I am delighted that Alison Judd accepted my invitation to write for the blog. It is so reassuring to know that her wisdom and advice and prayer support is only an email away, now that she is no longer on the MWiB exec! She writes:
I am so grateful to Anne for inviting me to write a guest blog as it gives me the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all those who have sent cards, emails, and other messages of support and encouragement since my appointment as World President of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. It will take me time to fully comprehend that this has happened so I need to keep practising the long title! I genuinely do appreciate your prayer support as I embark on this new responsibility. I feel inadequate to the task but am trusting that since God has allowed it to happen, I shall be enabled to fulfil my duties with God’s help.
Since leaving Houston in early September, I have been able to take time out with Les in France, using our little caravan. What a blessing that we had arranged this some months ago. We knew it may provide a welcome rest as I stood down from 5 years on the MWiB executive. That role, in the first years of a new movement, was a great joy and privilege for me and I suspected I would find it hard to let go. In the event, the holiday became ‘the space between’. The three weeks camping felt like a mini retreat, an opportunity to give thanks for the past and a preparation time for this new period of service. We read books (I can recommend ‘Holy Habits’ by Andrew Roberts) and watched DVDs, swam and walked, explored and even canoed. We enjoyed the scenery of the Loire and the Dordogne and delighted in the sense of space. In one site, we were almost the only campers left there. We could enjoy the peace and tranquillity, the lengthening shadows and the glorious night time stars and give thanks for God’s wonderful provision. On the Sundays, we attended worship and joined in where we could, filling in the gaps imaginatively when our translation skills failed us.
Some years ago, I heard a returned mission partner speak about the importance of intercessory prayer. He described how (in Exodus 17:11-12) Moses had to hold up the staff in his hands on the hilltop to keep the enemy at bay. He could not maintain this position for long without the help of his friends who stood alongside him and held up his arms for him. As I write this, I am aware of the need to pray for mission partners like Sharon and John Harbottle serving in Haiti and many others who are engaged in God’s mission in difficult and challenging situations.
Please, join me in holding up, in prayer, God’s people to do God’s work, whoever and wherever they are.