Latest News – December 2020

Wednesday 9th December, 2020

Peter & Maureen’s Christmas Newsletter

 

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 | NKJV

 

Maureen writes: Dear Prayer Partners, A friend wrote, ‘What a bizarre year!’  That sums it up very well!

 

If told this time last year that in 2020, we wouldn’t be allowed to go to Church, meet together to pray, sing or worship the Lord. Be with our family and visit their homes, share meals with them or hug and kiss them. We must not go out with friends for coffee or a meal.  We could not put our arms around a newly bereaved person or go to funerals to show our support because there are too many relatives going and we must not exceed a stated number. Weddings had to be changed or postponed, new grandparents could not visit their children and meet the new family member. Terrorism, stabbings, shootings. Increasing persecution of Christians around the world. Education suspended for months. People needing medical treatment were put on hold and many left in pain. Needing to wear masks and using hand sanitizer! Beside all that the number of natural disasters have been devastating, fires, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, hurricanes, snow storms, the Beast from the East, the hottest November ever recorded and a pandemic sweeping the world! We were warned in Scripture that these things would happen in the last days before Jesus returns, look up for your redemption draws near! Luke 21:28

This year has been tough for everyone! Our struggle has been with Pete’s health issues but we are very grateful that he is so much better. Pete says he feels normal and has been doing DIY around the house but he needs to build up his stamina so we go for walks most days 30-40 minutes.

Anita finds her school work challenging, with doors and windows open and a very long one way system in place, all which are measures to try and reduce the risks of Covid19.  At one period of time, 14 members of staff were at home as they all had contracted Covid! All but one have now returned to school.

Rob was made redundant just before Christmas last year. During this time, he has applied for well over a hundred jobs and two weeks before the one year anniversary of being jobless, he secured two jobs!  The Lord makes me laugh sometimes! One job is temporary, and the other part time at the moment,  so he is working hard juggling them both currently.

Grandson Peter and Larissa are still doing the same jobs, but Larissa’s hours have been cut. Joe is  training to be a nuclear police officer.

Lynzi and Paul still work, one for the NHS and the other for the RAF. Lynzi and our grand-daughter Katrina both caught Covid over Easter. Lyn was very poorly for around 4 weeks but didn’t have to go into hospital. Katrina’s only symptoms were loss of taste and smell for a few days.  She complained that she couldn’t taste her Easter eggs! Both of them are well now, Praise the Lord! They are delighted to announce that Jack got engaged to Caitlin recently, she is a lovely keen Christian and we are very pleased. Planning a wedding for next year is difficult as they have no idea presently how many guests they can invite.

I am well, and actually better than I have been for years. Giving up dairy, as well as gluten was hard but worth it! My garden was a real oasis during lockdown and I really thank God for it. I do feel for people that have no outdoor space. In the summer we loved having family and friends over in the garden for coffee and a chat, keeping to six at a time and social distancing. The girls came for a few hours on different occasions and Bryan and Alive, (my brother and sister-in-law), even had their Golden Wedding meal in our garden! It was nearly as good as Switzerland where they had been booked to take their whole family!?

Christmas will be different this year but I pray that you all may enjoy the Presence of the Lord and the Peace that He came to bring. I also pray that you and your families be kept safe and well during this pandemic.

Look up, for Jesus is coming back, wouldn’t it be amazing if He returned on the day we celebrate His first  coming?

 

Love from Maureen

 

PS Looking forward to the day when like St Paul, we find ourselves on the road to Damascus (de-mask-us)

 

Peter writes: As I think about it, the last year seems to have been a ‘tunnel of illness’ for me, and its only recently that I have begun to see some light at the end. Beginning in January I caught Influenzae A, along with a severe chest infection and Pleurisy, causing an enlarged heart with severe atrial fibrillation! This put me in hospital twice. Then, I had to experiment with the timings that I should take the many types of medication with which they supplied me, in an order in which they didn’t conflict with each other, producing a feeling of ‘the battle of the pills’ raging internally.

 

Having eventually solved that problem I was attacked by a 4mm Kidney stone resulting in such excruciating pain the paramedics phoned my doctor and requested morphine for me before taking me to hospital again.  I was then sent hometo pass the stone naturally. The pain however increased to the point where I was put back into another hospital to be operated on. Unfortunately the surgeon only pushed the stone further into my kidney, and he had to insert a stent until they could get me to a Covid clear hospital for a further operation. After a further two months of agonising waiting together with side effects, which meant I would to spend two thirds of each day in bed, the hospital sent for me again.  The same surgeon who originally pushed the stone deeper into my kidney, removed the stent.  He said the stone, which had now grown to 5mm, almost fell out on its own. I’ve never seen a happier surgeon!

