Christmas & New Year update. 15th December 2017
We are loving being on the South Coast. Three years now, but we still haven’t swum in the sea!! However, we have enjoyed some very pretty walks, particularly when people are down to visit but we soon will be finished with all the main jobs inside the house and look forward to tackling the garden, pruning our five large fir trees and the hedges, painting the decking and outdoor furniture.
January 2017 started well for us as we flew to Australia, in the warm, to see the family. Frances was there from Christmas for three weeks with Kezia and Abigail while the rest of the family were in South Africa. She had the joy of meeting Eva our Great Grand-daughter who was born in November and she also had some ‘girly’ time with all the females!! Terry arrived on the fourth week when all the family were united. A great way to start the year.
Our time in the Beulah Baptist Church has been very productive and we are getting to know more people. Doreen still loves the country/seaside experience and enjoys local people calling in to see her. Her mobility became very poor this year and she was experiencing a lot of hip pain. After a hip operation in September she is now able to walk free from pain and sleep back in her bed. The 3 of us became members in June.
We enjoy our home group, we all blend very well together and feel very free to share together when we meet. Our group leader struggles to keep us on track!! We represent the St Leonards and Hastings area; all the other groups are in Bexhill. There is change coming next Easter as the Senior pastor is retiring. David Lockwood is the associate Pastor and decisions will be made as to whether he and Caroline take up the senior role & lead on their own or invite a new Pastor from The Baptist Union. Church membership is around 300. Many are over 75 but in the last 3 years Dave and Caroline have been instrumental in building up the younger teens and families. We have been involved with the Pastoral Team as there is a need for visiting many people at home and in hospital.
Terry has had opportunity to speak in Beulah, in some local churches and travel to Fellowship groups which we have been involved with for many years. So far, we have always done this together but with the plan going ahead to have Terry’s mum live with us we may have to forgo this as Mum has to have 24/7 care and not able to be left alone. Mum will be 100 on the 1st February next year. This represents a huge challenge but one we have been prepared for since we moved down. We will of course have professional carers on hand.
This Christmas/New year all the Watson family will be together for the first time for 16yrs. We are planning a group photo with of course our latest addition 13-month-old Eva. We are all excited to see her again and to spend the time catching up, especially the 9 Grandchildren.
Our family are well. Andrew and Rebecca, in Finland are both working, Andrew in the Bank and Rebecca in photography. Oliver (16) and Sienna (11) are doing well at school. Philip and Michelle are part of the leadership in the Church in Australia, Jake and Kezia are involved in the music, Abigail is loving being a Mum and following the Lord and Ethan (16) is doing well in school and church. John and Janna in Eltham are personally involved in many areas of Church life, Chloe is doing well in College, as are Esther and Ben in school.
Wishing you a very happy Christmas and a very blessed New Year.
Much love Terry & Fran Updated 10th September 2017
We continue to be busy working with the Beulah Baptist Church in Bexhill on Sea where our niece Caroline and husband Dave who is the associate minister are serving the Lord. They have three girls. 7, 4 and 8 months. We have since joined the Pastoral Team which involves visiting folk in need as well as those unable to come regularly to church to break bread with them. With a church of 300 plus and a membership 2/3rd over 75 it can be a full time job. Its a great work with many like minded folk.. Some of our new found friends are in their 80’s but have been faithful for many decades in the work of God both in the UK in church leadership or on the mission field and it is a privilege to fellowship with them.
Terry has had a number of opportunities to preach in the church either in the mornings or at the evening Bible Studies. As we write Terry is about to speak tonight in the new September series on Encounters of Jesus from John’s gospel. The character tonight in The woman of Samaria we read about in John 4 and the suggested title of the study in “Relating to and reaching out to peoples of other faith” On the wider front we have enjoyed visits to Wales to spend a weekend with John & Jan Britton, and Tim & Shiona Matthews who have begun a church in the home. It was Terry’s privilege to speak at the baptism of 3 young people one 16 and two 18 who gave some outstanding testimonies of God’s intervention in their lives. Over the next few months we have visits planned to Birmingham, Epsom & Worthing.
The house repairs we spoke of in our last news is now on hold until the spring although it is now mainly maintenance. The repairing of the timberwork in the front garden and driveway, the painting of the decking and railings in the rear, the painting of garden furniture and the pruning of 5 huge trees and 10 to 20 conifers.
Terry’s mother is not doing so well. Cataracts have made it difficult for her to read so she is bored. The process to move her from the nursing home at the end of our road to our home is still waiting a report from the Local Social Services and they have a waiting list of three months but we trust to have things settled before she becomes 100 on the 1st February next year.
Doreen our house guest goes in for a hip operation this Tuesday (12th) and should be out in two days. The last time she was in for the other hip operation she was in hospital for 6 weeks. There is such a shortage of beds and facilities that folk are in hospital as soon as can be arranged.
We are looking forward to all the Watson visiting us just after Christmas for a week. That is 3 boys, 3 boys wives, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild Eva Michelle born to Abigail in November last year. Fortunately our neighbour over the road has offered to share his house with us and use some of his 6 bedrooms. We have done it before but not will all the family. We are looking forward to it. We shall be on holiday on Wednesday (13th) for a week in Corfu.
Thank you so much for your continuing support.
Love Terry & Fran
Since we last wrote in March we have continued to be busy both in putting our new home in order and in the ministry both here in East Sussex and further afield.
On the home front, we are in the rear garden removing bushes, trees and fences to re-position our border fence about 2 metres further to our neighbour's side. Our neighbours, a Christian family, bought their house in 2006 and the boundary fence was already there but they have agreed with us that it could be moved. This, of course, is proving to be a major job. Already we have taken 10 trailer loads of bushes, trees and fencing to our local recycling centre and have only managed 8 metres of our 24-metre boundary. This will take some time as we only can allow 1 or 2 days' maximum a week. However, it will be completed in the due course. As mentioned in our last newsletter Dave Lockwood begins his three-month sabbatical from the Baptist Church where he is associate pastor and I have been asked to share on several occasions. The first is on the 7th May where I begin a new evening series entitled "Insights from New Testament Characters" my character is Andrew and I follow that up later in July with Thomas. We continue to enjoy meeting in a local house group once every two weeks and are beginning to get to know some of the 300 membership of the church.
Doreen, our house guest, continues to be very disabled finding walking and seeing very difficult. She has an operation for the removal of a cataract this month and sees a consultant in May for a possible hip replacement. In herself she is well and enjoying listening to audio books and computer ministry via the church website.
Mum Watson is also doing well and this week has moved to anotherroom in the nursing home where she has been a resident for 5 years. She is reconsidering our invitation of living with us in our home and we have begun the process of looking into the practicalities of it. We have some outside ministry opportunities booked over the next 4 months and a number of visitors from this country and overseas. Our itinerary is on our website as well as several mp3's which we have been able to access from other church sites.
We thank you for your love and support. Love Terry & Fran June 2017