Feeding the hungry: Our responsibility and inability.
Thursday 3 July
In Tim Chester’s excellent book “A meal with Jesus”, he writes a chapter on the feeding of the five thousand according to Luke’s gospel. This account highlights the responsibility of God’s people to feed the hungry (spiritually and physically) and it also speaks about our inability. The disciples can’t feed the people. When we try to play Messiah we quickly burn out. He is the provider and host, not us. He provides for us by dying. He swallows up death in order that we can sit at the feast.
Every Thursday at the Lighthouse, many of the broken, addicted and needy in Woking, sit at table and break bread: Literally bread that has just been baked, alongside a curry or a soup, prepared by a group who come in to develop their self confidence.
Food forces us to express our dependence on God. Only God is self sufficient. We are his creatures and every moment we are sustained by him. Food also forces us to live in community, to share, to cooperate and to trade. Every time we eat, we are reminded of our dependence on others and on God.
In the last months, we, as a family, have been very aware of our dependence on God and others as we have sought to follow what we believe is a call to Thailand to work at Grace International school.
We would like to share with you our latest prayers of thanksgiving and our requests:
Answers to prayer:
- We have found a tenant for 68 Loop road and have agreed terms to let the house from 25 August
- We have also found a house in Chiang Mai which is a short walk from the school.
- We have been greatly blessed and supported by friends and family to enable us to fund this adventure.
- We celebrated Chris’ Grandma’s 95th birthday last weekend which was a good chance to catch up with family before we leave.
- On Tuesday this week, Chris went to the Thai embassy with all our documents and £300 to pay for our visas. These were refused on the basis that Chris’ CRB certificate was issued 12 months ago. The embassy required a document that was issued no longer than 6 months ago. Since Chris plans to fly on 25th July, this was a shock as it takes a couple of weeks, at least, to process a CRB check. Since then we have discovered ACPO which is a police check that takes a shorter time. Our documents are now in Fareham in Hampshire. Please pray that this check is processed really quickly and that Chris’ next visits to the embassy are succesful. Once we have visas, then we can be confident to purchase flights.
- Chris has preaching engagements for the next three weekends (maybe a bit crazy). I am preaching in Baglan this Sunday, Protsmouth next Sunday and at a wedding at New Life church, Old Woking, next Sunday. Please pray that these visits go well and that God would use him.
- Please continue to pray for closeness to God and joy and peace in our family as this period is stressful and somewhat overwhelming. We have struggled at times.
- That we can contribute in a meaningful and committed way in Chiang Mai, overcoming the culture shock and that God would use us for his glory.
- We have twenty seven vaccinations between us. These are particualrly stressful occassions for the children. Please pray for them and us.
So appreciative of your prayers and support.
Love Chris, Ann, Sam, Lois, Joe and Isaac.