“You’re moving to Italy? When can we visit?!” Whenever we share that we’re re-locating to Tuscany, people’s eyes light up. Rolling hills, cypress trees lining winding roads, guaranteed golden sunshine, endless vineyards and olive groves, and of course the world-famous gelato ... who wouldn’t want to live there?
It's a joy to share our Annual Review with you. As we look back together on 2020-2021, the Covid-19 pandemic has of course presented the backdrop to all of our lives. It’s humbling to see what God has been doing in and through the UFM family during these days and we give all the praise to Him.
On 1st February 2021, the Myanmar military seized power. They arrested the democratically elected leaders and declared a one-year state of emergency, now extended to two. Although pro-democracy demonstrations were peaceful, the military quickly resorted to lethal force, arbitrary detentions, torture and executions.
The alarm went off, startling us awake. I could hear at least two of the children were up. I reached for my phone to check for any messages that had come in overnight. There was nothing, which was unusual. “The wifi isn’t working,” I said.
I remember the day last year when I realised that the ongoing pandemic restrictions would end up scrapping every one of our carefully crafted plans for outreach events in our community, where we have been working for the last three years towards starting a new church.
France, the birthplace of John Calvin, saw a glorious revival in the mid-16th century with Calvin and others in Geneva training and sending thousands of pastors to evangelise and plant churches in France, and hundreds of thousands being converted.
'Oh no, please not again!’ Scovia had already suffered the loss of three premature babies. ‘What if my husband gets a new wife because I failed to produce a child? Am I truly cursed as my neighbour claims? Who will care for me when I am old?’
We’d never had to ask anyone for money. Tom had been working as a teacher for 8 years. Nerys was a community mental health nurse. We were comfortable financially. We’d saved up for a mortgage and bought a house. We enjoyed being able to give to church and other ministries without having to worry, and we loved having enough to go on holiday during the summer.