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

Latest News July 2014

Friday 18th July, 2014

The months of January & February were spent mainly in preparation of new materials plus, plus a very profitable ‘Football Mission’ with Smethwick Gospel Hall which included speaking to a group of young teens [90% Muslim] every day.

It was also around this time that I was presented with an award from West Midlands Police in recognition of the Chaplaincy work I carry out. The citation read:

We are committed to recognising the good work, which is regularly undertaken within our Department, and by others, in support of our aims.

The HR Recognition and Appreciation panel independently considered many nominations from colleagues in support of their peers this year. The nomination made for you impressed the panel as an outstanding contribution and they unanimously agreed that you should receive some formal acknowledgement of your achievements.

Your empathetic and patient support for colleagues and members of the community is much admired and respected by us all. Please do extend our appreciation to the whole Chaplaincy Team.

On behalf of the HR Department Senior Leadership Team and the HR Recognition and Appreciation Panel, I would like to thank you for your huge efforts, technical knowledge and patience. You are setting standards to which we all aspire.

In March, I enjoyed another rewarding trip to Poland. I spoke at a youth conference: ‘Walka’ – The Fight! Praise God for around 20 young people who responded to an invitation for commitment to Christian service! In addition, because of this visit, in conversation with folk from the church that organised the conference – we are planning my next Israel Tour! March next year – from Poland!

A further source of ministry this year has been my involvement with the ‘Emmaus’ Romanian Church here in Erdington, where I have been preaching at least once every month.

Dear Friends,

Pete has asked me to write a note, what to write I am not sure. Today is our 48th Wedding Anniversary; we do thank the Lord for these years that seem to have passed so quickly. His faithfulness in both the good and the difficult times is the thing that has sustained us. We celebrated by Pete having his books audited by a dear friend from Church, having a new fence erected in the garden, clearing up the mess, taking a trip to the tip, and popped into The Harvester for lunch. We know how to celebrate!

I still visit people who are unwell, run errands for others, speak at some ladies meetings. I am hoping to visit my mum in Minehead a bit more, as she is not quite as well as she was. I also have an Uncle who lives near Melksham, he is now a widower and would like some visits. We are going to be doing some more marriage seminars after several years break from them, so I have to update the material. One weekend in October, we will be doing them in Poland and then staying on for a holiday in lovely apartment nearby.

 

Both of our daughters celebrate their Silver Weddings this year, Anita and Rob’s was in June and they had a holiday in Italy to celebrate, they loved it. Lynzi and Paul celebrate theirs in August and are having a holiday in the USA.

 

Katrina graduates this year and is looking for midwifery work. Peter James finished college with distinction and is looking for work in an airport while still working part time at B&Q. He hopes to work for MAF one day. Jack has done almost one year of his apprenticeship; he works very hard and long hours. Joe is working for the Church and does some days in a Doctor’s surgery, filing etc.

 

Lynzi is not so well sometimes and has steroid injections when she needs them to help her cope with the Lupus. Paul finishes at RAF Cosford this year, and as yet, they do not know where his next job will be. It would be wonderful if he could be at home more than he is now.

 

Anita is still at the same school, and getting very tired as they get close to the end of term. She has been called for jury service right in the middle of the holiday so she is not very impressed. Rob is still very busy, mostly working from home but commuting to London once or twice a week. They have just had a nice conservatory built and are very pleased with it.

 

I am ok, noticeably getting older some days! However, remembering “as your days so shall your strength be.” I pray that you will the Lord know the smile of the Lord upon you all. Numbers 6:24 -26.

With love

Maureen