What engagements have we enjoyed since my Albania trip (see the previous blog)? On May 3rd we both taught at a 24/7 Vision Course related to mission. We are kindly invited to this each year and enjoy it, although their course is quite small. On the following evening Elizabeth spoke on her childhood in China for a local secular women’s group – she is invited to such groups quite often and it is a lovely opportunity of sharing about the Lord with people who would never normally hear the good news of Jesus. And on Saturday 7th I met with our monthly church men’s breakfast and led the Bible study.
On the 9th some workers from Christians in Sport came to our home for a day’s teaching on other faiths and how to share about the Lord in that context. Over the May 21/22 weekend we drove to Beccles in Suffolk for a mission weekend in the Baptist church there. We had hoped to enjoy an outing to the seaside,but unfortunately the weather did not encourage that! The church was very warm and open to us and all that we taught among them.
At the end of May we were invited to lead seminars at a camp (we stayed comfortably in the farm-house!) for 80 youngsters aged 11-16. They all came from a variety of small local churches in rural Norfolk. We never normally minister to people of that age, so it was a challenge. The other speakers and leaders related brilliantly and fitted so amazingly into the teenager culture. Such communication would not come naturally to us, but we were so encouraged to get excellent feedback and response from our seminars. So we very much enjoyed the weekend and trust it may have been richly blessed by the Lord.
After this camp we went to Milton Keynes to the ultra-modern centre of the COCM (Chinese Overseas Christian Mission). Here we were the speakers for a staff retreat with about 70 workers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and quite a few from mainland China. There were also several BBCs (British-born Chinese!). Several we knew well from All Nations or from preaching in their churches, so that was a joy too. They were all Chinese, but coming from such a variety of countries they are culturally quite distinct I was asked to give the three main talks on mission and Elizabeth gave three testimonies. We both specially enjoy Chinese churches and conferences, rejoicing in their dynamic and gifted spirituality. We feel at home culturally too. And of course the Chinese food is a special treat!
One other fixture has been to teach on Habakkuk for a small Korean-led course on church planting. Habakkuk is such a relevant little book for Britain today (see my exposition of Habakkuk “Any complaints? Blame God!”), so I enjoy ed teaching on it.