Tearfund is a Christian international aid and development agency working globally to end poverty and injustice, and to restore dignity and hope in some of the world’s poorest communities.
When it comes to development, Tearfund works through local churches and church-based partner organisations. When local churches are mobilised and equipped to help their communities, the results are not just survival, but transformation. Churches bring knowledge about local and individual needs, they have continuous presence in a community, and they’re uniquely placed to help bring about the material, emotional and spiritual transformation that can free their communities from poverty. Tearfund work to mobilise and equip local churches to bring that transformation to their communities. And when the local church operates as part of the global church, its capacity and influence are a mighty force for change.
Tearfund have a vision to see 50 million people released from material and spiritual poverty through a worldwide network of 100,000 local churches.
In 2018 St James’ Church became a Tearfund Connected Church Partner supporting a three to five-year Church and Community Mobilisation Programme (CCMP) within local churches in Kondoa, Tanzania.
Supporting CCMP is a way that all of us at St James’ can help to make a difference to people living in poverty. We are needing to raise £15'000 per year.
Clare Prayer Points July 2015
- The training went well in Jumla to the community workers. They are a keen bunch of 3 people per district, 9 in total, from Jumla, Surkhet and Mugu districts.
- Kate my friend who I was living with up until a few weeks ago, has just got married to a Nepali man, who used to work for INF, Bijay Shresth. He got a visa for Australia right at the last moment so that they could have the wedding in Australia- on Saturday! Please pray for me and Kirstin, the other Aussie girl I am living with, as we get used to living without Kate and for it to be a home of joy and peace and hospitality and we know how to bless and support each other well.
- Shristi the physio we recruited last month for the CBR work in the west, is settling in well and seems keen. Pray she stays!!
- Pray for the community workers: Chandra, Salina and Nirmala from Surkhet, Hasta, Ratan - wearing a green jacket in the photo (an enthusiastic Christian!) and Ambika (with the baby) from Mugu, and Bijkali, Egya and Kamala from Julma. For them to learn well and maintain their enthusiasm and grow in confidence and skill their tough jobs.
- Pray for the situation in INF right now- we are applying for visas for the expats for the next 5 years and the government are asking us all to have masters!!!! So if that is the case more than half of us will have to leave - including me! Please pray that the government will understand that our roles do not require them for us to work effectively here. Lots of good advocacy needed with the government on this.
- I will need to go to the Mid West regularly from now on, to support the community workers in these 3 districts and Bishnu the physio. Pray for wisdom to know how to organise my time there. Also for grace and safety for all the travelling on buses and planes
- Also I am helping my line manager write a proposal for some CBR work in the earthquake affected area of Gorkha district. That needs prayer too for funding and for it to be a well written and well planned out project- and for really well skilled and committed Christian staff!!! Something that is quite lacking in the CBR work and that needs changing.
Clare June 2015
Rhema Partnership May 2015
We have been wonderfully blessed this month with lovely letters and pictures from Stone CoE school and Dinton Guides, as well as joining in the excitement of the VBS training! We also recognise the hard work by the girls from Benenden school in Kent who have done a fantastic job at helping to complete the girls hostel.
Celebrations continue with the 8th year of operation at the Medical centre, and the graduation ceremony of many of our Bible College students. With school holidays underway, we pray the children and students will be refreshed and well rested, ready to start the new term in June.
Clare May 2015
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble...be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46
Dear praying family and friends,
Thought this might be a good thing to send out to you praying folk- attached are some very relevant prayer requests made by INF following the earthquake disaster last Saturday here in Nepal - either for your church services tomorrow, for any prayer meetings in the next few days or weeks, and maybe to distribute to church members for their personal prayer. Please use it in any way you would like. There are also more resources on the INF website: http://inf.org/earthquake-
Thank you so much for your support! The Cerebral Palsy camp finished yesterday and mums and children are now back home (it went really well considering the circumstances), and now that this busyness is over I am finding it is easy to start to feel rather overwhelmed by the country's situation. The relief effort is well underway and thank God, many are being helped, but loads of the badly affected remote villages have still not been reached, and many are struggling and at risk due to injuries, lack of food and water and bad weather.
Also, a dear friend Sunita and her husband Prakash and 5 month old baby Thomas are one of the many homeless in Kathmandu, sleeping out in the open with almost no shelter and until yesterday with very little food. Thomas is sick with fever and diarrhoea and not drinking his milk. Lots of food, tents and blankets etc. have arrived in Kathmandu but are being slow to be distributed. I would value very much your prayer for this little family, how to support them best, and for them to make wise decisions. Pray for our team here in Pokhara- for us to be able to support each other well through this emotional time, and for me to know just what work to prioritise, and then to be able to keep my focus on it!
Thank you so much for standing with me and Nepal.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble...be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46
Chris and Alison Hawksbee April 2015
1. For the trips Pastor Augustin and I have been making monthly and now twice a month to Makthlawaiya, El Estribo, and La Patria. The pastors, deacons and church workers are appreciating these visits. It gives the Anglican Church more presence in the Communities, in the light of other groups coming in and baptizing members of the Anglican churches. This will continue to be a problem, as, Pentecostal groups see the Anglicans as they would the Roman Catholics; because of liturgy and infant baptism.
2. This coming visit to La Patria, Agustin and I plan on splitting up and doing 2 studies in different points of La Patria as it is a big settlement as far as land size is concerned. I shall leave him in La Paciencia and I shall go to La Leona.
3. We have been going through the basics of what we believe. That is in whom we believe. It is good to see members of the congregation coming as well. Before in the Rio Verde gatherings the numbers present were few due to space and the logistics of getting people there. Now we are getting to know the members in their own communities. We often have the community political leaders coming to the studies. This is positive for them to hear the Biblical values for healthy community life.
4. In El Estribo, Pastor called Afredo Miranda from a Christian group called “Jesus Responde al Mundo”, has been doing a very good job with our local churches and encouraging them in the faith, and they have formed an association of Anglican churches in that settlement. Miranda and his wife also did a training course for Sunday school teachers. We invite Miranda to join in with us in the studies. I would like to take him into La Patria with us to be part of a team ministry. I believe he comes from a Pentecostal background, but from what I have seem, that they are interested in strengthening the local congregations and not wanting to form separate denominations.
