Here is our family newsletter sent out earlier in the month
It is now over four years, November 2013 in fact, since we last sent out a newsletter. So for those of you who had wondered about our disappearance, we are still here and wanting to be in touch. We also apologise for our long non-contact with many of you.
- Philip (who blogs at https://venabling.wordpress.com/) continues to work at Feltham Evangelical Church.
- May Lin, mainly home-based as we continue with home-schooling.
- Michael (aged 20): completed A Levels at Strode’s College Egham in June 2015. Since October 2015 he has been studying Maths at Keble College, Oxford. He hopes to pursue a career in teaching ultimately.
- Joshua (aged 19): completed GCSE’s in June 2015. Thereafter he studied A levels at Teddington School. Since October 2017 he has been studying Music at Jesus College Oxford. Up until July 2017 he attended the Centre for Young Musicians (CYM). Through this, and other opportunities, he has progressed in his piano and bassoon qualifications and experience.
- Daniel (aged 16): is presently studying for GCSE’s. He also studies at CYM majoring in piano (he recently passed his Grade 8 exam). He finished his studies at Chinese School in July 2016. He also does some piano teaching. Later in the year he plans to go to sixth-form
- Zechariah (aged 11): continues his studies at home and at Chinese School.
We are so grateful for all who have invested in the lives of the boys in so many different ways. Any list would be very long of the people who have given themselves for their good. We appreciate it very much.
As regards to the wider family a further niece was granted to us when Yu Chiet and Mei Wah received Mireya into their family in December 2015. On Philip’s side of the family further grand nephews and nieces have arrived making a total of twelve. It was great to see many of these when we visited Cheshire last month.
We still live in the same home in Feltham and are blessed with good neighbours. We have also been privileged to have many visit us in our home and church. We need to continually be aware that God works His purpose through people and we want to be in His service to bring blessing into the lives of others. Please pray for us as a couple, as a family and as a church that we will be effective in this.
It is such a privilege to be in a church with so many caring people and many who are zealous for the Lord and His Word. Here is our website http://www.felthamevangelicalchurch.org.uk/fec/. We thank God for all His mercies in placing us in such a church. It is good to see progress in the church with Zach Mollalegn and Marc Khunan being recognized as elders and Mark Henderson as evangelist.
One thing that has grown in the church over the last year is the EveryoneMustKnow project. The desire is that through this all, especially in Feltham, will be able to encounter and know the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here are more details: http://www.felthamevangelicalchurch.org.uk/fec/everyone-must-know/.
We have been able to enjoy holidays over the period with a trip to Malaysia/Singapore over Christmas and New Year 2014/5. We have also had family holidays here in the UK in Torquay, Bournemouth and Central Devon. The end of 2017 gave the opportunity for time in Malaysia. Michael, Josh and Daniel were there in September and May Lin and Zech were there in November/December. Thanks to all those who helped to make their time special.
The older boys have continued to benefit from their involvement in Christian Camps in Wales. Annual visits as a family to the Word Alive holiday have been very valuable as well.
May Lin’s Mum has also been able to visit us in 2016 with Darlene, May Lin’s niece, and that was a particularly special time for us.
We have generally kept well over this period. May Lin has just one kidney and by God’s grace she keeps well.
- Casting a shadow over all this time has been the loss of Fabio (de Campos) on 24th October 2015 at the young age of 17. In so many ways we felt him a part of us as a family. We feel his loss deeply.
- There have been many other struggles and difficulties over this period. And many sadnesses indeed. There are those who have turned away from God and His ways and that brings great grief. There are those who have turned from us and that has been painful. The pain is intensified so very much when people will not talk.
- But our God abides faithful. We seek to move forward in Him and for Him. Do we regret taking our stand with our Lord Jesus? Never, never never. How could we ever think that way when we have so many blessings in Him.
A Dark World
So we seek to move forward. We see much darkness around us and live in a country where, so often, good is called bad and bad good. The philosophies which have been devised without reference to God and His Word seem to dominate and hold sway. And yet in all the movement away from God, are people any happier? The statistics seem to prove otherwise and the interaction with people proves otherwise.
This all brings home to us that people are in deep need of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only hope. He is the only One who offers us life. And that life is not just for now, but forever. So we seek to go forward making Him known, although we feel so weak and failing in this.
A Distracted World
The proliferation of computer technology has brought so many blessings. Many of you will have received this letter at the click of a button. However, this technology which has brought in its train social media and online interaction has provided so many ways to so easily distract us. But beyond this realm there seems a multitude of ways to distract and amuse ourselves. Two implications of this are that:
- We waste so much time. Recreation, rest and relaxation are obviously vital to our well-being, but so easily we are taken into an online search or a pursuit of trivia and so easily time has gone. I (Philip) for example notice that I seem to do less reading than I use too. So the computer that should save time ends up wasting time.
- We avoid the big issues of life. In fact, there are so many distractions to stop us thinking about the the very biggest of issues, that of death. We spend our time preoccupied with inconsequential stuff that really does not matter in the end. Does the size/value of my car matter? Does the showy display of my home/attire matter. And what about that referees or umpires decision that went against my team? Does it all really matter? And, amidst all this, so little thought given to the big question; what is going to happen when I die? That is not a hopeless question because Jesus Christ came to bring life and hope in the face of death. There is a salvation in Christ Jesus which stands secure. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. This is what the Bible says about the future hope for those who believe in Jesus based on the grace of God.
Thanks to those who have taken an interest in us, prayed for us and encouraged us.
Yours with best wishes
Philip and May Lin