Making memories

Aug 29

Making memories

This past weekend my cousin and her husband (and my mom) came to stay. I hadn’t seen my cousin for several years. We are six weeks apart in age. As children we would see each other a few times a year when my family went four hours north by car to stay with theirs or they came to us. It was a really great weekend of catching up, sharing and feeling the comfort of our childhood connection. We talked often about our childhood adventures and family dynamics.
We both became Christians in our pre-teen years and our friendship was a close one. Over the years she became a social worker, myself a teacher. She and her husband had two children and were also foster parents and adoptive parents. I moved into missions and overseas.
After they left I was thinking about how easy it is to have close connections and mutually experienced events and then through changes in circumstances, family, distance and the ever quickening pace of time lose touch. How could we have been so close and then drift apart?
When we do meet up with old friends I sometimes find that after the initial how are you, and a catch up on things there often comes a time when even I don’t really know what to talk about. We share about the past our memories of school, or holidays or family events. Then what? How do we re connect? What will make the difference?
I have come to the conclusion that memories are great, the good ones that is, but we need to be having continual shared experiences if any kind of relationship is to flourish. Memories have to be made. They are made through mutual experiences.
As I thought about this and the fact that my cousin and had some good experiences together this past weekend I realised that we were making memories. No experiences no memories.
I have been follower of Jesus for a long time now. I have the memories of the experiences I have had over the years. The memory of the time I first asked Jesus to be my saviour, the experiences of answered prayer, of my calling into missions, the way I experienced and have continually experienced His provision for me as I accepted the call. There have been some experiences that I would rather not have had but with hindsight I can see that even they were meant for a purpose.
However I don’t want to live on memories of those experiences. I want to have new experiences of following Jesus. I want to have a fresh experience of His provision, His love, His use of me, His grace; and so on. If I can continue to ‘visit’ with Him, share my life with Him, feed my spirit, soul and mind with His presence then I know I will be making more memories while at the same time strengthening my relationship with Him leading to new experiences.
In re connecting with my cousin I don’t think it will be as long as it has been till we see each other again.

ps. The one thing we never got to do was to take a picture of ourselves – but the lack of visual memory doesn’t diminish the actual experience.

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Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of His word

Jul 25

Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of His word

So the Commonwealth games have begun in Scotland. Thought you might be interested in the OM UK’s Headlines article

OM United Kingdom
As thousands of athletes and spectators descend on Glasgow to enjoy the Commonwealth Games, so begins outreaches all across the country.

In partnership with More Than Gold, teams from OM Ireland and OM Lifehope are working with local churches for the next 11 days hosting events and activities, bringing Good News to communities throughout Scotland.

- Pray for outreach participants, that they will have the opportunity to share God’s love.

- Pray for the people of Glasgow – that the city motto ‘Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of His word’ will ring true as the legacy of the Commonwealth Games.

For daily updates on ministry occurring in Glasgow during the Games (including OM’s partner organisations) visit the More Than Gold website. http://www.morethangold2014.org.uk
________________________________________

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The next decade

Jul 21

The next decade

Recently I received an e-mail from the department of work and pensions. They informed me that on June 1st 2024 I will be eligible for my pension. It was a bit of a surprise to actually be given a date 10 years before. Fortunately in the UK we pay into a state pension fund and I will have a little one from my 11 years teaching. OM in the UK has also used some of my support each month to pay into a private one. However it is only small and in ten years time it may not be worth very much.

I guess I have been thinking a lot since receiving the email about what I would like to see happen in the next ten years with regards my ministry. I want to continue to invest in the lives of God’s people and ensure that I leave a legacy. I want them to be productive for the kingdom and I want to finish well. Ten years may seem a long time to some but others will know how fast time flies. The two things that fire me most is my love of seeing people grow spiritually and in the knowledge of God and also that of introducing people to Jesus for the first time and then discipling them.

Since I am not traveling as much internationally I have been able to begin to make relationships more  locally and through my new found creative outlet have been able to begin to share the reason for the Hope we have.

So some prayer requests:

That I will be able to balance the work I have to do and the desire to get out amongst the people.

That I will be able to use my painting to bring Glory to God and I will have opportunity to share Him with those with whom I paint.

That the Lord will reveal how He wants to use me in the next ten years and that I will be open to any changes He wants to make.

On a physical level I have some muscle problem with my left side for which I am receiving physio but it is a ‘bit of a pain’ to have this problem.

So let us go forward with hope and determination into the next decade.

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The next few months

May 21

The next few months

HOLIDAY

I had the opportunity to take a good break over Easter. My ship friend Ronelle from SA was en-route back to the ships office in the US after her furlough and thought it would be good for us to have a break together. We went to Carlisle where she used to work and spent time with my friends Torlief and Santa who I worked with in SA too. I visited Hadrian’s wall for the first time. We then went to Argyll in Scotland and had the best weather in UK at the time. It was really a fabulous holiday. The Lord also provided financially for both of us to make this  possible.

