It's all happening
It feels like that everything is happening all at once at the moment.
As our ministry in Northallerton and Yorkshire is coming to an end, rather than things winding down everything feels like it is gearing up.
We have had meetings, discussions, emails and reports to write concerning the local leadership team we are putting in place for when we leave. There are hand overs to make and training to put in place. Flag days and fellowships, preaching and prayer ministry, planning and pastoral care. Oh and our house looks like a bombsite with packing boxes and ironing all over the place.
I have blogged already about the conversions in the prison. This is a climax of lots of input, teaching and prayer. But not the end of the involvement. In fact their new committments make them more demanding than ever. The lads would be in chapel every day, all day if they could. I have been in four times this week, been on the phone arranging for support for one of them when they are released, and arranged for an evangelist to come and speak later in the summer.
Spiritual warfare has geared up too. We knew that we needed to be especially alert this morning as we discussed "How can I resist evil?" All kinds of weird things happened we taught about the strongholds of evil. The distraction and disruption got almost laughable in the end, especially when Becky set her radio alarm off as we were praying and four officers burst into the chapel to rescue us!
In the parents group two mums have really opened up about some issues in their lives just as I am about to go. I am visiting one of them in her home on Wednesday. We just walk down the High Street and someone always wants to stop and talk, not just about the weather but their needs and issues.
We have made lots of friends in Yorkshire and its lovely that so many of them want to be in touch before we go. We have never had such a busy social life, (although all the farewell suppers might be people wanting to make sure that we really are going!)
In the midst of this our daughter Hayley left for Amercia to work in as a counsellor in a childrens camp. Alan and I would have empty nest syndrome if we had the time to think about it and I am 47 on Sunday. Agghh I can't be that old!
I want to assure you that all of the above is not a moan. I am so thankful for all the opportunities. There have been times in the past 7 years when the devil's accusation has been that we were wasting our time and the Army's resources here. Instead it is reassuring that in to see that in some small way the presence of the Salvation Army in this place is making a real difference.
Please pray for us though. My head is in a complete whirl. I have so much to think about here whilst at the same time there is a growing excitement about all that is in store in our new appointment.