Back in January, Graham and Carol Townley made the decision that in August 2020 they would take a leave of absence from New Tribes Mission, North Cotes. Their plan is to move back to Ingleton, Graham’s home area, to bring his mum out of the care home and look after her themselves.
Although they vaguely considered this as a possibility after Carol’s dad died, they set it aside as there was no leading to proceed.
They have always been bothered that Graham’s mum has never appeared settled or content in the care home. In October 2019, they were challenged to think and pray about it in depth. They talked, they prayed, they talked to family, they prayed. They had discussions, they prayed, and finally in mid-January Graham and Carol decided it was right to proceed and asked God to guide as they went.
Just as they made that decision, they had an email from PNG asking them what the possibility was of them returning there. Although that has been the desire of THEIR heart, God had prepared them to see that the time was not right.
Just as they were getting plans together, Corona virus struck! Reluctantly, Reach conference was cancelled/postponed and then as the situation escalated, North Cotes College closed on Friday 20th March. Students and volunteers returned to their homes/home-countries.
Graham and Carol are thankful for a large campus where they can practice social distancing and yet feel together. Like others, communication is via “WhatsApp” and “Zoom”. Administrative staff continue as normal, planning office times so they are not there altogether. Campus Management team are restricted to jobs that can be done individually. The teaching staff are now continuing classes where possible online.
The Bible school students should be able to complete their course. Please pray for the students as they adjust to this unfinished episode in their lives, the quick goodbyes and studying from home.
Some have more time to pray for God to be glorified through this situation.
Pray for the many missionary candidates who were planning to head out to the field and plans have been postponed. Pray for those still in their country of service. It is a difficult situation. Many serve in countries where social distancing is very difficult. Pray especially for good health and provisions to last.
The bungalow where Graham and Carol will live, needs some refurbishing, and they had planned a small extension to the kitchen. They are not sure now when they can get any work done but they are thankful that they can REST knowing that God is in control. No one can visit Graham’s mum at present and that is hard – but many of you face similar situations, and they pray that you too will know God’s strength and peace in these unusual days.
Hebrews 12:3 Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.