5. In the Bible studies, we welcome Christians from other church groups to come and join in and enjoy our Lord Jesus Christ, and work together for His return. We want Jesus to come back for a beautiful bride. One who is in love with Him and obeying His teachings, waiting in hope for His glorious return.
6. Pray for Alison in her teaching role at Saint Andrew’s college. It can be trying at times, and there is need to sort out how to help kids with learning difficulties within the larger class group. Discipline has been an issue, so please pray for this.
7. In May, when the Bishop returns from the UK, we are going to have a meeting with a Mennonite Christian group who also visit the Communities we work in to see how we can work together to strengthen the local congregations. This will be on the 20th. May.
8. Tim Curtis shared with me on Sunday that things are moving forward well for the publication of the Bible in Enxet. Hopefully it will be before the end of this year. Pray for this, and also for clarity as to his future ministry.
Chris and Alison
Martin and Catherine Jan 2015
Catherine went to Central Asia to do a one-off piece of work for Tearfund and is requesting prayer for the report.
Martin started work as Communications Manager with his organisation on 6 January and is currently editing the 2014 Annual Report, which should be finished next month. Last year there were over 400 cases where the organisation advocated for persecuted Christians in the Middle East and North Africa.
Clare Jan 2015
- Thank God for the new physio Bishnu who has been recruited for the community rehabilitation work (CBR) in the mountains in the Mid West of the country. He has yet to accept but we are trusting he will! The work is for 5 years and begins this month. I will be supporting him as part of my physio advisor and trainer role.
- For a lovely home to live in in Pokhara with 2 housemates Kate and Kirstin.
- For all the travelling that I need to do- for safety as well as ability to do it. It is tiring! A 16 hour bus journey is quite normal, and I will be away from Pokhara for about half of every 3 months.
- I need lots of wisdom to know how to pace myself and how to split up my responsibilities between the different places where community rehabilitation is happening around the country in INF.
- Also please pray for INF as a whole. It is still undergoing its organisational restructuring which has meant many redundancies and many new staff in different places. The whole process is very unsettling for expats and Nepalis. Pray for wise decision making in the leadership team.
Chris and Alison Hawksbee Jan 2015
A happy New Year to you all, and thank you for your continued prayers and support for ourselves and the work we are involved in.
This last year has been one where I have upped my involvement in preaching and Bible teaching. I still provide development advice when and where it is needed. There are Non-Government Organizations who help out in some of the communities I visit and also local government, the latter being very restricted last year to lack of funding from Central Government. I am in regular contact with Esteban Galeano in El Estribo, to see what is happening and support him. He is very capable in managing their projects. He is involved in his local Church in the village of Karanda. At the end of last year Pastor Agustin Maidana and I did Bible teaching in that congregation. We invited the church leaders from the other villages to come and join us. They appreciated it very much, so we intend to include them in our circuit this year. We would like the church leaders to meet regularly for sharing and fellowship. Their own ordained pastors haven’t been good at doing this.
Other involvements over this past year have been, preaching at the San Mateo church in Rio Verde “every 5 weeks”, also at St. Andrew’s chapel (English) as part of a team ministry, Alison often leads, and we both preach when we are on the rota. During January, I have been leading a Bible study that is instead of a service. We have been reading a book by Watchman Nee, called “The Body of Christ: A Reality”. It has been very challenging. I recommend it.
This last year, we were able to build 4 one roomed houses in Rio Verde for poor church members with the support of Mission Paraguay, and a Chapel in Colonia 24, which is a village in La Patria. I had 4 Irish men come as volunteers. One was a builder, another a carpenter, another a farmer and the last a mechanic. I appreciated all that they were able to do and for good company. Mission Paraguay is lead up by David Orritt from a church just outside Liverpool, and he is very involved in raising funds for small projects in Paraguay. He works very closely with SAMS, Northern Ireland.
Thanks for all your prayers.
Our love and New Year greetings,
Chris and Alison.
Chris and Alison Hawksbee Oct 2014
We are keeping well. Alison has settled into teaching at St. Andrew’s College. Benjamin is enjoying his “internship” at the newly opened British Embassy. And I do my travelling to the Chaco. I am enjoying the role of Bible teaching in the La Patria villages, accompanied by Pastor Agustin Maidana.
With regards to this role, the communities face an influx of other denominations; Pentecostal groups, and Mennonite groups who don’t accept the Anglican forms of baptism of infants and by aspersion. They look on the Anglicans more like the Catholics, that they need saving. In some villages they have re-baptized everyone. This has caused more than a few divisions. My prayer is that with time this division will diminish. However, our policy with the bible teaching is to invite church leaders, Anglican or non-Anglicans, to come and enrich their understanding of our walk with Jesus Christ, so that they in turn can teach their congregations how to walk and love Jesus. Please pray for this situation and for wisdom for us in this ministry. Pray also for the local village pastors, deacons and church workers how to handle these situations. We are well received to do this teaching. We have taught in the non-Anglican churches.
We had a meeting with Bishop Peter Bartlett about this ministry and the possibility of extending it to the El Estribo Community. This is because the 2 ordained pastors there are not carrying out their functions as they should. He thought it was a good proposal.
With Mission Paraguay volunteers, we completed 4 houses. 2 in Rio Verde with the Paraguayan church members and 2 in Sombrero Piri (Indian Community). We did these instead of the chapel in Colonia 24 (la Patria). Celino and his brother Jose are there at present doing that work. They are changing the old palm log walls for brick walls and a concrete floor. Pray for Celino as he has a valuable ministry of encouragement and music within the churches. Pray for their families whilst they are away.
I have also enjoyed the opportunities of preaching in English at St. Andrew’s Chapel. Alison leads and I preach. She will do some preaching. We don’t have a pastor, so we have a joint ministry amongst a bunch of us. It seems to work well.
Pray also for Victor Gonzalez, who heads up the Paraguayan church ministry there. He does a lot of house to house visiting, encouraging people to come along to church. As is often the case in poor communities, the husbands go away to work on ranches for extended periods of time. This makes it very difficult to get a good base of Christian teaching for all the family, especially the fathers. I help out preaching there as well.
Love and Greetings Chris and Alison
Clare Grapevine 2
16th October 2014
Dear lovely friends and family,
Greetings from Nepal, and Pokhara, where we are well into crazy festival season, with the main Hindu festival out of the way (Dashain) and another one coming in a few days (Tihar/Diwali). Monsoon is over, the snowy mountains are often visible, and it finally definitely starting to get cooler- in the 20’s instead of 30+°C!
