"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" - Romans 8:28
I commenced life as a soldier in 1985, straight out of school, in Basildon, Essex, at the tender age of 16. I spent a year at The Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Engineers at Old Park Barracks, Dover and completed my training at Gibraltar Barracks, Farnborough. I arrived a fully qualified Driver RE and Combat Engineer at 8 Squadron, 22 Engineer Regiment at Perham Down, Hampshire in 1987. In the October of that year I completed a 5 month tour of the Falkland Islands. I met my now wife, Karen about 2 months prior to this tour and we were married 16 months after it on a very hot Bank Holiday Weekend in May 1989. We both became believers only a few weeks before the wedding and so commenced our married lives together in-the-Lord!
We enjoyed a wonderful first year together at Perham Down and in June 1990, as relative newlyweds, we found ourselves in Berlin where I was posted with 38 (Berlin) Field Squadron RE. It was not too long after 'the wall' had come down, so it was an interesting time! Here we enjoyed wonderful fellowship with many good Christian soldiers and their families including a handful of Chaplains. 1993 brought into the world our first son, Joshua (at the time of writing this he is a volunteer with New Tribes Mission). A noteable time was a 6 month attachment to the Royal Military Police as an Auxiliary. On security patrols and with a 'captive audience, I cut my teeth, as it were, sharing my faith. Following this I re-traded as a Military Clerk and transferred in 1993 to the Adjutant General's Corps and was posted to 17 (Corunna) Battery, 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, Gutersloh, as Battery Clerk. Our second son, Jacob was born in BMH (British Military Hospital) Rinteln in December 1994 and his first visitor was ASR Ivor Sherwood. Ivor & May played a significant role in our lives at that time and then during the application process for SASRA, 20 years later on!
After my discharge we landed in Shotley Gate, near Ipswich, Suffolk, having purchased a Surplus Married Quarter. I had a number of jobs from Bus Driver and Lorry Driver to Call Centre work, all of which played their part in preparing me for service. The Lord blessed us with 20 years there where we very much enjoyed bringing up our two boys, with all the challenges which that brings and then seeing them off into manhood. Meanwhile we've headed off to pursue God's calling to serve, which currently brings us to Pirbright.
We give God thanks for the fellowship at Ashcroft Hall, Ipswich where the Lord prepared our hearts and minds to be in a place to commence the work we now undertake. The Lord is sustaining us through the many new challenges we face and I look forward to getting to know some of you out and about on Deputation and where ever the work takes us.
I feel greatly blessed to be part of SASRA as a Scripture Reader standing on the shoulders of those who came before, whose boots I can never fill but for God's amazing grace! Every day I am reminded that without Him we are nothing and that apart from Christ we can not please Him. And so I endeavor to emulate those who before me turned many a wayward son or daughter to Christ, and to rely on the One who goes before me, whose work we do, for His ultimate glory!
"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” - Romans 10:14-15