|2nd January: High Pike in the Lakes|
Well, we’re back! And this is where our AIM journey comes to an end. We haven’t had to fight any trolls, at least not in the physical realm! Who knows how many spiritual trolls have been encountered during our journey?! We have encountered a few big spiders and scorpions, but not on the scale that Sam and Frodo had to deal with. We haven’t had to trudge over mire and mountain, unlike many of the early AIM missionaries, but we did clock up a lot of miles on the potholed roles of Tanzania as we ministered to pastors and missionaries across the country. We didn’t have a magical ring to deal with, although, just as Tolkien’s ring had the power to destroy all evil, our mission was to teach God’s Word, a story that deals with the ultimate battle between good and evil, and the eventual demise of our enemy. Revelation ch. 20 states that Satan will indeed be thrown into a lake of fire, and on that day, his influence will be no more! The victory has been won! Now, I realise that you can take analogies too far (Tolkien might disagree!) but the fact is that Ruth and I have completed our AIM journey and we’re finally able to say with Sam Gamgee, “Well, we’re back.” It is the end of that story - but if you’d like to watch a summary of our final term ‘adventures’, see the penultimate paragraph for more details!
|A wintry Munro in the Highlands of Scotland|
The town of Malmesbury seems to have three notable claims to fame.1 . Athelstan, the first king of England was buried here in the abbey in the year 939. 2. A tower in the abbey was used for an early attempt at human flight way back in 1010. One of the monks jumped into a hand-made glider and launched himself off the tower. It flew for 180 metres before crashing to the ground, leaving him with two broken legs! 3. Nowadays it’s home to the Dyson company, an employer of over 4,000 people who design and produce all sorts of household gadgets.
|Sunset on the Solway Firth|
Ruth has been actively looking for employment and had hoped to find a job with a Christian ministry. However, the Lord seems to have another direction in mind for her at this time and on 10th May she will start a new job as the Operations Manager of a small company that specializes in providing training through role play (see www.inspired-act.co.uk for more information). This opportunity came about through a member of Corsham Baptist Church who runs the company. Please pray for Ruth as she settles into the role.
Oak Hall - Israel—trip codes IS34 and IS40
Oak Hall Alpine Bible Week—trip code AA36
|Pastor Batano & Tony |
at Sanga Sanga
Magical Memories and Memorable Moments: Back in March we put together a video presentation of our third term in Tanzania, a summary of our final term and a collection of our memorable moments. It was done primarily for folks at our home church in Corsham because we couldn’t report back to them face-to-face, but we thought we’d make it available on the blog for anyone to watch. You might be familiar with some of the photos and stories, as they’ve appeared in various newsletters, but we hope that it gives the full flavour of our final term in Tanzania. So, if you’d like to see some footage of an elephant up close and personal, some grown-up men and women getting excited over a piece of birthday cake, a Muslim-majority primary school class singing God’s praises, and some Masai dance moves, head to the previous post on the blog entitled “Video – a look back at our last term” and click on the link which says “3rd term video for Corsham Baptist”. A word of warning to those strapped for time, the presentation lasts for 46 minutes!!
This is the 41st and final edition of our AIM-related newsletter and, if you’ve read all 41 editions, you deserve a medal! A note of thanks to Ma and Pa Lancs for printing and distributing those 41 editions! We hope you’ve enjoyed the journey and have felt a part of what we’ve been doing over these last 7.5 years. We may well continue to write an occasional blog update (depending on what happens next), so if you would prefer not to be on the blog update list, please let us know. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll assume you’re happy to hear from us occasionally!
Our formal service with AIM officially ended on 31st March, although we’ll continue to be inactive members for the time being. We had good debriefs with our colleagues in the Nottingham office and are grateful for all they’ve done to administer our service and smooth our transitions to and from the field.
To those who have written to us at various times, to those who have encouraged us, to those who have prayed for us, and to those who have supported us and our work at IBM financially, we want to say the biggest THANK YOU possible - asante sana kabisa for your support! You’ve been a huge blessing! And I guess all that’s left to say is ‘goodbye’…. for now!
Steve & Ruth
- Praise God for the way in which He has helped us to adjust back to life in the UK and for the provision of accommodation.
- Please pray for Ruth as she starts her new job soon. Pray too for Steve as he considers the future and waits for God’s direction.
- Please pray for Pastor Batano and his team at Sanga Sanga, that the ministry will continue to bless the pastors and evangelists of the AICT. Pray for wise management and increasing visitor numbers to sustain the work.
|Bird of the month: Long-tailed Duck,|
seen at Hopeman, Moray
|Steve, his niece Grace and sister|
Bev at the end of the unofficial
Nairn half marathon in March!