Here are some of my stories…so much to give thanks to God for!
I have now had lots of language lessons with some great teachers. I am thankfully learning more fluency and am enjoying speaking this challenging, but often quite fun, Nepali language. Listening well is still my weakness but I can reassuringly see some progress compared with when I first arrived. I am still able to fit in some lessons, in between my now busy work schedule!
So (language apart), what has Clare been actually doing?? These are some of my highlights:
Recruitment: In August, we recruited a Nepali physio for the community work in the West of Nepal, based in Partnership For Rehabilitation (PFR) in Pokhara. His name is Kalyan and he, although new to the work, is hard working and keen to learn, and is so far an asset to the team. Thank You Lord!
Community Rehabilitation Worker training: At the end of August I helped Kalyan, and Kirstin, Occupational Therapist from Australia, to run 2 days of therapy training for a new project: about 20 enthusiastic community workers attended. They are part of 3 Disabled People’s Organisations in a mountainous area north west of Pokhara (the centre is Baglung) that PFR just formed a partnership with. The topics of cerebral palsy and the role of the community rehabilitation worker were familiar enough but saying it all in Nepali is a totally different matter! The students were very gracious and encouragingly said they understood me… the rehabilitation training work with these folk has only just begun.
Mid West Trip: From mid- September I spent 2 weeks visiting the other INF centres in the Mid West of Nepal - Ghorahi, Surkhet and Nepalgung, to check out work possibilities for the future, meeting with the managers and community rehabilitation staff. Started off with a fairly typical 13 hour night bus journey to Ghorahi, with the usual impossibility of sleep due to the loud Bollywood music blaring out of speakers just above my head and feeling every bump and turn in the road. In Ghorahi I had a great reunion with Shanta and Poshan, Anup and Anjali, the Nepali family I used to live with - they are doing really well and their Christian faith is growing!!
I then spent a week in Surkhet working in the INF rehabilitation clinic and loved getting to know the staff and patients. There I learned more about the future community rehabilitation work and their hopes to recruit a Nepali physiotherapist for this. (Hooray!)
Next was Nepalgung, where I visited patients in the villages with my good friend Kanti the INF community rehabilitation (CBR) worker. The most challenging situation was meeting Gaurab, a 28 year old who 3 weeks previously had fallen off a roof onto his head and had broken his neck (C6 level), meaning he can only move his head and his shoulders and arms a little bit, has difficulty breathing, and has no active movement in his hands, trunk or legs. This is a major disaster anywhere in the world, but especially here in Nepal. Wonderful Kanti has organised him to have his pressure sores treated in a specialist hospital in Kathmandu and next we are hoping he will get a place at Green Pastures Hospital in Pokhara for his rehabilitation. Please pray for him and his family!
There in Nepalgung I also got to spend time with my good friends Keshab and Laxmi Nepali who work with the former prostitutes and their children through their organisation COMMIT. It was great to be able to go along to one of their monthly group meetings, meet some of the women and hear their stories. Many of you have given to this work, either knowingly or unknowingly. These funds are going into setting up small businesses, vocational training opportunities, and enabling their children to attend school - thank you SO much for your help - please pray for Laxmi and Keshab and their work!
DELHI: After my Mid West trip at the end of September, I had a very special opportunity to be part of a 3 day conference ‘Engage Disability- strengthening the Christian Response to ‘Disability’- the first conference of its kind in India. 450 Christians from different denominations attended from all over India, and a handful from Nepal. The main theme was how to make the church inclusive of people with disabilities: shockingly, this huge people group of 10-15% of the world’s population is hardly represented in the church and the message was clear: The church is not complete without them. See Luke 14: 15-23, the parable of the Great Banquet.. “Bring in the disabled…that my house may be full.” I went with some of the folk I am working with here in Nepal- Kirstin the Aussie OT working in Pokhara in PFR and Celinda the OT from Brazil working in Surkhet, and Liz from Australia working in Bangladesh…we had a fantastic time…and have come back inspired and motivated to work to bring teaching on inclusion and participation of people with disabilities into the church of Nepal. This week we had our very first Nepal Christian Disability Network meeting! One of my prayer requests was for good friendships, old and new, and I feel that God has been answering this prayer often. I feel very blessed by my friendships here, both at work and others in the INF teams - expats and Nepalis.
Abishek the boy in Pokhara with autism who spends much of his time in a small cage…I have been able to give the family some encouragement and a few different strategies to help improve the situation, and now a speech and language therapist from the UK who has experience with autism is going to help. Our next task is to get the church supporting the family more- bring on the disability inclusion training!! Do pray!
Finally, INF is in need of your prayers. It is undergoing massive restructuring of staff, and loss of almost 1/3 of all 350 jobs due to funding cuts. It is a painful time in the organisation for many reasons. Please pray for the leadership team especially, for them to be able to make united and wise decisions, and for those who have lost their jobs to know God’s comfort and provision, and for those left to feel motivated and envisioned to do their jobs well.
Future plans and prayer needs:
17-26th October: Trekking in the Annapurna mountains for a week with Salome. Tragically, a cyclone from India brought heavy rain causing blizzards and avalanches that have killed at least 29 trekkers, many of them on the Annapurna circuit. Salome and I were due to meet Tamara, my Austrian physio friend volunteering here, but the mountain pass is closed so she cannot cross it to meet us on the other side. But the main thing is she is safe!!
28th October- about 4th November: Field trip to meet clients with disabilities in the villages in the new project area with Kalyan the physio and community workers
From 4th November: Work in Pokhara + looking for place to live!
19-28th November: Helping out on the Cerebral Palsy camp run from Green Pastures Hospital in Pokhara.
With much love and prayers, and looking forward to hearing your news. Clare xx
Brief update from Clare (Sept 2014)
Dear friends and family,
Just a very quick email to say I have just returned from my trip out west of Nepal to check out future work possibilities and it went really well - I feel very inspired!
I am now back in Kathmandu and about to get on a flight to Delhi to take part in two conferences: One by Micah Network on Engaging with Disability in a Christian context, and the other on Healing, Dignity and Inclusion run by the Leprosy Mission. I am going with 2 OT's- Kirstin and Celinda- from INF and we will be there until 1st October. It is great that I have got a chance to go- may we learn some key things to implement into our work here in INF and Nepal- it will be fun too I am sure!
