Sunday, 9 December 2007

Swinging Sydney

Here we are on the beach in Sydney. You will notice that we have published a picture of the famous Opera House which was taken from a ferry to Manly Beach. We also went up to Sydney tower to enjoy the fantastic views and have enjoyed a bit of sight seeing with our good friends here.

Tomorrow (Monday)we leave for San Francisco to catch up with christmas and do some shopping before arriving home on Thursday morning. This has been an amazing trip with so many wonderful memories to take home with us. God has blessed us abundantly. We can't thank and praise Him enough.

However, we appreciate your prayers for our travel as Avril has been suffering from toothache since Friday and is now on strong anti-biotics and painkillers. We trust it will settle down before we travel and are believing God for this.
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Saturday, 8 December 2007

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Sunny Sydney

Over the last week we have met many old friends and relatives and this time we stood in Sydney airport wondering where our friend was. Well actually he was standing nearby but we didn't recognise each other!! Both he and Phil had beards/moustaches years ago and we figured that was the reason. However, we only had to be with him for a matter of minutes before it felt like old times. Isn't it marvellous how you can go years without seeing someone and meet them again and catch up as if it was yesterday - and that's how it has been all through our trip.

Today started with a thunderstorm but soon cleared up with wonderful sunshine, so we headed off for the sights of Sydney. We got a day pass which meant we could ride bus, train or ferry and really enjoyed ourselves. As the ferry was included we took one over to Manly beach and so had teriffic views of the opera house and Sydney harbour bridge. Also we went up the Sky Tower and looked all over Sydney which was quite spectacular. So we have had a fun day and we hope you have too!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie

Well here we are in Melbourne, having arrived today to be with our very good friends from Bangladesh days and it's wonderful to see them again and their lovely family.

We had no idea what a sleepy hollow Canberra, the capital of Australia is and when we went to get a bus to church on Sunday morning discovered that buses don't run on Sundays! The taxi rank did not have a cab in sight so we went back to the motel and rang for one which would have been a very good idea in the first place!!

But Canberra might be sleepy but God's people in Canberra certainly are not. The Conference got thicker and stronger with the presence of God as the week went on! We have been so blessed, refreshed and feel cleaner and closer to God which has to be very good indeed. God is so amazing and we are in awe of such a Loving Father God who paid such a price for our salvation.
One lady came with a zimmer which was very difficult to get up the steps and then she got healed and came in without it to the rapturous applause of us all. God is on the move and revealing Himself in so many ways.

It is very hot here in Melbourne and the birds are singing as we enjoy this beautiful long summer evening. What surprised us was when we saw a young girl on the roof putting up her Christmas lights. It doesn't feel like Christmas and we are enjoying this bonus of another summer, especially when we see the temperatures at home. But we wouldn't want to make you feel envious, would we?

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Off To Oz

We are about to leave New Zealand - tomorrow morning (Sat) but the glorious weather will go with us. But we will be taking many precious and happy memories with us too. With the extra blessing of summer though, the Christmas preparations here seem a bit out of place alongside the sunshine.
This past week we have caught up with many of Avril's cousins and learnt more about her family history on her father's side. It gives much food for thought!
Tomorrow we arrive in Canberra for a week's Leaders' School of Ministry and are really looking forward to it. Also the opportunity to go to meetings on Saturday and Sunday before the start of the school on Monday. We are expectant that God will meet with us and go with open hearts to receive all He has for us. Watch this space.....

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Now enjoying NZ Summer

We have had a fantastic week visiting friends and relatives and various places in the North Island covering hundreds of miles. Our visit to Lake Taupo was a real blessing and Avril received prayer for healing from a lady who had an identical problem two years ago. What an encouragement to talk with her and receive prayer.

Also we found one of Avril's cousins in hospital and discovered that he has done an Alpha course with a catholic church. He was delighted that we offered to pray with him. Another cousin arrived home as we were on their doorstep - what timing! And yet another cousin took the morning off work to see us and picked lots of grapefruit, oranges and lemons from their tree in the garden which are so sweet, juicy and delicious.

