Robinson Ministry Update - 5th November 2021
The lush green is turning into a faded brown, the rains have stopped and the air, along with everything else, is drying out. This is actually one of my (Ali's) favourite times of year. It is warm and almost unfailingly sunny, there is no rain to interrupt outdoor plans but the Saharan dusts of harmattan have yet to arrive, perfect!
We have been out and about a bit over the last month. Our group's annual spiritual retreat was able to happen this year, it was a bit of a close call but it was decided that the challenges of making it happen (in a sufficiently COVID-19 safe way) were worth overcoming for the sake of being able to gather and spend time together and worship God. Tim, at rather the last minute, had to take on the majority of the burden of planning and running it and I hope it will come as no surprise to you that he did a great job (says Ali). We had a really good speaker who spoke on several chunks of Revelation and did a great job of steering us through the minefields and helping us to see the immense hope that Revelation reveals. To get to the retreat we drove through some areas that have been devastated by recent troubles so it was a good reminder that this world is not our home and these troubles will have an end.
We got home from retreat, unpacked from one bag and repacked into another in order to go on our next adventure. The next day we headed off for a short holiday to Kano, a large city in northern Nigeria. It was fascinating to see some of the historical sites and experience the huge cloth markets and also just to enjoy some downtime with friends.
However, getting back after being so busy meant that Tim has been under the weather with a bad cold that turned into a chest infection. He seems to be coming out of it now, which we are very grateful for but it was definitely partly due to the somewhat frenetic pace that he has been working at. As Tim is coming out of that, I starting feeling unwell, but we recognised the symptoms early on and started treatment for Malaria. Fortunately, treatment is widely available so I am definitely on the mend. Actually the fact that my brain is clear enough to write this is a good sign in itself! Dan has continued along cheerfully through it all which is also a huge blessing, encouraged by a great mid term report card.
Before all this, Tim also had a trip to visit one of the language projects that we are involved with. A conversation with the team, who met Tim somewhat half way due to the security issues in the language area, to put on hold on the project for a while to give time to work through a number of different challenges. He went to meet with the language committee to talk about the situation in person. Hard conversations but a valuable opportunity to invest in relationships and work together to find a way forward.
Thank you all for praying for us as and when you are able. This is a challenging year for all of us as we mentally (and eventually physically) pack ourselves up to move back to the UK for a time.
For Dan as he whirls through his last year at school which will also be his last year in the country he has grown up in. For Tim and I as we extract ourselves from our various responsibilities and work out how to dispose of a household's worth of stuff.
That we will all continue to hold on to our Lord and Saviour and trust that he is the Rock beneath our feet that will never shift or change. And that we will find peace in that certainty.