Monday, 27 May 2019

Rest in the Midst of Busyness...

Highleigh Conference Centre
If you've read my blog or newsletter or even spoken to me lately you'll probably aware that these coming summer months are very busy for me. It's a great contrast to last year where I was trying to work out what I was doing or how to spend my time. In some ways I shouldn't complain, it's great to be doing things and to be involved in lots of activities. On the other hand, I know that I'm no use to anyone if I'm overtired and grumpy! One of the things I've had to learn is when to say no. It can lead to feelings of guilt - you can feel guilty that you're letting people down especially when you're paid to be there. The reality is that no one expects me to go to absolutely every event. As a worker in a (relatively) normal job, rest times were easy, evenings and weekends were there to be used however I wanted, well, I mean around all the church activities I was involved in. Now, I'm really needing to be careful about how I'm spending my time, balancing work and rest, time with friends and time alone. Despite this, I'm happier with too much to do than not enough. I may be tired, I may (slightly) grumble but I'm still loving every moment of living and working for God in Slovenia. That's the important thing to remember. Who am I doing this for? Why am I even here? To serve the One who gives ultimate rest. He is the One on whom I lean, the One who gives strength in times of weakness!

For those who are following my schedule, you will know that I was in England last week. I was there to attend a retreat for ECM Britain workers. It was a great time of fellowship and sharing with others who know what it is like to work in the mission field of Europe. We were staying in the beautiful Highleigh Conference Centre and I really enjoyed being able to catch up with people I had first met 2 years ago. It was a good opportunity to step out of my situation in Slovenia and think and pray about the joys and issues I am facing. I was also able to join my church in Swindon on Sunday. Again it was a really lovely time meeting many friends I hadn't seen in a year. I really appreciated the love and welcome I received from both groups of people. In many ways that week was a good rest from my normal work, a time to recharge and get prepared to return. In practical ways, though, lots of talking and travelling exhausted me. I returned last Monday and immediately had to prepare for a Slovene language test on Tuesday morning (despite little revision, I got reasonably good marks).

This week I am going to be attending another conference. At least this time it's in Slovenia, in Jeruzalem, a place I've been to several times. A group of pastors from Northern Ireland are coming over to meet pastors and workers from the Balkan region to learn from and encourage one another. I will be going straight from that on Saturday to a prayer day for a church plant in a town called Ptuj. On Sunday there will be a very exciting event for our church. One of our young people is getting baptised. He is one of a few people from different churches in the country. It looks like it will be a big event with people travelling from all over to Maribor to celebrate what God has done in these people's lives. Please be praying for all of these events, especially for those who are being baptised.
Pray most of all that I won't forget God in the midst of the busyness, that I will look to Him for my rest.

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