Tomorrow we are going to stay with another cousin for a couple of nights who lives in Auckland before returning to Mary's for our last few days here. On Saturday we head for Canberra to go to the Leaders' Conference with the Arnotts and are so looking forward to this and all God has for us there.

The weather has been glorious, the scenery quite stunning and it has made us more aware of our wonderful creator God. It has been so good to catch up with friends and relatives this week and enjoy some great fellowship.

I have been trying to put pictures on this blog but meanwhile it will have to be just news. But watch this space because sooner or later we will meet someone who can help, hopefully before we get home! You are welcome to try emailing instructions but we make no promises!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Left Luggage

We are whizzing around the world so fast that our luggage is struggling to keep up with us! We had short time in Hong Kong after arriving from Manila to catch our flight to Auckland! We made the flight but our luggage didn't! So we have bought a few basic essentials and are hopeful that we may be re-united with our luggage today.

Avril's cousin Quentin and his wife Daphne met us at Auckland airport and we went to our very good friend Mary's house where we are staying. Re-unions are wonderful things. We thank God for this amazing trip.

On Monday we head down south but still in North Island to the Fatherheart ministries and join in a meeting there. Mary and her dear Mum are coming with us. We are really looking forward to that. As well as staying with another friend the next day we are hoping to visit another of Avril's cousins who is in hospital following hip surgery.

It's coming into summer here so it's warm and sunny, the birds are singing and the evenings drawing out....and we are making the most of it!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Feeling Hot in the Philippines

Today is 29 degrees and very humid here in Manila! A typhoon is approaching here tomorrow and heading for Hong Kong, and so are we! So we hope it gets to Hong Kong before we do. We only have an hour there on our way to Auckland. We are staying here in a place called Beverly Hills and hope to get a picture on the blog when we get to NZ as we have never been to Beverly Hills before!

It has been so good to have this time with our good Swedish friends whom we have not seen for 27 years yet it feels just the same as ever to be with them. We have enjoyed some wonderful fellowship sharing with each other what God has and is doing in our lives and the lives of our children.

Their mission here has some inspirational work with children, the poor and needy too. They have a school next to the main town rubbish dump and you can smell it before you see it! Some of the school children have parents who work as scavengers on the dump so it is good to know that these children have the opportunity of a better life than their parents. They have health care programs, dentist, card making for women, computer lessons and driving lessons too. However the traffic here is unbelievable. It took us 2 hours to travel 13 miles! Cars are 5 or 6 side by side with no lanes and weaving in and out of traffic. We have been to some places but not seen anything quite like this before. However there is no road rage as Filipinos are relaxed and happy people and obviously do not mind being patient and it is just the way of life here. Think you would all find it very interesting to say the least!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Honestly - We are in Japan!

This is a picture of us all under the Japanese Cherry Tree for those who are doubting our Japanese experience. Yes, we know it could be anywhere but we really are here!
It has been a great week as we have been to an Alpha celebration and met folks involved in Alpha. To hear the many stories of lives transformed by God as a direct result of Alpha is thrilling. One pastor has baptised 32 people in 5 years through Alpha. Quite something here in Japan. We had lunch with this pastor and a homeless man who has been converted but still homeless but happy in God. He is cutting grass to get money which he insists will help towards Alpha course. He and his mother had a suicide pact as they lost everything and he survived! But he was full of guilt and no hope - until he met Jesus.
We have been on bullet train but found it hard to get a decent picture as it whizzes along. You should have seen Avril running along the platform!! Also we got involved in a Japanese Green Tea Ceremony and Avril became the Tea Master actually making the green tea according to Japanese tradition. We have stayed with friends who live half-way up a mountain and enjoyed lots of wonderful fellowship. Truly we have met some beautiful people who are living out their lives for God here. Had opportunity to pray with them and laugh with them too!
We are so grateful to be able to share in Andy`s life, work, and friends here. It is so good to see the work he is involved with and feel the impact Alpha is making all over Japan. Seeing different denominations coming together and working together is extraordinary in the extreme here in Japan. So God is good and we are thankful for this fantastic opportunity God has given us to come here.
On Monday we go to the Philippines to meet our friends whom we have not seen for 27 years. Our children grew up together in Bangladesh so we have a lot to catch up on. Also our hearts will be listening to what God is saying about this nation and any future involvement we may be able to have.
We have walked miles, run up and down hundreds of steps, caught many trains, seen some beautiful sights and felt God`s hand on this nation of Japan here. And finally there are pictures for those of you who have been bemoaning the lack of such. What an amazing time we have had here. We thank God for it all!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Wet, windy and wild week-end

