Christmas is done and dusted and we are now moored on the River Thames at Reading, giving us an opportunity to reflect on the last few months. Lots of boating of all different sorts, lots of moving around, lots of encouragement and a few health warnings!
Over the past few years, God has provided both of us many opportunities in churches dotted along the waterways near us. Sometimes for John to preach or lead Bible studies, others for Barbara to talk to ladies' groups. We have also had continued times to share our love of the Lord with people both on and near the water.
John was asked by a commercial boating company if he would consider training as a professional boat Captain. This he completed in May 2018, after much training involving first aid courses, fire fighting and sea survival. All good fun, though some bits were very challenging. The small additional income was also welcome, as several of John’s regular churches had grown sufficiently to encourage them to appoint their own full time ministers and, in one case, join together with a larger established church in Newbury. Truly a blessing seeing God’s work going on, even in these difficult times.
We took part in both the Reading and Newbury boat festivals, and there were many visitors to our home to see how we live, and to hear the Gospel. We were also included in the Thatcham Festival, when we were able not only to talk to people about our lives on the waterways, but also to invite them to an open house aboard.
When the commercial boating season drew to a close in September, we thought God provided an opportunity in Windsor for John to skipper a new venture on a restaurant boat doing lunches, teas and dinners. The first few weeks went well, however the long days and difficulty in driving a different boat proved a little too much. John had a heart attack at the beginning of November. The medical staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital were outstanding and repaired a damaged heart artery which had caused the attack. They also discovered John had an irregular heartbeat which is being looked at as we speak. It does mean that John is unable to work as his Captain’s licence is suspended.
So we await further tests and examinations which we pray will be resolved soon.
In the meanwhile we await God’s word and direction as to what we should be doing.
In His Name
John and Barbara Froggatt
Canal Ministries - sharing God's Love on the Inland Waterways.