Please pray for me to know God's clear direction for the physiotherapy advisor work- while inspiring it is also quite overwhelming!! I am not even sure where I should live anymore! Maybe Surkhet instead of Nepalgung for a time...
Prayer letter from Tunbridge Wells Youth For Christ
September Prayer Letter 2014
Pray that as the team gathers for the beginning of the new academic year all will be rested and full of energy and excitement for the year ahead.
Give Thanks for the Summer
Please join us in giving thanks for the great summer that we have had. Some of the highlights were the Summer Activities at the Number One Community Centre. These were great opportunities to engage with young people outside of the regular youth and children’s provision at the centre. We took young people on a bike ride, had an afternoon of messy games and craft and even a trip to Legoland. Thank you so much to all who remembered these activities in prayer - we were truly blessed!
Another highlight was the privilege of joining with thousands of young people at the Soul Survivor festival. It was great that many of the youth groups from the town were able to travel, camp and eat together, this unity and fellowship was a great backdrop to what God was doing in the hearts and lives of the 40 or so young people who joined us.
We are really excited to be making quite a few changes to UNITE (the united youth worship service). Since 2011 we have run UNITE on a Saturday evening every other month at St John’s Church, Tunbridge Wells. After a considerable amount of prayer and conversation between local youth workers and young people, we have made the decision to move UNITE monthly to a Sunday evening. Tunbridge Wells Christian Fellowship have very kindly agreed to host UNITE from this month! Please thank God for gathering us and leading us through this time of change. Please pray that these changes would help to more effectively serve young people within the town. As we prayed and sought God over the past few months we have also been reminded of the initial heart and desire to create an environment where young people may be able to make a decision to follow Christ for the first time. Pray that over the coming weeks and months we would see more young people empowered to invite their friends and that we would see more young people encouraged to attend from our community based projects and work in schools.
Gap Year Workers
We are so delighted to welcome Caitlin and Louise to the Tunbridge Wells YFC team for this year as part of the Kairos Gap Year programme. As well as being involved in our community projects Caitlin will be placed at Church of Christ Commercial Road and Louise will be placed at Christ Church Tunbridge Wells. Please pray that they would quickly settle into the various projects and activities
and that as they give this year ahead over to God, they would see Him work mightily in and through them. We are really excited that Ben will be re-joining the team for a second year out. His main focuses will be working with St Mary’s Church, Speldhurst and with Prospect Arts (a local Christian media company).
Starting Up Again
Over the coming week and a half all of our term-time projects will be starting up again. Please pray for the regular work in schools: Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, Uplands Community College, Bethany School. Pray for our community projects in Rusthall, Sherwood and Showfields and for the work that we do in supporting church youth groups across the area: for Grid 78:4 in Wadhurst, CrossChat in Speldhurst and EPIC in Rusthall. Please join us in our prayer that over this next year would see young people take significant steps forward in their journey of faith, that we would see young people respond to the good news of Jesus Christ and that we would see lives, families and communities transformed!
News from Clare (august 5th 2014)
Dear praying friends,
I have now been in Nepal for just over 2 months and it feels a lot longer! (in a good way)!
So many good and exciting things have happened and are happening.
Would you join with me in thanking God and interceding for some of these things?
Seeking God: Tamara is a lovely Austrian physio who has just arrived in Nepal to do voluntary work in a private hospital for 5 months. She is staying with a Nepali family I know well, the Ranas. One of the girls from this family, Sylvia, her brother Jay, Tamara and I, went trekking to a beautiful village high up in the mountains on Friday night and Saturday and on the way had some great conversations about life, spirituality and Jesus. Tamara says she is interested in knowing more about Christianity and is coming to our weekly fellowship group this Thursday (7th Aug)!!
Sylvia, who is from a strict Hindu family, is also doing her own spiritual searching- she is off to Dallas in the US to join her husband in a few months, and will get a Green Card to be a US resident! Tamara and Sylvia's whole family are coming to my house for supper tomorrow! My chance to bless the family who have blessed me so many times in the past...
The family from the grocery shop with the cat, invited me to supper again last night, and I have been sharing a bit more with them- gave them a book of testimonies of Christians who live in Pokhara whose lives have been totally changed by the power of Jesus...I plan to keep in touch with them even though I am leaving this part of Pokhara on Friday...
Moving House: I am leaving the North of Pokhara on Friday and will make my next base in the South, near Green Pastures Hospital, with a girl called Salome from Switzerland, a nurse working for INF in the hospital. Pray we have some great times of fellowship together. I am also planning to stay part of the time with Shonnie, the girl I mentioned in my Grimble Grapevine who is running a guest house as part of the ministry to help girls in the dance bars in the touristy part of Pokhara to find an alternative way of making a living and sharing Jesus with them...I am excited about this opportunity but need wisdom to know how much time to spend there and how to get involved. The guest house is called Tranquil Waters and is on the edge of the paddy fields by the lake!
New Physio for INF’s work in the West: Tomorrow I am helping interview a physio by Skype for a post in INF in Pokhara. He has been working the last few months in Ghorahi where I used to work. Sadly the money for that post has ended so he is looking to work here instead. May we know for sure if he is the right one for the job.
Physio for Nepalgung! Please pray for the materialisation of a physio post and a physio to fill it, for Nepalgung where I am due to move to in the next few months. Currently I can see myself being more useful in Pokhara than in Nepalgung so I am planning to stay here for a bit longer, most likely until the post is created and filled.
Physio TRAINING: In a couple of weeks Kirstin the OT from Australia and myself, are running some basic therapy training for new community workers- wisdom and grace is needed to pitch it correctly and to be able to teach it well in Nepali!
Abishek, the boy with autism who spends most of his day in a cage: I have been having some lovely times with this amazing family to help them with some strategies to help make Abishek's and their family life easier. No easy solutions...their poverty and lack of facilities available in Nepal to help children with autism makes it hard, but some progress is being made. Please pray for them to put into practise some of these strategies...Please also pray for willingness within the church (that they live behind) to help them practically. His mother is a mighty woman of God with much joy in spite of her difficult circumstances!
International Nepal Fellowship: Is undergoing massive structural changes and budget cuts…please pray for wisdom for the Leadership Team and management committees and grace, peace and provision for those who will be losing their jobs (about 90-100 out of 300+). Much is still undecided…may we be ‘pruned’ to produce much good fruit in the future!
