As a church, we believe that it’s incredibly important to be rooted within our community of Aldridge. We encourage our members to be actively living for Jesus in their places of work, their schools and their homes, so that the light of Jesus might truly shine in Aldridge. We also hold twice yearly outreach events in Aldridge Shopping Centre, at Christmas and Easter, to show the people of our community that their local church is alive and active, and that Jesus has a plan for their lives. Take a look at some of the photos of our most recent outreach events in Aldridge.
We are enjoying the challenges of living in a third world country. It took a little time to get adjusted to the heat and the 9 hour time difference when we arrived back. Around Christmas our telephone went out for about 10 days which meant a Christmas without communication!
The local electricity board has problems – today our electricity came on for half an hour at 1.30pm and then for 2 hours from 4pm to about 6pm. It has now just come on a little after 11pm. Each day the electricity goes off for an uncertain amount of time, it can be 2 hours or 12 hours. This makes life just a little difficult, the lap top, the cell phones and the emergency lamp do not have enough time to recharge properly. The water board usually sends us water twice a week. The rest of the time we rely on a water pump fuelled by electricity. The rice cooker is also useless and the fridge is a little confused. While you have snow we have nice warm weather at about 35 degrees – which is tolerable when the air conditioner works. We try to cool our bedroom down, rejoicing for an hour or two of cooler surroundings. You must realise it also gets dark here at around 6pm. Our ability to work in these conditions has been greatly reduced.
Attempts are also being made to make the general community temperature hotter, with many small skirmishes taking place causing tension etc. All this is in preparation for elections coming up in April. We need wisdom to be in the right place at the right time and not be in places where things could suddenly flare up.
Tomorrow we travel to one place that the social temperature was quite hot a few weeks ago. We are taking school bags, pens, pencils and other things for children who lost every thing when they lost their houses suddenly in December. We are taking school bags for both communities. We also want to try and sort out the distribution of our children’s magazine. Our distributor still owes almost a thousand pounds for about 800 magazines that have not been paid for. We visited her in December and she gave us only 5% of what she owes us! Please pray for wisdom.
The next edition of the magazine should have gone to print a week or so ago, but with the limited electricity we are facing difficulties in getting the layout sorted out before we send the copy to for printing. Please pray that when we get back on Thursday we can get the last bit finished.
Thanks for your prayer support.
Hilary & Reza
Paul and Cathy were members of AYF in the late 70’s and later became Pathfinder and House Group leaders.
Not long after they were married they felt that God had some full-time work for them overseas. This initially began with a move to Sheffield in 1992 to work for a Christian management training company. Three years later they felt the Lords prompting that another change was imminent and this led to a move to Africa where they helped set up a youth program with the Lesotho-Durham link in the capital Maseru. An initial three-year commitment turned into four after which the youth work was handed over to the nationals.
Then, after feeling God was moving them into mission flying Paul enrolled at a flying school and completed his South African commercial license with an instrument rating in December 1999.
The family moved from Lesotho to White River in South Africa in June of 2003 where they now work with Mercy Air. Mercy Air was borne out of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and is a sister, although smaller organisation to the more well-known Mercy Ships. They are situated near Nelspruit and provide a service to the missions/relief/aid/development community in the southern African region but mainly Mozambique.
They operate four aircraft at present – a Cessna 310, a turbine Quest Kodiak and two Eurocopter 350’s which are used jointly for mission and relief flights.
When not flying Paul is responsible for flight operations, publicity and is Mercy Air’s safety officer.
Cathy, who is a registered nurse and midwife, volunteers part time at Africa School of Missions which is a bible college preparing missionaries for overseas service. She teaches basic medical skills and is part of a team which visits rural clinics during the week. She also helps with Mercy Air’s hospitality ministry.
Matthew spend four years at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, SA where he studied photo journalism. He has now flown the nest and is living with his wife in Durban where they are freelance photographers. They have a young daughter named Isabella.