I have quite a BIT for you this time! We left Northern Ireland about two weeks ago, and got the train back down to Shankill, just south of Dublin.
We had a layover of about 2 hours there, so I took a walk across the “Celtic Gateway Bridge” and while walking across I saw an old Steam engine being serviced!
I then walked over to the VERY old St Cybi’s church near there. It is within the enclosure of what is believed to have once been a Roman fort, and the Church itself is quite a sight… with bits and pieces from many different time periods…
There are so many castles there… I wish I could have stopped at all of the train stops for a week to go and visit the castles, and towns…
Later that evening we arrived at the Nazarene Theological College in Manchester, England where we stayed. The next morning as Dad stood next to me in my room, while planning our day, we both heard a loud “pop”… and then he fell backwards onto my bed. It sounded much like when you pop your neck. Or as dad describes it, like when a rubber band snaps.
It wasn’t either of those though! It was actually the sound of his tendon in the back of his leg, where the calf and the back of the knee are, snapped off! He says that it was like having someone put your calf muscle into a vice, and than give it a few turns. OUCH!
We got him in bed, and I sent out a prayer letter to a bunch of people on both of our mailing lists… as many as I could find on short notice.
It was a trying time, but a friend of ours had sent us an audio compilation of bible verses on healing just a few days earlier, so I put it on and set it to repeat for him 24hrs a day over those following days. It was just what he needed!
The folks at the college were very helpful, and were very gracious. After the first day there, Dad started to have less pain, and was able to stretch out his leg straight, but still could not put any weight on it. The day after that, he could put a tiny bit of pressure on the tips of his toes, and that was the day that Pastor Matthew Norris came and picked us up and brought us to stay at the home of an elderly couple, Bert & Betty, where we stayed for a few days. We had a marvellous time with them, and also got to know the Norris family. It was a great time of recuperation for my dad, and you know what?
Although it is a 2 story house, and we were staying on the 2nd floor, it had a handicap lift! In fact, they, being elderly, decided that when one of them is no longer in good health, they would eventually need a lift, so they decided to have one installed.
After I called to let them know of the situation with dad’s leg, they sort of chuckled and said that wouldn’t be a problem. I could hear the workers over the phone as they were doing the installation. Dad ended up being the first one to use their lift. That is such an awesome thing how God arranged that… it is WAY beyond being a mere “coincidence”… that is for sure!
Then on Saturday, Matthew took us to Penycae, in Northern Wales where we stayed with Ricky & Yvon. On Sunday, I ministered at the Penycae Nazarene Church, and also gave a mini concert in the evening. Pastor Tracey Day took us out to a very nice restaurant where we had some “authentic” local fare… It was very, very good and it was nice just relaxing for awhile!
The next day the Pastor’s husband brought us over to Irthlingborough, Northampton, at the Barnabas Frontier Centre (NOTE: now called Rock UK Adventures) where the Nazarene British Isles South District Holiday was to take place. I played a few solos and shared my testimony during the service that evening on the opening night.
The next evening I played a concert for them before dinner, and ministered again together with the worship leader for service. It was a nice time of R&R for us… especially Dad for his leg… I’ll get to that later.
We also were able to get to know some of the people there, and make new friends. It was so nice to get to know some of the pastors whom I had only spoken with over the phone just a few weeks earlier.
Then on Wednesday, Pastor Peter Idris Taylor brought us to Brackley, Northamptonshire to stay at Roger & Carol Lewry’s home while we stayed in the area… I had a nice time with them, and during our stay, Peter took us to see Oxford. We walked around slowly and Peter and I left Mom & Dad so they could rest, while we went on ahead to see a bit more.
Oxford is a very interesting place to see… I wouldn’t mind coming back someday to spend more time walking it, and taking a few of the tours of the many historical buildings.
When we got back to Mom & Dad, they were ministering to a young man, Jerome, who had twisted his ankle badly on a portion of damaged cobblestone walkway. They prayed for him, and the face of crunching pain he was feeling left. In a short time, he was able to continue on his way!
On Saturday, I played a concert at New Life Community Church, and had a great time playing and answering the many questions they had. We got home pretty late that night, but everyone had a good time! Then on Sunday I played a few songs at Brackley Baptist Church, and shared my testimony of how I learned how to play the guitar.
That same evening, I played a full concert there. It was a nice crowd, and during the intermission, we all had a cup of tea and a nice chat before doing the last half of the concert. I always enjoy talking to the folks that come to hear me play.
Early on Monday, Peter brought us over to Watford where we stayed for the last 4 days in England before we flew to Germany that next Friday!
Her name is Janet, and she has such a beautiful home that has a lovely garden, and a number of apple trees!!! They were SOOOOO good! There is nothing like eating fresh apples picked as you go, her blackberries and rhubarb and pears were just as good! That was a real treat!
The day after we got there, on Tuesday, I played a mini concert at the North Watford Nazarene Church and Dad shared a word with the congregation.
On Wednesday morning we took the train into London and spent the day acting like tourists! We had a great time walking around seeing everything… Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Parliament Building, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace. It was a long day, but it was well worth it! Dad was able to walk all day without his crutches and we only had to stop and rest a few times… He has really healed quickly!
Then early Friday morning, David Tuxworth brought us to the airport. We had a nice flight to Stuttgart, where we spent the day with our friends, the Gale family. We will be staying with them in October. Right now we are staying with some friends from IBC, Steve & Cheryl and they are a lot of fun.
We just went into Stuttgart, Saturday, to a German flea market and fruit market… it was drizzling all day, but we still had a really good time! Neat memorabilia at many of the tables from Germany… Like looking back in time when you see the old things from their culture!
This past Sunday I played at the Vineyard Cafe at IBC again, and was able to say goodbye to my friends, Martin and Micah, they are the two guitarists at the church. They have been there for about 4 or 5 years and everyone was sorry to see them go. They are both going to the USA to study. We’ll miss them and we appreciate them!
On Monday morning, I played a special private concert for the IDI Language School in Stuttgart for their opening day! It was a fun time, and it was nice to see some of my friends that I had made there when I played back in May!
I have a Concert coming up on the 19th of this month, at Cassiopeia, and I am looking forward to that! Well, I’m going to close for now and get some practice in… I’m working on a few new arrangements and I’d like to have them ready for this next concert! Thanks again to everyone that held my Dad up in prayer and all of you who wrote him… it really encouraged him during that difficult time and we all appreciate it very much!
Well, take care and God bless! Until next time…