Energy: My energy levels are definitely far better now, but I still need wisdom to pace myself and know what to commit to..don't we all?! I feel very much like the Lord has gone before me and pre-pared the way so far...THANK YOU SO MUCH JESUS!!
Language: My language study is going well, most of the time really enjoying it...my weakness is in listening comprehension- may I become so much better at this so that I can participate better in work discussions in particular, and be able to follow the talks better in church!! I still have quite a few more hours’ worth of language lessons which I am fitting around my work orientation...
Friendships: I have met some really lovely people here already so that I never feel at all lonely. I miss home and friends of course, but not so that I am sad...I am truly thankful for this.
Keeping close to Jesus: I am so thankful for the new places to walk with Him and spaces to meet with Him here...the Nepali Christian's testimonies are a great encouragement to me too...please pray that I live in His Joy and power more and more- that the Joy of the Lord would be my strength and that I would have opportunities and boldness to share His wonderful life-giving message to all He brings into my life.
THANK YOU for standing with me and being part of this adventure and mission in Nepal!
God bless and love from Clare xxx
News and prayer points for Chris and Alison Hawksbee (July 2014)
Today is Friday 18th, and the sun is out after a showery day yesterday. The temperature this morning was 13°C. Lovely.
There has been less rain the last couple of weeks, but the earth roads I usually travel on are still impassible. I had a pone call from Pastor Robert Fernández who lives in one of the La patria villages, he went to a neighbouring ranch to phone me. He asked me to bring more baptismal and marriage certificates. The Lord's work continues through the good and difficult times. Praise the name of The Lord.
The Mission Paraguay teams have started arriving and so there is all the corresponding organization that goes with it. My workers arrive on the 25th. 4 chaps from N. Ireland. Instead of building the chapel in Colonia 24, we will be building 3 brick houses in the vicinity of Rio Verde, where the Church has its centre. This is because of the access problem. I spoke to Victor who looks after the Spanish/Paraguayan member Church (St. Matthew's) in Rio Verde, and he showed me around 2 of the members houses, where several generation of families live all in together. So we shall be building 2 houses, and the third one in Sombrero Piri a neighbouring Indian Community for a blind person and his wife. Liberato was the health promoter when we lived in Sombrero Piri in the 80s.
Please pray for travelling mercies for everyone coming on the Mission Paraguay teams.
Please pray for the Diocese of Paraguay for our coming Synod (8-10th. of August).
Thanks for your prayers for Alison, having a break before starting teaching at St. Andrew's college. She starts on the 28th July. Things finished well at the ACA, they appreciated all that she had done. They have someone coming to replace her.
Ben has started doing some English teaching to fill in time until he gets a more permanent job. He is teaching legal English to law students.
Please pray for me as I lead the 4 chaps in our daily devotionals whilst with me. I shall use the daily light readings for this.
Thank you for your prayers.
News from Clare (July 2014)
Hello lovely friends and family!
Thought I’d let you all know how I am getting on in Nepal, which will also give you some prayer fodder! I am now one month into my language lessons here in beautiful Pokhara…so far, it has been a great time of reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, Nepalis and expats, although I am feeling more tired than I had expected, likely due to the heat and humidity, the busyness leading up to me coming to Nepal, and adjusting back to being here and speaking Nepali much of the time! I am living in the north of Pokhara, house sitting for friends in their wonderful flat.
Today, Sunday, on my way to the monthly expatriate fellowship meeting near Green Pastures Hospital at the other end of town, I left left the house early to go and pick up the mountain bike I have borrowed, from the cycle repair shop (Yes, I’m so happy, I now have wheels!). Now I’ll only be using the buses when it rains hard, which it SHOULD be doing as it’s now MONSOON but there hasn’t been raining much so far, mainly just some violent – and scarey! thunderstorms. Pokhara and surrounding area usually gets almost 4 metres of rain a year- the wettest place in Nepal, with nearly a metre falling in July alone! The people depend on the rains to grow their rice and other vegetables…or they will go hungry…
Exciting future ministry possibilities… From the bike shop in the town centre, it took me 20 minutes downhill to get to the gathering of International Nepal Fellowship (INF), Youth With A Mission (YWAM), medical students, and other folk doing different ministries in Nepal. I was very excited to meet two people especially: One, an Aussie girl, Shonnie, who has a ministry among the ‘dance bar’ girls in Lakeside, the touristy part of town. These girls, who come from the villages, often work as prostitutes too, a lifestyle resulting from their extreme poverty. Shonnie has just started running a guest house for the girls, and is, one by one, helping them to find alternative incomes and introducing them to the God who loves them so much. Some of them have been learning beauty treatment skills. Shonnie has been praying for someone to teach them MASSAGE to add to their skills, so I gladly said I would help! I would love to spend some time with this special ministry.
There I also met Connie, a lady working in a small SPECIAL SCHOOL in Pokhara for children who mainly have Cerebral Palsy. She said they haven’t had a physio visit in at least 2 years, and would love me to come and give some training to the staff! So there is another wonderful opportunity. Thank you Lord!!
Daily life in Pokhara…On my way home on my bike –uphill!, I passed buses, motorbikes, children playing games on the pavements with plastic bottles, stones, string and bubbles; cows and dogs; folk sitting on the steps of their shops chatting, women carrying huge woven baskets of grass for their animals on their backs, or bricks or cement sacks for the new buildings going up on nearly every street. Signs of worship to the ‘Hindu gods’ are everywhere: A woman in a hardware shop making herself simple oil candles for a festival, the many little temple buildings in the middle of the road in the old bazzar, the sound of bells chimed at the family’s worship (puja) table at the beginning and end of each day, a woman walking by a cow, touching it and bringing her hand to her forehead (for the cow is sacred and thought to be an incarnation of the goddess Laxmi).
New friends…Near my home I gladly stopped to buy some vegetables, by now dripping with sweat from my ride, at the grocery shop of a family (below) who have befriended me and shown me such kindness over the last few weeks such as inviting me to supper, chatting with me and offering me cups of tea, while I stroke their little tabby cat with white paws which happily sits on my lap! This kind of kindness and hospitality is common in Nepal but each time I experience it I am deeply touched. The mother is called Kamala. One of their relatives, Sanju, mother of a 10 year old boy with a husband living and working in Malaysia, came to meet me at that supper, asking me many questions about Christianity, and saying she had heard that the church was a place where people went to be cured of all kinds of sicknesses and diseases (YES!).
