Cuba & Australia
Hollie TagleServing with Latin Link Cuba
Hollie has just finished a Masters degree in Theology through Belfast Bible College and hopes to graduate in December. She continues on the Latin Link Stride programme and coordinates and supervises short term mission teams to and from Cuba. She is looking forward to getting married to Tagle in December, and will return to Cuba in January 2013.
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Hollie update August 2013
Hola from Havana! The summer just seems to be flying by and through trips home, a Step team arriving and preparing for the new term we’ve been kept very busy! As always thank you for your on-going support and love –may our Lord bless you all every so richly and we hope you are enjoying the British
Travels, Teams and a Finished Terrace!
It seems like a world away now, but Tagle and I were deeply blessed and encouraged through our few days at home in N.Ireland at the beginning of July. It was amazing to spend time with my family, to rest, catch up with a few friends (although we would have loved to have had time to see more!) and enjoy Christian fellowship. Thank you God for making the impossible and unexpected possible! But
inevitably not long after we arrived we were saying goodbye and once we got back, work was awaiting us and my war against the ants resumed! Thanks to a couple of bank holidays Tagle and I finally got our terrace finished and put up our hammock, as well as pieces of material to give us a little more privacy. It is just GREAT to finally have a place to sit (or in this case swing!), to think and read. It is something so small, but it has made a real difference for me so I couldn’t be more thankful. At the beginning of
August we welcomed this year’s Latin Link Step Team (4 girls and 6 guys) and they are just great. God has proven faithful in every detail and necessary provision and it has been great spending time with them as they settle into their time here in Cuba. They are based in a Church in Los Palacios (near Pinar del Río) and will be doing a lot of work within the local community/running prayer nights/evangelistic events, all in partnership with the local church there and its members, particularly the youth. Please pray for them as they seek to plant seeds which will grow long after they leave.
This month our dear friends Lynda Topping and Stuart Nelson became Mr. and Mrs. Nelson and although it was heart-breaking not to be able to be there, Tagle and I wish them every love, blessing and joy in our Lord. There are no words to say how delighted we are for you both and although we weren’t able to be with you on your wedding day, you’ll always have our friendship and love throughout your marriage. We love you both and you are never far from our prayers. Felicidades!
New Life Church
For many years now the Western Cuban Baptist Convention has
been praying and eagerly waiting for the opportunity to plant a
new church in the Baptist Cemetery here in Havana. Amazingly God
has opened up the opportunity for our family to play a key role in
the leadership of the new church and we couldn’t be more excited!
Since February we have been leading one of Almendares’
fellowship groups located in a house right beside the cemetery.
The vision is that this fellowship group will them go on to form the
core members of the new church and so it has been great getting
to know everyone and pray together over all the plans. There is a
small church building on the plot which we have been renovating
slowly over the past number of months and God willing, it will be
ready to use by Oct/Nov. Tagle’s dad Carlos, (who is currently
working as the Elderly Pastor in Almendares Baptist Church), has
been asked to become the Pastor of the new church, called New
Life Baptist Church, and so Tagle and I will be working closely with
him, particularly in terms of the praise, youth work and teaching. A
couple of weeks ago we finished working through Christianity
Explored with the group and it was such an amazing resource to
have. The group loved working through Mark’s gospel and were so
diligent in their ‘homeworks’ each week. It must be said that we
are definitely an eclectic bunch, but every week there is a growing
sense of fellowship and the group seems to be feeling more
comfortable to share and participate.
For me personally, I’m really excited and a little curious at the same
time because I have never been involved in a church plant before
and so suddenly all my classes in Belfast Bible College about
contextual ecclesiology and my own experiences of church are all
running around my head! Above all though, we are praying that we
will be faithful to the responsibility that God has entrusted us with
and that many people in the local area (where there is little church
presence) will come to know Him personally.
And Prayer Points/Diary Dates
§ Step Team: Remember the team as they serve in Los Palacios Church. Pray for depth of relationships, understanding, help with the language barrier and that many people will come to know Christ!
