Please pray for David

My friend, co-worker and Pastor of Life Changing Church, Uganda has just messaged me with information that he has been diagnosed with Covid in his home. He has struggled to throw off what he thought was tiphod only to be diagnosed today.

I am full of emotions. I guess I am honestly concerned for my close brother. I am also sure he is in our Father’s loving arms.

I will write more tomorrow, but wanted to ask all our friends and family to pray for a loving friend and father, whom I believe is significant in God’s plans for his country.

Now I know why Africans don’t have watches :)

This is the first update only from Ian since this update is about the trip I just finished on my own without Merle.
This was quite a week for me – I learnt a lot and made some very special friends that I think I will have forever.
The background to this visit is that last year I was invited to do a 3 day pastors conference in the centre of Kampala. This was for the network run by John Bunjio. We held it at the church in the centre of town and was hosted by the leader of that church,  Micheal Kimuli.
Between these 2 guys, they look after and are networked to most of the independent charismatic churches in Uganda. At the end of that conference we spent time laying hands on every attendee and prophesied over them. At the end of the queue was Michael and as I layed hands on him, I felt the lord clearly say, “Put yourself at this mans disposal”. So I said these words to Micheal.
A few days later he rang and over a meal – he invited me to come to his National Prayer Conference, which is held just as the school holidays break up at the end of the year just before Christmas. It runs for 6 days and typically has two to three thousand attending.
The invite was to come to several years of the conferences starting last year (2014). If you know me well you will know that last year I had a dream about 2 weeks before the conference where the Lord told me to NOT go to the 2014 conference. If you know me well you will know why it was important that I was in the UK for that week last year.
So finally I went this year (2015) with expectations high for what God would do.
To say I was not disappointed would be an understatement. I had the privilege of the leading the very first session of the conference, the ‘Launch Session’ and I knew we were going to have an amazing time, when at the end of the slot I called forward what I expected to be a few people for prayer under the title of how “God prepares people out of the limelight”. EVERYONE  came forward for prayer (well there might have been 10 people who didn’t – I guess to be accurate I should say nearly everyone came forward). There was an amazing heart for all the the Lord wanted to do.
By the time the second day finished, we were spending hours in prayer and worship and finishing at least 2 hours late – but the Lords presence was amazing/wonderful/unbelievable. I posted a FB update saying if this was Tuesday what would Saturday be like? It was then that I understood why africans don’t worry about the time!
The Lords Presence and Prayer just grew and grew every session – every day.
As well as taking 4 of the preaching slots (which was a high privilege for the first year I was there) I also was invited to give a final prophetic vision for what God wanted to do in Uganda in 2016 – which will be a very significant year. I felt so honoured and trusted by my  Lord.
We then anointed everyone with oil and a prophetic word about breakthrough in prayer and fasting for 2016 and called everyone to 2 weeks of Prayer and Fasting to start 2016. There is a huge day of prayer on the 15th Jan to mark the end of the prayer fortnight across Uganda-the church are taking over football stadiums. I must say being able to pray for all the attendees along with the other international guest breakers and Apostles  was a moment that makes me cry just thinking about it.
I met and fell in love with some more wonderful people, on top of all those that I already knew, including Micheal and his wonderful wife Sarah, their family, Barbera (who was my PA for the week – with a job to make sure I was at the right place at the right time! Not always successfully thanks to some confusion on my part!), Jean-Luc (from Canada) and Frank (from Rwanda). Just as the week finished I also met an amazing woman from CTF Canada called Perry.
On top of that, the hundreds and hundreds of people we got to pray for.
I know I will meet nearly all of these again for next years Prayer conference in 2016, which will be bigger and better.
I received an amazing amount of Love and Encouragement from all that were there, but the best comment I received was from Micheal’s wife who told me that I was different from many other UK teachers they knew, because I can ‘pray like an african for hours’. I must say this made me smile a lot. Just being told I was an Arican made my heart sing.
Please pray for us – I received many  invites to travel next year to lots of different countries for conferences and lots of confirming words about that.
Many the Lord give Merle and I wisdom and breakthrough.
Finally – I have re-written the post 4 times now to try and make sure everything points to the one and only Lord Jesus – please forgive me if I have not done a good enough job at pointing to him. He deserves the highest Praise.
Thank You

