To follow on from our previous blog update, it's incredible news to be able to share that our final team fundraising event, the Family Fun Day held last Sunday, raised a further £200 towards resources for the Church Community Project.
As I write this blog, there are about 45 hours that we as a team have left in the UK. Already we have been both humbled and encouraged by all the support and prayer which we have been blessed with, which we cannot thank you all for enough. Already there have been ups and downs; times where we have been full of excitement and eager anticipation for all this trip will be and times where we have been concerned and unsure of quite where we stood. And yet throughout there has been a constant, unwavering sense that whilst we haven't quite got all the details clear, God definitely has. A part of me would like to know exactly how things will go; to be honest, a very large part of me would like to have it all written down in a far more detailed schedule than I could possibly hope to achieve. I say a part of me would like to know how things will go, however, because I trust that in the next three weeks we will see, hear and experience far more than I could possibly imagine. The ups and downs we've already gone through preparing will be nothing more than that - preparation for the real thing. And I can't wait.
Team 'A' met for their final briefing and a last Bible study before departure on Tuesday - and looked at Isaiah 43: 1 - 7:
'But now, this is what the Lord says - he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth - everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."' (NIV)
What greater encouragement could there be?
PS If you did want to follow our flight's progress, it's flight no. VS 601 from London Heathrow to Johannesburg leaving at 20.30 on Monday 23rd July...