Thursday 31 December 2009

VISA arrived

Hooorah hoorah! Praise the Lord! The Visas have arrived safely - just picked them up from the Royal Mail sorting office. Talk about 11th hour!

We fly on Sunday, so without these visas we would probably not be able to go, so thank you everybody for your kind prayers.

We will be attending St Mary's Church, Luton on Sunday morning (3rd January) at 10am for anyone who wants to see us and give us a hug before we depart! It'd be good to catch up with many of you.

Monday 21 December 2009

God has really done amazing miracles, especially in the past few days.

On Friday we received a phone call from the South African High Commission demanding a further £600 each as a security deposit in case we 'needed repatriation' and further South African-based health care cover (our British long stay medical travel insurance was not sufficient for their standards). We have only just fundraised enough for our needs with no 'buffer', so it was a heavy blow and a shock as we had not been informed of this earlier.

However, over the weekend, and without us asking, we have received enough donations to cover all these extra costs. We are over-whelmed by God's provision and people's generosity and obedience

Hopefully (and please pray for guidance) Pete will be able to meet with the High Commission this week and give all the funds and necessary paperwork to them.

It's just 2 weeks until we fly to South Africa. There's still so much to do (mainly packing and sorting), so please keep praying for us, especially as we work to get our visas.

We have just about enough now for the first three months (study phase). Friends and family have been so generous with sacrificial gifts. We are so humbled by this. Thank you!

Thursday 17 December 2009

Thanks for all your prayers and support. It has meant so much to us, especially in the past couple of weeks which have been quite difficult. Both of us have felt really under attack. They're not things that we can easily unpack here but it has been a time of authorities personally attacking and undermining us. It all happened on the same day and we knew that this wasn't from God. This is a real time of testing and trusting God, even when things appear to fail. When God calls you, the enemy will try and put obstacles in your way. We know, however, - thanks to so much confirmation - that we're supposed to be in South Africa in 2010. Please keep praying for us to be obedient to this call.

Close friends of ours from Luton, Matt and Mareike (and baby Seth), will be in Cape Town in January and will be picking us up from the airport. This is a real blessing and just shows God is looking out for us in little ways too.

On a lighter note, Christmas is almost upon us. We've managed to escape without spending much on Christmas this year (thanks in part to Pete's family's recession-busting secret santa). It feels all too quick and things are happening where we feel like we need another couple of months to prepare...but Christmas week puts a lot of pressure on getting things done now!
Thankfully things all seem to be going smoothly...still waiting on visas, so prayers needed there!

We'd love to meet with as many of you as possible before leaving. We know that this might not be feasible, as many of you are away over Christmas. However, if you are able to get in touch - either via email, telephone or popping into our house, we'd love to see you.

Friday 13 November 2009

flights a'booked

Hoorah! We have managed to successfully secure some flights with Emirates leaving on 3rd January 2010! It does mean spending the night in Dubai airport (a trick, I'm sure to make you go shopping), but nonetheless it was considerably cheaper than other airlines, so we're not complaining. We're still waiting for the Police to finish confirming our innocence, then we can begin the process of applying to obtain a visa (SA high commission need police checks, bank statements and a whole host of other things (incl. chest x-ray)).

We want to thank God for his provision. There are a couple of people who have approached us with donation pledges - we don't know when we'll get it, but just knowing that it's on its way has been a real encouragement and helped us to trust God more with provision.

It looks like everything, so far, is starting to come into place. We're still only about halfway there, in terms of fundraising, so please keep praying that we'll be able to get the full amount by the time we leave. Even if we don't, we know that He'll provide in His perfect time.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Pete's birthday party

A great big THANK YOU to everyone who came to Pete's Birthday party! It was wonderful that so many were able to come. We're sorry if you couldn't make it, but please do come round and we can catch up properly. We don't have much time before we leave but would like to spend quality time with as many friends as possible.

The party was a success, and also acted as a fundraiser, so thank you to all who gave. We were able to raise well over £300 in total! Thank you especially to those who gave sacrificially ... we were really humbled by your generosity and touched by your kindness. It really encouraged us in our faith too. God bless you!

Friday 30 October 2009

Next step: visas

Great news: we've been accepted onto the DTS which now opens up the next stage of preparation: booking flights, getting visas etc.

We've just been looking on the South African High Commission's website and apparently it can take up to 30 working days to issue a volunteer visa. Please pray that we can complete this process in time for the january deadline.

