I went to London last week for a few days so as to spend time with my father. It was the first anniversary of my mother’s death and he has been devastated. He is coping! It was a good visit as we just hung out and had lunch out together a couple of times. We met the lawyer and things are now getting sorted out for his further care. What a blessing that he is in a place where people know him and care, and look out for him.
While in England I spent a wonderful day with Simon and Angela Kendall. We go back to school days – though I was too young and junior to be noticed. We met later as we tried to become chartered accountants together and discovered our shared faith in Jesus. Simon and Angela went on to live in Kenya for quite a while where Simon worked extensively with the Church. He then after returning went to great lengths to rediscover me and what I was doing. Lo and behold they live in the next village from my parents. It has been a joy to rediscover our friendship as well as to be blessed by having our wives getting on famously.
Simon has a great gift for networking and he is working hard to help me get in touch again with the folk of thirty or forty plus years ago. I was able to get in touch – with Simon’s help – with those clergy who influenced and guided me those many years ago. My old vicar, Tony Waite is now ninety seven and as with it as ever. My other rector, Dick Lucas was preaching at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate (picture on the right) last Tuesday and so we resumed conversation. The blessing of renewing friendships effectively lost when I emigrated to the States is huge. It is my hope and belief that there will be a prayer support community in England as well as in the US.
Simon had some interesting advice. He suggested that I drop the form of address “Father” since this might offend. It just shows how long I have been here where that is a normal form of address as it describes relationships rather than an office. After all Paul suggests that those to whom he ministered think of him as their father. On the other hand Jesus does say “call no man father.” Anyway I have now changed the newsletter a bit lest I offend. It is too late to change email addresses which have been in use for so many years.
One of the side effects of going into missionary ministry is that the relationships become all the more vital and wonderful. Truly this is about people partnering in mission – we will simply be those on the front line.