May 2015 update

Wednesday 20th May, 2015

Dear Prayer Partners & Friends

I thought it was about time to post an update to our news. We are almost completely recovered from our accident in January. I just have a few chest pains which I am working to resolve with the help of the physio-terrorist. We had a lovely holiday for two weeks at Sizewell, down in Suffolk. I did some of the driving so that I could get used to it. We love the area, had brilliant weather, and truly relaxed together.

I’m now fulfilling all my engagements again. Two days a week I am involved with my Force Chaplaincy work with the police. Recently our chaplaincy services have combined together with the Police Federation to arrange some evenings with the Football Clubs where our Operations Department are involved policing the matches. This is so that the clubs can show their appreciation to the officers, staff and families that are involved. We have held the first at West Bromwich Albion. Two more are scheduled for Wolves [29th] and Aston Villa [5th June]. As you can imagine, Villa is a sell-out! We are present at each event, available to speak to all those who attend. Everyone is given a ‘goody-bag’ from the club containing amongst other things a West Midlands Police Gideon New Testament & Psalms! I also take Alfred along in his Police uniform to chat with all the children present.

Last Sunday we had our first long distance preaching engagement since the accident. It was a pleasure to visit our fiends at Appleton Independent Methodist church near Warrington again. Please continue to pray for our ongoing ministry. We had an email from friends that we haven’t seen for some time stating: we are amazed and delighted by your escape from serious injury or death! God obviously still has work for you both!

Thank you all for your interest and prayers, Peter & Maureen

Easter 2015

Wednesday 18th March, 2015

Dear Prayer Partners & Friends

We thought it was about time to write and bring you up to date with our situation since our accident on the 29th January.

It may be that some of you may have slipped through our communications net and didn’t know about our accident. We were on our way to visit Maureen’s mother in Minehead, she had not been well for some time. Then on the way home again we were to spend a couple of nights in a hotel to celebrate my birthday. We were caught in a sudden hailstorm near Bridgewater, and within a couple of minutes the roads turned white and cars started sliding.  I estimate I was doing 20 – 30 at the time and I slid into the path of a large Merc sprinter Van. Maureen’s car was a total write off.  People who saw the car have said we were lucky to get out alive. My airbag did not function properly and my chest had a fight with the steering wheel.  Steering wheel won and gave me a total fracture of the Sternum! Maureen was very bruised and in pain too!

We were taken into Taunton hospital, but were released late at night as I think they thought it would be a bigger shock for Maureen’s mum if we were kept in. Maureen’s sister, Pam, came with a friend to take us to her bungalow in Minehead, where we stayed for two weeks, being looked after by her, until well enough to travel back home. As Maureen had no car and I was not allowed to drive, Anita and Rob very kindly came to Minehead and drove us back to Birmingham. I was told that I must not lift anything heavier than a kettle for TWELVE WEEKS; must wear a  cushion between chest and seat belt when in  a car; and should not drive again until I can do an emergency stop. How will I know if I can do an emergency stop, I thought? Should I practice?!

Well, this week I have started to drive [very gently] again, and yesterday visited my first couple of stations with my chaplaincy work. I did feel quite worn out , and in pain again at the end of the day and so I am taking it easier today. The enforced time of rest has, however, given me some time to do a little work on my Doctoral thesis.

Due to the situation after the accident I also had to cancel some of my engagements, including the most important one: the first Polish trip to Israel on March 3rd. Fortunately, the tour company obtained an excellent guide for them, and I sent a whole batch of emails to my Polish translator, Marta, who was to be my assistant tour leader, and trained her to do the whole job herself! Apparently she was excellent. Sadly one of the tour members had a stroke and was taken to hospital in Haifa, he had two operations and is still in an induced coma, some of his family have flown out to be with him and his wife who cannot speak English . Please pray for him; his name is Leszek. I also had to cancel the annual sports mission in Smethwick. I was given a lift last Saturday to a men’s breakfast to fulfil my first speaking engagement since the accident. Further speaking engagements in the coming weeks are: 22/3 Falcon Lodge Chapel; 24/3 Whitehouse Common School; 29/3 George Road Baptist; 11-25/4 Holiday, Sizewell, Suffolk

Also, since the accident, much to the hard work of Lynzi, Maureen has been able to replace the car I mangled! She has a second hand Toyota Aygo, it is automatic and she is gradually getting used to not changing gear!