Pure and faultless religion – The Story of Forever Caring Homes

FCH familyI first Met Sarah Mbezzi in a dream. 2 years ago, I was traveling to Uganda with an invite for a conference at Life Changing Church, Lubowa, Kampala. I already had a desire to start something that would help the widows and orphans. I had not told David (Pastor at LCC) about this at all – then I had a dream just as I arrived. In the dream I saw the face of an old lady. I did not know what the dream meant but stored it in my heart.
On the second day of the conference, we were praying for everyone at the end of the second session. I had already prayed for all those who had come forward to the front and I was now working may way through the queue that stretched up the isle. I came to a huge broad shouldered man, who didn’t really look African, and he just said to me, “the Lord says WELL DONE”, and then he turned away to reveal this little old, tired little woman who was looking bewildered. 
I realised immediately that this was the woman in the dream, but in the dream she was happy. On that day she did not look happy at all. My translator Henry told me the story, that Sarah was someone who would come round and clean the church for free to say thank you for what the lord has done, but she was not well. Henry had gone to get her to come into the church from the kitchen building for prayer, she has said that she was not worthy of my prayers but Henry insisted.
Sarah and her grandchildren lived nearby in a room they shared with a goat and all the children were ill with HIV. They had lost their mother and Father in the AIDS epidemic that swept through Uganda in the years before. None of the children could read and none were attending school and they all had several behavioural difficulties in relating to the other kids. One of the children (Rashida) was very unwell.
(In the next post i’ll send you pictures of Sarah and the children from that time and since)
After  had prayed for Sarah I went to see David and arranged a package to care for them. This included a move to a new home and made sure they got the drugs they needed to keep AIDS at bay. When I first saw David about all this, he new none of my plans for Sarah, but immediately pledged his support to the project and arranged for all sort of things to happen
1. Proper medical understanding of what was going on in their bodies
2. New accommodation for the family
3. Food
4. Beds and Mattresses and nets (before they moved, they just slept on the floor in the goat hut)
David has supported this work brilliantly including covering financial commitments when I was unable to do so. I am privileged  to call David a co-worker in Christ
Every visit since I have met Sarah and the children and prayed for them – always we are in tears of joy for what God is doing.
But this year was very special for us – Merle (who Sarah calls Mama) was with me. I knew the meeting  was going to be very emotional, so I arranged for it to be after the conference had finished.
We saw all the family during the church services and conference but it was not until the last day we visited Sarah at her rooms.
The children had delayed going to to the local CofE school that day when we visited and we started by giving them each a sweet and sat down in noew of the rooms.
Sarah has a room she shares with Mika, and there is another room with a bed for Moses and Rashida. There is one other room with a table in. This is where we met. You will see from the pictures in the next post that the rooms are hardly good, but you will also see the picture of where they used to sleep.
As we sat and talked, Sarah told us how everyone was doing at school and their health.
MILKA (the youngest girl)FCH family
Since we started helping Milka with schooling early, she caught up with the CofE school standard earliest, but had some behaviour problems. These have now setted down and she is now making friends and is a very happy young girl
Rashida was very ill when we met her and when she was first tested the doctors put her in a cluster of children that they didn’t have much hope for. There were 250 children in that cluster 2 years ago  – Rashida is now the only one still alive, and her latest D4 counts are perfect. This is a combination of the drugs we buy and the fact she eats consistently and has most of the balance she needs in her food. It is overwhelming to think that she has all she needs to grow and thrive at a cost of around a cup of coffee a week. I know as Sarah talked all this through it was nearly too much for Merle to take in, and lots of tears appeared in all of us.
Initially all the children had to have private tuition just to get them to the school standard – this included getting them used to regular hours for attendance and rules of life and understanding a school uniform, etc.
Rashida is a little behind the average for her class but is improving in all the subjects
FCH family
It took a lot of work to get Moses healthy and seeing the point of going to school at all, but to see him now playing football and telling me how he wants to use the chance we have given him to work hard and help his grand mum was nice to see. He doesn’t speak any English, so most communication between us is ‘respectful nods’. We have developed a way of saying we love each other through a set of signs we do and it’s great whenever I see him that he does this, witch essentially means ‘thank you for your love’
To say Sarah looks and behaves differently from when we first met would be an understatement. In her own words (translated) she said …..
– before our help she did not belive  she had any value and thought of herself as like other things with no value – like dogs. Every day was just survival and she tried to stay away from people because she did not think she was the same thing as them. The family lived in the barn basically and the goat was more important than she was. He eat first since his milk was needed by the owner of the barn.
– When we first started helping she was sure it was a cruel joke and we really wanted to take the children away
– now with the help of us and the help of the older ladies group she has understood how to behave and she feels loved and valuable. She has a hope for the future and thanks the Lord and prays for us every day.
It is difficult to describe how all this makes us feel. We feel overwhelmed that this world is so broken that so little from us can make such a change for them. We feel privileged that the Lord has allowed us to connect and give Sarah and the children hope and a future. The words of Jeremiah 39:11 come to mind.
We continue to support Sarah and the family and would find like to do 2 things
 (1) Open up the project to other children who we could help
 (2) Buy some land to build small houses. We currently rent some rooms, but it would be far better to buy some land and build a small 2 room house. For that we need to find the right land and then build on it. The estimated project cost is around 5000GBP.
5000GBP to change someones life for ever.
I don’t usually do this, but if you can help in any way with a regular financial gift (even £10 a month would make a real difference, then please let us know by email ( If enough people commit to help, we can add more children to the project.
James 1:27 says : Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress
Thanks for reading this
Ian and Merle


