Let me just update you on what has been happening. We have been back from holiday for nearly a week now. It is a bit surreal. We had two weeks holiday in Spain, thanks to a friend who owns an apartment, where the temperatures were 30C and above. For a Scotsman living in the Midlands that's hot! To be honest, the day we arrived I thought I was not going to survive. Sweat seemed to be pouring from everywhere. However, we learned to slow down and drink lots. The apartment was part of a complex that had a pool. So we had choices: go to the pool, visit the beach, drive to some place of interest. I did a lot of reading and resting. We watched the high points of the Olympics (didn't we Brits do well - most unexpected). Unfortunately our only source of news was CNN which seemed to spend all its time talking about Obama, Georgia or what was 'Coming soon...' and interminable ads. Dreadful.
Occasionally we bought a Telegraph. The shops there serve Brits well. In the region were staying in there has been massive building programs to satisfy the 'holiday home' demand. As a result it is mostly Brits, Irish and Germans around the place in the Summer. Those who are retired come for large parts of the year, school teachers come during the long summer holidays.
Not everything has caught up with the development. Our locality is five years old, but as far as I could see there were no street names. We had trouble explaining where we lived, especially when we were hiring a car.
The main road along the coast was constantly a traffic jam, especially in the afternoon siesta when everyone was going to or coming from the beach, because the roads simply could not cope.
In spite of all this, we had a great time. The apartment was comfortable, the pool was great and quiet. We were well rested.
Having come back, I am discovering it is raining a lot. What's new? But it makes the holiday seem a million years ago already. And I have to dig out my coat. I am all at sixes and sevens. I have had five days home and I do not feel in gear. On Sunday, I preached a sermon introducing covenants in the Bible. The sermon was fine, but I found my conversations throughout the Sunday strangely difficult. I did not seem to be able to concentrate. I seem to be still in holiday mode.
Now it is all piling up - meetings, planning, organising. Looking forward to the coming year at SPC. We are encouraged. Attendance is up by 50-60% on average over last year. Sounds great, doesn't it? What that actually means is that instead of low teens last Summer (I really wondered if we would survive), we are around 20+. We have four families with children regularly attending which is a great encouragement.
However, we still need to make a significant impact in the local community. So please pray for us, that Christ's name may be raised up in Solihull!