 

The hospital overseeing my heart failure has recently referred me to the local Community Heart Failure Nurse, which is a very welcome move. I had my first meeting with her on November 13th (one and a quarter hours – face to face, not that common these days). And I had my second meeting with her colleague yesterday. She has started me on a new heart drug, which has experienced marvellous results on 90% of patients who take it. I am praying that I am part of that 90% and not the other 10%!

 

Looking to the future I’m still straining at the leash to begin teaching the Contextualised Leadership Development Course for MidWestern Baptist Seminary in Kansas City (to be taught locally). Each time we get close to setting the start date, the Government imposes yet another set of Covid restrictions! We’ve adapted all the materials, received approval from the Dean of MidWestern and also received approval for transmitting the Course to Romania and Poland. If Government restrictions continue to be extended much longer then we may have to begin by making the Course available electronically here too. You may wonder why I am so eager to begin sharing the materials. Let me explain. The Course core subject is Personal Evangelism and Discipleship, and the main reason for my eagerness comes from the effects arising from the Covid Pandemic. I think that it has caused folk to consider their future, and the afterlife more than ever before, and this will result in a host of folk seeking answers to their questions. Those who take the Course will be able to share the Gospel in a friendly and easy manner. Using some of the many methods demonstrated on the Course, I believe it will lead many to make a positive response to the Good News! Is it possible that you may be interested? Contact us for copies of the course brochure and the syllabus – it will be our pleasure to send them to you.

 

Now let me share something with you which may be a great help if you are connected with a Christian church, charity, or other Christian organisation: The Christian Supply Chain Buying Group. Join this group, which will cost you nothing, and you will be able to save money from loads of different companies supplying things like Beds/Bed Linen; Coffee & Tea; Catering; Furniture; Insurance; Office Products; Print & Design; Photocopiers; Utilities; Telecoms etc. Discounts from companies like Screwfix, Staples, B & Q etc. Look up this Christian Company for more information, and if you would like a free account Allison their Cost Reduction Manager has sent me the following link for you:

 

https://www.memberscscbg.org.uk/user/create/

 

Every blessing for a very Happy Christmas

 

Peter

Latest News

Friday 25th October, 2019

Christian Family Ministries News – October 2019
Peter goes back to Poland, thrilled that Alfred can still
speak English! What a thrill to work with the Polish Police in
Szczecin again. Two full weeks, working together in several
different schools, three a day sometimes. In addition, we spent a fair amount of time brainstorming future events, including making more Alfred movies, coming up with a brilliant and much simpler way of distributing the Alfred Programme’s, on USB stick format, instead of DVD’s! We also decided to produce new ‘give away’ stickers like the one’s West Midlands Police designed for me when we were working in Birmingham schools. Instead of artistic drawings produced by WMP art department, we decided to use real photos this time. Meet the Polish ‘Alfred Programme’ Schools Team on the left. We also have yet another additional item of news to share in connection with our Polish Ministry. Although Alfred returned with me to England, we are now able to introduce you to another member of Alfred’s family, his sister Anya. A dear brother in Open Air Campaigners, Alan Offord, died earlier this year and his widow is selling his vent doll, Charlie, together with some of his other evangelistic materials. Professional vintage vent dolls are very expensive and I felt led to offer £500 for Charlie. I paid almost £1500 for Alfred when he was new, all those years ago. My offer was accepted and I will be picking Alfred’s sister up next month.  We were thrilled when a few days after arriving home from Poland to receive a cheque for CFM for £500 from some very dear friends. Ewa (Eva) is a young woman from the Evangelical Church I work with in Poland. She is keen to be the operator and voice of Anya. I will be training her, and she will be able to appear with Alfred in future films and help to expand the programme in Poland, as there must come a day (hopefully many years in the future) when my Polish ministry will ultimately come to an end. It will also mean that Mariusz Socha, Pastor of the Evangelical Church, who is the Polish Director for my Alfred Programme won’t have to translate for Anya who will already be able to speak Polish!
– – – – A New Ministry – – – –
Some of you are already aware that I have been in touch with Mid Western Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, USA with a view to teaching one of their Contextualized Leadership Development courses on Discipleship and Evangelism here in Birmingham. You have to be approved by the Seminary and hold the minimum qualification of a Master’s Degree in Theology. It seems that I have been approved as a lecturer and we hope to begin teaching the first Course in the Spring. The Diploma awarded on completion of the course will be accredited by the Seminary. Please pray for the completion of all our preparation and plans.
We lead our next ‘Bible Comes Alive’ Tour with 30 members at the end of this month. Then at the beginning of December, we are having some long awaited work done on our house.
We wish you all every sincere blessing as we prepare for the fast approaching season of Advent. Peter and Maureen