Thank you all for your prayers

With Christian love, Peter & Maureen

November 2014 Update

Saturday 22nd November, 2014

Since our last newsletter we don’t seem to have seen much let up in the number of ministry engagements we receive. So you can understand how grateful we were in:

September  to spend a week on holiday on the lovely island of Madeira!

During the other three weeks we were able to conduct our series of Marriage Seminars ‘Time for Each Other’ with Kingshurst Evangelical Church. This was good preparation for our visit to Poland in:

October but I’ll let Maureen say a little bit about that:

Dear Friends, Psalm 46, was given me on October 7th. A friend said that just as road bridges are strengthened to take heavy traffic and houses to withstand gales, The Lord strengthens us for the difficult times that He knows are ahead.

The last couple of months have not been easy but they have been blessed. We flew to Poland on October 9th to do marriage seminars at two Churches. We were in a very beautiful area in Poland and were given hospitality by some lovely Christians. The marriage seminars went well, and we were able to pray with several people. The other meetings Pete did were well received too.

Unfortunately, my mum had not been well, she told the family not to tell me how poorly she was because she felt that I would be reluctant to go. When I was there she became very ill, collapsed and was taken to hospital. By the grace of God my brother, sister and sister-in-law were with her when it happened. We all thought she was dying and it was hard to be so far away. Pete tried to find flights home for me, but I had a feeling deep inside that I should stay and do the work. That evening I gave my testimony at the church in Bielsko-Biała and asked the congregation to pray that I would see Mum again.

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Picture shows Maureen sharing her Testimony

 

 

 

The Pastor, Piotr Żądło gave me the following quote by Andrew Murray:

First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, In His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows. Let me say I am here, (1) By God’s appointment, (2) In His keeping, (3) Under His training, (4) For His time.

This was confirmation that I should stay. Mum had a low Potassium and Sodium count this was treated in hospital and she came home. Thirty six hours after landing in Birmingham I came here and spent a couple of weeks helping my sister to look after Mum. She is still very weak but improving.

I went home last weekend to celebrate my 70th birthday with our children and grandchildren; we had a lovely meal together and enjoyed a delicious Gluten Free birthday carrot cake made by our granddaughter Katrina. I have come back to Mum’s because she is not yet able to care fully for herself and my sister still has a job.

Family news: Katrina graduated with a first class honours degree, and has started a midwifery job in Peterborough. Peter James is still looking for work in an airport, while working part time at B&Q. He broke his toe playing football on Monday so that doesn’t help! Jack’s apprenticeship is in its second year. Joe is still working as Intern for his Church. In December he is being baptised at his Church, by his Granddad, Peter. Paul is still waiting to find out what his next posting will be. Anita, Rob and Lynzi are still in the same jobs.

That first verse of Psalm 46 tells us that God is not only our strength, He is our refuge too. I love a refuge. When out in the bitter cold winds of winter there is nothing nicer than coming home, shutting the door and enjoying the peace, warmth and comfort. That is just what Jesus will do for us if we let Him. May The Lord be your strength and refuge at this time. With many thanks for your prayers and support, Maureen.

Peter Continues: While preaching in Zywiec, and two churches in Bielsko-Biała we were contacted by a Pas

tor in the Czech Republic and asked if we could go over there and preach. So, Pastor Mirek Kulec came across the border to pick us up and take us to one of the most amazing churches I’ve ever seen in Hradek. I don’t have one single picture that can do this facility justice! A search on the internet for pictures of: ‘kosciol braterski w grodku’ should turn a few up if you’re interested.

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Peter & Maureen enjoy the wonderful view from the roof of the church in Hradec.

 

In all we preached 14 times during our visit in addition to spending some wonderful free time in an area containing some of the most wonderful scenery in Europe.

Two days after arriving home I started the annual Football / Sports mission at the beginning of:

November This was an excellent opportunity to reach a large group of mainly Asian & West Indian Lads. Now I have two or three fairly quiet weeks [apart from a couple of days each week with my Police Chaplaincy work]. It means that I have time available to study and work on some new materials.

This last week I had a wonderful surprise when I received a phone call from the Head of Education of Sandwell Borough Council ordering 97 complete sets of the Alfred Programme, one for every school in the Borough! This is the by far biggest order we’ve ever received! I pray that this will encourage other Councils to use the Programme too.

Finally, I have been invited to return to Poland the week before Christmas for a repeat of last year’s Operation Christmas Child event; when we had the opportunity to reach over 600 children and their families with the Gospel message. Please pray for this and our other engagements.

God Bless you all,

Peter