this and directing my every step!

We put the whole package together and when praying about the finances, found that God had already supplied them in an unusual and unexpected manner, months beforehand! This was going to happen and more importantly, this was God who was making it happen. I was in a state of wonder and awe for weeks it seemed, and once everything was finalized and the deposit was put down, I began planning in a state of childlike delight how to whimsically tell my little princess and my little Minnie mini-me.

I employed every ounce of creativity in planning out the announcement night and it was a huge success! Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets, with Mickey and Minnie napkins, Mickey stickers on the straws, etc. whilst being serenaded by the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse soundtrack. And for dessert, official Mickey ice cream sandwiches can’t be found outside of the Park, so I created Mickey Mouse Dessertmy own. Oreo ice cream sandwiches, fashioned with an Oreo cookie on each side for the ears! Perfect. Then banking on the fact that I have a 4 and almost 2 year old whose powers of deduction aren’t fully developed just yet, I planned a scavenger hunt after dinner with little clues leading them around the house. Finding Mickey, Minnie or Princess items strategically placed leading them onward, they finally were led to a large box with hand-cut Mickey Mouse shaped paper on it. As they opened it they discovered a large booklet from our travel agency outlining the wonders of Disneyland, AND a special vacation count-down streamer with paint sample cards numbered 30-1 to tape up. It was a night to remember, and one that set the tone for the trip! Elly eyes glowed with excitement and delight as she thumbed slowly through each page and Jolie was beside herself with happiness yelling “MINNNNIE” every single time she saw her around the house! And this is hardly the beginning…

Count Down StreamerSo, here we are at 10 days to go, and I am still in awe a bit at the fact of this. The sheer reality of the great, great love my Heavenly Father has for me, His ever dreaming daughter. He holds my heart and her desires in His hands and has made me to dream solely so that as I align my dreams with His, He will bring them to pass in the lavishness of His direction and timing!

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1