The picture you see is the painting I have done on Loch Craignish where we stayed.

Coaching visit to Greece

As you know from my previous newsletters I am part of a three person coaching team for the OM team in Greece. This past April I was there for a week. We evaluated the strategy that was in place and in light of what was discovered we reshaped it and set some new action points. There was much encouragement in seeing how the team had developed and the ministry opportunities that arose.

Although one team member had left, a friend of mine, Roaline Brown from South Africa, has joined the team. She comes with a lot of ministry experience having also served on OM Ships South Africa and three years in  Ukraine. There is also a volunteer, Anthoula who would really like to join OM Greece full time.

The event “United to Impact” in October 2013 a vision of Gabby the field leader has shown to be a Turning Point or Breakthrough not just in the relationship of OM in Greece but also for a possible transformation of the nation by “united Christians”. We heard many stories of Greek people that couldn’t believe that such an event of 800-1’000 Christians from different nations could happen and has become such a success.

Check out:  http://news.om.org/country-article/r38540

I will be returning to Greece in October to deliver the Bible teaching at their team retreat.

 

I am more than ever convinced that OM Greece is on the right track particularly illustrated with the success of “United to Impact”. OM plays a crucial role within the (Greek and Migrant) churches in Greece.”  Markus Flueckiger Field Leasder OM Switzerland

THE NEXT FEW MONTHS

This year I have not had to travel overseas as much. This has been a welcome break. However I will be off to the Arabian Peninsular to deliver some leadership training again.  This time I will be endeavoring to pass on some of the details of the training so they can run and    deliver this themselves. More and more I am convinced that I need to pass on that which I have learned to others.

After AP I will be involved in another Getting into Gear for UK participants and hopefully see some go to South Africa to receive their training there.

The ladies of our Lifehope team are having a retreat so I decided to join them and get to know them better. I won’t be doing any teaching that weekend so it will be good to receive.

As yet my calendar for July and August OM ministry wise is empty. This will give me two good months of catch up and also to prepare to do a full training audit of OMUK. Of course there will be some meetings and work requests that inevitable come in but I am looking forward to some quality stay put time.

Tomorrow I will post again :-)

 

 

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JANICE’S NEWS

May 20

JANICE’S NEWS

 

OMUK has a new logo

Check out the OMUK website

www.uk.om.org

Watch the short video clip and all will be made clear.

 

It has been on my mind for a while that I need to write a news/prayer letter and want you to know that I haven’t been procrastinating more trying to find the space. While I haven’t been in communication I have been faithfully working away trying to balance ministry, life, church and travel. One thing I have realized I am not good at is calendar management. I can manage time quite well but if I am asked to do something, speak or visit a team and I look at the calendar and see a space and say ‘yes’. What I have I need to do is plan in preparation time so I am not rushed or stressed and double book trying to get a quart into a pint pot. As a result the thing that is neglected is communication. Please forgive me as I do know I need to communicate to generate prayer fuel and to feedback what the Lord is using you in through me. I am grateful for your prayers and support.  Another area I know I need to get back to is reading. I have neglected—not the Word but wider Christian reading and input in general.

Any suggestions?

 

OM Ministry since January:

- Two team building input mornings for the new OMUK  Operations Group

- 3 nights hospitality for British OMer who has worked in Hungary for as long as I can remember

- 2 day Field focus days with OMUK team

- Training given over 3 days for new Transit Challenge team

- Became a team supervisor for a Lifehope Evangelism team based in Liverpool bi–weekly visits to deliver Bible study, pastoral oversight and church liaison

- Curriculum development group in Belgium for our Foundational leaders course

- Getting into Gear (GIG) conference for new UK OM applicants

- Coaching visit to OM Greece team

- Facilitating an on-line course for folks in the Arabian Peninsular

….and many phone and Skype calls and general involvement with the OMUK team

Personal development:

- Attended a Ravi Zacharias training day in Oxford

- Took an on-line course on how to write, deliver and facilitate on-line learning. This was a real eye-opener and was so interesting and inspiring.  I want to learn more about this and write courses to be delivered to on-line participants.

 

Local ministry:

As well as my OM ministry I am also involved at St. Johns C of E church in Weston Rhyn. I am part of the leadership group, the PCC and regularly speak. I am on the Deanery Synod and conduct Ministry Development Reviews of clergy for the Litchfield Dioceses.

I will post the next page tomorrow :-)

 

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The journey

Jan 22

The journey

Life in OM has been a journey. This journey has taken me to fifty five countries some more than a few times. It has allowed me to meet people from every walk of life, and socio-economic background. I have been blessed to meet and minister in so many different cultures and language groups. I have eaten meals at the highest and the most humble of tables. I have experienced sleeping in very opulent rooms and also had rats and mosquitoes as my bedfellows. I have travelled by land, sea and air. There have been times when I was relieved to reach the destination in one piece. Other times when the views have been incredibly magnificent at every turn, I didn’t want the journey to end.