James Altucher – Fabulous article

I have no idea how to link to the original article, so I have put it here for all my friends to read and enjoy.Please google James and see his fabulous writing

This Is What Happens When You Try To Do the Impossible

by James Altucher 

Daniel was tending sheep in Sudan when a bomb blew both his arms off.

When he heard the bombs in the distance he had hidden behind a tree but wrapped his arms around the tree. A bomb went off near the tree and his body was safe.

But the arms he had wrapped around the tree blew off. When he came to, he said he wished he were dead so he would not be a burden on his family. He was 12 years old.

I was ashamed to be talking to Mick Ebeling.

Here’s why: when I hear the story above about Daniel I think: that’s really sad. I think: I wish that hadn’t happened to him. I think: I’m glad it didn’t happen to me or anyone I know.

Mick thinks differently. Mick flew over to the Sudan without any knowledge of arms or war or prosthetics. He got together a bunch of experts on 3D printing, prosthetics, mechanics.

He 3D printed arms for Daniel in a way that had never been done before, cheaper than prosthetics had ever been made before.

Daniel now has two prosthetic arms. He can feed himself. He can help his family again.

I spoke with Mick yesterday. I told him I was ashamed to be talking to him because I would not have thought that way.

He laughed and told me his theories on helping people. His company, “Not Impossible” ignores high stakes situations where people say “It’s impossible” and figures out how to make the situations possible.

Here’s how:


He used his experience with Daniel to come up with ideas on prosthetics that could help many people. He helped “Tempt”, a graffiti artist, use a machine Mick developed to create art again and communicate with people again.

Then he uses the experiences of helping one to create products that can help many.


It was ridiculous to get cheap prosthetics to Daniel in the Sudan without any experience. And yet, just a little brainstorming with the right experts, gave Daniel arms. And now the same technology is accessible to anyone.


Intel sponsored Mick’s efforts. He went to Intel and told the story of Daniel and told the story of how he was already helping Daniel, with or without Intel, and Intel agreed to sponsor the rest of the journey.

For 5000 years or longer, humanity has driven forward with story-telling. Too many people forget that but the only way to really communicate effectively is through story.


Nobody gave Mick permission to help Daniel. He just did it. Nobody gave him permission to gather a bunch of experts to his house to help figure out how to create prosthetics that everyone said were impossible. He just did it.

Too often we apply for grants. Or we apply to a company. Or we apply to the government. And then we wait. And we wait. And we want that one special person to choose us.

I hate to use my own cliche, but the benefits of choosing yourself is that other people’s lives are saved while you avoid waiting for someone else to choose you.

E) “We’re already doing this”. 

