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Mercy Air Farm Workshop

Phase One We started off with a very dark chaotic corner of a large shed. Then we ripped off part of the roof - and BEHOLD there was LIGHT! It was just as if the darkness was banished and the light brought possibility of new life. Then I had an idea that we could create a workshop...But this was not a project to be completed by just me and my team!

Phase Two Our first volunteers visitors were the family Perrren from Switzerland offering their gifts to us. 'What can we do?' they asked. I gave them a number of options on the farm and they completed more than one. But they also chose The Farm Workshop. They said they would put a concrete floor into the first quarter of the building and also a window to overlook the runway (a good God-story behind this!) They asked if I would like a '1% fall on the floor, so that the water could exit the building.' Yes please!

So it began... with a floor, a window and roof-light Phase Three We found a local brick layer who built the internal…
Recent posts

Post UK visit

Dear All - A reflection of 2019 and on into 2020. Our first 18 months in South Africa ended with a trip to the UK in November when we had a chance to see many of our supporters. We had some very encouraging feedback from our Saturday Meet & Greet. It was encouraging to see so many people (around 70 we think). We were very grateful for the prayer on the day and we felt supported and blessed.
The first meeting of our Accountability Group was important to us, a group of 6 people who know us well and are keen supporters in what we are doing. Through all the things we have done in the Kingdom, church or secular, we have been accountable to someone. We do not see ourselves as lone cowboy and cowgirl! So in this season of our life we felt it was right to form an Accountability group, to share issues such as personal finance, personal issues, our spiritual life, hopes and concerns. We wanted a place for people who care for us, and the work we are doing, to have the opportunity to ask th…

Tut

I was in the shop the other day. It was the beginning of my downtime. Whoever it was in front of me in the queue was taking far too long. You know, sorting through their pockets looking for enough change to buy one un-sliced government loaf. Other queues are moving, mine is not. I hear a heavy sigh. I think it was followed by a tut. Not a forgetful tut, a condemnation tut. Sigh, tut, followed by impatient tapping of hands. I wonder who it is. I listen carefully. Someone is now rattling change.


I look to my pocket. It is my hands tapping; it was my sigh; it was my tut of condemnation.
Oh Lord change me.

ASAM Intensive Training School October 2019

As seems to be the pattern, in October we traveled to the SBF school in Mozambique, where we spent 13 days, before going home to England to meet our family and supporters. The mission had gathered 70 pastors and students from central Mozambique to spend the week together, that we may learn and worship God together. 
On this trip I had the privilege of working with and watching two Canadian Pastors who were visiting a missionary couple they support on the base.
My teaching role had three aspects. The first was to teach a class of 8 students about the work of the Holy Spirit. I have taught this before and get excited telling people what God has done and can do under the power of his Holy Spirit. It is a joy to watch people grow in the faith and experience of God. I always approach this class as practical and informational. So we begin each lesson together praying for the Holy Spirit to come and fill us.  This leads us towards the end of the week when we gather in a circle to pray and r…

Farm Team - Family

As the end of the year draws approaches, today is an important day on the Mercy Air Farm. It is the last working day of the year for our team, those who make the farm function all year round. Today the mowers, tractors, furniture polish, washing machines, plumbing rods and spanners are put to rest for my team. The tools are laid up in our ongoing new farm workshop. It you have visited the farm they will have made your bed, cut the grass, cleaned the kitchens, attended the gardens. If you have landed here, they will have mowed the landing strip, cleaned the hangers and washed the planes. If you are one of our partners they will have assisted in getting one of our helicopters or planes ready to come to you. If you were in Mozambique during cyclone Idai, you will not have meet them. But they were working hard on the farm to maintain as much normality here as possible so life saving activities and service could go on out in the field.


This is the team that has painted rooms, cleared gutt…

Dominicans in The Farm Workshop

I have been doing some reading on Dominican spirituality, for an essay I am writing, ‘what unites and what divides Aquinas and Eckhart?’ It has been a fascinating read and exploration.


One of the changes I have made to my reading and writing was to do some of it in The Farm Workshop we are making. At home I had my dedicated study in the house or the use of the library at Queens or the library and studies at Sarum in Salisbury. I have studied two ends of the spectrum, in a century’s old academic institution in Salisbury and a leaking farm workshop in South Africa, both have strengths and weakness. The privilege of walking a few feet to a shelf in the library for the book I would like to use, is now understood as even more of a privilege than before. Yes The Farm Workshop roof leaks when it rains but I have big white walls to work on. In the workshop space I have been reminded the Dominicans were an order of preachers called to bring Good News to others, they were not meant for a safe …

Retreat

One of the events on my life back in the UK was to go on a regular retreat and I am aware that those people are holding me in their daily prayers. Retreat is something I have just been able to make part of my life here in South Africa. Not knowing where to go was a bit of a challenge for me. I asked  Cecil, the local Methodist minister, and he gave me some contacts to explore. I made arrangements for a two night stay (I did not want too long, as they might be a bit too religious.)
My journey was to take me to Belfast. Not the Irish original one, but the one about 144 km away halfway between us and Johannesburg, through some lovely countryside. The town takes its name from Irishman Richard Charles O’Reilly and his farm called Belfast (we Irish get everywhere.)

I eventually found the farm at the end of a very long dirt road but it was worth the drive. It's called the iDwala Retreat Center www.iDwalaretreat.co.za run by Heidi and Hermann who are professed members of the Society of St…