It's been quite busy here and there are three weeks f activity I wanted to write something about that have just gone by.
In the first week (May 12-18) we had people staying with us from New Zealand. I think I mentioned how Georgina from Wellington was here in London 26 years ago when she was given a tract by us on the street (she still has it). She came to church and within a very short time was converted. After five weeks she moved down to Crawley where she met her now husband, Graham. Things were not straightforward but their son Calvin was born about six years before they headed to New Zealand to live. They have been in Christchurch these last 14 years and as you will be aware these have not been easy years for that city. Further, Georgina now has stage 4 cancer and so it was a bitter sweet reunion. She is very positive about it while being realistic and it was lovely to have them with us. On the Friday I had to leave for Cwmbran where there was a funeral for a man who had been a deacon in the church where I grew up, Derek Morgan. Derek's brother started the service. I thought it was just right when he began the service by saying that he had discussed what should be said with Derek and they were agreed to begin by saying Derek was a sinner and so are well but Christ saves sinners. I have not heard such a good beginning to a funeral. Pontrhydyrun minister Jonny Raine did well too and spoke very clearly to a very mixed company. It was good to see old friends, some of whom I have not seen in ages. We did not realise it at the time but that was a very special period in the seventies when many, many young people were saved. We are now scattered but some remain in the area.
The second week (May 19-25) was my birthday week and that was a lot of fun. That was on Wednesday. I had an phone and various other things. The best present came the next day, however, when we went to Heathrow to collect our on Gwion fresh home from his stint in America. True to form he arrived without luggage, prompting a wild goose change to Gatwick, where he should have come in originally. We were shattered by the end of the day. His suitcases have now been located and should arrive by the end of the week. On the Friday evening we all (Eleri, Gwion, Owain and I) headed out to Pizza Express for a celebratory meal. Great time.
I have spoken of how this third week (May 26-June 01) began with celebrations in church. On the Monday we headed off to Derbyshire, to Tibshelf (yes, it does have an M1 services but we are on the other side). We are staying in a lovely old farmhouse in the town for a family holiday. We have been up to 23 here plus Alffi the dog all told but one son and wife have headed back to Wales and a niece has flown off to Uganda where she is for the next five weeks with UFM. Meanwhile we have been enjoying the house and one another and one or to sites, including Hardwick Hall. There was also a further celebration as some of the boys had still to give me a gift. I was given a lovely book and a voucher for a night in a hotel. These are very easy and enjoyable days.