Blessed Chinese New Year! We write on the second day of the new lunar year, a public holiday here, and one which is unusually quiet. Rather than the streets and shopping malls and public areas being crowded, many have travelled overseas to their ‘homelands’ or are staying at home for their family reunions. Family life, and honouring family, is a cultural influence that is still very strong here.
At such times we feel the distance particularly acutely between ourselves and our own families, although we are making every effort to keep our connections. Indeed yesterday Ineke flew to Perth to continue her ‘nanny duties’ as she continues to help Paul and Monique care for Finley and Marley as Monique’s university studies start up again. It is a real blessing that we can help in this and support them and Monique’s family.
We have just had Christmas off! For the first Christmas in 25 years Peter has not had any church or ministry duties. How strange that felt! We are very thankful that we were able to take some time out to visit Ineke’s parents and sister and brother-in-law in George, South Africa. It was a wonderful time indeed and so good to be able to give time to Ineke’s parents at this stage in their life.
Also, in way of being intentional in getting more time around family and friends we shall go to the UK at the end of May for nearly a month this time, which we look forward to very much.
Since the last newsletter we have now moved home into our fourth place in four years. However, it is proving to be a very good move where we have been able to make home quickly and discover a new area which is an excellent location to live in. This should now be the last move! See the view from our balcony.
As for the future, Ineke’s role at the mental health clinic has come to an end now that she is travelling so much to help in Perth. However, she will remain available to them as needed when she is in Singapore, as well as helping the cathedral with smaller projects of an admin nature, perhaps with children’s ministry and the wedding preparation course.
At the cathedral Peter will be releasing some leadership responsibilities for the two main services he serves so that he can give some time to helping one of the cathedral church plants (the ACTS Centre) as it establishes itself in a new location and moves towards a more independent parish status. This will include more regular Sunday preaching at this congregation together with some intentional mentoring of their key pastoral workers and ordinands.
It is exciting how the relationship with St Stephen’s Anglican Church Maesot, Thailand, is deepening. Some land has been identified as a good area for building a designated church building and ministry centre and St Andrew’s Cathedral has agreed to contribute generously to this to get things off the ground. Peter will be travelling to Maesot to speak at their annual vision and planning retreat from 14–16 March and encouraging them in listening to the Lord and developing their vision for the future. It is such a privilege to be involved with them in this. Before the retreat Peter will take a couple of days in Bangkok spending some time with the cathedral’s short-term mission people at Lat Krabang and also catching up with our Bangkok friends and mission contacts.
We thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement and look forward to updating you again in the future.
With our love
Peter and Ineke
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