Parties and preparations

Two months before we go … it has been a season of parties!

Mark & Barbara

Mark & Barbara at Ruby Wedding party

Back in September we had a wonderful party for family and friends at Hughes Hall Cambridge (where Mark has been a Fellow). This was to celebrate our Ruby Wedding anniversary, our coming 60th birthdays, Mark’s retirement, and the birth of our first grandchild, Jasmine Joy. So many reasons to celebrate; it was a very special occasion!

Family & friends

Family & friends at Hughes Hall

At the start of November Mark retired from Cambridge University, having been Head of Counselling there for 17 years. This was marked with further parties and a wonderful send off. The years at Cambridge have been a time of blessing, progress for the Counselling Service and work with great colleagues, who will certainly be missed.

Andrew & Jasmine Joy

Andrew & Jasmine Joy

So now we are adjusting to being at home together: this is not a great challenge, as we enjoy each other’s company! And it gives us a couple of months to properly focus on preparing to go to Kenya in January.

Our home is currently a mess, with stuff that was at Mark’s work, presents, and half-sorted things everywhere. However, next week we have a lettings agent coming to take pictures of the house; some serious tidying is needed!

We are beginning to sort out our possessions, and have already sold, lent or given away various items. It is interesting to notice that many possessions we recently thought important to us, now seem mere encumbrances, just stuff to be dealt with. A few things still seem important because they have personal meaning rather than monetary value; reminders of people and events; things that cannot be easily replaced. We are trusting that God will give us a clearer view of what actually matters.

Our commissioning service will be at church on 8th December and a number of family and members of Africa Inland Mission will be there, as well as our church family. If you can come too, we would be delighted! (9.30am on Sunday 8th December at ChristChurch South Cambs; see for the venue)

Endings and ‘leaving well’ matter. We are making plans to see family over Christmas and the New Year, and with many of them this will the time to say ‘goodbye for now’. With many people, keeping in touch by email and Skype should be easy, but for others, pen and ink will still be best.

For those of you who pray,  please pray:

  • For physical, emotional and spiritual healing for the people of Nairobi who were affected by the recent atrocities
  • For us to make time first of all for prayer as we prepare to go
  • For Godly wisdom about our possessions – which to give away, to sell, to loan, or to store?
  • For our Commissioning Service on 8th December; that this would also challenge more people to be involved in mission work whether as ‘go-ers’ or ‘senders’
  • For more prayer supporters and financial support (over 80% of our finance will come from pension income and savings; about half of the rest is already pledged)