A time of change

Dear Friends,

We send the warmest of greetings to you all from a very warm and humid Kolkata. It was 42C last week plus the heat index, which makes it a feel like nearly 50C.

Thank you for the continued prayers for the café. It is in full swing now and reaching it’s full potentional serving as a training café which is such a blessing.

Please continue to uphold it as it brings a massive opportunity to those it trains and the customers it blesses at the BMS Resource Centre. The cafe staff are: Sam, Vicky,  Shoma, Sukhmur and David – please do remember them in your prayers.

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Sam, Vicky, David and Stephen on their first pay day.

Our Plans

We also wanted to update you all on our future plans. As many of you will know, our time here has not been an easy one here. We have had many set backs, uncertainties and huge disappointments. At times the stress we have been put under as individuals, a couple and as a family has been huge and it has affected us all immensely. If it hadn’t been for the fact Lucy was doing her IGCSE’s in February 2018, we would have been ready to leave India before Christmas.Waiting foe the train in Darjeeling

The Girls waiting for the train in Darjeeling.

However a great brother, Benjamin Francis a BMS partner worker here, and Big Life leader in Kolkata has journeyed with us over the last few years. He visited the UK last year to speak at the Baptist Union conference. His support has been exceptional and he has helped and enabled us to set up the training café at the BMS RC. We have gained huge encouragement from the setting up of the café over the last few months, and it is already delivering on what we hoped, and is starting to change the lives of three young people, with more trainees being interviewed at the moment to start later in June.

Although this project has enabled us to feel like we have created a little legacy here for the future recipients, over the spring we have made the decision after lots of thought and prayer as a family, to return to the UK this summer. We will leave India this July, and then we will do our end of service, visiting some of our partner churches during a period of time to be confirmed between September to the end of November 2018. We hope that we may get the opportunity to visit some of you and share more about the project we have set in motion.

We will be settling in Birmingham in September, as there are opportunities for us to serve there and maybe more, but this is where we feel called to be next. Please pray for the practicalities of schooling, and as we sell our house in Andover and move to Birmingham, find new jobs or maybe start another new business and find transport – more uncertainty to come and trust in the Lord to provide!

Mission is messy, because people are messy. Mission is messy, because Church is messy. Mission is messy because on the front line of mission it’s a tough place to be. But if Mission was easy there would be no reason for Mission to exist and that’s why our org send people to the front line to take up the battle, that we have been empowered and called to do, and to allow the gospel to be life changing for so many in the most difficult places on earth!

We cling to the fact that nothing over the last five years of our journey to serve here will be wasted by God. We know whole heartedly that He will use our experiences, and the lessons we have learnt here for His glory, to help and enable others whom God ask us to serve.

Please pray for us as we look to heading back to the UK on 5th July. It is a hugely emotional time for us all. We are all deeply saddened to be leaving our friends and school, work and home here.

They say going home is harder than coming so please continue to lift us up, as we are finding that as our time here draw’s to a close, the pain of leaving get’s stronger.

f236ab73-f24e-4e34-90a9-7231b3a616f0Stephen and Caroline with the Darjeeling sign behind and the stunning scenery.