It is time for our summer review and reflection on all that has happened since June, when we wrote about our week of outreach at Water Eaton. Since then, we have been to Aylesbury by boat and spent time in Marsworth near Tring. We returned to Folkestone for a period, where Chris removed a bath for a friend and fitted a shower tray and screen. He also refurbished a cloakroom with new WC, basin and tiles.
This was a marked moment for Chris, as it seems this will be the last sizeable bathroom type installations he will be doing. Leading Canal Ministries, and doing some teaching and training work, have become the direction God has been taking us in, along with some gas work on boats and smaller jobs that can be fitted in around these.
As he does not do the physical work regularly it has become a real struggle to return to doing it on the occasions when he has time to. Back problems have caused Chris problems over the years and lifting the heavy stone shower trays into place on his own have aggravated this. There was the choice: do this type of work regularly and the body would get used to it and get an apprentice, or follow God's leading. We must always follow God's lead.
There is some very positive news with the back. At Aylesbury "Praise in the Park" event the speaker, a guy called Zeke, asked to pray for people with back pain on the left side. Chris responded immediately and was prayed for. Instantly the pain and restriction in movement went. He could touch the floor; get up and down with no more pain in that particular area. Thank you Lord.
We do ask for continued prayer that God will supply the right type of work that will fit well with what we do with Canal Ministries. Currently a lot of miles are done for the secular work undertaken. If this is not God's plan, then may He open up other opportunities.
Just so we are all clear, wherever we go, whatever work we do, we do witness and testify to God's greatness.
We have been encouraged to hear of positive feedback from the Mission and we do pray that what God did over this time will continue. We keep Water Eaton Christian Centre in our prayers.
After our time in Aylesbury, we went back up to the Grand Union and spent a weekend with the family at Stoke Hammond. We had a boat trip with them all to Milton Keynes, enjoyed some time at Willen Lake Park and had fun in the splash park there. We returned to Stoke Hammond, stopping for a meal on the way back. It was the first time the grandchildren had travelled on the boat, they loved it and no one drowned! Staying in one area has been beneficial. We have spent time with various people we have got to know, enjoying their company and hope that time has been beneficial to them also.
We have seen God do some positive things in some of their lives. Others we continue to pray for and ask God to help them through various difficulties.
We decided to travel to Fazeley, on the Coventry Canal, in September and will return to Aylesbury for the winter in October. Again this is an answer to prayer, as God has supplied us a winter mooring in the Canal Society Basin.
We have arrived in Fazeley just about in time for the Boaters' Christian Fellowship weekend. The weekend is a time to relax with other members and be part of some good biblical teaching.
During our travels, we were hailed down by some boaters who needed some help with plumbing and gas work. Chris was very glad they did, as one was considering fitting a water heater that was unsafe to be fitted on a boat. Chris was able to strongly advise against this, and suggest alternatives that would work better. He was also able to help another boater who had a water leak under the floor, where a pipe had come apart. God uses our skills for His glory.
We would value your prayers for our winter in Aylesbury and how God uses us amongst our fellow boaters. Please pray how we can most effectively serve Broughton Church through the winter in Aylesbury.
Broughton Church have a narrow boat called Beacon. We hope to help them to use it to share the Gospel, show God's love and feed the hungry. We will be working with James and Hazel Bell and Roger and Jo Gilbert. Together we want to inspire others in the Christian community to serve with us. We will serve teas, coffee, soup and cake from it in prominent places. We pray it will become a place where people can find some peace, a listening ear and maybe receive prayer.
Please continue to pray for Canal Ministries. We are pleased to welcome new members in, Roger and Jo on nb Spirit.
Due to some members stepping down from active duties we value prayer for new members to join the Canal Ministries family.
In His Name
Chris and Sally Buck
Canal Ministries - sharing God's Love on the Inland Waterways.