Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Praying for us

Another heartfelt 'thank you' to all those who diligently pray for us - we do appreciate your care and concern for us, and we are grateful to God for his continued blessing and kindness towards us in Christ.

So here is another installment of information for those who care for us in this way. Please join us in thanking God for...

* Keeping our heads above water in the recent bouts of illness that have come our way. One of us always seems to be either getting or suffering or recovering from some kind of cold like disease. Merciful it hasn't been anything like Mark's long chest infection and Jonathan seems to bounce back reasonably fast and not become too unhappy when he is sick.

* Our liberation from 'survival mode' which we've been stuck in most of the year. Now we can finally find a rhythm and do some extra things or things that have been shelved while we just gritted our teeth and got through. It is fantastic to be out of that mode and we are all feeling the benefit of less pressure.

* The time and space to be able to say 'yes' to some ministry opportunities. Mark is teaching the Moore College correspondence course at St Ebbe's; Jennie is leading a group of women students at St Ebbe's student ministry each week and is trying to get more involved in the church's toddler group (which is slightly tricky as Jonathan's daytime sleeps keep moving a bit). Being involved feels more 'normal' than what feels like a year of merely attending church each week, which we've had to do for most of the past year. We're both thankful for these oppportunities to serve God.

* Jonathan's growth and development, which continues at a sharp clip. He's now wearing 18-24 month size clothing, eating with great enthusiasm and walking about like a little robot. He is usually excellent company and appears to have charmed most of the old ladies in Oxford. Last week he held a bus up while a line of elderly women each stopped to speak to him at length as they were getting off the bus (he worked out that if he put his hand out in the aisle as they walked past, they would stop and talk to him - which thrilled both him and them, less so his mother and, one presumes, the other passengers who were neither little old ladies nor Jonathan).

Please join us in praying that...

* Mark would continue to make good progress on his doctorate and with language acquisition. Now that he can focus all his energy on learning the language properly, he has made significant progress in Classical Greek (somewhat more complex than its Koine cousin), and is hoping to sit the exam about April next year. He is also working on two chapters of his thesis that he hopes to have written by this time next year and hopes to have something serious done by the end of December. Pray that his hard work here will pay off and that writing this thesis will be deepen his love for and knowledge of God.

* Jennie will use her time wisely and well. She holds out fond hopes of doing an exam on the Greek text of Revelation (hurrah for Koine!) around July. There is much to be done between now and then and moments need to be snatched and used well. She has a small pile of other writing projects to finish as well. Please pray that what she writes might be useful to others and that she will be able to be efficient and focussed in her spare moments.

* Mark and Jennie will be good parents for Jonathan, being wise in their interactions with him and faithful in their prayer for and discipline of him. Pray with us that Jonathan will come to know and love the Lord Jesus early in his life.

Thank you for your prayers.