Mick didn’t wait to begin. He didn’t wait for funding. He didn’t wait to figure it all out in advance before he started.

As soon as he committed to helping Daniel he immediately:

– found the experts he needed to talk to (free)

– got them all talking (mostly free)

– started brainstorming (free)

– got materials for one set of arms to be 3D printed (mostly free)

– began experimenting (mostly free)

Then he went to intel and others and said, “We’re already doing this. Are you in?”

Too many people say, “I have an idea. Now I need funding.”

Don’t do that anymore. Stop it!

Say instead, “I’m already doing this. Here’s the ten or twenty things I’ve done so far. Here’s the results. Are you in?”


People think: go go go go go fail stop.

Mick redefined failure.

“We had many failures while trying to figure this out. But each failure was simply a way to show us what we should do what we could do better. Every time we failed we knew at least one thing we could do better.”


For everything Mick did, even though his company is for profit, he gave away for free all of the knowledge he learned.

Then other people companies could build better prosthetics, or tools for deaf people, or tools to help people with ALS communicate.

Then Mick would be able to incorporate those new technologies back into his products.

The end result: more people helped with better and better products that were being made cheaper and cheaper.

Too many people try to hold onto ideas saying, “it’s mine!”.

But ideas, and the world, get stronger when they are allowed to share and mate and grow children and the idea babies make the world better.


When Mick started his research, he found someone who had made a mechanical hand. Not the perfect prosthetic hand. But a cheap hand that could grasp items and be functional.

He started with that and then began brainstorming with the inventor and with others about what else is possible – given that a simple mechanical hand was possible.

Never start with a blank page. Find all the things closest to what you want to be possible and use those ideas as starting points to find the next generation of possible.


Mick didn’t help a billion people have better prosthetics. He helped one person.

“If everyone would just help ONE person today then the world will be a better place tomorrow.”

In other words, if everyone reading this article would help one person today, the world will be a better place.

Always think at the end of each day, “who did I help today?”


Mick didn’t know anything about prosthetics. But he knew that if he brought together the man who made the cheap, mechanical hand, with experts in 3D printing, with experts in prosthetics, then something good could happen.

Even if you aren’t an expert, give yourself permission to be a producer. Produce!

After the podcast, Mick and I took a walk and I told him stuff.

“How are you dealing with that?” he asked me.

I said, “Every day I follow my own advice.

“I try to be healthy. I spend time with friends. I’m creative every day. And I look at the most difficult part of my situation every day and find things to be grateful for.

“This has been amazing for me to see it work in action for myself. I bounce back stronger every day and I feel like life is amazing.”

“You should write about that,” he said.

I will. I said, “Selfishly, I help one (me), to help many. “

He laughed at that. And we shook hands and then I went one direction and he went to save the world.

Uganda 2015 – God likes to communicate in ways that are special to you

We decided to use the name Flowers in Every Wilderness for special reasons that are already discussed here, and we sort of knew that God was going to do some stuff about flowers and gardening, but our Lord really invested in showing Merle how special she is through the very many ways that he blessed her with stuff to do with flowers.

We had some amazing prophetic words from some of our friends before we left – the theme of these for Merle was that God would meet Merle through the flowers……

As soon as David was back from Nigeria, we went out for a final tourist day before the conferences started. We decided to go to the local botanical gardens. I have experienced the Sheffield Botanical Gardens – so I knew what to expect… or so I thought….

For what was frankly a few pounds’ entrance fee, we arrived at an AMAZING place. The Uganda Botanical Gardens in Kampala are massive and full of the most amazing flowers and birds collected from around the world, from the times of colonial rule.

We saw some amazing flowers …


Some stunning views

20151013_142005UG2015BG-1 IMG_0153 IMG_0150 IMG_0147  20151013_142005

As we got out of the car, we were approached by a guide called Bright, who was amazing and knew everything about everything. I realised that he and Merle were discussing the flowers in a language that I did not understand but that was perfect for Merle with her knowledge and training.


As I look back at the day (which can seem like just a tourist day), I realised that God had prepared a wonderful day … almost a perfect day for Merle to experience – just to say how much he loves her. A treat for his special girl.

