At last night's student night and Bunch combined prayer evening it was a privilege to hear from Jack (an overseas worker, sent and supported by OCC) about his team's work in Central Africa, with the Muslim refugee tribe they are seeking to connect with and serve. Alongside schooling and home-schooling their 4 children, Jack and Claire lead a team of 10 committed to learning the local tribal language, developing a dictionary, developing media in the local language, Bible translation, and drilling water wells.
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to one of the leaders in our sister church Lifehouse (Bicester and Banbury) about the opportunities presented in Bicester as the town undergoes planned growth from 30,000 to 80,000 people, with 18,500 new jobs, by 2031.
We were talking about the sort of church we needed to be to respond to what God was doing in the town. In our conversation one phrase stood out starkly: "A church for those not yet there."
Before our sabbatical, Ruth and I spent time talking with colleagues and advisers about what the Lord might want to do during our sabbatical.
In a session of prayer ministry I was receiving from some trusted friends, one of them had a picture for us. The picture was of Ruth and I riding a tandem bicycle together. I was up front, focused on where we were going and attempting to ride as fast as possible to get there. Ruth was sat on the back seat, smiling and waving at passers-by, and generally enjoying the ride rather more!