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Real Missionaries?

We used to live in Africa and were known to lots of people as 'missionaries' though our contacts there were almost all Christians. We now live in the Bristol suburbs a long way from what many think of as the 'mission field', yet Bradley Stoke is probably more pagan than Abidjan. I work in an office staffed entirely by Christians. My work is focussed on mission in Africa, but my role in IT often seems quite far removed from reaching people with the good news of Jesus Christ. Although we now live in the UK, we are grateful to the Lord for those who have continued to give financially and pray for us. But the nagging question is still there – are we 'real missionaries'? Sadly I can go days or even weeks without really talking in any depth to someone who isn't yet a Christian. Margo at least gets to meet lots of not-yet-Christian mums every week at toddler group. How can we be real missionaries here in Bristol? Being real missionaries probably shouldn't mean spending more time at church or even more time at work. I preach evangelistic sermons sometimes, but mostly to the converted. Perhaps you who pray for us and give to our support are the real missionaries and we should be spending more time praying for you! We'd love it if you could update us on your situation and the not-yet-Christians you rub shoulders with every day in your mission field.

Kenya, BA and Bhete

Thanks to all who prayed for my recent trip to Kenya. By and large
I achieved what I went for and had quite a few other opportunities to
help individual missionaries with their IT needs. My overall impression
was that we in AIM have a long way to go in providing better IT support
for ordinary missionaries who don't work in our office locations. Would
you fancy a job travelling around Africa helping missionaries overcome
their computer problems? Let me know if you are interested.


Continued…
 

Thanks to all who prayed for my recent trip to Kenya. By and large
I achieved what I went for and had quite a few other opportunities to
help individual missionaries with their IT needs. My overall impression
was that we in AIM have a long way to go in providing better IT support
for ordinary missionaries who don't work in our office locations. Would
you fancy a job travelling around Africa helping missionaries overcome
their computer problems? Let me know if you are interested.

It turned out that Luke's sickness before I left was due to a urine
infection. Margo had a real struggle getting him to take some
unpleasant tasting medicine, but he seems fine now anyway.

I arrived back last Wednesday morning having actually managed to
sleep for about 5 hours on a night flight! This may have been because
BA's fancy new 70 channel video-on-demand in-flight entertainment
system crashed about five times before they finally switched it off –
(it did appear to be running under MS Windows). However my good sleep
probably had more to do with another recent innovation: someone should
award a Nobel prize to whoever invented those little cushioned wings
which fold down from the headrest on modern airline seats – not only do
they help you sleep, they stop you drooling over the person in the next
seat. One video BA did manage to show before the system crashed was a
ten minute presentation of the beds in Clubworld class – another way
of winding up passengers like me who will never afford that kind of
comfort.

Thanks to the Brigada
missions newsletter I just had a look at Gospel recordings website. If
you are interested in what the Bhete of Gagnoa language actually sounds
like then go to this page
and listen to one of the audio files listed at the bottom. The songs
aren't the best example of Bhete singing, but will give you an idea of
what it was like to be in a Bhete church. The site also has a good
article by a Wycliffe member called Evangelism for Computer Nerds which gives some insight into the world of mission IT.

‘High Speed’ Internet

When AIM decided to set up regional offices in Africa, we recognised that good communications links would be important to their function; so we specified that offices would need to have reliable high speed internet connections. My experiences over the last couple of days have demonstrated that 'high speed internet' is definitely a relative term…

Kenyan telephone lines, where they haven't been cut down and sold by an enterprising local, are notoriously noisy and unreliable so dial-up internet access via a landline is almost a complete non starter so many people do email via mobile phones. Web access isn't really practical unless one pays for a link to a wireless internet service provider.

The regional office I have been working with over these last few days knew that even the wireless ISPs are often not working and decided to go for a reliable option – satellite internet. For about £1000 a company came and set them up with a 1.5m dish and a satellite modem. Now they pay about £80 a month for a 'guaranteed' 64kbps connection limited to 1GB total traffic each month. For the non-techies that's just slightly faster than a dial up link in the UK and about 100th of the speed of the broadband connection I have at home for less than £20 a month.

Next time you complain about your connection speed, be glad you don't live in Nairobi and pray for us as we try to work out how we can get our secure web based personnel placement application to work over this kind of connection. Currently it takes at least two minutes to bring up some pages! The alternative is to move the office to another country.

Kenya Trip

{mosimage}Yesterday I (Paul) flew from Heathrow to Nairobi. I will be spending the next 8 days here in Kenya. I am here to give some IT support to one of AIM's new regional offices. Meanwhile, Margo will be at home with the four children. We would appreciate your prayers.

Over the weekend Luke wasn't well so please pray that he won't be sick again while I am away.

As we have mentioned before the mission is in the middle of a major
reorganisation. Thw new regional offices are absolutely key to good functioning of the mission under the new structure. I expect to be giving some training in our the use of
our new web-based personnel placement system. I will also be giving some advice on computer security, particularly in the context of countries where Christianity is a minority religion.

At the end of this week I have asked some of the people who do IT work out here to get together with me for a IT forum. This is the first time we have met here. Pray that we will have a productive meeting together.  My main objective for our meeting is to see how we can improve the support we give to AIM personnel using Information Technology here in Africa.

How can I support you?

{mosimage}Thanks for asking!

  • Please pray for us. The Lord has blessed us greatly and we believe that one of the reasons for that is that many people have prayed for us faithfully for many years.
  • You can give to our support through the UK office of AIM International . If you are a British tax payer you can very easily increase the value of your gift to us by designating it as 'gift aid'. 

Scribblings Online – Mar 2006

Six!