I shared with her and gave her the only Christian thing I had with me- a song book of choruses we use in church. She left a few days later for Dubai where she will be working for 2 years as a manual labourer…people leaving Nepal for work overseas is a very common story, even for the women these days…they feel it is the only way to make enough money to live. This kind of interest in Christianity is also not uncommon, and so, wonderfully, the church continues to grow here.
Stopping once more to pick up some milk, I reached home, had a chat with the landlord’s home help, a lovely girl called Jyoti, played with the big mountain dog Kaley (with whom I have a bit of a love-hate relationship since he barks so much in the night!) before continuing with my language study. I have formal one to one lessons 9-1pm daily, with different teachers every 2-3 weeks. I am really enjoying learning new words and improving my grammar, and learning more of the rich Nepali culture through the language. There are so many different ways of saying things here. I have found out there are actually 35 ways of saying ‘very’, and am learning sayings such as ‘It is not certain whether the tiger in the jungle will eat you, but the tiger in your mind will’, i.e. Stop worrying! Worry is making you ill, what you fear happening probably won’t happen!
Also, learning some bible verses in Nepali is so refreshing as well as a good way to learn new words!
Besides the language study, here in Pokhara I have been able to attend a fascinating 2 day cross cultural workshop for the different cultures within INF (meaning between Nepali and expat mainly, but we do have plenty of Aussies, some Swedish, British, Germans and Swiss here too which makes for a great mix of cultures) to learn to work together well, and I also joined in with the annual INF Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) workshop.
My WORK ORIENTATION in Green Pastures Hospital and the community begins next Monday (14th July), until 5th September, for 2 days a week. The weekend of 6-7th September is a retreat for the expat INF staff, and then I go to the Mid-West of Nepal until the end of September, to check out the work in Ghorahi, Nepalgung and Surkhet and from there work out the way ahead for Physio/Primary Rehabilitation Therapy training for the Mid West of Nepal. I will probably be travelling to Kathmandu in October to network with more hospitals and rehabilitation organisations…and then finally reach Nepalgung where I will be based, during November some time. But for now, I am happy just to concentrate on my language and get my strength back for the work ahead, and enjoy this beautiful city and its people!
BIG CHANGES within INF…
INF is currently undergoing major restructuring of staff, as well as cutbacks due to funding shortages, which is affecting many areas of work, not least my area, the COMMUNITY BASED REHABILITATION (CBR) work. The CBR work in Ghorahi and surrounding districts where I used to work, is finishing at the end of July. It is hard to believe as it is has been doing SUCH good work, but when the money dries up the projects have to go…please join with me in praying for new donors/funding sources to continue this great work among the disabled. This inevitably has consequences for me; at this point I won’t have any work in Ghorahi, and Nepalgung has a shortage of funds for the CBR work too…If I can gather enough funds together myself, then it is hopeful that I will be able to get a physiotherapist to work with me in Nepalgung, but this also needs prayer and wisdom…
Finally…Do hope that this news is not too long and has helped you get a good picture of what my life is like right now! Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayer so far, it is so valuable. Please do pray as you feel led through the news: Lots of THANK YOUs for good transition, lovely place to stay, friends, good health, not feeling too homesick! and prayer for good sleep, effective language study, my new friends from the grocery shop, Sanju, the different ministry possibilities, strength and energy, the funding situation in INF, the current political situation in Nepal for the Christians, and wisdom to know how to use my time most wisely- and REST and JOY in the Lord Jesus!
With much love and God bless you all heaps,
(for the whole text please ask the church office or someone from the Mission team to send you a email copy)
Letter from Chris and Alison Hawksbee (18 June 2014)
Greetings dear Friends,
Time has gone by quickly, but it has felt slow for me, as travel has been difficult and impossible on some of the earth roads I transit. For the last couple of months, we have had a lot of rain and the consequent flooding with it. In places the Trans Chaco road (asphalt) the water was within 30 centimetres of crossing it. Vast areas of land were under a meter of water, similar to the Somerset flats but on a far bigger scale. We are used to the occasional flooding but this is breaking the local records. In the Community of La Patria, which is the furthest from the asphalt road, they have been cut off since the 21st May. That was the day we wanted to fetch the pastors, deacons and church workers to bring them to Rio Verde for a week of Bible teaching and fellowship. Alas it couldn’t be. The emergency services distributing foodstuffs are using a couple of helicopters. Paraguay doesn’t have many!
However, I have been able to visit El Estribo. They have brought in the sesame harvest and this went well. There has also been movement on the Moringa front, but the weather hasn’t been good enough to harvest and dry it. A brother in Christ who worked together with me in this community has signed a contract to provide Moringa leaves to be exported to Spain to make into tea bags. When I know the name of the product I shall let you know. The weather still hasn’t cleared enough to harvest and dry the leaves.
On the 31st May, Esteban Galeano my colleague in El Estribo organized a thanks giving service to celebrate 4 years of their cattle project. They wanted to publicly give thanks to God for His blessing them and publicly recognizing that it was through seeking God for it. Many of the political leaders in the communities boast about “what they have got for their communities without any credit to the Lord”. Here, the credit was fairly and squared attributed to the Lord. This is the first time I have experienced this act from the people in all my working life with the Indian groups, usually they just think it is their right. Praise God His Spirit is moving. Even the Shaman leader who spoke recognized this and broke down in tears.
I have a visit planned with the Saint Andrew’s secondary students at the end of June beginning of July to help them with their community service/social studies. We hope to build 4 latrines and paint 4 class rooms. I shall be giving them a talk about life in the Indian communities next week. We hope the roads will be passable. The forecast till the end of June isn’t good. Even the Iguazu falls have been closed to tourists because of the huge volume of water, going over the cat walks.
Another negative to the flooding on the wider scale is the effect it has on the ranching. The fields all under water, very few high dry spots for the cattle to rest in, difficulty in rounding up the cattle in the large paddocks, especially now at vaccination time. It also effects the labour requirements, so, many jobs will be on hold. Many of the Indian folk work on the ranches. The economic effect is going to be drastic.
I continue my preaching turns at Rio Verde and at the English speaking Chapel. Please continue to pray for this and also, for Victor who visits the Paraguayan Community in Rio Verde, and Pastor Agustin who visits the Indian Community of Sombrero Piri. The Jehovah’s’ witnesses have moved into Rio Verde and are very active in the area. Please pray that the brethren aren’t deceived by them.
