Tuesday, July 27, 2010

L. A. Mega-Church

Yesterday, Sunday, I went to the founding church of the Four Square Denomination. Jon, the friend I have reconnected with after 27 years is the International Director of Missions for this denomination. It has been thrilling to hear what God is doing through this ministry. In 2009 they saw over 2.6 million people come to Christ and 6,530 churches planted world wide. The church here in LA is reaching out with over 200 different ministries into this needy city. This has been an inspiring time as well as fun to visit well known sites.

Below is a clip of the worship service. You can guess the audience they are seeking to reach!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reflections from the Travellers

After nearly ten months of travel we are headed back England. We look back in awe at all we have been able to accomplish and the amazing experiences we have had along the way.

We left The King’s Lodge in September ’09 with the task of establishing The Biblical Teaching and Preaching School (BTPS) on the YWAM Kona Campus. At the end of June ’10 Phil completed the first BTPS in Kona, and significant interest has been generated for the next school in January. We were welcomed into the Biblical Studies team there where we could both learn and give.

I was asked to join the Staff Services team (“Personnel” or “Human Resources”) when I arrived, but within the month led the department with a staff of only one (me!) It was a difficult and challenging time, but with time (and another team member joining me!) I came to really enjoy this role. The structure of the campus required every staff person to related to me at least once each quarter which allowed me to know everyone working on campus – all 400-ish of them.

Elisa and Jonathan have grown so much in this time – now 15 and 13. They have only known their life in England, and this was their first time to live in the US; the separation from friends and familiarity was painful. Now they have left close friends behind in Hawaii. Elisa aced her first year of on-line schooling, and Jonathan said his co-op home school experience was a highlight of being in Hawaii – WOW!

So many things have been different that we expected them to be. Our main surprise was that another school leader is not in place (as anticipated) for the next BTPS, so we have agreed for Phil to lead the next one in Kona in January 2011.

We are so excited to reconnect with friends and family when we return to England. Experience tells us that re-entry into even a familiar place can be bumpy.
Our greatest reflection must focus on God’s amazing love and leading and provision during this time. This whole year has been lived very close to the edge, and that is where we have found Him to be the closest.

California Getaway

Following 2 fantastic (but far too short) weeks in Colorado, our next stop was Los Angeles.  Phil recently renewed contact with a SBS classmate from 1983 who extravagantly opened his home, loaned us a car, showered us with thoughtfulness, and gave us an all-round great experience in California.

We’ve strolled the Walk of Fame, window shopped on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and had our picture taken with the Hollywood sign in the background.  Six Flags Magic Mountain was a great rollercoaster day, with enough corkscrews, vertical drops and 360’s to make the head spin. 

The girls fly tonight – destination Nuneaton!  The boys depart two days later due to the blessings yet complications of buying tickets through airmiles.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Phil boasts on Linda!

The following letter was written by Diane Gaylord, an immigration lawyer who worked in the office with Linda during her time in Kona Hawaii, where Linda was the manager of the Staff Services office for the duration of her time there.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On the move again

The BTPS has ended, Linda cleared her desk, the children waved goodbye to the beach, and in just a few days we packed up, cleaned up, and said farewell to Hawaii on July 6th.  We stopped at a campus-wide barbeque on route to the airport (pretending it was in our honour!) and had one last opportunity to see the new friends we have made in the past 9 months.

We're enjoying the solitude of the Colorado prairie.  Elisa's photos are capturing the beauty of the plains; it will be a huge contrast as we head to the mountains tomorrow with my parents and my brother and his family.

Two weeks in Colorado, then a few days in Los Angeles before returning to England.  The girls arrive on the 25th; the boys on the 27th.  Such is the way when travelling via air miles.  What a provision!