In April, we had to move from our moorings in Caversham. We had been there nearly four years and had struck up friendships and rapport with walkers, fishermen and boaters.
This all came to a sad end when the local drug users on their boats decided to improve their lot by dealing drugs in the car park. They were very blatant about things, even weighing out deals on scales on the bonnet of their Mercedes. One day, the Environment Agency arrived to remove two sunken boats. Barbara went to watch and then the dealers arrived. They accused her of being the one who had grassed them up and how will we feel when our boat is burnt down?
There is no way to reason with someone who is stoned and looking for a fight. We prayed and took what could be considered the coward's option. We left. Two days, later we were in Oxford on free moorings offered by John's employers. We had made no secret of our faith in Jesus, and several locals have expressed their horror and disgust (that's their words not mine) at the treatment we received. One couple said how could we be persecuted like that after all we had done "for them".
This probably isn't the cuddly, rosey-glassed article you normally get from us. That's because there is a very real battle going on out there between good and evil. God has already won, hasn't He?
Now, with rosey-glasses on the sun shining, we moved a narrowboat from near Aylesbury to Water Eaton. There Chris Buck and the team had paved the way for visits and boat trips. A very busy and well organised week, with shed loads of passengers. And plenty of witness opportunities.
I was also able to help a couple of boaters with engine maintenance; one on an engine that I had never seen. It was based on an engine used by German U-boats for generating electricity. I was continually reminded by God that he has a sense of humour. I don't need to do the song "bigger than a mountain, deeper than a submarine". He makes me laugh now. All that time I was learning boaty things. On somebody else's boat. Oops.
In His Name
John and Barbara Froggatt
Canal Ministries - sharing God's Love on the Inland Waterways.