This theme of gardens and feeding carried on throughout the visit, and even afterwards, when we got home. Merle had decided that she should work out how to grow food well for a limited space. There is lots of land and loads of rain in Uganda! But it isn’t used well.

So she flew home with a desire to investigate how she could help our friends in Uganda with food….

The following weekend, we went to a Catch the Fire European conference and were introduced to a church in Birmingham that runs a programme that does exactly that – the team is called “Harvest Gardens”. Watch out for a bigger post on this in the future as we work out exactly how Merle can work with these people.

As I finish this post I reflect on the amazing things the Lord has done to bring Merle to this space, and I ponder what the Lord will show her next. Finally, I am amazed at how much God talks to you in ways that resonate with you and how he made you.


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Uganda 2015 – Arrival, Friends and Storms

Well, this is the first day of our visit to the lovely country of Uganda. If you are new to what we do, we thought today we would tell the story of why we come and who we work with.

Ian picks up the story.

Around 4 years ago, I attended a weekend conference in Grange over Sands in the UK and met a Pastor from a church in Uganda, called David Katende. There were around 100 people there, but David and I connected. I had seen him a few days before in Sheffield, in the company of a good friend, Debbie Plura.

I wasn’t going to go to the conference – I had a commitment for the Sunday at church, but I felt the Lord tell me to go. Once there, David and I sat next to each other in the evening meeting led by Gill Gifford.

When it was time to pray, we prayed for each other and I felt that a warmth and friendship would develop between us. The following day over lunch we talked some more, and David invited me to Uganda. I had already heard the Lord say, “When David invites you to go to Uganda, say Yes,” so I said Yes. At that time we both had no idea what that would mean or how we would become friends, co-workers and brothers in the things of God.

Just to be clear – this is not from an organisation at all – just a godly connection of two people.

That first visit was wild and strange. I had no idea what to expect and who I would meet, where I would stay and (most importantly) what the toilets would be like. I had no idea what David wanted me to do and who I would meet.

I went on an Adventure of service.

Since then David and I have been together in all sorts of places, in both the UK and Uganda, and continue to grow in Friendship and Love. David has stayed with us in the UK, and I have stayed with him in Uganda. With this trip our wives meet for the first time, which is very exciting!

Today I arrived for my 4th visit, and perhaps the most important, since it includes my wife Merle for the first time. This is the first year we have felt it was OK for us both to leave the house and boys for a long period.

With one boy away at uni and the other in upper sixth, we decided that it was safe to come. Matthew is a very good boy – well behaved and trustworthy. So we sent the dog to stay with friends, and along with visits from our cleaner, my wife’s sister and some non-Christian friends, we left for another Big Adventure.

This trip would be a little different. On previous trips, most days were taken up with lots of travel and preaching and praying, hoping to serve God well and bring some of God’s love, passion and encouragement to places we visit.

I would usually get a few days’ rest at the end to pray and reflect, then come home.

On this  trip we had many more days to spend at the church compound with David and Family, and they had planned several tourist visits that they hoped Merle would like.

David is away in Nigeria for a few days – this was arranged at short notice – so we were met by his family, wife Flavia and children Rebecca, Jachobed and Moses.

We arrived late at night, to the worst storms I have ever seen. Terrible lightning and thunder. I knew that this meant electricity would be intermittent for several days across the city, but I had gotten used to that on previous visits. Flavia explained that the floods are always seen as a blessing from God: “Ian, you have arrived with God’s blessing!”

It made me realise that perspective is everything in life, isn’t it? How you see things – what spiritual glasses you wear – how you allow God to show you a different view – is crucial to becoming “a person after God’s heart” (like King David).

merle and ian-final

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A prophetic dream for Sheffield