Also pray that we can find suitable, affordable flights, as the price is rapidly increasing and we're not yet financially in the clear to get both visas, course fees and the flights. We need wisdom which one to get first.

This weekend we're having a fun and games evening at St Mary's Luton (Saturday 7.30pm). This will also be a chance for us to share our vision and raise some money. Please come along...have some food, enjoy yourselves and hear about our plans for the future.

You can either just turn up (you're most welcome) or email to let Pete know that you're coming and if you're able to bring anything. It's combined with Pete's 30th birthday too.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Medical checks

Thanks for all your prayers... we've both had a full medical and chest x-ray and we're both in the clear! Now we can complete the registration process. These forms will be in the post to Muizenberg tomorrow!

Monday 19 October 2009

St Mary's Mission Sunday

We've just had a great time meeting and chatting to people from St Mary's Church in Luton (in both the morning and evening services) about our preparations for South Africa in 2010.

It's been lovely to share our vision with others and have people pray for us. There have also been a few people who have generously pledged to support us, which we're so grateful for.

Doing the sums, we've got to raise around £6,700 for the first six months training (which includes flights, fees, medicals, visa etc). So far we've received £2,200 in gifts. This is excellent and will help us to complete the application process. Once this is complete, we'll open up a Stewardship Account which will enable us to Gift Aid donations.

In the meantime, we're going to have a full medical on Tuesday. Plesae pray for our health to be good enough for the next phase.

Please also continue to pray as we seek to live by faith and serve God in our preparations for mission work overseas.

Thank you!

Peter and Becky x
On Thursday 8th October, we gave a short presentation to Scripture Union staff in the Bletchley (SU England and Wales) office. This was our opportunity to share where God is leading us and to receive prayer for our preparations for training in Muizenberg, South Africa.

Thank you to all at Scripture Union who have been praying for us and have pledged to support us. We are very grateful for all those who kindly donated towards the £45 gift which has covered the registration fee for the Discipleship Training School.

Pete has loved working for Scripture Union and he hopes to keep in touch with the folks there. We'll be praying for you at this time of change at SU and hope that you can all hold onto the the hope that God has you in his hands.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Preparation time in full swing

We're so grateful for all your prayers. Things are starting to come together now. References have been sought and we're just waiting to see if we've been accepted!

Thank you to everyone who has pledged to support us. We'll keep you posted about the application process and how you can start to send donations over the next few months.

Watch this space!

Thursday 13 August 2009

Preparation time August 2009

Welcome to our first entry as bloggers!

We have felt led to do a DTS with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) for some time, and are praying for more confirmation about when and where.

Our plan, God willing, is to spend the first six months with YWAM, provisionally in Muizenberg, South Africa though that is subject to acceptance. We’ll update the blog as and when we’ve received acceptance. There are many 'Mercy Ministries' in Muizenberg that we'd like to get involved with (such as working in the fields of human trafficking and HIV prevention), bringing with us our skills that we’ve developed here in the UK and looking to learn new skills for the future.

There is an anti-trafficking project called Justice ACTs (Alliance of Christians against Trafficking) that is based in the Muizenberg office -
We are excited about the possibility of working on this project while there, in the build up to the 2010 World Cup when the UN estimate that 100,000 women and children will be trafficked into South Africa!

Where we’re at:
Peter’s still at Scripture Union. He loves it there and would look to work with them again in the future. Maybe in Bletchley, maybe somewhere else. He’s passionate about fundraising and has skills in marketing, project management, events management and campaigning. He’s hoping that he can use his skills abroad to the benefit of a mission programme.

Becky’s working at World Vision, project managing Sponsor Visits to enable child sponsors to go out to the field and visit the children and the community, after Child Protection checks. This venture has had an amazing effect on building a closer relationship between supporter and beneficiary. Becky has a passion for prevention of human trafficking and HIV. She really wants to get out into the field to serve practically, and build on her experience in this area.

Both of us are excited but we really need your prayers!

Please pray for:
• The next step (what do we do now)?
• Our application to YWAM Muizenberg, that this is the right thing.
• God’s provision for us to do this (we can’t do this in our own strength, financially or otherwise).
• Trust and endurance for this brave step.

Give thanks for:
• God’s provision of work so far through Scripture Union and World Vision
• His plan for this world and each of our lives.

Support us?
Part of our acceptance onto the DTS and working on the projects in Muizenberg will be to provide evidence that we have people supporting us. Would you be willing to support us in this venture (prayerfully and possibly financially)? Just email or text us with your pledge and we’ll be in touch to let you know how you can make your donation!

Thank you