Welcome! It's wonderful to see you here!

I'm a passionate writer - and therefore spend most of my time writing thriller novels. But I also live an interesting life in the nations. This blog is here for that aspect of my life - our life - I live with my wonderful wife and two daughters.

I believe in encouragement. I live for obedience. I believe in learning from our experiences, and this blog exists for both of those, and more.

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I was part of the leadership team in St Petersburg, Russia - which planted Hope Church in 2009.(www.hopechurchstpetersburg.com).
In March 2012 Hope Church sent my family to plant into Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia. I therefore lead this small but growing church plant team. Here is the website for Hope Tallinn (www.hopetallinn.ee)

For details on our journey here, read the series called Adventures of Faith which is linked for you on the right hand column, just below. That details our original journey to Russia and then onto Tallinn 4 years later.

Author for fiction novels - Cherry Picking (2012), The Last Prophet (2015), The Tablet (2015) and The Shadow Man (2016) are available on all major bookselling sites. Please visit: www.timheathbooks.com

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Reflections - Nearing One Year in Russia

Though I will more fully write about this last year in Part 5 of the Adventures of Faith series to be written next month, I thought that I would start putting some things down, largely because I realise that I haven't been able to spend too much time writing here.

Inevitably, it seems, with our return back to the UK coming up, I have been reflecting on this year, trying to work out what I've learnt, what we have to share with friends and churches whilst back in the UK - all sorts!

In general, the things we prayed about and prepared for were not as bad as we at first feared. It was the things we weren't aware of that we found hard. For example, the winter was one of the things we 'feared', and therefore prayed for and prepared emotionally for. But it wasn't as cold, or as dark, as we first thought. In fact, winter was a great time, very beautiful. But spring (March 1st onwards) hit us unprepared and the lack of flowers and colours came as a shock. