RAY & SUE LOWE – TRAVELLING AGAIN
A number of our friends have asked ”Whatever’s happened to your travel logs?” I guess the simple answer is that we’ve not been travelling! As soon as Sue and I returned from the USA in November last year, I undertook surgery to replace my right knee. Years of most enjoyable sport of all kinds had simply worn it out. So in early December the surgery took place, was very successful but I was grounded for nearly 3 months with no travel. I did break my curfew after 6 weeks and made a trip to Durham but it did not do me any favours. I actually preached sitting down to a very understanding and sympathetic congregation. Anyway that’s over now but recovery is still going on. Having said that, I’ve always believed everything that happens to us is in God’s plan for our lives so I spent much time reading, studying and in prayer. Reinhard Bonnke’s faith building autobiography I would recommend.
After 3 months I was able to travel again so Sue and I took off in mid February for 6 weeks based in Clarens, South Africa, home (when he‘s there) of Steve & Heather Oliver. To have a month with this exciting church in the most beautiful surroundings serving them as they face new challenges (all caused by growth and an increasing influence on the community) was not only challenging and fulfilling but gave me a longer period to spend time especially with Gareth Oosthuyzen and the team he leads. Following that I was involved in the If Only I’d Known conference which I have put together for younger church leaders. Over 5 days with some 17 guys from different nations we covered many of the things I wished as I began fulltime ministry some 40 years ago somebody had prepared me for. We based this at Steve & Heather’s beautiful farm nestled in the Maluti mountains, part of the Drakenberg range of mountains. Each day spending some 14 hours together, hosted wonderfully by Steve & Heather and administered superbly by my long standing friend and colleague Gareth Wales, it couldn’t have gone better. I have to say not all those 14 hours were spent listening to me as every day we did team building challenges. The highlight was the shooting, in case you wonder the targets were not the buck in the veld! We had 5 guys from Montana with us and they can shoot! Gareth put on a wine tasting evening with a very tough quiz, clearly no connoisseurs amongst us including yours truly.
Early morning worship and prayer in the open air from 7am was a highlight. Tracy Batterton, a not so young leader from Spokane, Washington State led this with a short word from the Scriptures. God met with us wonderfully every morning. We were quite an eclectic group and some who were not as charismatically based as others naturally, or should I say supernaturally, received gifts from the Holy Spirit. Quite a number returned back to their nation saying “No longer business as usual!” I was thrilled to be able to lead and minister at such a conference. This has been the second year and I anticipate we will repeat it next year.
Master Builders followed on from that, the 13th year since Steve started it. It had very much an international flavour with Marc Dupont from the USA as our guest speaker. Marc is known from his being in the forefront of the blessing that came from the Airport Vineyard in Toronto in 1994 and was a breath of fresh air, a prophet with no frills and fancies who has a wonderfully transparent love for Jesus which is infectious. A number of us gave up our speaking slots as we wanted to get as many of Marc’s prophetic insights as we could. So those present without exception were very blessed.
Quite a number returned back to their nation saying “No longer business as usual!” I was thrilled to be able to lead and minister at such a conference. This has been the second year and I anticipate we will repeat it next year.
Since returning home, I’ve had a scan on my other knee which will need some attention but nothing so drastic (hopefully) possibly just a clean up which only involves keyhole surgery (never did score many goals with my left foot!)
We managed to sneak down to our house in in southern France situated in a beautiful small village called Gignac near the city of Montpellier. The house needed some work done on it so it was a bit of a working holiday but nevertheless the house looked all the better for it. If you are in need of a break, the house is available all year round. It gets wonderfully hot in the summer and we have some weeks available still for July and August but even in the off season it is a great place to take a break and you won’t get worried by telephone and wifi, all we ask is that you cover our expenses.
On the way back home, we stopped at what we regard as one of France’s best kept secrets. In the Midi Pyrenees in Mazamet, Jean and Sandrine are host to a beautiful Table d’Hote B&B. Jean is well known for his culinary expertise and coupled with a beautiful view in the mountains overlooking the city at a very reasonable price, they would give you a very warm welcome. www.baudelys.com.
So what’s next? From the 5th June we will be in the USA starting in California with a group of Roman Catholic guys which one of my long standing buddies from PDI days has introduced me to. It’s a long story but I did some stuff for them last year and I went down a bomb, Spirit filled businessmen, a number now retired, passionate for Jesus and believe baptism in the Holy Spirit is to make us effective witnesses, so they’re growing. This time I’m doing a day’s conference on what Jesus wants his church to look like. Then off to Guadalajara and Los Mochis in Mexico. Quite a few years since we’ve been there so looking forward immensely to meeting up with old friends as well as ministering in several churches.
Then back to the Northwest USA and our Regions Beyond churches. Steve & Heather will be joining Sue an I for part of the trip if Heather has fully recovered from some recent major surgery.
Well, that’s our news. We’re both healthy, we praise God for that and do you realise I haven’t even mentioned golf! But I’ve recently managed to walk 3 x 18 holes, a little slower than before but I completed each round without any ill effects. So for Sue and I this is great news as it wasn’t expected I would be able to do this for some months yet. So there is life in the old dog yet!
God bless as you continue to love and serve Jesus.