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Onwards and Upwards

"Onwards and Upwards!" was the cry of the characters in 'The Last Battle', the last of the Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis. "Onwards and Upwards!" they shouted with joy as they pressed deeper and higher into Aslan’s country. For Christians, this cry has often become suppressed as the pressures of daily living slowly set back the enthusiasm with which they once followed the Christian life.

Photo: The top of Mount Kilimanjaro I recently found time to sort out the many photos in my albums and came across one I had taken many years ago of the sun rising above the clouds at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. I am not sure that my cry was "Onwards and Upwards!" as I battled the mountain slopes, but I remember with joy the sun rise as its' rays hit the massive ice wall and brought life and light to this 'crystal cathedral'. The climb had been tough – altitude sickness, tired muscles, a slow plod to the summit – but the reward of witnessing such beauty made the toughness of the ascent fade into near irrelevance. Life can often seem like a tough climb, but when walked daily with Jesus, the rewards will be literally out of this world.

Upwards From Where...?

What has been happening lately? Well, although not filled with excitement, the weeks since my last update have been filled with activity. I wrote about two years ago that I was hoping to retire and someone questioned this in the light of my activity to which I replied, "Since my retirement I have had more time on my hands to do more for the Kingdom of God!" I have given up on thoughts of retirement so continue onwards.

An excellent three week trip to India at the end of 2007 was very fruitful. In addition to working again with Pastor Joshua in Rajahmundry, I also spent some days with Pastor David in Anakapalli. It is a privilege to visit some of the smaller village communities and see how they strive to be a strong witness for Jesus in a fiercely Hindu society. I had the opportunity to preach the Gospel in open air meetings on about ten occasions and was delighted to see about 450 people who formerly worshipped Hindu gods make a clear decision in response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My hope is to return to India, maybe before the end of 2008.

Onwards? To Where...?

As always there are many plans. I am shortly off to Africa again for a very solid programme. It is reproduced on my diary page (although as always, subject to change). Six nations in twelve weeks of ministry is a tough call but there are many highlights.

First Highlight... is a visit to Uvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Those who have followed my travels over the years know that I visited the Congolese as refugees in camps in Tanzania. My hope was always to make contacts enough so that when they returned home I would have already established relatonship and contact with them. Now they have returned home and I am delighted to visit them. In addition to church meetings I have been extended the privilege of teaching in their newly established Bible School.

Second Highlight... is to have accepted an invitation to preach at a twelve day open air crusade in Zimbabwe. I believe it is right to go at this time in spite of the upheavals in the country. If the early church members had lacked courage to go to 'difficult places', the Gospel would not have left Jerusalem. I have not got all the details of the trip yet but know that many other meetings have been arranged. I will keep my on-line calandar updated and suggest that if you wish to follow my progress you ‘bookmark’ the following link...

diary.htm

Third Highlight... Nothing is yet settled, but I am giving serious consideration to a semi-permanent move to Kenya. I have been talking with Bishop Justus Wanjala of Gospel Lighthouse Ministries about the possibilities of linking with his ministry as an attached ministry. Nothing is settled and I will be meeting with him and his elders at some point to explore the possibility further. This could be a way of reducing the amount of travelling I do, which becomes a little harder each year as more grey hair appears!

Fourth Highlight... The opportunity to meet again my dear friends in Kenya who have been through so much upheaval over recent months since the troubles with the election counting and reporting. I spoke to many friends there during this time and was devasted to hear first hand some accounts of the atrocities that have been carried out on both sides of the political divide. The ordinary citizens and especially the children are always the first to suffer. It will be so good to be able to be with them and to encourage their churches as I am invited to many places in Kenya.

Upwards! Write Up...

Many years ago I decided to see if I had the discipline to write a book and came up with a book to encourage Christians to stand firm in their faith. It has never seen the light of day and probably never will. I made a second attempt to write about five years ago and produce a book entitled 'Unity' based on my teachings of the same subject over some fifteen years. I little knew, as I struggled to write it that it would have the success that it has. Written with African pastors in mind, it is at the time of writing being printed in the first Swahili edition. 4,000 copies will be sent to Nairobi while I am there for distribution at Unity seminars. This follows the printing of the fourth edition of the same book in Telugu in India. Now 10,000 copies have been printed for the Indian pastors. It was a great thrill to be in the printers in India and see so many copies ready for distribution.

I have been struggling to find the time to finish my next book, which I started some two years ago. Entitled 'Are We There Yet?' it looks at the questions raised by the Book of Revelation and 'The Last Days'. It is now fully edited and I hope to be able to see it published on my return from Africa in June.

My website has brought me many new contacts and invitations from around the world – Zimbabwe being one. I came close to a trip to Pakistan but current insecurity has put that on ice. I am awaiting the right timing before going.

God bless you.

   
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