It’s so good to be back with you after our 5 weeks on Lord Howe Island. It was an unforgettable time and we are very grateful for the team of staff and volunteers who led and cared for the church in our absence. Thanks to Reg and Dorothy Piper and our guest preachers. We were emotionally exhausted before leaving and the combination of the Lord’s presence, the faithful little congregation at Lord Howe and the beauty of the island certainly revived and refreshed us – along with your prayers.
Our grandson Ashton spent 2 weeks on the island with us and he experienced things for the first time like snorkelling among the fish and coral, like swimming with the sharks, as well as lots of hikes, swims and daily golf! We’re grateful that he has settled back into life in the Shire this term so happily.
Thank you too for your prayers for our daughter Elizabeth. Medication has helped the symptoms of her heart condition though the problems are not medically curable.
Ministry on the island was relaxed and there were daily opportunities to share with locals and visitors what we were doing on the island and say a few words about our Lord. As well as a weekly Bible study and 2 Sunday services, we shared in the Women’s art classes, men’s coffee morning, SRE and the ANZAC service which I had the privilege to MC.
Things that the Lord put on my heart while away included :
- Faithfulness – the way the Lord has inspired and preserved the small group of Christians (15 or so in the Anglican church) and the importance of not just starting the Christian life well but finishing well.
- The pressure to conform that Christians face in small towns and island communities where no-one wants to stand out as different – and yet Jesus says we are salt and light for Him.
- Importance of offering unsaved people opportunities to hear and discuss the faith. If we go again I would love to take the Life of Jesus DVD series and also run Christianity explained over a meal with couples and singles.
- Value of reading good Christian books to extend our Christian education in such isolated places.
- LIFE groups that challenge and change our values and understanding in a loving group. Though the congregation there have been blessed with very good visiting preachers (until I came at least), few were able to attend the one bible study group and so it was more likely for members to stay with old views and mindsets rather than change.
Jane and I are very thankful for our time away and your support – we’re glad to be back to be among the family of God to which we know the Lord Jesus has called us for the next 2-3 years.
Your brother in Christ, Graham Crew