This is very old news to most of you now, but just in case you didn’t hear yet, Eliana Joy was born on 22nd July2005 — our 16th wedding anniversary. Fortunately she sleeps better than most of her siblings ever did at her age. Eliana is a Hebrew name though not found in the Bible as a name. It could mean either God has answered or possibly the LORD is God. We understand that Eliana is a popular name in Portugal and in modern day Israel, it has been increasing in popularity in the US, though it seems almost unknown in Britain. We can certainly confirm that our Lord is God and he really does answer prayer. We hope that you will know that as your experience too.

Six!

This is very old news to most of you now, but just in case you
didn’t hear yet, Eliana Joy was born on 22nd July2005 — our 16th
wedding anniversary. Fortunately she sleeps better than most of her
siblings ever did at her age. Eliana is a Hebrew name though not found
in the Bible as a name. It could mean either God has answered or
possibly the LORD is God. We understand that Eliana is a popular name
in Portugal and in modern day Israel, it has been increasing in
popularity in the US, though it seems almost unknown in Britain. We can
certainly confirm that our Lord is God and he really does answer
prayer. We hope that you will know that as your experience too.

{mosimage}

Luke will be three in May. He is a typical unruly two year old, but keeps us all amused – at least when we are not clearing up the latest spilled drink He has been slower to talk than Christopher and Emma were, but he makes himself understood and is beginning to say more. Emma will be 13 in August. She loves to chat. She has lots of friends and seems to spend much of her time chatting to them either on the phone or most often typing incomprehensible txt spk into MSN messenger or her mobile phone. Quite a few of her friends go with her to our church youth group. Pray with us that they will trust in Jesus as she has. It was a real joy for us all and a special privilege for Paul as he baptised both Emma and Christopher last year.

Both Christopher and Emma continue to get excellent reports and results in school. Our years spent in Africa have certainly done them no harm academically. Christopher will be 15 in September. Now in year nine, he is just choosing some of the subjects he will be taking at GCSE. Like Emma he enjoys using the computer a lot, but in his case he most enjoys playing online games. He is a keen supporter of Liverpool football club, so it was a special thrill to travel to Anfield to watch them beat West Ham earlier in the season. As you can imagine Margo has a busy life looking after the rest of us. She does find time to sing in a local Christian choir and also helps to run our church parent & toddler group. Paul also enjoys online computer games, but usually after the rest of the family are in bed. To try to maintain a measure of fitness he tries to get to the swimming pool once a week.

The challenges of IT in Africa

Paul continues to enjoy his role as Africa Inland Mission's International IT Officer. Information Technology is now driven by the Internet, but whilst we have information superhighways' in developed countries, most parts of Africa struggle to move data over what might be described as 'information dirt tracks'. It's a real challenge to maintain perspective when building Internet based systems ensuring that they won't end up being unusable by our members in Africa. They often have nothing but slow and unreliable dial-up connections that struggle even to transfer e-mail. But the wind of change is currently blowing strongly within AIM – our country units in Africa are being grouped together under the direction of regional offices. Hopefully, those offices at least can be provided with reliable Internet connections.

Working in French

AIM works in several French speakingafrican countries and also has a sending office' in France. Following some staff changes Paul discovered that he is now the only French speaking person working full time in the office. So, as well as dealing with IT he now sometimes finds himself translating email messages relating to franco phonework or relaying messages on the phone with the AIM France director who doesn't speak English. It's good to keep these skills from going rusty. Both already fluent French speakers, Christopher and Emma go to an afterschool lesson once a week which should help them get top grades when they take an early French GCSE.

{mosimage}Don’t judge by appearances

Being a family of six is great, but it did rather force us to buy a bigger car. We swallowed our aesthetic pride and went for a Fiat Multipla just like this one. However unusual it looks, it is amazingly versatile. It has three individual seats in the front and three removable seats in the back with plenty of boot space to boot! We hope we can fit everything in for our holiday to France in August. We took Margo’s very rusty old G registered MG Metro to get an MOT certificate recently and they issued it with a death certificate instead! Since we could no longer drive it, we wondered how much we would end up paying to have it towed away, but we put it up for sale on eBay and a dealer came from 150 miles away and gave us £125! He wanted the 1275cc engine to put in a Mini.

{mosimage}Unfortunately the news on the internet is rarely good. So many promises have been made and broken but we keep on praying for peace & reconciliation.

On the Bete Bible Translation front the work needs your prayers. Carlos is discouraged by the struggles of supporting his family on the very limited income he receives. Sending more support from outside might sound like the answer, but that would do nothing to help the local church recognise their responsibility and could devalue the end results. The Bete language association -A “Zo “De seems still to be struggling greatly from poor communication and a lack of coordination. Please pray for Carlos and the association.

{mosimage}Eliezer married a young lady by the name of Angèle in April and they now have a baby whom they have called Margo! Please continue to pray for him as he tries to scrape together enough for them to live on. He is no longer working for -A “Zo “De, but still wants to do whatever he can to help bring God’s Word to his people in their own language.We might attribute most of these problems to the war, but of course the battle for the Bete Scriptures is a spiritual one. So let’s ask the Lord to defeat these enemy attacks and bring honour to his name.

Paul was privileged to attend a conference in February last year for AIM members involved in reaching Muslims. For the safety of Muslim background believers, details of this work are not normally written or even spoken about in public. It was moving to hear of the great cost to some of following Christ, but thrilling to hear how God is powerfully at work bringing Muslims into his kingdom.

Travels and Visitors

In June, Paul again attended the ICCM conference in Indiana – a great chance to learn and share experiences with others involved in missions IT. He then chaired a gathering of AIMs IT personnel at our US office near New York city. This was a very useful and strategic meeting. Another trip to the US in November began the process of unifying AIM’s different public websites. You can watch developments by pointing your web browser at www.aimint.org from time to time. Earlier this month we enjoyed having our website designer from the AIM US office staying in our home for a week together with his wife. He and Paul are working closely together on the development of AIMs web-based personnel placement system. Our hope is that it will really help the whole organisation to get the right people to the right places where they can be most effective in serving God within AIM.

Family on the Move

Margo’s parents moved from Swansea to Bradley Stoke in January. This is the first time in our married lives that we have lived near either of our parents. We are delighted to have them close by — and that’s not only because of all the help they bring in babysitting, giving lifts to the children etc.!

The other news is that Paul’s brother Iain is moving from Street Baptist Church to become the pastor of Battisford Free Church near Stowmarket in Suffolk. We pray for God's blessing on the family as they move there in April.

{mosimage}We thank the Lord for making our family part of the family at BSEC. Paul has been an elder now for about a year. It is a privilege to serve the Lord in this way but also a great responsibility. Since we do not have a pastor at present Paul has been preaching more frequently. Although study and preparation often takes a lot of time it has been great to sense the Holy Spirit at work through the Word, challenging both preacher and hearers. As elders we are particularly engaged now in looking for a man to join us as a full time pastor. We are very conscious of our need for great wisdom as we talk to prospective pastors and seek the Lord’s direction.Thank you again

We must conclude again with our very sincere thanks to all who continue to pray for us and for the Lord’s work in which we are involved. We reckon some of you have now been praying faithfully for almost twenty years! It's been almost as long since we have had any personal contact with some of you. We would love to reconnect with folks we rarely see so why not pick up the phone now and give us a call or send us your phone number and we'll call you? We send our particular thanks also to those who have continued to bless us through generous gifts which allow us to continue in the work he God given us.Our prayer for you is that God will bless you by deepening your knowledge of him and making your lifespiritually fruitful for his greater glory and honour.

Paul, Margo, Christopher,Emma, Luke & Eliana

 

Scribblings Online – Dec 2004

13 Blackthorn Drive

{mosimage}At the end of April, we finally moved into our own house in Bradley
Stoke. After more than twelve years of living in rented properties,
it is good to feel a little more settled and that we will gain the benefit
of effort put into decorating.

We want to say a huge thank-you to friends and family who made our move
possible and helped us get moved in. Thanks also to whoever it was who
advised us to buy our original house in Bridgend before we went to Africa.
Entering the housing market for the first time in 2004 would have been
very difficult.

We were able to purchase this house at a 'good' price, but it did need
quite a lot of work. I wondered why Margo watched Changing Rooms and
House Doctor so much. Now I know why!
So far we have redecorated six rooms, laid a new floor and a lawn. Handy
Andy has nothing on me and we've made more trips to B&Q and Ikea
than Ann Maurice!

Bradley Stoke is a new town just to the north of Bristol in South Gloucestershire.
We live within five minutes of the M4/M5 intersection so it's a very
convenient place for you to stop off for a cup of tea or a bed for the
night. We really want to use the home the Lord has given us for hospitality
so don’t hesitate to let us know when you would like to come and
spend some time with us.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Apart from working on the house, life seems to be full to overflowing
with activity in so many areas!

BSEC

We are all busily involved in Bradley Stoke Evangelical Church. Paul
is part of the current leadership group and has been busy with ministry
in various areas including running the 7s-11s group and preaching about
once a month. Margo helps to lead the church toddler group Busy Bees
which draws in 70 children plus their mums or carers every week.

Work for AIM

{mosimage}During the past year Paul's work has been very varied. In February
he spent some time in Nairobi talking about IT to a gathering of field
unit leaders and conducting an audit of a computer support department
which serves missionaries throughout the region.

In
June he was in Indiana attending a conference of missions IT professionals
and chairing a forum of AIM's IT specialists from various offices around
the world.

The rest of the time, he has been in the Bristol International Office
doing everything from putting together a new intranet system for the mission to buying and configuring laptops for
missionaries on their way to Africa.

This February he will attend a gathering of those working in countries where mission work is not officially accepted

Holiday

In August we did get a break from the usual rush. We went to Spain
with some good SIL friends whom we had lived and worked with in Côte d'Ivoire. We drove there and back
through France and enjoyed staying a night in each direction with two
former SIL Côte d'Ivoire families in Paris and Valence.
Christopher and Emma ended up spending the first night with three of
their old friends in a two man tent, eventually getting to sleep at
about 4.30 in the morning!

Finances

We remain convinced that this is exactly where God wants us now, but
we and AIM are still very concerned about the level of financial support
they have been receiving for us.

{mosimage}Luke: Do you like my Father
Christmas outfit? So do I, but I don't much like this funny hood
on my head.

Emma: I now go to the same school as
Christopher – Patchway Community College. Our new headmaster changed the
name from Patchway High School, but at least we didn't end up having
to wear blazers and ties.

Chris: I spend most of my time outside
of school on the computer like my dad, but unlike him I also love football
both playing and watching – especially Liverpool.

News from Côte d'Ivoire

Sadly, this year has seen the continued failure of both sides to honour
the terms of the May 2003 ceasefire agreement. Eventually in November,
Government forces began air raids on the rebel held north.

One air strike, just yards from the SIL training centre in Bouaké,
killed nine French peacekeepers. The immediate French response was to
destroy almost all aircraft of the small government air-force. This
was viewed by many Ivorians as a disproportionate response and mobs
set about a ferocious attack on French and other Western interests in
government controlled towns and cities. Some also took advantage of
the situation for general rioting and looting.

As a consequence of the violence, as many as 9,000 Westerners have
left the country including almost all remaining missionaries. The consequences
for the economy and future investment are catastrophic.

In Gagnoa – the president’s home town – there were violent demonstrations
and confrontations between local southerners and northern ‘immigrants’
(who had often actually been living in the area for several generations).

Eliezer

The events in Gagnoa had a direct effect on Eliezer although he was
not involved in the rioting. He writes “in this situation I too
was a victim. I’ve just lost my computer, my printer and my scanner.
All the equipment was stolen by the protestors. That day was a black
day for me. The equipment helped me meet my personal needs, but alas
through these events it is all gone. ” He had been given money
to buy the computer by some German friends and we gave him the printer
and scanner when Paul returned to Côte d’Ivoire last year
to sort out our stuff. He was getting some income by allowing them to
be used by a friend who ran a little shop providing word processing
and printing services.

Despite this big setback this has been a real year of spiritual growth
for Eliezer. Earlier in the year he spent several months on a residential
training course run by one of the few indigenous African missionary
organisations. It was a very tough programme, requiring students to
work each day in the fields to make a living as well as attending lectures
and practical ministry training. What we have heard from Eliezer since
that time encourages us that the Lord has really been working, giving
him a real desire to live a holy life and a deep concern for those whom
the gospel has not yet reached.

Eliezer’s Plans

Eliezer is planning on getting married next summer, but before that,
he wants to go to Mali to work for a few months among unreached Muslim
people with a friend whom he met on the training course. We encouraged
him to consider the difficulties of this trip, but he still seemed to
have a burning passion and faith that the Lord would meet his needs
and bless him through it.

In the end we said we would only help him financially to undertake
this trip if the local churches would fund a quarter of his expected
expenses. We knew this would be a real challenge because often the African
church has been slow to see its role in mission. However he has just
sent us a list of 56 people who have already given or promised a total
of almost £170 towards his trip. This is tremendous especially
given the current economic problems for Ivorians.

Carlos

Carlos has spent this last year working on completing the PhD studies
in Linguistics which he had started before he began training as a Bible
Translator. In this he has been supported by SIL as part of its desire
to see Africans trained to higher levels which will allow them to train
others. Having submitted his thesis his real desire now is to begin
translation work as soon as possible. He now has others willing to work
with him, but the major problem is finance.

Unfortunately, the recent events have made it even harder for SIL to
provide support for Carlos and difficulties in maintaining communication
and accountability have meant that they are not currently providing
any financial help to the work.

Consequently, for the last couple of months Carlos has had virtually
no income to enable himself and his family to live. Officially he is
an employee of the Bhete language association, but they are no longer
receiving support from SIL and cannot even afford the rent for their
office in Gagnoa. We have been doing what we can to help, but the situation
is now really critical.

{mosimage}Gifts towards our support can be sent to the AIM UK Office:

AIM UK, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Tel: 0115 9838120

Please indicate who your gift is for. Note that, if you are
a UK taxpayer, a simple gift aid declaration can greatly increase its
value to us.

 

Pray with us…

Sunday …that the Lord would bring an end to the downward spiral of violence in Côte d'Ivoire. This is vital to the ongoing work of Bible Translation.
Monday …that a way would be found of supporting Carlos and his work on translating Bhete Scriptures in spite of the difficulties SIL has in working in Côte d'Ivoire. Pray also for Eliezer and Angele.
Tuesday …for Christopher and Emma that the Lord would enable them to grow in faith and to stand for him in a world which denies God and his standards for living.
Wednesday …thanking the Lord for his provision of our home. Pray that we would use it for his honour and that it would not consume resources which could be better used elsewhere.
Thursday …for Margo to know real joy in the Lord as she cares for Luke and seeks to be a witness and a support to other mums in the church and to those who come to the mums & toddlers group.
Friday …for Paul to maintain the right balance between responsibilities in the home, at work and in the church, and that his work would effectively contribute to the work of God’s kingdom in Africa.
Saturday That regular gifts to AIM for our support would increase so that we cease to be a heavy drain on mission finances.

 

 

Scribblings Online – Dec 2003

{mosimage}New Beginnings

This year has certainly been a year of big decisions and major changes in
our lives. We praise the Lord for his faithful care and direction.

No going back

When we wrote in April, we were beginning to face the possibility
that we might not be able to return to Africa and we asked you to pray
that the Lord would guide us clearly. Not long after writing, we heard that
SIL had decided not to return to Côte d'Ivoire this year.

Based on advice from other missionaries, we had always been planning
to leave Africa in mid 2005 for Christopher to begin year nine in Britain.
We now knew that it would be at least 2004 before we could get back
to Africa. As we reflected on our situation we concluded that returning
to Africa for such a short period would not be a wise use of our resources
and energy. So with a mixture of relief and disappointment we took
the decision that we should stay in the UK for the next few years at
least.

Was our time of full- time missions work now over, or should we continue
working with Wycliffe but based in Britain? Earlier in the year Paul
was able to get some career counseling within Wycliffe. The conclusion
was that he should move towards a role where his computing skills could
be more fully used. In the light of this he was asked to consider a
computer related role at the Wycliffe Centre. Around the same time
we learned that Africa Inland Mission was looking for someone to be
responsible for Information Technology (IT) at their International
office in Bristol.

Where next?

{mosimage}
As we reflected we reached a firm conviction that God had not called
us to move out of full-time mission work, but we still had to decide
whether to move up to the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border and remain
working with Wycliffe or to join the work of AIM and continue living
in Bristol. The decision was made harder by the recognition that either
choice would have profound implications in many areas. We sought advice
from Christian friends, thought deeply and prayed that God would show
us which way to go. We concluded that God was ready to bless us in
either path and had left the decision to us. Finally, just days before
Luke was born, we decided to join AIM and remain in Bristol.

Luke arrives

Luke Samuel Shaddick arrived on May 15th – exactly the day he
was due – weighing 6lb 9oz (2980g). Although Margo wouldn't say
it was easy, he did conveniently wait just long enough to let us drop
Christopher and Emma at school on the way to the hospital! Thank you
to all who sent gifts and cards after his birth.

Like his brother and sister before him, Luke hasn't been a very good
sleeper, but he does seem to be a very happy baby most of the time
and is bringing us all a lot of joy. He was a little slow to begin
gaining weight at first, but has certainly made up for it since. We
hope you enjoy the pictures on the front page. If you would like to
see them in colour take a look at the versions of this newsletter on
our web site: www.shaddick.net There are '.pdf' format files there
too, which you can use to print a colour version of this newsletter,
perhaps for your church notice board.

New Work

I (Paul) began working at the AIM International office in June. It
is quite a small office with only a dozen people working there, but
it coordinates the whole mission's work in more than a dozen African
countries and eleven sending countries worldwide. I am the first person
the mission has had in this role so there is plenty to do. Last week
I presented my first set of recommendations to the International IT
committee. These were discussed and mostly adopted as resolutions which
will form the basis of our IT strategy over the coming year.

{mosimage}
In February I will be travelling to Kenya for a couple of weeks to
attend the African Executive Officers' Forum and probably to carry
out an IT audit of one of the offices there.

Another important part of my job is developing systems for use internationally.
Currently I am working on an international web site, an organisational
intranet and a system to match up available personnel with personnel
needs throughout the organisation.

Sometimes people express the view that missions should commit the
fewest possible resources to administration and support roles, particularly
in 'home' countries. Someone suggested to me that such people should
think about how effective the British armed forces would be if all
personnel were sent to the front line and there was no such thing as
the Ministry of Defence.

House Headaches

Just to add a little more to our cumulative stress levels we are
trying to move house! We have been living in rented houses since 1991
and with the decision to stay in Bristol, we were looking forward to
moving in to our own place. The first step was to sell the house in
Bridgend that we began buying when we got married. Unfortunately our
tenants refused to move out and only finally left when we threatened
legal action. Finally in August, we were able to begin applying all
Margo had learned from watching House Doctor on television. Over about
six weeks, with lots of help from parents and friends, we fitted a
new kitchen, painted every room and replaced all the carpets. By the
time we had finished we almost wished we were moving in ourselves.
Within a week of putting it on the market in mid September, we had
a buyer and soon afterwards we found a house to buy in Bradley Stoke
and agreed a price, so we hoped that we might be in our own home by
Christmas. In mid-October the sale fell through, but within a couple
of weeks we had a new buyer. As we write, it looks like that sale should
be completed before Christmas, but unfortunately the people we are
hoping to buy from have still not found a house to buy. We have begun
looking again, but still hope that we can buy the first house. How
long should we be willing to wait? Please pray with us that this might
be resolved soon.

Bhete News

Carlos is continuing work to complete his Doctoral thesis in Bhete
phonology. The major need before he can start Bible translation is
a suitable speaker of the Gbadi dialect to work with him.

If you get our e-mail news you will know that Carlos and Mariam's
little son David has had problems with properly controlling his foot
ever since being given an injection in his bottom for a high fever.
When I visited they were already seeing some improvement from physiotherapy.

Eliezer is taking an eight week course in computer maintenance. He
already has some skills in using computers, but -A "Zo "De
feels it is important to have someone with more understanding of how
to fix computer problems. We promised to help them find funds to cover
this course and would be happy to pass on any gifts. The total cost
including accommodation and course materials is about £500.

 

{mosimage}Christopher & Emma: We are sure
you will agree with us that Luke is the cutest baby ever! He is also
the cleverest so
we decided to let him write the ShadKids bit
this time. Over to you Luke. . .

Luke: aawaawooo

Emma: Wow, Luke speaks Bhete! But perhaps we still
need to do this bit for those people who don't understand Bhete baby
talk. Let's tell people
what we've been up to
since last time.

Chris – to my friends
but Christopher to my
parents:

Well, we both
had fun at camp in Wales during the summer with our cousins. Then I started
at Patchway High
School in September. I enjoy having lots of different lessons and teachers.
I'm learning German because I already know French, and I'm also learning
to play steel
drums.

Emma: I am in my last year at Holy Trinity primary school. I am house
captain and my house is called Luke! Can you guess what the other three
houses are called? This
term I've been busy with rehearsals for our school play: 'Oliver!' I
played one of Fagin's gang and Bet who is Nancy's friend. If you don't
know who Nancy is, then you
need to rent the video! I've got my SATs coming up and hope I can do
as well as Christopher.

Travelling Home

I've ticked off almost everything now… Emma's roller blades
that she's hardly used yet; Christopher's Lego; some of their first
books – Luke will enjoy them soon; Margo's food processor; a
special table cloth; a carved wooden elephant; Emma's sparkly top.
But what is really precious to me? What can I fit within my luggage
allowance? A few computer books – not exactly pre-
cious but expensive to replace – and ah yes, the little copy of Pilgrim's
Progress which I won as a Sunday School prize for the FIEC Scripture
Exam when I was 9 years old.

{mosimage}
John Bunyan captured so well the essence of the Christian life. Though
relieved of his burden early in his journey when he passed through
the wicket gate and climbed up to the cross,
Christian still had a long journey through many difficult places before
he finally reached the City of the King.

