Dear Family and Friends
Can you believe 2021 is almost over? This past week my iPhone did an update and one of the first things that popped up after it restarted was a review of the photos I had taken throughout the year. It’s hard to believe how so much has happened in a year where we still had Covid restrictions and faced so many challenges. I couldn’t believe how many special moments happened over the past 11 months.
One of my big highlights from this year is my move to Slough. After being in our West Kensington Congregation for 17 years, it was a huge move for me emotionally and physically. I have developed so many amazing friendships and family relationships in West Ken, so saying goodbye was very difficult, BUT our Slough congregation has been so welcoming and has immediately embraced me as family in such a very short time. I’ve been preaching on Sundays, teaching at our Follow Courses, leading and mentoring youth, overseeing our Connect Groups and so much more, so it actually feels like I’ve been in Slough for years instead of months! God has done such a quick work in making me feel at home.
On the downside, at the beginning of the year our Slough congregation lost a few family members to Covid and to cancer. I also experienced a personal loss of my 'Tio' passing away in April. In many ways you could say it’s been a year of incredible highs but also a year of mourning by not only losing loved ones but also moving to Slough. It’s interesting how change can bring up so many emotions isn’t it? I love how in God’s perfect timing, that our 3 congregations all recently went through a series on Well-being. The series spoke to us about our physical bodies, our emotions, our relationships and so much more. It ministered to so many of us in every area of our lives.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this series also set me up for the next few months. Here in the UK, we have a policy that our Every Nation staff take a time of sabbatical every 7 years. My next sabbatical is actually supposed to take place in 2022, but because Slough’s current pastors will be planting a new church in Cardiff next year, we decided a few weeks ago that I should actually take my sabbatical now so I could be around to help with any transitions needed in Slough in the new year.
It was a very quick decision, but we all felt like it was God’s timing for me to take a time of rest now to get ready for all that He has for me in 2022! A perfect time to focus even more on my own well-being. So, a few days ago, I hopped on a plane to Marseille where I have been blessed to be able to stay with a friend over the next 2 months to take sabbatical.
I know the timing of my sabbatical will come as a surprise to you as much as it did for me – but I also pray that you will be excited for me as I am now, to be able to take this time to rest, have some fun and take in everything God has for me to get ready for this next season!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and your financial support in 2021 – I could NOT have got through this year without you. You have not only been a blessing to me but to so many here in Europe and beyond as you have enabled me to do ministry here.
Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!!