Published on: 04/07/2016

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Roy and Lainey Hitchman

Since we last wrote it seems we have been clocking up the miles and have spent plenty of time in the car zipping North, South, East and West doing various things and meeting special people.

North to Wroclaw (Poland) where we had a great time speaking to students in the heart of the city assuring them that God’s love for them is real, He is interested in their future and who they spend that future with. Of course, the group wanted to know how to find the right person to spend the rest of their life with, so that was the main point of our time with them. But finding the right person is not the whole story, there are 2 people in any relationship so it’s not right to only focus on the qualities needed in the other person.

The group was fantastic! So open and enthusiastic to hear not only what to look for in another but what they could aspire to be by allowing God to work on their character’s also. We are so privileged to be able to share this message of God’s love and His design for relationships with those who have all that in front of them.

Following our time with the students, we had the pleasure of addressing the whole Church with a message encouraging them to engage with those around them by being an example of God’s love for them. We have fond memories of the warm-hearted people in Wroclaw!

East to Warsaw. Poland is big, very big! At one time it was much bigger, but Russia did a thing on it as Russia has so often done. Our time in Warsaw was spent with a group responsible for relationship ministry throughout the Pentecostal Church in Poland.

A fantastic group and a fantastic opportunity to share about the needs of young people as they bundle through trying to work out friendships and relationships. It was a wonderful time where we not only gave but received from a fantastic explanation of the differences between Gen x, y and z. Of course with new information comes new challenges, so we are looking at what this will mean to the way we minister, going forward, to generation z.

And then a long journey south to overnight at home and then continue on to Croatia. Leaving Poland seemed to take forever mainly because the day we had chosen to travel was the day the sky opened resulting in flash floods everywhere! Travelling through one city was particularly painful as we were bombarded from every direction by fire engines battling through the stuck mass of traffic to reach the source of their stuckness, deep floods that had appeared from nowhere blocking several roads and railway lines. It was chaotic but fantastic all at the same time.

The journey to Croatia (only a 4-hour drive from home) was mostly uneventful except for a wrong turn at the border that led to us travelling via Slovenia instead of Zagreb. The scenery was stunning, so thank you God for that moment of directional confusion, it made the journey far richer than our plans would have made it! Croatia was a time to recharge and be with Ryan, our son. It was wonderful spending time with him especially since our last time together over 6 months ago was very brief.

Mihael,one of Ryan’s friends from Bible College took us out on the lake. East again to Budapest to meet with dear friends of ours. A time of strategising and looking to the future. In Proverbs 27 we find these words, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” This is a great description of our time with Helen and Damian!

And then West (actually North West) to say goodbye to good friends who are leaving missionary life in Vienna to enter Pastoring life in London. Time was spent catching up, looking forward and dismantling furniture as they undertake the huge task of dismantling Austrian life to reassemble it in the UK, taking their whole family with them. What a huge task but we know God is with them every step of the way.

And throughout all of this travelling, thanks to the internet being everywhere, the 9-5 part of our role has been continuing as we meet with missionaries around the world to talk with them about their challenges and help them navigate married life. The stress that missionaries live with has been well documented. Most studies agree that stress levels are 6 times greater than usual life. We count it a privilege to draw alongside them and let them download. It helps that we also live as ex-pats, share many of their pressures, understand the pressure points on marriage and so can identify with them in their situations.

For a while, Lainey and I have been conducting workshops for church leadership to help them better understand ‘couple care’ in their churches. An element of this includes encouraging them in the wider issues of being a welcoming church that loves the stranger with a love that serves. Usually, we travel to deliver this teaching but recently we were given the opportunity to deliver this teaching to a short-term missions team that was in town working in one of the local orphanages. We jumped at the opportunity!

FUTURE TRAVELS

Soon Lainey and I will be on the road again, firstly with a visit to Northern Ireland. At the moment we are speaking in Portadown Elim Church on July 24th. The rest of this trip will be spent meeting with missions coordinators at a few churches and visiting Lainey’s family. On Saturday July 23rd there will also be a fundraiser coffee morning. Please email us for details we would love to see you there if you are in the area! We hope to attend an event called ‘Wondrous’ which is being held at Ulster University in Jordanstown. We know that it is important to seize the opportunity for spiritual refreshment.

COMING TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU?

We teach in churches and conferences across Europe about topics affecting marriage, parenting, character, and identity. We also work with church leadership teams to help them enhance couple care in the church. We would love to come and do the same in your neck of the woods. Relationships can be hard, but when we get them right, life is better! We would love to share principles from God’s Word that show how relationships work best.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Our financial support comes from a variety of sources. We are very thankful for those in relationship with us who have been a huge blessing and have kept us on the field! That might sound like a cliché, but it is a heartfelt reality.

We have often said how much your thoughtfulness means to us. Thanks to Ellen, who came to visit armed with a giant bar of Galaxy chocolate. That was sweet! Thank you Aisling for blessing us with British Tea and food vouchers!

Thank you Chick’s Knit (Portadown Elim) for working so hard to get a package together to send to those in need in our neighbouring areas.

Thank you Helen and Damian for blessing us with your company and a number of treats during your stay with us! It was fun!

Thank you to Littleton Vineyard, who decided to raise money on Mother’s Day to bless us. What a huge blessing to receive a gift and instructions that it should be allocated to air-conditioning. That gift covered the cost of the air-conditioning exactly!

Now we are writing this newsletter from the comfort of a cool home rather than in sweltering heat. God continues to reassure us that He loves us and meets our daily needs. We are continually amazed by His miraculous provision coming through friends like you!

You will never realise how much everything from meeting a financial need to receiving a box of goodies, to getting a DVD in the post means to us.

Roy and Lainey

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