Last night at Greenhill Methodist Church, Neil Grant told a story of a friend who felt the need to shout “Wake Up” at an angel. It reminded me of a dream I had last year about our city. It was exciting to hear stories of other people who had similar experiences and words about waking up. When I had the dream I did not have any blogs or ways of sharing it – so I thought I would share it now
In the dream I saw the city of Sheffield like a map, from above. The city was in darkness. I could see that all over the city were these little lights. Almost like sparks going off. They would flare up for a few seconds, then die down. Flashes of light. I looked a little closer and saw that these lights were in buildings. Sometimes the lights were as big or bigger than the buildings. Sometimes the buildings were big, like towers, but the sparks were small.
I realised that the buildings were churches in Sheffield and the light represented the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of saints. I could see that some big buildings had little of the real presence of the Spirit, and this made me sad. The Lord said to me, “In some of the churches, my people are more interested in arguing than desiring my presence. In some, they are so proud of how big they are, I can’t get in. It’s not how big they are – it’s how proud they are. I oppose the proud.”
Then he said, “Watch how I am coming,” and I saw what looked like a wave of energy rising up from between the cracks in the ground. It started to rise up. As it did, the small sparks that earlier had been going on, then off, instead of going off, started to grow and spread across the city – almost fuelled by the energy. Instead of going out, these little sparks started to grow and grow. And as they grew, they started to meet each other. Whilst I saw this happen slowly so I could understand, I sensed in the Lord that it happened very quickly. I felt the Lord say, “Transformation happens slowly and then suddenly – I am waking up my church.” I said, “Lord, wake me up inside – bring me back to life.” As I said these words, I felt that I was one of the sparks that was being energised by God.
The Lord took me back up in the air and I could see that the city was no longer dark, but light. The light came from the ground up, and the whole map could not be seen, for the land was overtaken by brightness. The only thing I could see were towers that still were not covered in brightness. Then I felt the Lord say, “This is how it will be when my wave comes; I won’t choose one church over another. I have no favourites – I will come to all.”
As the dream finished I heard myself say again, “Lord, wake me up inside – bring me back to life.”
Have you had similar dreams or words that are the same? For Sheffield or for your own city? If so, please post a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
Ian lives and works in Sheffield, with his wife, Merle, his sons and a dog, and worships at Meadowhead Christian Fellowship. He is a christian author and blogs at To keep in touch with what Ian and Merle are doing click here

RIP Terry Langlsey … ‘a wonderful man who led a wonderful life’

Slide1Plans changed and Merle and I were able to attend the funeral yesterday of a wonderful friend and close neighbour, Terry Langsley. Funerals are usually such sad affairs, unless Jesus is involved. Then they can be very different…

Terry lived a full life, and in his last years, he had a form of illness that lasted three years. It left him coming back to his house at Easter knowing he was on his way home to heaven. When I saw in the funeral programme that a letter written from Terry was going to be read out, I wondered what I would write to be read out if the circumstances were so for me? I suspect I would express my deep love for my direct family, thank the right people and give everyone some advice!

These were not Terry’s last words, more his final words – his farewell words. The words that really mattered to him.

Dear Family and Friends,

I am no longer with you but a few words to say that I am with the risen Lord Jesus as he promised I would be. He alone has power over death since he alone conquered this last enemy. To follow him and obey him is to enter this certainty. To live without him, ignore or reject him is to spend one’s whole existence as if playing trivial pursuits, however worthy we may feel our pursuit to be. As Lord and creator of the universe with its expanding galaxies, he demands our allegiance, and every knee must bow to him at judgement time. Let me urge you to consider his mighty power to bring you into the free gift of eternal and fulfilling life right now.

The Apostle Paul said near the end of his life, ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4:7, NIV)

The Christian life is not a sprint, but a marathon. It has three stages.

– You have to start well
– You have to press on through the middle of the race when it gets hard and people give up, and
– You have to finish well.

I think Terry is an example, like the Apostle Paul and many others, of someone who finished well. He was a man who showed many what true love and acceptance was all about. I am proud to have known him. I will be more than happy to leave the planet under the same conditions, as said by his children… “a wonderful man, who led a wonderful life”.

RIP Terry Langlsey – Resurrection in Progress.


A message to all our friends…. we are leaving Woodseats Baptist Church

way-forwardAt a meeting a few days ago with Ben Hudd (leader of WBC), Merle and I concluded that this is the right time to leave WBC.

There has been a series of prophetic words from many people, including Isobel Alum, who visited WBC earlier in the year, many of the people in the church, and other sources in the UK and beyond, that we should move on for the next level of our training in heart and character. Also, great thanks to whomever placed an anonymous letter in my daybook with some wonderfully accurate words for me, which I found at just the right time.

