Overland Missions Conference and Staff Retreat in Florida want to thank you so much for your faithful prayers for my recent mission and travels in the United States. This winter in the United States was not the best they’ve experienced, with heavy snow falls and blizzards, but your prayers moved God’s hand to facilitate breaks in the bad weather for me to travel safely. I really did appreciate that.
On 2nd January I was due to fly from Brisbane to Los Angeles, and then on to Orlando to speak at a missionary convention for my nephew,Philip Smethurst’s organisation – Overland Missions, and their Staff Re- treat. The night before I was due to travel, I received a notification from Qantas that the flight had been cancelled and I had been moved to another flight 11 hours later. That wasn’t acceptable because I would have missed my connection from Los Angeles to Orlando. Qantas re-routed me to Melbourne and then on to Los Angeles. Despite these frustrating changes, the flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles presented many opportunities to share Jesus with needy people.
An unexpected privilege was afforded me to minister at a Sunday morning service at the Destiny Church, Merritt Is- land FL. The very gracious pastor, Gary Montecalvo asked me what I was doing on Sunday morning, I said, “I’m not doing anything”. In response he said, “Oh yes you are. You’re preaching here tomorrow morning – as an extension of this mission conference”. The response of the morning service was precious as the people accepted the challenge to reach out to needy people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, more than ever before.
The Overland Missions Convention was followed by their Staff Retreat. It was an amazing experience. I shared the platform to a full auditorium of young missionaries, with some amazing speakers including the Paramount Chief of the Cree Indigenous People of Canada. What an amazing soul-winner this Spirit-filled man is.
My next itinerary was in Massachusetts, where just prior to my visit there they’d had awful snowstorms and blizzards. I believe as a result of your prayers, God answered, and although it was icy cold with minus temperatures, the weather cleared for the whole time I was there.
I had wonderful fellowship with older friends in Hingham MA, and then drove to Cape Cod for some amazing ministry at John and Linda Andrewski’s Home Fellowship meeting in Mashpee MA. What a delightful group of people who have reached into the community and brought many to the Lord.
The 6 hour flight on January 12th to Los Angeles was very smooth and I had a wonderful time, sharing Jesus with a prominent man sitting next to me. In fact, there was somebody to share Christ with on almost every flight.
I was met at Brisbane airport by my daughter, Ruth, who had come to visit from the UK, with her daughter, Niamh and a friend, Amy. I arrived home the day before our 52nd wedding anniversary on January 15th – I valued my life too much to miss that and then enjoyed my birthday on the 16th with my wife and family.