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Free NHS?

It seems that when moving from one country to another it is inevitable there is a new normal. After all, why move if everything is still the same. Part of the experience of being here in South Africa is to discover new ways of living in comparison to the old ways.

As we left our home country of almost 60 years there was a debate raging aboutthe NHS (National Health Service). This is an institution close to our hearts as Erin worked in the Pathology service (Microbiology) for over 20 years. Like many we took for granted the 'free at the point of delivery' value it offered to all.I never really thought about the 6% of my stipend going to support the NHS. Like many I muttered under my breath when I had to wait too long in the doctors. I probably raised an eyebrow when I parted with my £8 something for a prescription. I had little thought to how much the medication cost to develop, make and dispense.In my old normal  I took all this for granted.
But the new normal here in South Afr…
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The gift of sight!

Today, Saturday (the weekend!) I had the opportunity of getting up at 4.30 am, to be in a small (10-seat) plane for 5 am! I could have opted to stay in bed for a lie-in, and when the alarm went off, I confess, that just for a moment, I wished I had!
Nevertheless, here we are, Paul (pilot), Nigel and I, travelling South-West to a small airfield at Johannesburg. Why? We are going to pick up a small team of four, to take them for their Saturday activity - cataract surgery, in the Northern area of South Africa.
This is a trip made in partnership with FFL (Flying for Life); my first time to Limpopo, and to the area we are going to serve. As we at Mercy Air continue to check ‘the coordinates of our Vision’, I pray that this day will reveal more of Gods plan...
We arrive at Lanseria airport (Johannesburg) after just over an hour flight and take off again 30 mins later. We now have four extra passengers;  Sam (Flying for Life) has organized the trip,  Dr Maanda Mbogo, ophthalmologist, Dr Margare…

Favorite painting, Favorite child.

Having a favourite painting is like having a favourite child.
It’s a No No!  I was interested in this article:
The 15 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

Via Work + Money 


The headline of the article is all about the money, but I would encourage you to look beyond the money and the headlines to see what the artist is doing. I am now beginning to sound like someone who knows what he is talking about! Over the years, art has become important to me, and believe me that was a surprise.
I think my love of painting sprouted out of my passion for music. As some of you know my relationship to the painted canvas began with my encounter with Rothko’s work in the Tate Modern, a spiritual charismatic (moment.
So, back to: ‘favourite child, favourite painting’. Over the years Erin and I gathered a number of original canvases and prints, with all sorts of s…

Mercy Air Trip to ASAM - Pastor Training

At the end of July we spent 6 days at ASAM (Mucombeze, Mozambique) with Dwight and Lynne Lagore and their team:
Sixty-six pastors were gathered (65 men and 1 woman), having travelled from some of the poorest and remote communities in Mozambique, to participate in the week-long intensive training school. Some of these are still working through the six-year training programme, while others have already graduated, and had come for ongoing teaching, encouragement and refreshment. They joined together with wonderful and generous hearts.
Each day began with prayers at 6.30am, and arriving at the training school, we were greeted with the sound of singing across the site; strong melodic voices, praising God. (see Nigel’s face book page As an Anglican, one of my two reference points for morning prayer was my study back home; where I often said the morning Office and prayed by myself (with God). The other was Salisbury Cathedral; where …

Looking out

For the past few weeks, Ruth (our daughter) has been visiting us.We decided to take full advantage of the free labour and come up with a list of jobs for her to do so we now have a new improved look on the blog, an updated newsletter format, new crockery for the house and (most significantly) a large map on the wall of the Games Room here at Mercy Air.
As we have settled into life here at Mercy Air, we have been stirred to create space and time in which to pray collectively.The map is to assist us in our prayers.It reminds us of the sheer magnitude of this continent of Africa (it only shows the 9 whole countries and part of 3 more).It helps us to look out to the places where God is calling us.We can locate on the map the partners we work with and travel to regularly and maybe shows us some opportunities for working in new areas.Finally, it reminds us that our Father God has a heart bigger than this continent, for this continent.

I recently read this:"Africa is the only continent…

YWAM Nensa

Mercy Air trip to YWAM Nensa, Mozambique
The first mission trip of our ‘new normal’in South Africa happened last week.Azarja, our pilot, flew the team; which included Bruce, Stephen, Erin and Nigel in the Cessna 310. We traveled from Mercy Air; to Kruger International (to exit SA); to Beira (to enter Mozambique); then on to Marromeu(12 hours total, including long waits for permits and visas – This is Africa!)The drive by car (in a 4x4) would take about 3 days on some very difficult, non-tarmac roads. Allison and Leanna drove the final 1 1/2 hours from Marromeu to the YWAM base at Nensa. As a rookie African Missionary, I did initiallyfeel a bit like Michel Palin without the film crew. The common red sand road, somany people walking into the dark,headlamp beams throwing themselves into the air as the car climbed out of the dip-valley in the road.In the dark, at the mission site, our destination, we were greetedand welcomed by their team singing and dancing. 

Our team stayed in one of the …

We are searching for the new normal.

We are searching for the new normal.
We have been in our new home for 4 weeks and are beginning to settle into a new rhythm of life. Today our shipping boxes arrived, all safe and sound, and we spent a few hours unpacking things we had forgotten we had packed! The house is beginning to feel like home, and we are very comfortable.
It is coming in to Winter here, and we have had some very cold mornings and evenings, although the days are very pleasant with sun and temperatures in the mid twenties. It is quite funny seeing the local people all wrapped up and complaining of the cold, when really, the days are the same as our English summer!
The Mercy Air family has made us feel welcome and at home. It is an exciting feeling getting to know a group of people, who we will share our lives with, all over again. Our roles here have a number of facets to them and we are slowly working out how we take our place on the farm. One of the attractions when we first came to Africa was the question 'I…