Thursday, 25 October 2012

Up, Up & Away

Hello,




  In the year of 1286, the town of Liskeard was granted a charter by the king to hold a fayre to celebrate St. Matthews Feast. No one seems to know when the fayre lapsed but it was revived in the 70's and is going strong today. Liskeard Baptist Church has a booth each year and we conduct a balloon race. Children under 12 sign up for free and get a numbered balloon. We release the balloons at 2:00PM and whoevers balloon is returned from the furthest away wins a Bible and a gift card. When they sign up they are given church info and a tract. It has worked well and people are surprised a church is doing something for free. Whenever other churches are on the streets of Liskeard, they are most likely asking for money.

  October has included a short family holiday as well as a trip to Dundee, Scotland for Kent. There is a preacher's meeting there each year and it was again a great encouragement.

  The last week of October is the Autumn break for the schools and we are conducting a Holiday Bible Club for the first time. Our home church is sending a group over to help out and we are looking forward to a great ten days with them.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Summer

Hello,

  So the summer of 2012.  Officially the wettest and coldest in the past 100 years here in England. Not sure how many days over 70 degrees we had but you could count them on one hand.

Summer of 2012 was also the summer of the Olympics and that took alot of our focus but there was much, much more going on.

Church booth at Liskeard Show

The winner of the bench at the show


The group that came for the Olympics
The Olympic torch passed through our town and we were there with the thousands to watch it pass by. We were able to hand out several hundred Olympic themed tracts in the process. Our planned outreach for the Queen's Jubilee was a washout as it rained all weekend and local events were cancelled. Austin flew in the first part of July to help with the Olympics and then stayed the rest of the summer. It was good to have him around albeit a short time. We hosted a Spanish teen again and Geizka arrived the middle of July. Kent ran a half-marathon in Birmingham and Andrea and a friend shopped while he ran. They were encouraging him to run slow so they had more time to shop. Then the Olympics came and it was a great time (see previous post).  No sooner home from London from the Olympics and it was back up near London for youth camp. Davis and Geizka went to a different camp this year more geared to teens and Kent, Andrea, Austin and Deidra went to Camp Joy. Good week and all had fun. Home to put Geizka on a ferry to Spain. Back to London to drop Austin off to fly to Oklahoma. School started for Davis (10th grade) and Deidra (6th grade) and finally the weather cleared for a few days. The Liskeard Show that is normally in July was postponed this year due to the wet conditions and was on Sept 8th. We had our normal booth for the 6th year and gave away a bench. On the 29th, we have the St. Mathews Fayre in Liskeard where we have our balloon race for kids. October's plan include a short family holiday, a preacher's meeting in Scotland for Kent and a visit by a group from our home church to help us with a VBS.
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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Wait......It's Over?????

Hello,




  London Olympics over??????   where did they go?  We started planning for the Games over 5 years ago and it is hard to believe that the outreach is over and the group has flown back to the States. We had a great time with the group from Oklahoma and were encouraged by their willingness to come and help. Over 7,000 special John/Romans and 3,000 pins were handed out in our 4 days on the streets of London. On Saturday, we were at Buckinghamd Palace and when we ran out of materials we went out to east London to see the Olympic Park. On Monday, we spent our time at Trafalgar Square and again ran out of material quite quickly. We were finding the hardest thing was transporting anough material into the city as we could usually hand out everything we could carry and drag into town in about 90 minutes due to the amount of people. On Tuesday we went to Oxford Street and Hyde Park. Wednesday found us at the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. It was here that a Tower Bridge official tried to kick a few of us off the bridge but the police came to our defense. Quite amazing!
  Our group kept track of all the different nationalities that we spoke to. The last total was 52 different countries. God brought the world to one place and His Word is going  back with them.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

London and back and London and back and....

Hello,

  It has always been a desire of our oldest son, Austin to come back and help us with the Olympic project. Everything worked out and so Kent went and picked him up from Heathrow on Wed.  On Thursday evening we received an email stating the shipping container with the outreach booklets was to be delivered on Friday morning at 9:00AM. So back into the car and back up to London to meet the shipment and place it into storage. In a culture where a 20 mile trip is a long way, two 500 mile trips in a few days is considered abnormal and unusual behaviour. Although our gas is down about $1.00 from its peak, it is still right at $9.00 per gallon making any car journey an expensive proposition.  The upside is that during the summer, there is a grocery store here that makes the most wonderful strawberry tarts. There is not a store near to us but they do have small stores in a number of service areas along side the motorway (interstate) that stock these little glimpses of heaven. Makes the trip bearable  :)

   Trips went well and the old BMW (see older posts) drove as well as it always did.  A few weeks of relative quiet and then off to London for the Olympics.