Alison has handed in her resignation at the Asuncion Christian Academy as Academic Director. It was just too stressful. She was doing more than one job and it was telling. She finishes at the beginning of July. She is going to go back to teaching science. She has been accepted for this at Saint Andrew’s college. This is to work 4 days a week, and she will have all the long holidays. So, when we come to the UK, it can be for a longer period and visit our support churches together. Please pray for this new phase of her work. Discipline is an issue at the new job.
Our son Ben is still unemployed, but actively seeking employment. He and some friends are starting up reusing pallets to make furniture as a side line and try and build it into a business.
My sister Jacky’s quadruple bypass operation went well, and she has recovered well, but still hasn’t got back to work yet. She has done her rehabilitation and is nearly there.
Thanks for your prayers.
Our love and greetings,
Chris and Alison.
Note from Clare arrived in Pokhara (11 June 2014)
I am now happily in Pokhara and settled in to the house that I will be in for a month. I am living above a Nepali family that have a big black furry dog that barks rather too much at night, but apart from that it is quite an idyllic place, and I feel so very blessed to be here. I rested for the whole day yesterday, today and tomorrow are organising and Nepali revision days) and I start my language lessons on Thursday.
Thank you so much for the prayer for my journey to Pokhara by bus- it passed safely and only took 7 hours along the winding roads, I didn't get sick (I sometimes get road sickness) and I felt so close to God at times as I spent time with Him in prayer and listened to my music on my headphones - it was a very special time, so thank you and please thank those who prayed.
Letter from Clare freshy arrived in Nepal (5 June 2014)
Dear lovely friends,
It has now been 5 days since I arrived in Nepal, and in some ways it feels like a month! I arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday morning and have more or less hit the ground running, with a therapy meeting on Sunday, and my orientation of the International Nepal Fellowship work all this week. It is hot (about 30 degrees) and building up to the monsoon, so also very humid, and it is taking me a while to get my body clock into Nepali time…but I am loving being back!
Just to give you a flavour of what I’ve been doing these last few days: setting up a work email account, bank account, buying a volt guard to protect my computer etc from being blown out in a power surge, getting a SIM phone card (hooray, finally!), buying Nepali style clothes (Kathmandu is about the only place you can get away with wearing jeans), getting lost in the narrow streets trying to find where I live, or when getting back home after supper with friends in near pitch dark on the back of a motorbike, experiencing the different tasty spicy curries, enjoying the MANGOS- yes mango season is just starting! And experiencing the colours, noise, and smells of this crazy city called KATHMANDU.
Just in the last 2 days I visited a rehabilitation centre for people with spinal cord injuries, and a hospital and rehab centre for children, all located an hour or so through the mad traffic, into the countryside of empty terraced paddy fields and brick kiln factories, fast filling up with new houses. I also got the chance to go to a weekly anti-trafficking prayer meeting of about 30 people all involved in different activities in Nepal to help prevent trafficking and exploitation of women and children, run by Mukti (Salvation) Network, which was most encouraging. In fact all the things I have done so far have been really encouraging. I have loved catching up with old friends, both Nepali and expat friends have been so excited to have me back!
I would love you to pray for continued good health, stamina, and safety for travel to Pokhara by bus on Sunday (a 6 hour drive on very windy roads through the mountains). Here I will have my language lessons and more work orientation until the end of August. I will be house-sitting in at least 2 places in different parts of the city while there. Please pray for God to lead me to the people He wants me to spend time with, for His love for them, for me to lean on Him for all my needs, and for a good language learning experience, quickly learning new grammar and vocabulary!
For those of you who would still like to give to the work of INF, it is not too late!! I am fully supported personally, but the Community Based Rehabilitation work is not- so it would be really great to have the extra support.
Please contact Alice at the INF office on:
email@example.com or 0121 4722425 and they will send you a form if you need one.
I feel quite overwhelmed when I think of the love and kindness everyone showed me before I left, it is amazing to remember you and know you are rooting for me while I am here.
I would love to hear from you with your news.
Much love and God bless, Clare xxx
Extracts from Letter from Alex Mortimer in Zambia April 2014
Dear St James' Church,
I hope all is going smoothly back home, that all are well and that everyone's recovering from the washout winter. I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for sponsoring my work here in Zambia, and I hope this brief letter will help you understand more about what I'm really doing and what life out here involves.
So, just in case anyone doesn't know, I'm currently working as a science/music teacher and a dormitory worker in a boarding school called Amano. The school is in the copperbelt province of Zambia, very close (about 20km) from the northern border with DR Congo, and is roughly 10km east of the Zambian city of Chingola. As the provincial name suggests, Chingola's economy is driven by copper mining and the city is, I'm told, home to the world's largest open-cast copper mine. That, to me, is perfectly believable given the man made mountain range that surrounds the city in almost a horseshoe. Therefore the city is relatively wealthy and well supplied. Living here isn't a problem so long as you can do without many european luxuries. Most days the choice of food is either rice or nshima (the local staple, made from ground maize).
So, now more about my work here in Amano School. Hopefully you can already see how looking after boys in the dormitory of a school trying to impress the beliefs and values of Christianity on its students would be quite a challenge. As well as that, 2 boys here have HIV, making looking after them physically a bit more complicated than the rest. My job is threefold: to teach lower school chemistry and biology to a decent standard, to make sure the boys of the dorm are well treated and looked after, and to make sure they're surrounded by what you might call a christian environment. This means, as well as teaching lessons, making breakfast, and making sure all necessary medication is taken by the appropriate children, that all students read their bibles every morning, that they come to evening prayer before bed every evening, that thanks is given before every meal, things like that. It's a very tiring and often tedious job, as I'm sure you can imagine, when dealing with 30 children and teenagers at once. Fortunately they're mostly very well behaved and don't cause many problems. However it's not really possible to find out anything about local culture from them as the Zambian children are very secretive about their cultural backgrounds. All of what I've said has been discussed with and observed from adult Zambians and other European missionaries based here and nearby. Working here is very interesting because there are so many cultures mixing within the school. The teachers are mostly British, Zambian, German, Congolese and American. Within the student body though there's a far greater variety of backgrounds: all those mentioned under teaching staff, plus Russians, Canadians, Zimbabweans, Botswanans, South Africans, Indians, and a set of siblings from each of the Philippines, Australia and Papua New Guinea. I suspect this very multicultural blend and the environment blasting Christianity at them from all sides are what make the Zambian students here so reluctant to talk about their own culture.