§ Tagle and I: Sometimes we wonder what we’re really doing here and if we are really pleasing and
serving God to the best of our love and abilities. I wonder if we’re like the Church in Ephesus, displaying perseverance but forgetting our ‘first love’. Pray for us as we pray through this.
§ Tagle: Things at work just seem to be getting worse and worse and so please pray that he will have Godly patience and perseverance. Also the wisdom to discern what God would have him do/go.
§ Pray for New Life Church: Remember Carlos as he prayerfully prepares to pastor this new church. May he have the wisdom and the vision to know and implement how God would like things to be done. Pray for us, as a ‘new’ part of God’s body, to serve together, cultivate authentic unity and for God’s continual provision both in terms of resources, but also people’s giftings.
Please feel free to contact me at this address for more information or just to say “hola”: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam and Andrea Scott, Rachel, Emily, Joel & Caleb (Possible Associate from Feb. 2013)Serving with OMUK (Operation Mobilisation)
Since July 2012 Sam and Andrea have been back in NI having returned from Logos Hope. They hope to take up a pastoral role in Eltham Baptist Church, Melbourne, Australia in January 2013 and are praying that the necessary visa will be provided. The post has an emphasis on mission interns and Sam will be associate pastor. While they are here in NI they will remain with OMUK.
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While in Subic Bay we are undergoing a long lay up. We had originally thought it would take 9 weeks with the possibility of delays, now it is put at about 15 weeks. The temperatures in the ship in dry dock can get up to 38 degrees inside because we have very limited airconditioning. We have to put our air-con in the dining room during the day and then in the cabins during the night, but often it is not sufficient. We are very proud of those who soldier on through heat, night and day.
During this dry dock close to 55 teams will be sent out all over the northern 2 provinces of the Philippines. We are half way through the 2nd phase and there are 4 phases. There are library teams – setting up Christian Libraries in Colleges and churches. There are many Holiday Bible Club teams. teams in the jungle, in cities and villages, all with the aim of sharing the good news about Jesus
Children are not allowed in dry dock so all the families are housed in a nice village about 5 miles away. We have 14 houses rented, one of which serves as the school. These houses have been such a blessing and havens of rest to come home to at night. They are fully air-conditioned. Our ladies and children held a Holiday Bible Club recently for our own kids and the local kids – some of them from a local recovery unit for sick and injured children run by Claire and Mark Henderson from N Ireland. It was held in the local church which has been so good to us as a ship’s community. One of our desires was, upon arrival in the village, that we would not just stay here, but influence the community with the Gospel and the ladies have done that of their own accord. Just yesterday one of them came to us looking for follow up literature as she had just led the laundry woman to the Lord.
Over the last number of months Andrea and I have been watching how the children are coping with life on the ship. We have looked at areas like social interaction with peers and education especially for the older ones. For example, Rachel has no girl friend her age other than Emily. We saw that Rachel was not thriving in the solo study setting. Emily’s best friend and class mate left in December leaving her alone in school. Joel has no boys his age and he longs to interact with peers. Caleb has some friends his age so is not as affected. When we took these things into consideration we realised that to stay another year would be detrimental to the children so we have decided to stay only until the end of June. It is with sadness that we have made this decision, but we have received a lot of support from our colleagues, churches, friends and families concerning our decision.
Our tenants have decided to leave our homeon the 12thJuly so we will be able to move back in again
To be truthful the picture is not very clear yet, but we are confident it will come clear soon. We will see how we can be involved with OM locally while we pursue the long term option. Whatever it will be, it will be on land for the sake of the children’s development and education. We are seeking to get them into schools in the Bangor area for now and we’d value your prayers for that as it is not easy. So far all schools contacted have not been able to offer us a place, whether they said an outright no or we’ll put you on the waiting list.
One big [rayer request is that we will know the next step very soon. The kids education is another. Please pray for openings in the local schools.
lots of love form Sam and Andrea, Rachel, Emily , Joel and Caleb