Wednesday, 24 June 2009

News Update

As ever in our lives there is lots going on and things move fast. Even utilising such things as a Blog is difficult to keep up to date!

As mentioned in the last Blog entry, Katie was in hospital at the weekend. She went home on Monday and after a couple of further days feeling quite ill, she is now improving and the contractions have stopped. It would be great if the next time she is in hospital (other than for consultations) is when baby is born at full term.

Anita had her 10th radiotherapy treatment earlier today and continues to do amazingly. As mentioned before - next Monday 29th March is the final day and we'll probably go out for a meal together to celebrate this milestone which seemed an absolute eternity away during the middle of last year!

Also next week we are looking forward to Bethany's graduation at Reading University. Beth knows she has passed and on Friday we'll dicover her grade.

Things we are grateful for:
  • Getting close to the end of the treatment journey and still having a sense of humour!
  • Beth's achievement in successfully completing her studies
  • Katie being home a getting better

Things we are praying for:

  • Suffering friends: As well as previously mentioned people we are praying for, we pray for Penny and Malc. They are seeing a Consultant today as Penny has been having scans for suspected cancer issues.
  • We are advertising for a couple of key roles at church and praying for God to help us find the right people to successfully apply for the jobs
  • The general well-being and protection of our fast growing family!

Thanks for your interest and care - much love, Steve and Anita

Friday, 19 June 2009

Pray for Katie

It's 11.20pm on Thursday evening and we have just heard that our eldest daughter Katie has once again gone into premature labour. Katie has started having contractions and has gone into hospital. Katie is now about 28 weeks pregnant. Please pray for protection for the baby and Katie, and that Scott and Holly will know God's peace at this time. Thank you.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

On the Home Stretch!

At last we are on the home run - today Anita had her 7th radiotherapy session and 29th June is in sight, the date of the last treatment. After a difficult start each treatment is now straight forward and usually Anita is not in hospital for very long. Exercises are tough and somewhat painful but Anita does really well.

Beth and Jonny have just got back from a holiday in the U.S. and Beth has found out she has passed her degree. Beth will find out her grade a week on Friday. All her hard work has paid off and we are very proud of Beth's achievement.

I have just got back from two days at a "Learning Community" with St Andrews Church in Chorleywood. Linda and Ben from our leadership team at church were with me as we explored and planned for developing the exciting vision for Mission Communities. The stories were really encouraging from the five other churches represented and although we have come home tired, we are also very motivated and inspired to work this out at Brookside.

We have also been excitedly thinking about Helen and Giles' wedding next Summer, helping to explore their options for the reception.

Things we are grateful for:
  • Anita's strength and relative well-being during radiotherapy
  • Beth's hard work paying off and a job to go to in July
  • The prospect of another family wedding next year!
  • Generous churches such as St Andrews in Chorleywood

Things we are praying for:

  • Anita to finish her treatment well and everything to have worked to plan
  • Energy and rest - or is it rest and energy!?
  • Families and marriages to be blessed

Friday, 5 June 2009

Radiotherapy Started

After a difficult day on Wednesday we are "pleased" to report that radiotherapy has started and Anita completed her second cycle at lunchtime today - only 10 more to go! Although this is the home straight, this kind of feeling has probably duped us into thinking things will be easier when the reality is that Anita still has the effects of chemotherapy in her body and so she is still battling through. I am proud of the way she copes with such discomfort and presses forward.

Today I had my appraisal and Linda and Eileen were a great encouragement in bringing some helpful insights and wisdom into the way I work. I love being part of the church I am helping to lead - it's such a great environment to belong to and relationships exist that strengthen us - not least in times of pressure.

It's been a big day for the Royals and we are very pleased to welcome our new manager, Brendan Rodgers. Brendan was at Reading when I started my role as chaplain. Since then he has worked alongside Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and came to Reading after a short spell managing Watford. We look forward to a new era under the leadership of such a great person.

I am speaking at church on Sunday and we will be looking at how we can "Make God's Love Tangible." In the midst of such politcal turmoil and economic gloom, as God's people we have a responsibility to love those around us with the same love God has for us all. We have good news and a hope that extends beyond the turmoil around us. I want to do all I can to help motivate and inspire people to generously give away what we have received from God.

Today we are grateful for:
  • Medical science that helps to deliver healing and restoration to us when we are unwell
  • Co-workers at church who help bring the best out in us
  • Hilary, a friend at church who deserves a wonderful 70th birthday this weekend

Today we are praying for:

  • Minimal side effects from radiotherapy and strength for Anita

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Not so good to go

Today we went for what was due to be Anita's first round of radiotherapy but alas it was not to be! After an uncomfortable session when the radiographers tried to correctly line things up using information from the simulator, they had to stop because something was incorrect and treatment has to be very precise. Tomorrow morning we go back to have planning re-done. This was disappointing as it means a delay in starting. This will probably be next Monday now.