There has been one thing that has superseded everything however. It has been an incredible journey with the Lord. Together we have walked on smooth and rough roads through every kind of spiritual weather. We have gone through times of plenty and of great need. We have soared on the wings of eagles and crawled through the dust. One thing I know that throughout it all He has been faithful and has always been by my side.

I have come to the conclusion that God has been working, through all my journeys, to conform me to the image of His Son Jesus. I have endeavoured to work for Him faithfully, and even where I have failed He has continued to work in and through me.
The verse I have held on to all these years has been Isaiah 58:11 The Lord will guide you continually. If that is true then the journey has been one of Him guiding me all along the way.

I have been on this journey with the Lord through the land of OM for the past 22 years. However I haven’t been alone. There have been my fellow OM travellers to whom I will always be grateful for their company and counsel. There have been and still are those whose prayer cover has kept me in safe places even though the terrain hasn’t been easy. Those who the Lord uses to provide for my needs to enable the journey to continue, again I am full of appreciation. I belong to the biggest family on earth and have incredible brothers and sisters on several continents

The road before me looks like a gentle slope – ever upwards. I look forward expectantly for what lies ahead as the journey isn’t over. We can look towards the horizon and see a great view of possibilities that lie ahead. However we must also remember to stop where we are and enjoy the beauty He puts along the path.

Throughout this journey we all need to keep our focus. Our focus should be to meet with those who have not yet found the right path to eternal life with Jesus. We should also endeavour be to bring others into our company to join us in the greatest journey of all. Walking with Jesus! This is why with God’s help and a great company of saints I will continue on this incredible journey with and for Jesus.

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Where on earth is Janice this Christmas?

Dec 16

Where on earth is Janice this Christmas?

My dear praying friends,
Looking back over the year I am amazed at how much has happened and how much has been accomplished. Actually this year although it might appear as if I have I haven’t actually traveled so much or so often and also found time to take some holiday.

It was, and remained a year of transition for me. I accepted the role of Head of Learning and Development for OMUK and reduced my European Area Training role to 30%. This new role is really exciting as I work with OMUK departments and individuals facilitating their growth and development. My involvement with our team at Lifehope has increased as I am now both a course supervisor (teamwork and leadership) and team supervisor for our evangelistic team working in Netherley, Liverpool.

As a result of this greater involvement within the UK, at our European Leaders Meetings last month, in Germany, I asked to be released from the role of European Area Training Facilitator. This does not mean I will have no involvement with Europe as I will continue to be part of the coaching team for OM Greece and with the European Transit Challenge team. I have also agreed that I would be willing to give help when requested by individual fields both in Europe and also further afield.

I am looking forward with anticipation and expectancy to the coming year. God’s faithfulness has been proved over and over again in the past 22 years. I have also made some personal decisions in order to keep my ministry/life balance in check. I have recently begun art classes something I have wanted to do for a while but my travelling schedule has not made this possible. After attending an art class with my friend Hermien I was determined and so Monday night I go to a neighbouring Welsh valley and have done my first piece in oils. Only small but the teacher said it was a good attempt. I find these two hours very relaxing and refreshing. I am also hoping to start Spanish lessons too in the new year, if they don’t clash with my art.

This Christmas I will be at my house in Chirk, Wales with my mom. We have been invited to friends for Christmas day and I will also be hosting friends as well over the period. I have kept this newsletter short but will keep in touch over the coming year of course. I will not be traveling until Mid-march which will give me some good time in one place and time to think, pray and plan strategically for the year ahead.
Thank you for all your sacrificial giving both through your prayers and financial support, I do not take either for granted. May the Lord give you special blessings amid the snow of life this Christmas time and through into 2014.
Three special highlights for me over the past year have been:
1. Delivering on-line seminars for our folks in the Arabian Peninsula over an eight week period. Then 10 days traveling across the desert more times than a camel, visiting each emirate delivering personal development and leadership training. I met some of God’s most amazing people there.
2. A brilliant visit to my old home in South Africa after our International Training meetings which were inspiring. We looked at the value of developing training through on-line learning with our specialist Flower
Darby from the USA. I am looking forward to learning more through doing her on-line learning training beginning in February. It was really a special time of re-connecting with many of you and having an opportunity to share in the church meetings. I can’t get over how much the children seem to be sprouting up.
I really miss South Africa and I don’t think this will ever change. If you ever find yourself in the UK please let me know and we can arrange to meet up or you can come and stay with me.
3. Being part of a team delivering training to those who are themselves wanting to improve their own training skills as they train others with OM. This was delivered at the Lifehope Centre near Birmingham.
If you want to read more about this course you can read about it on below on one of my Blog postings

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