Dear Family and Friends
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, these last two months have been the first time I have spent holidays with my family in over 15 years!
Over Christmas, my younger sister, her kids and their families surprised us by coming up to Georgia for Christmas. It was a full house and we had an unexpected white Christmas which forced everyone to stay overnight. Every room, sofa, and blow-up mattress was full!
It gave me a chance to finally meet my beautiful great niece who is almost a year old now! Here are just a few pictures from our time with a few people missing.
I was also able to spend a few hours with my "Guatemalan Family” who happened to also be gathering here in northern Georgia.
It was such a blessing to be able to spend this time with my family but I also recognise that 2020 has been a year where so many people have lost loved ones around the world due to Covid and other reasons. I am still grieving for the ones that I know who have passed away this year and I am praying for their families that God would comfort them and bring them peace during this season.
2021 will be the start of a new season of ministry for me as I begin working with our Every Nation Slough Congregation. I am excited about new building new relationships with people and seeing what God is going to do.
There is a lot of unknown in this new year as we continue to see what will happen with Covid – BUT one thing I am sure of is that GOD IS GOOD AND HE IS FAITHFUL!
I am praying for you and so thankful for you! I pray that even in the midst of uncertainty that you experience Him in an incredible way in this New Year!
Lots of love
Dear Family and Friends
This past month I experienced something that I haven’t experienced in over 15 years.
Earlier this year in March, I was due to fly to Florida for my yearly visit, but as the day approached to fly, the UK went into it’s first lockdown due to the pandemic. A few days later, my flight to Florida was cancelled. I ended up doing as many “visits” with friends and family on video or phone calls for the time period that I was supposed to be in Florida as much as I could, so it didn’t feel like an overall missed trip.
I also had a flight planned for December to spend the first Christmas with my parents in 16 years. But as December approached, there was another announcement of a lockdown coming, and this time I was determined that my flight would not be cancelled! Because of Covid restrictions, 99% of everything I do at the moment is online calls and meetings, so I arranged to work remotely and changed my ticket to leave 2 days before lockdown started! I arrived in the state of Georgia (where my parents live) and arranged to quarantine in secret for two weeks before surprising my parents who still thought I was coming right before Christmas!
SO, you might ask what did I do that I haven’t done in over 15 years? I got to spend Thanksgiving with not only my parents and older sister but also my aunt and uncle and some of my cousins! There was soooooooooooooooooooooo much food and it was the most people I have been around since March and to be honest, it was a little overwhelming at times hahaha. What I also appreciated, coming from the UK and having much stricter rules regarding Covid, all of our family had taken extra precautions of quarantining or testing, etc, to be around each other because a few family members have health issues. It was a safe, joyful, blessed, overeating time!
I have continued to work as if I am in London and have tried to stay as much as I can on London time starting at 5am most mornings. As I mentioned a few months ago, I will be transitioning to another Congregation at the beginning of the new year so I am in the process of handing things over and making sure that the transition not only goes well for me but also for everything and everyone that I have a connection with.
I will finish work on 13 December and be on holiday until Mid-January where I will start working with the Slough Congregation.
My apologies to all of you who are stateside for not letting you know that I was here. I needed to keep it a secret to surprise my family. I will be in Georgia during my stay this time but will come back in March to Florida for a few weeks.
I’m praying for all of you and I so appreciate your prayers as well! Please continue to pray for God’s provision in every area of my job transition. I am really excited for this next season!
Praying God’s richest blessings over you!
Lots of love
Dear Family and Friends
It is the 5th of November and England has started their second full lockdown due to an increase of Covid-19 cases and the United States is still waiting to see who will become the next president. It’s interesting times!
London woke up to an eerie and quiet foggy day. It’s almost as if the day is peaking out slowly to see what is going to happen in this next lockdown. For me, my goal is to hold onto JOY. I feel there is a fight for our joy at the moment in the midst of so many dealing with unemployment, furlough, mental health, family health, loneliness, zoom exhaustion, disappointment of holidays, birthdays and weddings being cancelled – the list goes on!
I have recently been doing a few studies on Joy and it has helped me so much that I thought I would share a bit of one with you in this letter:
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Zephaniah 3:17 provides a constant source of joy by revealing insight into the heart of our loving, heavenly Father. It’s a joy that can only come from a fresh, tangible revelation of your heavenly Father’s overwhelming love for you.
“The Lord your God is in your midst.” You can have joy today because your God is totally and powerfully present right where you are. Scripture says that he will never leave you or forsake you. You can have joy because you are not alone in anything you do. God longs to make his presence known to you in every area of your life. He longs to do life with you—equipping you to live with total joy by filling you with his love every minute of every day.
“The Lord your God is . . . a mighty one who will save.” You can have joy because you have been totally redeemed from the destitution of the world that surrounds you. You have been offered to spend eternity with the God of love who laid down his own life for yours. Your God has done a mighty work. You are now his child, healed and set free through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
“He will rejoice over you with gladness.” You can have joy because your God rejoices over you. You are not a failure in his eyes. He loves who you are. He longs to fill you with the knowledge of his gladness today. He longs to give you a revelation of how deeply in love with you he is. He rejoices over you as his creation. You are not a mistake. You were made intentionally because your God longed to have relationship with you.
“He will quiet you by his love.” (this really touched me!) You can have joy because your God will shepherd you to the still waters. His love will guide you to quiet places where your heart can be at rest. He will calm the areas of your life that are burdened and stressed by freeing you with the depths of his affections. You can have peace today in the presence of your heavenly Father no matter what situation you find yourself in. Your God will “quiet you by his love” as you follow the leadership of his Spirit.
“He will exult over you with loud singing.” To exult is to be joyful or jubilant because of a triumph or success. You can have joy today because your God sees you as a triumph. You are transformed and a new creation. You are what God has most desired in the earth. God exults over you today just as you are. He wants to give you ears to hear his “loud singing” that you might have the same perspective for yourself as he has for you.
May you come to the awareness of how deeply you are loved by your God today. And may Zephaniah 3:17 be a foundation on which you experience the overwhelming joy that comes from God’s inexplicable love for you. You can find this full study on joy on YouVersion at https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/4843.
Thank you so much for all that you do!
Loads of Love