Missionaries Paul & Marjorie Dowling report from Châteauroux
Our thoughts and the thoughts of the church here are inevitably starting to turn towards the preparations for our retirement and return to the UK in just a few months. Paul turns 65 next May and we plan to finish our ministry here and move to the UK shortly afterwards. From a personal point of view, we will soon need to start to think about all the administration involved in organising a move to another country – not least finding somewhere to live (probably back in Yorkshire to be near our grandchildren). We’d value your prayers for this. At the same time, there is a lot to be done here to prepare the church and we’re aware of the temptation to take our eye off the ball and be caught up too much too soon in thinking about the next stage.
It’s still very much our hope that there will be a pastor or pastoral couple to take over from us when we retire but, although we know that Perspectives are actively looking for someone, there’s nothing definite to report at the moment. So we need to have a plan B – a “survival strategy” for the Church in case there isn’t anyone,at least straight away. We’ve drawn up a list of all the different things that we do which will have to be handed over – and it’s a frighteningly long list! Please pray for the Church Council as we go through the list and decide who will do what and which activities may have to be left in abeyance. Please pray for peace and trust in the Lord for everyone during this time of transition– a period which is inevitably unsettling for all concerned.
Meanwhile, there are many encouragements in the life of the church with a number of new families arriving over the summer, which is a real answer to prayer. The Lord is good!