“I lift my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2.
It has been eight months since I was diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis was pretty bad. But God, in His wisdom and grace, has kept me fairly well and with a good quality of life, albeit a spell in our local hospice which was a wonderful experience.
Afterwards, I was not able to go back to the boat as it was not suitable for carers to come to, so we are staying in our dear friend’s bungalow. It has two bedrooms, so Peter can stay as well. The bungalow is very close to the canal and our boat, so we can still visit. Our God is so good, we are so happy here with everything around me that I need to keep well.
Peter has still been able to visit the boaters and had a wonderful experience with one man who everyone knows on the canal. He came and asked Peter where he was going to Church the next day. Peter said he was preaching in a Church just outside Frome. He asked if he could come with him. Peter was delighted and arranged to meet the following day; he enjoyed the service and stayed for lunch with the leader of the Church and his wife. Peter was able to ask the boater what he believed and he said he believed in God and Jesus, but had not heard about the Holy Spirit. So Peter was able to talk about the working and power of the Holy Spirit; he asked if he could go again with Peter. How encouraging for us to know that a man who is so well known is wanting to go to Church, his influence with the other boaters will be massive.
God is doing a work on the Canal. Previously when we have witnessed, it has been received with a coolness by some, but not now. It is exciting to see our Heavenly Father changing lives.
Many years we have all been witnessing, but it is God’s perfect timing when He provides the growth.
As we are not going away this summer, Peter has opportunities to preach more locally. He is taking a series on Sundays on Romans, but that does leave him with some Sundays free or midweek days where he would love to be asked to preach. He knows that the preaching rota is usually up to date with Churches, but just to bear that in mind.
Litania day boat is getting very busy with all the groups that use her since I was in the hospice at Dorothy House. Rob and Trish have offered free cream teas to groups, such as bereaved families, nurses or other groups, just to give some pleasure where it is needed.
Canal Ministries is growing from strength to strength, praise God. We have a new couple joining us on their boat from the Llangollen area. Canal and River Trust have asked Sue and Andy on "Spring Water" to do a talk about Canal Ministries and what we can offer. It is good to be recognized by the secular agencies as a Christian Ministry.
Thank you all for your prayer and financial support, without which we would not be able to help so many boaters. We are also able to give out lots of food parcels, which we thank the local Churches for donating.
Love in Jesus' Precious Name
Peter and Lin Atwill
NB Gospel Belle
Canal Ministries - sharing God's Love on the Inland Waterways.