Greetings to all of you,

The big update of this letter is some family news. Our youngest, Phinehas Michael Ely, was born at 20:55 on Friday 17 February. In our previous updates we asked for prayer that the birth would be extra-smooth to avoid the eagerness of Cypriot doctors for medical interventions. We are happy to report that the Lord answered our prayers, and that the delivery went very smoothly. Margarita and Phinehas are both doing well so far and Phinehas has so far been uncomplicated (by new-born standards), for which we are thankful. Aurelia enjoys having a little brother, particularly watching nappy changes, and seems to be taking the changes in her stride.

Other than the unusual-ness of having a new baby, ministry continues as normal here in Larnaca. We recently finished running through the first half of Ephesians with the inter-church youth group. A relatively large number of professing Christians in Cyprus are ‘untethered’ in that they are not properly settled in local churches and see little reason to be. I ended our teaching on Ephesians with an attempt to show the grand and wise beauty of the church in Paul’s eyes, so pray that these things start to take root and that the young people would not only grow up with some vague and ill-defined sense of believing in ‘God’, but would have their hearts turned to the wonder of Christ himself and his household, the church, which they are invited into.

We are planning to hold our usual youth summer camp this year; pray for us as we plan that. Particularly pray that we are able to choose a good speaker. Pray also that we can find enough suitable leaders and helpers as well. We always seem to be struggling to find leaders and this year we are losing one of our main long-standing leaders to visa issues. The benefit of a camp like this stands or falls on the quality of the speaker and leaders, so pray particularly for these things.

My Greek learning continues – the language seems to get bigger and bigger the more I learn and this stage of ‘almost there but not quite capable enough to feel confidently at ease’ feels like a particularly frustrating phase of things. I will be starting to lead more studies in Greek in the next few weeks, on top of Sunday school and prayer meetings. Continue to pray for all these things, that they would build my language confidence.

I hope to be making progress on some theological training related projects soon, though my ability to move forward on the things that we’d like to do depends on some ongoing conversations with various people, so I have little that I can share concretely at this point. Pray that the Lord would open opportunities to establish something of benefit to the churches here.

I would, however, value your prayers for a monthly men’s theology group I have been trying to get off the ground. The group is in place, we have met once, and everyone involved seems keen to meet again. However, various life-circumstances and last-minute cancellations have meant that the last two attempts to meet have failed. Pray that we’d be able to meet again soon (after three months now) and that we’d build some momentum, so that studying these things together would bear long-term fruit for the church in Cyprus.

As always, we are very thankful for all of you and the various ways you have been supporting us.

We will be back in the UK during the summer for a couple of months. Hopefully in that time we will be able to catch up with many of you.

All the best,
David and Margarita

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