Matthew 12:15-22: "In His name the nations will put their hope."
At a time when our own nation seems so deeply divided, it is poignant to reflect on this Bible verse from the Christmas message. It is important that whilst there are earthly powers, there is also one who is more powerful and it is in Him alone that we should put our trust and hope.
Since our last newsletter, we have been busy getting on top of what the "Doggie Boat" entails! We have also endured a few technical difficulties. One morning we noticed that our domestic batteries weren't charging. One of the problems with a second-hand boat is that you don't necessarily get a wiring diagram. Well, we certainly didn't. Of course, the wiring had been changed since the boat's Black Prince days. However, with help from Tony, a technical expert, and a lot of delving, Tim got his head around the wiring. We discovered the alternator that charges the domestic batteries had failed. Fortunately, it was easy to connect the other alternator so that it could charge them. The main issue being it is not so powerful so would struggle to supply enough power.
Fortunately, we were back in Alvechurch at this point and learnt that there was an auto-electrics place in Redditch (a short train-ride away) that could refurbish the faulty alternator. This they did, and we got it back the same day. The bad news was that when Tim went to refit it, he left a wire off the external Voltage Regulator by mistake (this is a device which helps the alternator charge the batteries more efficiently). So, we had to manage without that. We got a replacement, which Tim fitted, but this now seems to have caused another problem, so we feel almost back at square one!
Our cruising has been restricted to much the same area as we have been for the last few months. We spent a few pleasant days in Tividale Quays again and have been over to Dudley. Apart from spending some time in Oldbury, the rest of the time has been in Birmingham. The Christmas Floating Market (not to be confused with the German Christmas Market!) was a great success - although that had its issues too. Our gazebo was fatally injured in a sudden gust of wind. We also discovered it took Tracey's Tee-Tuggies with it, although we didn't discover this loss until the following day when we realised they were missing. Thankfully, a friend managed to fish them out of the canal a few days later and, after an overnight soak and a wash cycle, they have come up as good as new.
We have found a line of healthy treats which we managed to get in time for the Christmas Market. Top marks for various delivery drivers who managed to deliver direct to the boat! These sold much better than we dared dream, and have continued to do well online too.
In His Name
Tim and Tracey Clarke
NB Sola Gratia
Canal Ministries - sharing God's Love on the Inland Waterways.