On saturday we were going to the local gardens to see the spectacular autumn colours but the weather was too wet and windy. So we decided to visit a local shopping mall but that proved to be quite an experience as Avril's umbrella blew inside out and joined many others in the bin. We got soaked and took refuge in Starbucks, the coffee and cakes being the only thing we bought during our expedition! The evening weather was just as bad and we were going to a friends for lunch. Before we even got to the bottom of the hill to get the transport we were soaked to the skin and later discovered that Japan had been hit by a typhoon with 4 inches of rain in an hour! However we had a lovely evening, meeting new friends so it was worth it.

Sunday we went to the Hillsong church in Tokyo which was very lively, like we are used to back home. Then in the afternoon we went to the Youth church in Yokohama which was wild and wacky and made our home church look very tame. They all came dressed up as villains or heroes which was hysterical. Could not get enough pictures. The praise was great and to see all these young people praising God was joy to behold. A young girl talked about her hero Jesus and it was good to see how well they all listened.

Sunday lunch was at an Indian restaurant and in the evening we went to chinatown to a Chinese restaurant and met Japanese friends who were at Jonathan and Sam s wedding ten years ago. We have done so much walking, especially up and down steps to the train and really we are glad, because if we hadn't I don't think we would fit into our clothes with all this wonderful food.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

With Andy in Japan

So here we are in Japan sharing Andy's life and staying in the Green House (which will developed for youth ministry) which we have heard a lot about. It is lovely to see Yokohama where Andy lives, visit his apartment and enjoy the beautiful city. Also we are enjoying meeting friends old and new. Today we are in the Tokyo office and have met Hisako and Summer who help with Alpha there.

Last night we had a fantastic seafood meal whilst watching the lights and night-life of Yokohama. Now we are off to Lunch in Tokyo - sushi? We will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Chilling in Singapore and Macau

We had a great time chilling in the heat of Singapore with our friends Andrew & Janis. Andy also arrived to add to the fun, especially in the pool with their children. We ate wonderful Chinese food each day, enjoyed shopping and a memorable walk around the Reservoir where we first walked nearly 40 years ago when we were expecting Andy!! Memories!

Church on Sunday morning was great with a real sense of worship and the Lord's presence. Avril received some faith-filled prayer for healing and will continue to do so everywhere and anywhere we go!!

Yesterday we left Singapore for Macau via Hong Kong! Once we landed in HK we needed to get a train and bus to the boat which took us to Macau. So now we are with our good friends Tim and Linda. It is 10 years since we were in Macau and it is changing with many more casinos here now.

We had the opportunity to pray with Tim who has Hepatitis C and is receiving pretty awful treatment in as much as it has given him bad side effects. When we attended a meeting in Bagley we picked up a prayer cloth. Today we laid it on Tim's liver and believe God to heal him. We will wait to see what God does.

Tomorrow we are off again - to Japan this time to catch up with Andy and enjoy sharing his life and friends there. It sounds like we will be running with (or after) him as he has got quite a schedule for us but we too have friends to visit there so it should be a great time.

Now I have sussed this blog thing out our next posting will be from Japan and you can find out what we are doing. Hopefully will be able to put some photos on soon too!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Round the World We Go

We are taking a sabbatical after Phil's 65th birthday and so on October 16th we are leaving for a round the world trip. You can follow our travels on our new blog that we have created especially for our trip. Our trip goes from LHR to Singapore - Hong Kong - Macau - Japan - Philippines - New Zealand - Australia and San Francisco arriving home on December 13th.

So watch out for our news and adventures on our blog. It's going to be an exciting time!