During a 10 day trip to Abidjan at the beginning of October I sold
or gave away almost all the furniture, appliances, books, toys and
clothes that we'd had to leave behind when we evacuated from Abidjan
a year ago. It was painful at times – sorting the toys even brought
me to tears one day. Saying goodbye to good friends
is a recurring sadness of missionary life, but this
time I was the one leaving and I wondered just who I might meet again
before we all reach the end of this life's journey.

It was a real blessing to see how God is at work amongst the Bhete
people stirring them up to support the ongoing work of literacy and
Bible Translation. I was astonished when they
organised a reception to bid me farewell and 150 people turned up from
all over Abidjan as well as from Gagnoa. It was moving and humbling
to hear many people speak of their commitment to seeing God's translated
Word in Bhete changing their society for good. "We have spent
enough on our dead," said one man
referring to the huge amounts of money spent on elaborate funerals, "it's
time we Bhete used our money for the benefit of the living!" Although
we are now based in the UK we shall be continuing to follow and support
the Bhete work and will
keep you updated on how things are going.

We had expected that our path would lead us back to live and work
again in Africa this Autumn, but the Lord has led us down a different
road. We have learned that some of our supporters don't feel they can
continue to accompany us. In some cases we can fully understand the
reasons, but in some very significant cases we have been painfully
surprised. It is tempting to dwell on the cost and to worry about where
we will find the means to continue along the path of mission whilst
based in the UK, but just as through prayer Christian found the key
called promise which enabled him to break out of Doubting Castle, so
we will continue to trust in God's promise to supply all our needs
according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Côte d'Ivoire is still a divided country. Two days ago 19 people
were killed when masked men tried to take over the TV station in Abidjan,
but as we write today it appears that rebel and
government forces have finally begun to disarm. Please keep praying.

The Bottom £ine

Some have been asking how we are financed within
AIM. Although AIM pays us a salary as members we
must have individual support to cover that salary and
a contribution towards the mission's other costs. Like
Wycliffe, AIM is a 'faith mission' which means that
we each look to the Lord to provide our finances
through churches and individuals, but agree not to ask
for money. Some who gave us financial support when
we were with Wycliffe are now supporting us through
AIM, but overall we appear to have lost a lot of support. As a consequence
we are building up an increasing debt to AIM each month.

We firmly
believe that
the Lord wants us where we are, serving in the AIM
International office, and will provide for our needs,
but on a human level we are discouraged that our support is currently falling so short. We know that we
cannot continue with AIM unless gifts come in to
cover the red balance we have built up and meet our
future costs. So please pray with us that the Lord will
move churches and individuals to commit themselves
to regular giving.

{mosimage}
Gifts towards our support can be sent to the AIM UK Office:

AIM UK, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Tel: 0115 9838120

Please indicate who your gift is for. Note that, if you are
a UK taxpayer, a simple gift aid declaration can greatly increase its
value to us.

Pray with us…

Sunday For a real and lasting
peace in Côte
d'Ivoire. Pray that both sides will see their
faults and be willing to compromise.
Monday For Carlos' work to complete
his doctorate
and for little David's full healing.
Tuesday Giving thanks for our three
children and
asking that they will grow in their
knowledge and trust of God.
Wednesday That our house sale and purchase
can be
completed before too much longer.
Thursday For Margo as she interacts with
non-Christian mums in the church toddler group
which she helps run.
Friday For Paul as he continues to
help the mission
work of AIM through leadership in the
area of IT and as he travels to Kenya in
February.
Saturday Thanking the Lord for leading
us to the
new work with AIM and praying for the
support we need to continue working with
them

 

 

Scribblings Online – Dec 2003

{mosimage}New Beginnings

This year has certainly been a year of big decisions and major changes in
our lives. We praise the Lord for his faithful care and direction.

No going back

When we wrote in April, we were beginning to face the possibility
that we might not be able to return to Africa and we asked you to pray
that the Lord would guide us clearly. Not long after writing, we heard that
SIL had decided not to return to Côte d'Ivoire this year.

Based on advice from other missionaries, we had always been planning
to leave Africa in mid 2005 for Christopher to begin year nine in Britain.
We now knew that it would be at least 2004 before we could get back
to Africa. As we reflected on our situation we concluded that returning
to Africa for such a short period would not be a wise use of our resources
and energy. So with a mixture of relief and disappointment we took
the decision that we should stay in the UK for the next few years at
least.

Was our time of full- time missions work now over, or should we continue
working with Wycliffe but based in Britain? Earlier in the year Paul
was able to get some career counseling within Wycliffe. The conclusion
was that he should move towards a role where his computing skills could
be more fully used. In the light of this he was asked to consider a
computer related role at the Wycliffe Centre. Around the same time
we learned that Africa Inland Mission was looking for someone to be
responsible for Information Technology (IT) at their International
office in Bristol.

Where next?

{mosimage}
As we reflected we reached a firm conviction that God had not called
us to move out of full-time mission work, but we still had to decide
whether to move up to the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border and remain
working with Wycliffe or to join the work of AIM and continue living
in Bristol. The decision was made harder by the recognition that either
choice would have profound implications in many areas. We sought advice
from Christian friends, thought deeply and prayed that God would show
us which way to go. We concluded that God was ready to bless us in
either path and had left the decision to us. Finally, just days before
Luke was born, we decided to join AIM and remain in Bristol.

Luke arrives

Luke Samuel Shaddick arrived on May 15th – exactly the day he
was due – weighing 6lb 9oz (2980g). Although Margo wouldn't say
it was easy, he did conveniently wait just long enough to let us drop
Christopher and Emma at school on the way to the hospital! Thank you
to all who sent gifts and cards after his birth.

Like his brother and sister before him, Luke hasn't been a very good
sleeper, but he does seem to be a very happy baby most of the time
and is bringing us all a lot of joy. He was a little slow to begin
gaining weight at first, but has certainly made up for it since. We
hope you enjoy the pictures on the front page. If you would like to
see them in colour take a look at the versions of this newsletter on
our web site: www.shaddick.net There are '.pdf' format files there
too, which you can use to print a colour version of this newsletter,
perhaps for your church notice board.

New Work

I (Paul) began working at the AIM International office in June. It
is quite a small office with only a dozen people working there, but
it coordinates the whole mission's work in more than a dozen African
countries and eleven sending countries worldwide. I am the first person
the mission has had in this role so there is plenty to do. Last week
I presented my first set of recommendations to the International IT
committee. These were discussed and mostly adopted as resolutions which
will form the basis of our IT strategy over the coming year.

{mosimage}
In February I will be travelling to Kenya for a couple of weeks to
attend the African Executive Officers' Forum and probably to carry
out an IT audit of one of the offices there.

Another important part of my job is developing systems for use internationally.
Currently I am working on an international web site, an organisational
intranet and a system to match up available personnel with personnel
needs throughout the organisation.

Sometimes people express the view that missions should commit the
fewest possible resources to administration and support roles, particularly
in 'home' countries. Someone suggested to me that such people should
think about how effective the British armed forces would be if all
personnel were sent to the front line and there was no such thing as
the Ministry of Defence.

House Headaches

Just to add a little more to our cumulative stress levels we are
trying to move house! We have been living in rented houses since 1991
and with the decision to stay in Bristol, we were looking forward to
moving in to our own place. The first step was to sell the house in
Bridgend that we began buying when we got married. Unfortunately our
tenants refused to move out and only finally left when we threatened
legal action. Finally in August, we were able to begin applying all
Margo had learned from watching House Doctor on television. Over about
six weeks, with lots of help from parents and friends, we fitted a
new kitchen, painted every room and replaced all the carpets. By the
time we had finished we almost wished we were moving in ourselves.
Within a week of putting it on the market in mid September, we had
a buyer and soon afterwards we found a house to buy in Bradley Stoke
and agreed a price, so we hoped that we might be in our own home by
Christmas. In mid-October the sale fell through, but within a couple
of weeks we had a new buyer. As we write, it looks like that sale should
be completed before Christmas, but unfortunately the people we are
hoping to buy from have still not found a house to buy. We have begun
looking again, but still hope that we can buy the first house. How
long should we be willing to wait? Please pray with us that this might
be resolved soon.

Bhete News

Carlos is continuing work to complete his Doctoral thesis in Bhete
phonology. The major need before he can start Bible translation is
a suitable speaker of the Gbadi dialect to work with him.

If you get our e-mail news you will know that Carlos and Mariam's
little son David has had problems with properly controlling his foot
ever since being given an injection in his bottom for a high fever.
When I visited they were already seeing some improvement from physiotherapy.

Eliezer is taking an eight week course in computer maintenance. He
already has some skills in using computers, but -A "Zo "De
feels it is important to have someone with more understanding of how
to fix computer problems. We promised to help them find funds to cover
this course and would be happy to pass on any gifts. The total cost
including accommodation and course materials is about £500.

 

{mosimage}Christopher & Emma: We are sure
you will agree with us that Luke is the cutest baby ever! He is also
the cleverest so
we decided to let him write the ShadKids bit
this time. Over to you Luke. . .

Luke: aawaawooo

Emma: Wow, Luke speaks Bhete! But perhaps we still
need to do this bit for those people who don't understand Bhete baby
talk. Let's tell people
what we've been up to
since last time.

Chris – to my friends
but Christopher to my
parents:

Well, we both
had fun at camp in Wales during the summer with our cousins. Then I started
at Patchway High
School in September. I enjoy having lots of different lessons and teachers.
I'm learning German because I already know French, and I'm also learning
to play steel
drums.

Emma: I am in my last year at Holy Trinity primary school. I am house
captain and my house is called Luke! Can you guess what the other three
houses are called? This
term I've been busy with rehearsals for our school play: 'Oliver!' I
played one of Fagin's gang and Bet who is Nancy's friend. If you don't
know who Nancy is, then you
need to rent the video! I've got my SATs coming up and hope I can do
as well as Christopher.

Travelling Home

I've ticked off almost everything now… Emma's roller blades
that she's hardly used yet; Christopher's Lego; some of their first
books – Luke will enjoy them soon; Margo's food processor; a
special table cloth; a carved wooden elephant; Emma's sparkly top.
But what is really precious to me? What can I fit within my luggage
allowance? A few computer books – not exactly pre-
cious but expensive to replace – and ah yes, the little copy of Pilgrim's
Progress which I won as a Sunday School prize for the FIEC Scripture
Exam when I was 9 years old.

{mosimage}
John Bunyan captured so well the essence of the Christian life. Though
relieved of his burden early in his journey when he passed through
the wicket gate and climbed up to the cross,
Christian still had a long journey through many difficult places before
he finally reached the City of the King.

During a 10 day trip to Abidjan at the beginning of October I sold
or gave away almost all the furniture, appliances, books, toys and
clothes that we'd had to leave behind when we evacuated from Abidjan
a year ago. It was painful at times – sorting the toys even brought
me to tears one day. Saying goodbye to good friends
is a recurring sadness of missionary life, but this
time I was the one leaving and I wondered just who I might meet again
before we all reach the end of this life's journey.