On top of all these prophetic words are our own words and pictures from listening for ourselves and praying to the Lord over the last few months. The debate has always been about timing.

As Ben gets on with the task of creating the new WBC, we feel the right thing to do is create the space for this and look for the next adventure for Merle and myself. We have asked Ben to release us from WBC, and initially Ben wanted to do this at a Sunday morning service but quickly decided the right way would be at the next family weekend in September.

One of my favourite sayings is, “The Christian life consists of two simple things: learning to hear God clearly and developing the courage to do what he tells you” This, I think, is from Bill Hybels. It is advice we are now following.

When we left our previous church (Meadowhead Christian Fellowship), I expected to stay at WBC for many years, but I can see now that God has other plans for Merle and me. We had been at MCF for 13 years, and it was quite a wrench to leave. We have been a year at WBC, and it is less of a wrench – we feel we had only just started settling in before being called to the “departure gate”.

We have had a great year as part of the church and leave behind many great memories, including:

– our trip to Uganda together (Ben and I)
– our trip to Canada
– praying for Ben when he was very ill and unable to breathe, and seeing the breakthrough we needed
– all the wonderful stories of what God has been doing to change people and prepare them for the coming revival.

To our friends at WBC we want to say it has been a privilege and humbling experience for us to share in your journey. We are sure that God is at work at WBC and has astonishing plans for all of you – as well as for other Christians in churches across the city.
Please pray for us and for Ben.

For the Kingdom
Ian and Merle

My phone is travelling the world without me

Around Christmas this year, I was going through some of my old tech that I no longer use, and I had a Samsung Note 3 and Neo watch. I realise for many this would not be old tech, but that’s another story.

David, my good friend in Uganda usually gets these kind of devices. He knows people who can use them so I decided to send this to David. I am seeing him in June, but this was January, so off I go to the local courier office.

I put the phone, the wrist watch and a spare battery in one of the courier boxes and pay.

I let David know its going to arrive in five  working days…….  Two  weeks later David lets me know that it hasn’t arrived and it’s time for me to chase it up. (Remember this paragraph – it comes up a few times. See if you can count how many?)

I go to the shop I used to post the item, and they phone the courier. It is still in Sheffield becasue I have contravened the explosive devices act by having three batteries in the box. I have to phone the courier depot and ask them to send it back to the shop.

It is sent back to the shop for me to remove the spare battery.

I go to the shop and remove the spare battery and it gets sent again

I let David know its going to arrive in five working days…….  Two  weeks later David lets me know that it hasn’t arrived and it’s time for me to chase it up.

I ring the courier, who says that the paperwork is no longer correct. I should have got a refund and filled in another order. It comes back to the shop again.

So far the phone has been living in Sheffield for 8 weeks on its own.

When it comes back for the third time I decide to take action and reduce the cost of transport. Whilst the courier was going to charge £55 , I realised that Royal Mail could do a signed for package for only £17.00 so I decided to move to Royal Mail.

I packed the box very carefully and took it to my local post office. I filled in the forms and left happy.

I let David know its going to arrive in five  working days…….  Two  weeks later David lets me know that it hasn’t arrived and it’s time for me to chase it up.

I look the package up and find it is Uraguay .   Yes Uraguay …. (starts with the same letter I guess?)

I phone the customer service team and ask why the package is in Uraguay? They don’t know but say it isn’t in Uraguay any more – its back in Britian. It arrived in Britain 2 weeks ago and is being returned to sender (me). I ask why its not being sent to Uganda? Apparently when there is a country mispost they send it back to the sender, not move it to the correct country. Nobody I have spoken to knows why this is the case,  but that’s what they do.

How long does it take to get back to sender form Heathrow Airport in the UK? Around five days apparently, so my phone having been on an adventure to Uraguay is now lost between Heathrow and my house and if in three  weeks it doesn’t appear at the house, I can claim for a lost package.

It is now 12 weeks since I first attempted to send this to my friend.

This story is so ridiculous it makes me wonder if there is something I need to learn?

So – over to the lovely people who follow my blog – If there is a moral to this tale, what do you think it is?