Sometimes people comment on how many friends we have , the reason for that is that many of our friends are folk we have had the privelege of knowing, worshipping with and sharing our lives with in the churches we have attended over the years. We had friends from churches we grew up in from New Malden (Anjanette) and Lincolnshire (Scott) before we met each other at Vernon baptist church in London and made more friends together there. When Anjanette started working as a doctor we moved to Luton and joined a wonderful loving church called Stanton Rd baptist church. It was this church that recognised Scott's calling to youth ministry and supported him in his training. We really enjoyed leading a youth cell group in our home in Luton together 11 years ago.
From Luton we moved to Surrey where Scott was the youth minister at Carshalton Beeches Baptist church and then we moved to New Malden Baptist church where Scott was the associate pastor. Our final move in the UK was in summer 2007 when we moved to IMC missions college for a year, we lived in community there with other missionaries in training, God gave us more firm friends for life who are now living and serving all over the world. Our current church family that we love dearly are here in our Cusco church plant as well as some lovely missionary colleagues who also serve here in Cusco. It has been amazing to see that God has used many church friends from all of the churches mentioned above (and others too) to journey with us over the years as we prepared to work overseas and they continue to support us in prayer and financially in the work we are doing here in Peru now. Another huge blessing comes from our link churches, BMS links us with baptist churches that adopt us and support our work and that has been another opportunity to make more precious friends and increase our circle of support.
Having read all of the above you will understand our joy this week to have a skype conference call to IMC in the UK to chat with 8 of our colleagues who were in training with us 2 years ago , now serving in a mixture of different countries. It was sad this week to hear that some friends of ours from New Malden Baptist Church needed to rush their new born baby to Great Ormond Street Hospital to be put on a heart and lung bipass machine , we sometimes feel so far away from friends and all we could do was join the whole church in praying together for this family. One of our greatest disappointments is not being able to be present when Natasha ( one of our young people from that youth cell group in our home in Luton 11 yrs ago) gets married at the end of July. She wanted Scott to take the ceremony and Jess and Sam to be flowergirl/ page boy but sadly it is just not possible. We are so thankful for modern technology to keep us in touch with our friends and family all over the world and we hope that on the wedding day we can skype and greet the family in their wedding garb before they leave for the church!
We had similar feelings today when a church member who has attended our church plant since the start 1 year ago phoned us to say she is leaving Cusco and moving back to Lima this weekend, she is very young in her faith and wanted to know of a church in Lima where she could go,we pray that God will lead her to a wonderful supporting loving church family, as has been our experience over the years!