Looking back on my 2006:
Two visits to the United States. Alabama/South and North Carolina in January. Back to North Carolina in June.
A short trip (also in June) to Lagos and Nnewi in Nigeria for Christian and Uju's traditional (as opposed to church) wedding ceremony.
A fabulous two week family holiday in August to Lyon, France.
Several trips to Englandshire for meetings and preachments.
The allure of travel wore off this year. On my recent trip to Oxford, I was reminded how much I now hate flying. The long queues at security, the hanging around generally in airports, the cramped seating, poor air quality, and the fact that my gut seems to get distressed by flying all serve to make me quite happy to stay at home.
No international travel plans for 2007! I'm offsetting this year's poor carbon footprint and there is simply too much going on here, what with building plans for a new hall and all.
Mind you, I''ll never say never (I'm particularly open to visits to sun-kissed places). A former member of St Silas' was with us for Christmas Day, and she told me she now lives in Grenada. Sounds nice.
Amazed by the giftedness of the people; how enjoyable it (mostly) is; encouraged by some wonderful testimony of God at work. Seeing some prophetic ministry growing.
Wondering where the time goes; seeing my children grow up so fast; realising that we almost have three teenagers in the house (four if you count me - my kids tell me to turn my music down); a wife who puts up with both my travelling away and busyness when here, but who still goes out of her way to care for me.
Picking up giardia in June, and a consequent development of lactose intolerance. No butter, milk chocolate and cheese for me.
Conscious of the Lord at work in me and the congregation. It's strange to think that I will go into my twelfth year at St Silas' soon. The time has flown by, and it would seem that I have some more work to do.
I've grown keenly aware of my need to draw closer to God. Something to do with all the travelling, I think, as well a sense of carrying others' burdens and the impossible task that ministry feels like sometimes. Perhaps also because of battling with and for people as they struggle with issues in their lives.
Roll on 2007..............