Autumn has been ablaze with colour throughout the whole season in this lovely part of the country and we feel privileged to live in the middle of it all. This is a season we missed in coastal Pembs where the leaves generally tend to get blown off before they turn golden – often whilst still green! It has been a busy season for us with Ifor taking 11 harvest festivals most needing new sermons each time as people support each other's. This has been on top of us both being out preaching most Sundays. This autumn I (Penny) manned a Ugandan jewellery stall at 4 different events and did 14 slideshows of Uganda/Kenya at various groups around the county. In addition to this we both led a whole morning on life in Uganda for 100 nine year olds at our son-in-law's school, including getting the children to do African dancing while balancing plastic cups on their heads! The children went on to sell £700 of jewellery made by the children of a school we support in Uganda.
In September I took a couple of ladies from Erwood to join a group from Breconshire W.I.'s on a walking holiday based at Ffald y Brenin in Pembs. One of the group asked me for prayer for a very painful knee for which she was awaiting an operation. She felt God's peace and the pain left so she was able to walk the next two days without pain. A visitor to the centre asked me to pray for a migraine that was starting. She said it tends to come up from a nerve in her foot where she had had a tumour removed 16 years previously. This had left her without three toes and a large chunk of her foot. As I prayed the headache subsided and she felt heat coming upwards along what I presume was a damaged nerve. The following morning she found me just as we were about to leave the centre. She proceeded to take off her sock to excitedly show me three tiny toe buds along the severed edge of her foot that weren't there before and she could wiggle them! To balance this bit of excitement, two new people have come to Waterloo Cottage for healing and as yet have not really seen any improvement. A third one who came to us has received partial improvement to his stiffened neck. The two who have been coming regularly since February for their “incurable” conditions have both seen substantial improvement – one is writing a book about it!
A woman in a nearby town asked us to pray in her house where members of her family had seen three different ghosts and she herself had seen things move, been woken by voices every night that had no source and felt a cold presence regularly. Since we prayed she was no longer being woken at night and things seemed a lot better but in two of the rooms things still moved, even in her sight. We returned to pray again and so far so good. Hopefully all is settled down there now. We will visit her again in the new year, unless she asks us to come back sooner.
Ifor has been helping a farmer who has got very behind with his farm records. So often its the ones who need assistance who do not ask for it, so Ifor will be getting training soon in this line so that he will be able to go around the farms with something worthwhile to offer them. This will enable him to meet a lot more farmers without holding them up from their work. He has had confirmation from a number of sources that this would be a useful service to offer.
Many of you may remember that Ifor started writing a book in 2006 but with everything happening it was never completed. After several promptings he has put aside a few weeks to focus on this, rearranging again and again the format and writing new chapters. He hopes to get this finished by the end of this year and off to publishers.
A few weeks ago Ifor went to a conference like the one we both went to a year ago, learning a way of starting a movement of discovery groups. This has created fast growing movements in other countries around the world but has not been done in this way in this country – yet! He came back
inspired and encouraged, so when his book is finished we hope to start moving forward with this in the new year, getting groups started around the county.
Poor Mary stubbed and broke her toe soon after her return from China so has been convalescing with us whilst looking for new employment. She had an interview in Fishguard Comprehensive School, Pembs and has been offered a contract there until the end of August as a Learning Support Assistant. This suits her perfectly as she is hoping to teach English abroad again after that. This week she and a friend found a flat in St.Davids which they will share. The school hope she can start before Christmas, but this depends on the CRB check being completed. Whilst being here she has helped at a new youth club in Builth Wells started by Christians, a Welsh nursery school in Builth Wells, sat in on English lessons for Ghurka children in a school in Brecon and spoken about her visit to China at a BMS evening in Brecon.
This Christmas the whole family will gather at Waterloo, apart from Katie and Sam in New Zealand who will be included in the celebrations via Skype (wonderful invention)! Before that I will be carol singing with Erwood W.I around the farms and village; playing Joseph in a funny nativity play with Aberedw W.I at a county event; we'll both be at the Erwood station Craft Centre once again at the Christmas do there; then on Christmas morning Ifor will be dressed as a tramp at a joint service nearby! Happy Christmas to you all!