Monday, 9 July 2012

5 Years Later.......

Hello,

  It is July 2012 and unless you have been living in a cave, you are aware the Summer Olympics are in London and they start in a few weeks. Over 5 years ago,we started making plans to host an evangelistic effort during the Games and not it is slightly over two weeks before a group of folks from the States arrive to help pass out Olympic themed John/Romans and Olympic pins.  The materials on on their way to us by ship and should land this week. We have approved the pin samples and the main order is in production.

  We covet your prayers that everything would workout logistically and that God would set divine appointments for us that we would have excellent opportunities to share the Gospel with people in London.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Olympic Torch


2012 is the year of the Summer Olympics in London. The flame from Athens was sent to England and set off from Land's End on Saturday. It made it way through Cornwall throughout the day and came to our town of Liskeard early in the evening. We sourced some Olympic themed tracts and handed out 300 of them in the course of about 20 minutes. It was a great event and it was pretty cool to see the torch go through.


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

April Prayer Letter

April 28, 2012




Dear Pastor and church,

The Lord has really blessed us these past few months with some exceptional witnessing opportunities. Given the cold nature of people here and a culture that frowns on prying discussion, we usually have to be quite patient to have a quality discussion about a person’s eternal destination. Kent has occasionally run with a man over the past four years. Typically, the man never wanted to discuss anything spiritual related but the past two runs, he has asked questions about us and what we believe. He has heard the plan of salvation and we are praying for more opportunities to water the seed. Probably means more running. Andrea has been working with a young, single mom for almost 5 years. She has tried to befriend her and at times the lady has asked minor questions. This past month, she asked about the true meaning of Easter (she was not sure) and Andrea had an open door to give her the Gospel. Our mechanic whom we have used for the past 9 years inquired the other day about why we were different from the Church of England. One thing these three incidents all have in common is the length of time we have invested in these people. We have been sowing and watering for almost 10 years here in England and are looking forward to a harvest. We have seen some saved but there is a much larger group that we have been patiently working with and praying for. We covet your prayers that we might see these three folks mentioned as well as many others saved.

We also would ask you to pray for the following things on our calendar:

May 19th      Olympic torch outreach

June             Queen’s Jubilee outreach

July 14th      Liskeard Show- we will have a booth again this year

July/Aug      London Olympics-20,000 tracts and 4,000 pins/tracts to be passed out

Aug       Youth Camp

Sept St      Matthews Fayre – we will have a booth for the 5th year



Please do update our mailing address here on the field. Anything sent to our old address will be returned or disappears.

The new address is:



Taey Sekul

Lukes Yeat

St. Neot, Liskeard

England

PL14 6NG



We appreciate all you do for us and thoroughly enjoy when we hear what is going on in your churches as well.





Gossmeyers

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Patience

Hello,

We have had some of the best witnessing opportunities in the past 30 days that we have had since we arrived in England almost 10 years ago. Most were from long term relationships and they were the ones who brought the subject up. One was from running, one was from Brownies, one was our mechanic and the last one was a result of a church member being in the hospital and being a good witness.
We came to England with a 20 year mindset. Based upon research, we discovered it usually took 20 years for a church to grow to maturity in the culkture we minister in. The key is to have the patience to continue to water the seeds tha thave been planted and to contine to plant.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Goodbye To A Blessing



Hello,

Many times we as Christians will declare that we are blessed but we seldom seem to give God the credit by telling what God has done for us. Many times when a church has a blessing time for people to share, the same few people share their blessings while most stay silent. Many would claim it is humility which glues them to their seat but the real reason many times is just ungratefulness. We don't think God has done anything too wonderful for us so we do not feel as though He deserves to be praised.

This week we have been discussing the blessings in our life since we moved to England. This was triggered by our having to let go of one of those blessings. In England, the houses are very small compared to the States. The average home is a three bedroom and has 986 sq feet total. This leads to small kitchens and smaller appliances. Most homes here have an under the counter refrigerator. There is not room in the kitchen for a stand up model much less an American size unit. There was a time in the first few years we were here and 3 of the 5 children were in their teens that we had three small fridges. One for food and two for milk. We still ended up going to the grocery store several times a week.
In 2005, when we returned from our first furlough, we found a house that had a decent sized kitchen. Our thoughts turned to a large fridge that would actually be in the kitchen. Upon pricing the behemoths, we decided we could make do with a used smaller unit. Then one day at an auction, Kent saw a side-by-side American fridge. It was in good shape and even had ice and water in the door. It was only a few years old and had retailed for close to $2,000 when new here. Kent bid 10 pounds, someone bid 15 and Kent countered with 20. That was it. No one else bid because no one else had room for it. It cost more to rent a trailer to get the fridge home than the fridge cost. (20 pounds at the time was around $38) Finally a fridge big enough for the family . We were a single fridge family unit once again. English people would come to our house and marvel at the size and at the features. Most went away thinking what rich people these Americans are. When we left for furlough in Dec 2010, the fridge went into storage. Upon returning we found a house but it did not have room for the large fridge in the kitchen or anywhere else in fact. We decided to give it to another missionary but thought it best to test it beforehand. Nothing, it does nothing. Something happened while in storage or transport. So the other day, Davis and Kent loaded it up and took it to the tip (dump). Sad day it was. We really liked that thing but we had a great time that night recounting just how good God was to give us that fridge for 6 years and for only $38. That is worth telling folks about how good God takes cares of his children!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

London Pics


Just a few pics of our sojourn to London























Olympic Stadium





















Kent and Deidra before the half-marathon just outside of London at Dorney Lake, sight of the Olymopic rowing events.




























































Wednesday, 22 February 2012

What Takes So Long?

