Thursday, 29 March 2012

Lunch with a good friend

Today I travelled to Cardiff to spend time with Dave Henson. 3 weeks ago he was flown back from St Petersburg in an air ambulance with a collapsed disc and a tumour in his spine.

His back pain is much improved (but is still troublesome) and he is awaiting a MRI scan to diagnose what the tumour is. Dave is expecting to need surgery and so planning to be in UK for another 5 months.

They are living in a church house and their children started at local schools last week. They had to leave all their possessions in Russia, including their car, and have now given notice on their flat. 

As ever, Dave is remarkably upbeat with these 'light and momentary troubles'. He is enjoying the book of Job and desires that his family are a display to the glory of God. All very inspiring, humbling and remarkable.

It has been a privilege to cheer him on and he sends his love to all at RFC.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Cheering on the runners

This Sunday is the Reading Half Marathon and 18000 people will be running past our church offices on London Street. This spot marks 5.5miles and typically there are less supporters on this stretch because it is right before the town centre (where the crowds are biggest).

This year, for the first time, we are setting up outside our offices to cheer on the runners: Scott will playing his decks, others will be manning our water station or cheering on the runners.

We expect runners to appear from 10:25 so why not come down and be part of RFC cheering on this great sporting event (bring a whistle!). 

If, like me, your running, give the RFC posse a wave and they'll shout your name!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Finding your voice

This Saturday 24 March Scott is hosting Finding Your Voice” seminar at the Church Offices. 

The morning aims to encourage & help us to carry out our mandate to bear witness to Christ & His resurrection. We all need to be able to give of this using our story and in our words. This is a skill that can be learned!. 

09:00    Welcome
09:05    Session #1 – What’s Your Story?
10:00    Break
10:15    Session #2 -  Being You.
11:15    Break
11:30    Session – What are we scared of!?
13:00    End

Contact the church office to book your place ...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Reflections on Terry Virgo

Where to start ...

As is always the case, Sunday came and went. Great Jesus centred worship, many new faces, a solid preach followed by prayer ministry. But this one was different.  

Terry preached with warmth, clarity and anointing and many were prayed for & received the Holy Spirit. Old truths were brought back to life; hearts stirred with fresh faith for the Spirit's power in our lives. You can listen to his sermon here.

But far more was going on than could be observed with our eyes. It felt like a foundation of RFC was being carefully & lovingly lifted, exposed & relaid. Somehow we are stronger and more secure for Terry's visit. I feel safer regarding our understanding of Baptism in the Holy Spirit, even though I preached almost the same sermon the week before!

It was a fabulous Sunday because Jesus was worshipped, the Father was glorified, the Spirit was encountered and the people encouraged... 

I am so glad Terry & Wendy were with us, I am so glad to be part of RFC. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Update on the Hensons ...

Their latest news: 

We are now unexpectedly back in the UK and will be based in Cardiff for a number of months. 

Dave damaged his back 10 days ago. When he began loosing sensation down his left leg he had an MRI scan. This revealed a mass within his spinal column. The doctors in Russia wanted to do emergency surgery, but after discussing it with our medical insurance team it was felt that treatment in the UK would be more suitable. Dave was flown by air ambulance on Friday and Hannah & kids followed on the BA flight of the same day.

The day before this a team from the church packed up our apartment for us ready to be put into storage as the doctors advised that recovery would be months, not weeks. Actually we were already wondering if it was time to move as in the weeks preceding, our apartment suffered again from an infestation of ticks. Although we did move into a hotel for a few days so that the apartment could be fumigated, as the problem is coming from a communal apartment below us with no intention to sort out the problem, fumigation would only help us for a few months before the ticks return again.

Although the last few days here in Cardiff have not been easy, they have certainly been positive! Here is a small report:
·  At this stage the doctors feel that the damage to the discs within Dave's back (following his injury) do not require surgery, but should recover through physio, medication and when he is able, plenty of swimming!
·  The mass that the MRI scan revealed within Dave's spine, which has been the major point of concern requires some further high technology scans before the spinal experts can begin to form a decision about what treatment/surgery is necessary.
·  It is clear that Dave's medical investigation (which unfortunately cannot be transferred back to St Petersburg) and will take a number of months.
·  Dave is out of hospital and although needs to take things very slowly and is in pain, return of mobility is increasing all the time.

We are basing ourselves in Cardiff, Wales for the next few months (which is where Hannah's family live, where we are registered to a GP and where the hospital is that is investigating Dave's back). In the short term a local church here is lending us a home to live in and we are praying for God to provide us somewhere else to live after that or that the house becomes available for longer - please pray about that too.  

The children need to start school here on Monday. Please pray that it goes well.

As you continue to pray for us, please pray into these following areas:
·  That we do not need to wait weeks for the  medical investigation and scans
·  For the investigation to wonderfully show that God has done a healing miracle
·  For the kids to settle into school here and make friends
·  For a complete healing of Hannah's ear infections
·  For a complete healing of Benjamin's hairline fracture in his hand (this also happened last Friday!)
·  That this will be a time of rest and refreshment for all of us; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually
·  That this is a special time where God inspires us for the seasons ahead
·  For our accommodation and financial needs
·  That God is powerfully with Hope Church St Petersburg at this time and gives wonderful strength to the leadership team there.
With much love to you all and please feel free to contact us,

Dave, Hannah, Benjamin, Lily and Caleb xxxxx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Reading Half & other races

Just a few weeks to go before the Reading Half  and my training has been going to plan ... albeit a different one to last year. Although I still grin when I think of last years PB (1:30:00) it wont be repeated. I have been training in a more balanced way rather than the run-tastic 12weeks of last year! 

My first Tri of 2012 is the Hart Sprint Triathlon (400m pool swim, 20km ride, 5km run) and is on bank holiday Monday in May. I did this race a few years ago so am looking forward to seeing how my times compare.

In June I am booked into the Windsor Triathlon which is a 1.5km river swim, 42km ride and then 10km run. This is my target race and has been driving all the swim & bike sessions over past few months.

I suspect I will also race at the Reading Tri in September but have yet to book in. Joshua has joined the junior section of the our Tri club and he plans to do his first race this year.  

Between us we are generating a lot of washing, testosterone & tri chat ... Liz is a very wonderful and supportive wife & mum.     

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Terry Virgo - a change in plan

I had a phone call this morning from Terry’s PA asking if Terry could be with us all day this week (Sunday 18 March) rather than over two Sundays as originally planned. Obviously I agreed, I am simply thrilled to have Terry with us and am confident he will do us good.  If you are part of the evening congregation please note this change!!!    

Do note that the children will go out from 10:20am but the youth will be staying in for the entire meeting. Some of Terry’s books will be available for purchase on Sunday, and he will also make time to pray for people personally.

If you are away this weekend or serving in the morning, do make use of the evening meeting ... I have asked him to repeat his sermon although he may well go for a different one.

Hope to see you on Sunday...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Two days of solitude

It's good to take time out to prayer and listen ...