It was a real blessing to see how God is at work amongst the Bhete
people stirring them up to support the ongoing work of literacy and
Bible Translation. I was astonished when they
organised a reception to bid me farewell and 150 people turned up from
all over Abidjan as well as from Gagnoa. It was moving and humbling
to hear many people speak of their commitment to seeing God's translated
Word in Bhete changing their society for good. "We have spent
enough on our dead," said one man
referring to the huge amounts of money spent on elaborate funerals, "it's
time we Bhete used our money for the benefit of the living!" Although
we are now based in the UK we shall be continuing to follow and support
the Bhete work and will
keep you updated on how things are going.

We had expected that our path would lead us back to live and work
again in Africa this Autumn, but the Lord has led us down a different
road. We have learned that some of our supporters don't feel they can
continue to accompany us. In some cases we can fully understand the
reasons, but in some very significant cases we have been painfully
surprised. It is tempting to dwell on the cost and to worry about where
we will find the means to continue along the path of mission whilst
based in the UK, but just as through prayer Christian found the key
called promise which enabled him to break out of Doubting Castle, so
we will continue to trust in God's promise to supply all our needs
according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Côte d'Ivoire is still a divided country. Two days ago 19 people
were killed when masked men tried to take over the TV station in Abidjan,
but as we write today it appears that rebel and
government forces have finally begun to disarm. Please keep praying.

The Bottom £ine

Some have been asking how we are financed within
AIM. Although AIM pays us a salary as members we
must have individual support to cover that salary and
a contribution towards the mission's other costs. Like
Wycliffe, AIM is a 'faith mission' which means that
we each look to the Lord to provide our finances
through churches and individuals, but agree not to ask
for money. Some who gave us financial support when
we were with Wycliffe are now supporting us through
AIM, but overall we appear to have lost a lot of support. As a consequence
we are building up an increasing debt to AIM each month.

We firmly
believe that
the Lord wants us where we are, serving in the AIM
International office, and will provide for our needs,
but on a human level we are discouraged that our support is currently falling so short. We know that we
cannot continue with AIM unless gifts come in to
cover the red balance we have built up and meet our
future costs. So please pray with us that the Lord will
move churches and individuals to commit themselves
to regular giving.

{mosimage}
Gifts towards our support can be sent to the AIM UK Office:

AIM UK, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN
Tel: 0115 9838120

Please indicate who your gift is for. Note that, if you are
a UK taxpayer, a simple gift aid declaration can greatly increase its
value to us.

Pray with us…

Sunday For a real and lasting
peace in Côte
d'Ivoire. Pray that both sides will see their
faults and be willing to compromise.
Monday For Carlos' work to complete
his doctorate
and for little David's full healing.
Tuesday Giving thanks for our three
children and
asking that they will grow in their
knowledge and trust of God.
Wednesday That our house sale and purchase
can be
completed before too much longer.
Thursday For Margo as she interacts with
non-Christian mums in the church toddler group
which she helps run.
Friday For Paul as he continues to
help the mission
work of AIM through leadership in the
area of IT and as he travels to Kenya in
February.
Saturday Thanking the Lord for leading
us to the
new work with AIM and praying for the
support we need to continue working with
them

 

 

Reengaging in the UK

{mosimage}Thank you for continuing to remember us despite the lack of news for a couple of months. We are grateful to the Lord who has enabled us to settle here in Bristol for a while.

We have now become members at Bradley Stoke Evangelical Church and are enjoying getting stuck in to church life there. It was a painful decision to leave Philip Street where I (Paul) grew up. Our dear friends there have been so faithful in supporting us over our years in Africa, but we felt it right to join with our local church, where we feel we can be more fully engaged.

My work in the International office of AIM is interesting and I am getting a lot of pleasure from helping people in the office solve their problems and addressing the Information Technology needs of the mission as a whole. I am currently working on a new web-based system which is intended to help with matching people from different sending countries to the needs in the African countries where AIM is working – it’s a more complex system than I’ve ever developed before and quite a challenge to get it right for countries with very limited internet access. In December there will be an important meeting of the International Council IT committee and I will be responsible for making a number of new policy proposals.

Please pray for the staff of AIM’s UK office. They have all moved from London to Nottingham and have the huge task of re-establishing the office as well as trying to keep the administration going. Amongst many other things they look after receiving the gifts we depend on for our support. In future please use the new address for any gifts towards our support – 3 Halifax Place, Nottingham, NG1 1QN (Tel. 0115 9838120). Because of the move we still don’t know what support has been coming in for us since we left Wycliffe, so we do apologise if we have not acknowledged any gift you may have sent.

Last week we finally finished completely redecorating our house in Bridgend and refitting the kitchen. It is now on the market at last. We are glad that house prices there have been rising over the summer whilst prices in Bradley Stoke (where we hope to buy) seem to be falling somewhat.

All the children are doing well. Christopher seems to be settling well into senior school, whilst Emma is enjoying year 6 and looks forward to joining him next year. Luke is a very happy little chap. He still wakes for a feed 3 times in the night, but he does go back to sleep pretty quickly so we can’t really grumble.

I will be making a trip back to Abidjan October 3-13 to sort out our belongings and either bring them back, sell them or give them away. I have mixed feelings about it – it will be nice to see friends there, but not to say goodbye.

The Bété work still seems to be making progress in Ivory Coast despite the difficulties of the fragile peace that holds there. Please pray particularly for Carlos and Mariam’s young son David who seems to have sustained damage to a nerve when he was given an injection in his bottom. This has affected the control of his foot. They have been advised that it might be treatable with physiotherapy, but are concerned about how they will meet the costs. Pray for Carlos as he works on his Doctorate. He really would have liked to get started on Bible translation but SIL have advised him to wait until he can have more consultant help. That depends on the political situation in Côte d’Ivoire becoming more stable.

If you would like to invite us to your church or a home meeting to talk about the work we are involved in through AIM, please give us a call or write to us.