Gwen & Mags Update recently received into the SAMS office:

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Paraguay! We’re now back in the heat after about 29 hours of travel (from door to door) and are still unpacking and sorting things out. We came back to an enthusiastic greeting from our dogs. The cats were less enthusiastic but seemed pleased to see us. Olga and her son were there to welcome us back home after they had stayed in our house for 6 weeks and looked after the animals.

Our journey back wasn’t uneventful!! We landed in New York a bit later than we should and this left us very little time to pass immigration (even though we were only in transit), and to collect our luggage and deposit it for further flights. We were given a pass to rush us through but nothing could speed up the slow arrival of our bags! Anyway, we finally made it to the security check and they rushed us through and off we set at a race to the gate. It was quite a long way and we were relieved the plane was still there when we arrived. They asked for our passports and it was then that Mags realized she’d left hers in security, probably in the bin used to pass objects through the machine. They told her she had 10 minutes to go back for it then the gate closed. Gwen didn’t think the distance was possible to cover in 10 minutes but off she set. Meanwhile Gwen was trying to decide what they could do if they were stranded so she was most surprised to see Mags back with passport and the plane still there. We reckoned she must have managed the 4 minute mile!! The rest of the journey was plain sailing. However, when we arrived in Asuncion there was no one to meet us. Gwen had sent messages but no one had picked up their mail. In the end we rang and the school driver was sent for us. It gave us time to catch our breath, get a drink and get used to the heat again.

We enjoyed visiting our link churches and were very encouraged by them. Thank you to everyone who looked after us and gave us such a warm welcome. It was great to meet old friends and to get to know new folks too. We are very grateful for all the support and prayers from you all.

The Lord was very good to us in our time away and we felt very blessed by so many things. One of these was the weather. We had gone dreading snow and frost, especially if we had to drive. The weather, although wet, was great for us and made our travel so much easier. We spent a few days over in Northern Ireland meeting with folks from the SAMS office. It was lovely to be there and they spoiled us and arranged for us to meet many of the people we have worked with over the years. It was very special to meet up with old friends again.

Both of us were able to spend time with family again. Gwen met her new one week old great nephew and her 18 month old great niece as well as spending time with the rest of the family. Mags spent time with her 3 nephews and her family too. She met her new “great nephew” as well.

We ‘re slowly getting our house sorted out and are busy clearing out cupboards etc. School starts next week for the staff and we’ll start with a service on Tuesday. Meanwhile the water board have decided to dig the whole road up in front of school. We knew this was planned but they had promised they would do it December/ January. The whole road is now impassable and that means our school entrance is very difficult to get to even by walking! They say it will only take a month but we’ve heard that before. It’s going to be a very difficult start to the school year as access won’t be easy and parking impossible. Classes start again on the 13th of February and it will probably be chaotic as the parents try to find the best way to get into school.

Last year was a very difficult year in school for many reasons but we know that the Lord carried us through and we praise Him for His faithfulness. So we enter this new school year not knowing what lies ahead but trusting in the One who has it all planned out for us and goes before us.

Thanks again, for all your encouragement and prayers,

God Bless,

Love Gwen and Mags xx