I sat in Madrid airport and began writing this blog and reflecting on the past few months which do resemble my pilgrimage from Winchester to York. Energy sapping, totally exhausting days, travel and then the long waits at airports (reflection time, like Narnia’s "The wood between the worlds."). So below is a brief summary of our journey.
The last week of my sabbatical was spent at the Desiring God Conference in the US. A rich roast dinner of prime beef, carved to mouth-sized pieces, by our chef and teacher John Piper; an amazing man of humility and grace who opens the bible and leaves you hungry for more of God.
Returning home it was so good to reconnect with Citygate Church and to hug dear friends as well as catch up on all the post Westpoint news.
Within two weeks we were flying again and this time to India. We arrived at Kochi and stayed with our good friends Arun and JoyAnne. The first night after arrival I woke to the "alien in my gut" experience. Lying on the cool marble floor in agony, I was reminded of those dear friends around the globe praying for us. Twenty-four hours later, I was fighting fit and enjoyed being with Robin and Rani in their brilliant church.
Bangalore was next with Steve and Debs Tibbert, for 2 days fellowship with leaders. So encouraging to find a number of city churches reporting excellent growth. The rest of the week was time with other leaders being stirred to pray for this great nation of India.
Returning to the UK, we spent the next weekend with Grant and Suz in Plymouth, teaming with John Groves and also speaking at the Spirit and Fire celebration. The following week we spent two days as Citygate elders praying and seeking God for 2015 - an intimate time - and excited by the plans God has for Citygate. I can’t wait to see them unfold. Having Mick Taylor in the room is a God-send - another pillar in the building of this incredible church.
From Bournemouth, it was off to Madrid for a church and wider NF churches weekend with me and Lee & Stacey Yarborough speaking. God was all over this time with many significant Holy Spirit moments. The church in Spain (and Portugal) is in a new season of growth and salvation. We were truly blessed to be a part of this and to hang out with our dear friends - Kevin, Ness, Mike and Jessica.
Now we were home for Christmas, no more international travel till February and a time to reconnect with our family and church family. We managed to squeeze in a hog roast at Camberley for Mark and Bev's final send off - a moving tribute from the church to this faithful couple, as well as excitement for the new church plant in Newbury.
Last week we gathered as UK based NF apostles for catching up and prayer for the nation and our partnering together in this. It felt like someone had opened a window, and fresh air filled our lungs as we breathed out our shared hopes and dreams for our nation; an intimate time and so encouraging.
So now to Christmas, and this special weekend where I will be speaking at our traditional Carol service. I love preaching the gospel, and on this, the 100 year anniversary of the WW1 Christmas day peace, I am asking God for many to get out of their trenches and embrace the Prince of Peace.
Thanks to all who pray for Heather and I.
Much love, Guy