Hello,

One of the things a family must, must, must get used to when they go to the mission field is that everything will take longer than what you expect. Until you spend time outside her borders you consider it normal and mundane but the United States is the capital of convenience. Things that should take just a few minutes can often occupy several hours, days or stretch into weeks. To apply for a children's passport in the US is not especially hard. A few photos, a trip to the post office and then wait for the postman to bring you the new passport in a few weeks. Easy peasey! To apply for or renew a passport for a child under 16 while outside the US, you must physically present the child with both parents to the US Embassy. No biggy if you live close but for us the embassy is in London which is about a 5 hour drive and then a 1 hr subway ride into town and then a 20 minute walk to the Embassy. You cannot just walk up to the Embassy, you must make an appointment well in advance. Then you must have the proper size, color and style of photo which is different for almost every country of the world. Most British photo shops in our area just looked at us with a blank stare when we inquired about US standard pictures so we had to find one in London.
So, we booked our appointments for Davis and Deidra. The only ones available were on a Friday morning at 8:15AM. This meant either leaving Cornwall at midnight and driving up to London or going the day before and spending the night. We opted for spending the night. Now we have to give our government credit, the US Embassy in London is in a nice area of town. The cheapest hotel we could find for our family was well over our usual budget but we needed to be within walking distance of the Embassy. So we drive up the day before, get the photos made, check into the hotel, took the family to see the Olympic Park and then bedded down for the night. Off to the Embassy for the appointment and two hours later we walked out several hundred dollars lighter and a promise of passports in the next month. It was then we faced a 20 minute walk to the tube, an hour tube ride to the car and a 5 hour drive home. Two entire days spent doing what should/could have been 10 minutes filling out the form and then dropping by the post office.
That about sums up life on the mission field and also in our spiritual lives. Things that should be so simple often prove to be the lingering projects in our life.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Only God....



Hello,

About two years ago we found ourselves needing a run around car. We had a large van that the 7 of us and some luggage could fit into but it was not the best of fuel mileage. I spoke to our mechanic and asked him what car I should get. Andrew said to buy an old BMW diesel 4 door. They are reliable,parts are available and they run forever. A few weeks of bidding on Ebay and we bought a 1994 5 series sedan with a 2.5 liter diesel engine for right at $800. Yes, $800. BMW are not the status cars here they are in the states and the car was 15 years old with 145,000 miles. We drove the car for 14 months literally all over this island and only had to have the oil changed. When we left last December for furlough we were quite sad to have to sell the car as it was reliable, economical and fun to drive. We ended up selling it for $1,500 to a diesel mechanic. Fast forward 14 months....we are back in England and will be needing a car in a few months and so Kent in looking on Ebay one night and guess what he sees? You are correct, he sees the old BMW for sale on Ebay. To shorten the story, we ended up buying the car back for $700. Bought it for $800, sold it for $1,500, bought it back for $700. Do the math, the car is now free. But it gets better. During the time the mechanic had the car he repaired or replaced a number of items on the car. Well over $2,000 worth of parts were installed and who knows how many hours of labour.
So, we have our old car back way better than ever and all thanks to God and his provision.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Moving







Hello,

We are writing from our new home. I am sitting at my desk looking out the window at the Anglican church in our little village. What makes it special is the belltower was constructed in the 15th century and the church still retains some of its medieval stained glass. Most medieval stained glass in England was destroyed during the Reformation as "images of God" were destroyed by the Protestants.

They say that moving is one of the most stressful events that transpires in a persons life. You would think that after 16 or 17 moves in our life we would be accustomed to it. We are blaming the struggles of the last 30 days on old age. With only 8 hours of sunlight a day, rain and hail, and most of our built in labor force having relocated to America it made for a long week of moving our things from the various storage locations to the house. You never really miss your sons who have left home until it is time to move the heavy stuff.
We are in and most of the boxes have been unpacked. The three week wait for internet has ended and we have stopped driving to our old place out of habit. After a year of being in limbo it is nice to be surrounded by our things again.

We have been blessed to have had a number of nice houses to live in during our tenure here in Cornwall. We pray we never grow ungrateful.

Our new address:

Taey Sekul
St. Neot, Liskeard
England
PL14 6NG