Day to day life for me here is pretty repetitive in its broad structure so I can give you a rough outline of the kind of things I do:
· 5:45-7:30 is the time for making and serving breakfast during the week. I usually do this twice a week and other staff take the other days. At the weekend breakfast is moved back to 8:45.
· I attend a meeting with a few other dorm workers on a Monday morning from 8:00 to 10:00. This is usually just to discuss any issues that come up and to make sure everyone supported however they need.
· The school day runs from 7:30 to 3:30 except on Friday when school ends at 12:30. I teach every day except Fridays and, as I never make Friday breakfasts, this has become my morning of rest that I look forward to all week. I teach biology and chemistry as well as giving individual music lessons in drums and saxophone.
· The youngest child in the dorm is 7 years old, and he finishes school at 2:30 from Monday to Thursday, so my work in the dorm starts then in the afternoon. The older primary school children get back at 3:00 and the secondary boys all get back at 3:30. The youngest boy only stays in the dorm during the week though and goes home at the weekend. He's quite demanding most of the time so we're all very grateful for this!
· Every evening the secondary students go to prep starting from 6pm. The length of time they're there depends on their age, the younger years having 1 hour a day, the middle years having 90 mins a day and the older groups having 2 hours every day. This means I spend weeknights mainly with just the primary boys.
· Every Sunday all the boarders are taken to church in Chingola. The school has 2 buses which it uses for this and other trips off the school premises. This church, by my best guess, most closely resembles the Strict Baptist denomination back in England, though there are many other denominations represented in the city. The 3 largest nationwide are Catholicism, Baptist and (if I dare include them in this list) Jehovah's Witness. Anglicans, Pentecostals, 7th Day Adventists, etc. are all represented as well but are not so widespread.
Short news from Chris Hawksbee April 2014
Chris says: I enjoyed my trip to La Patria community with my colleague Pastor Agustin. There was a good turn out by various village church workers and church members from the Las Flores village where we held the gathering. I developed the idea of the love within the Trinity and amongst Christ's body. I found the book Mark gave me very helpful on this. We are now preparing to have another retreat for the pastors, deacons and their helpers in Rio Verde in May. I preach in Rio Verde this Sunday.
Points for prayer from Chris Hawksbee 23 January 2014
Rio verde Church in the Chaco. Mainly Paraguayan congregation! with several Indians, including the only musician.
Pray for Victor Gonzalez who spends ten days a month ministering to them. He is from the San Juan church in Mariano Roque Alonso.He has been doing house to house visiting of the members and others and growth is occurring. He has also started visiting the nearby Indian community of Sombrero Piri and encouraging church members.
Also, for the sunday school work, with up to 30 children attending. Mari Ester and husband Cornelio have done a good work here. They come up once a month and participate in this ministry.
I help out preaching on the rota, usually once a month, as part of a team ministry.
Pray for pastor Agustin, who lives in Asuncion and in charge of the cathedral church who also is coming up to rio verde and spends 10 days ministering in the sombrero Piri villages, rebuilding the congregations. This work is also growing and the members enjoying and valuing meeting together as their pastor now works for the Ministry of education. People very quickly feel abandoned.
Pray for the pastoral ministry I'm working on in the La Patria settlement. This has 17 villages. Continued Bible teaching to encourage the pastors and deacons and church members. The program is to get around each village and meet together with all the pastors and deacons to build each other up and encourage fellowship.
Encourage them not only to preach but to minister using the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Pray also, that SIM will release more audible Bibles for distribution. This has been delayed for a long time.
Pray for Esteban Galeano in El Estribo settlement, in his role as president of the organization for social and economic development. We work together quite a lot and he is doing a good job.Pray that local government will start receiving funds to comply with social commitments.
Pray for Bishop Peter Bartlett as he guides the Diocese forward and the preparation of new leaders.
Pray for Alison in her role as Academic director of the Asuncion Christian Academy, an international Christian school, with all its responsibilities.
News from Martin and Catherine 20th January 2014
settling into life and work in Nicosia
from 22nd to 29th January I am helping to represent SAT-7 at a conference on Christian mission in North Africa, the venue is in Malta and around 400 people are expected to attend - it should be a good opportunity to learn and to make contacts
Catherine is due to travel to Nicosia on 2 February
earlier in January Sarah (18) began a three-month internship with a Christian lobbying organisation in Brussels as part of her gap year before going to Bath University in September to study French and Politics - she is renting a small studio flat in a Christian family home
Matthew (16) is due to return to Dean Close boarding school in Cheltenham on Sunday 26th January after an 'out weekend' which he will spend with Catherine and her parents in East Molesey, Surrey - he is due to visit us in Nicosia in mid-February for a week during his half-term holiday
News from Martin and Catherine 7th January 2014
I (Martin) am due to go to Nicosia on 12 January, starting work as SAT-7 Communications Director on the 14th. Catherine will probably follow on the 30th, today she travelled with Sarah to Brussels, where Sarah is about to start an internship with a Christian organisation which lobbies the European institutions on bio-ethics (abortion, euthanasia, genetic experimentation etc.). Catherine is due to return from Brussels on 10 January. Sarah is due to be in Brussels for at least three months, part of her gap year before studying French and Politics at Bath University from September.
Yesterday I drove Matthew back to Dean Close boarding school in Cheltenham.
Catherine and I have rented a small 2-bedroom flat in Nicosia for our first three months, it belongs to someone in SAT-7 who is in the UK studying and I stayed in it on a look-see trip to Nicosia in April last year. We hope to find something longer-term from there, ideally with a bedroom each for Sarah and Matthew for when they are with us, plus a guest room.
Latest news from Chris and Alison Hawksbee October 2013
3. The new chapel in La Paciencia village has been completed and the congregation need to put their fence up around the building. We have another one we want to do next August with a group of builders from N. Ireland. The roof is already in place. 4. We have had some good rains this past week in Paraguay and it has helped our water situation greatly, as, we were in emergency status. 5. Continue to pray for Alison in her role as academic director. There are always surprizes and difficulties with students and parents. 6.We are grandparents. Samuel and Flora had a boy, Jonathan Tobias at the end of September. 7. We shall be in Tunbridge Wells at Christmas. First we go to Ben's graduation in the USA and then to the UK on the 21st December. Love and greetings, Chris and Alison