hope that Christmas preparations are going well. We are writing to
share news that we imagine will be quite a shock, but we will be
returning to the UK earlier than anticipated.
We continue to be
grateful for the opportunities that BMS has given to our family. Over
the last year, we have had the privilege of teaching in schools, running
an environmental project, running a holiday club, leading a children's
club and much more. We hope and trust that God has used us here in
Cusco. We hope that seeds have been planted that we know nothing about,
but trust that God knows and is nurturing these seeds. We have
personally been challenged and changed, often in difficult
circumstances, and we will all come back with a different perspective of
faith, God and the world.
However, we have felt for some time
that this particular placement is not a good fit for us. It has been a
privilege to be a part of El Puente, but it is a small church plant and
we feel that it is overwhelming to have 4 mission workers placed there.
We have enjoyed a lot of the work that we have been involved with, but
feel that we can not offer a strategic role with sustainability at its
heart, simply because the church is not at that stage. In training, we
were told to be flexible in mission and always expect the unexpected.
We have found this to be good advice, and we have tried to adapt to the
situation being differerent to the one anticipated. It is a common
story that mission workers travel to a country with one job description
and end up doing something completely different! However, in our
situation we can not see a new situation developing over the course of
the next year that will be helpful and sustainable to the work of the
Baptist Convention. We feel that rather continue with our work here, it
would be better for the church if the youth and children's work
develops at a slower pace, with the local church taking responsibility.
This has not been an easy decision, and has involved lots of discussion
and prayer. We did not take the decision lightly to move to Peru and
it is with the same consideration and prayer that we have decided to
return to the UK. Personally, it has been a difficult time for us and
we would appreciate your prayers as we process this decision and the
As we said at the beginning, we appreciate that
this could be a shock, and for that we are sorry. God is at work here
and we have tried to reflect that through our posts and stories. It has
been hard to communicate the difficulties for various reasons, and hope
that you haven't found the blog and newsletters misleading.
were originally hoping to return to the UK between April and June, but
it actually worked much better for the church if that was earlier, due
to the departure of the Action Team and the home assignment of Scott and
Anjanette. It was therefore hoped to be mid-February. However, Neil
visited immigrations recently and discovered that it is not possible to
renew or extend our visas beyond 6 January. Flights are better before
the end of the year, and therefore we are due to arrive in the UK on 21
December. We have had to process a lot very quickly. Please pray for
us and especially the children as we pack up and say goodbye in a much
shorter time frame than we had planned.
Living in Peru has
given a new perspective on the UK. We always saw our long term ministry
as being in the UK, and although we will be leaving Cusco with sadness,
we will also be returning to the UK with a renewed sense of the needs
and potential within our home country. We are all called to mission and
we see more than ever the importance of the church in the UK.
Your prayers and support have been invaluable to us and we can not express enough the difference that they have made.