It's almost exactly a year now since I first considered applying for a scholarship to New Zealand. And, now home again, I can hardly believe that the experience is behind me and that less than a month ago I was still at Vaughan Park, with winter beginning!
Give thanks for a profound experience; for new friendships, important learning, safe travelling, adequate financial provision, creative inspiration, deep healing, Christ-like hospitality and a renewed sense of God's calling.
The transition back into life in the UK, though lovely, is not without its challenges. I feel the loss of the prayerful rhythms and close fellowship that shaped my time in New Zealand and now need to work out new ways of 'being'. I also need to have some important reflective conversations with a variety of people and to discern appropriate priorities and the 'next step' in my journey. I shall be taking some 'time out' at the end of July to pray through the latter; holding the questions before God in a 5 day silent guided retreat.
My work will continue to be shaped around retreat leading and writing, though possibly with rather more of a contemplative focus than before. I hope to take a serious chunk of 'writing time' in August / September to do further work on the project begun at Vaughan Park.
Please pray for me during this period of discernment, and please pray that a suitable writing space will become available for later in the year, and that I will be able to meet any costs involved in that.
Finally, I extend my heartfelt personal thanks to all who made my New Zealand experience possible: to Vaughan Park for offering and facilitating it and to all who have supported me in various prayerful, financial and practical ways over the last twelve months. Thank you to you all: may the Lord bless you richly.
Do read on to the post below for a summary of the Vaughan Park time and do remember that I regularly publish some of my writing online here.
Aronahui [with very great love], Pat