Christmas News

Tuesday 4th December, 2018

Maureen shares our latest news:

Dear Friends, Thank you for your prayers and support over the last few months. It has been a very unsettled time as we still seek the Lord for what He wants us to do next. Pete is still keen to use his Evangelism experience to help others, passing on the baton as he calls it! We have both been speaking at different churches mostly in this area. I have also had a lot of health problems, antibiotics and hospital tests. One long term problem was put right by a trip to the Chiropractor! The strangest thing of all was that I became allergic to my Thyroid tablets! Even I could not believe it! I would wake up feeling fine in the morning, and a couple of hours after taking my medication, I would start to feel ill. I gradually worsened during the day and in the evening suddenly felt well again. For months I tried everything I could think of, then I changed my brand of Thyroxin and now I am well!

In September, we had a lovely holiday in Madeira. The weather was great, a bit too warm to do much, so sitting in the shade in the grounds of our hotel was just what we needed. If you love flowers and plants you would love Madeira.

We were back a few days and then went to ‘dog sit’ for Pepper, Lynzi’s short haired German Pointer. Our grandchildren were at home but both work long hours, Katrina as a Ward Manager in hospital and Jack is an Audi Service Technician. It was really nice to spend time with them. Lynzi & Paul went to Kentucky to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, where they visited a full size replica of Noah’s Ark and the Creation Museum. They were very impressed and had loads of photos to show us. It does look amazing. Paul & Lyn are very involved in their church. Paul works with the young people, the men’s ministry, and does some teaching. Lyn is the practical one who cares for people, and beavers away in the background making people welcome.

At the end of October, Pete led another tour to Israel. There were 37 of us, including thirteen lovely people from our own church! Chris, a friend from church, kindly organised a minibus for the 17 people from the Birmingham area to get to Heathrow. At Heathrow, we met up with ‘soon to be friends’ who had booked through our travel agency. But best of all, we were joined by Anita & Rob and Lynzi & Katrina. Our granddaughter was the one who had persuaded Pete to do ‘just one more trip’, so that she could go with him! Our girls had been with us on our first ever trip to Israel about 33 years ago so it was lovely that they came again. They were a real help to us as we led and took care of the people. The group gelled well together and we had fun, but also some moments when the Lord’s presence was so real, those times were very precious. We sang together, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ in the Church of St Anne, by the pool of Bethesda, only to be joined by a Polish group who sang it in their own language. It was lovely! To our amazement a Polish lady flung her arms around Pete and hugged him. He had preached in her church in Poland several times! The trip was hectic and we were all tired afterwards, but you have to see as much as possible when you are there. Several people heard about the trip and want Pete to do another one next year.

Anita & Rob are both finding their work stressful presently. Both are involved in their church, where Rob is a deputy church warden. Rob is also part of a team that goes out to feed the homeless people of Milton Keynes. Anita leads a Home group and administers Prayer Line. She recently has started to speak at a women’s group and at a local church.

Next May, we have a family wedding! Peter (our eldest grandson) is marrying the lovely Larissa, at St Mary’s Church, Bletchley. They are both keen Christians and would appreciate prayer for the wedding and all the preparations. They have asked Peter (granddad) to give the message at their marriage service. Peter (grandson) is working as a Flight Operations Controller, for 206 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton, so they will be looking for somewhere to live in that area and would appreciate prayer for that too. His brother Joe is back in England after several months in Norway. Joe is desperate to go back and work for the Lord but because of the language barrier, he has not been able to secure a job there. Currently, he is employed in social care but is seeking new opportunities and would appreciate prayer also.

We have a new Pastor at our church. He is a great preacher/teacher and has big ideas for the church. I really feel that there will be exciting weeks ahead. It is good to be a part of it.
Peter writes: As I expected, Maureen has not left me much room! However, that shouldn’t matter too much as she’s shared almost everything. I’m particularly blessed when I see the Lord working in people’s hearts and being able to lead them to Christ. I think of two in particular after preaching at a service yesterday, in addition to four young teenage girls who came to Christ at the end of another service just a few weeks ago. Please find a place for them in your prayers, that they may grow in the love, grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Maureen also mentions another Israel trip next year. We have decided to proceed with this and are working with our Jewish Tour Company to plan flights and itineraries etc. We have decided to ‘take on board’ the suggestions made by this year’s tour members and will make some changes to next year’s itinerary. These will include removing two or three sites from the tour, which members felt could be, replaced with other more interesting ones, and also giving more time for private exploration and contemplation. For example, a little longer on the shore of the Sea of Galilee paddling and reflecting on Jesus ministry along that same shore! We will send more information and post details on our website: (www.cfmtrust.org) when they are available.
May we take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy Christmas and a New Year full of spiritual blessing.
Love from Peter & Maureen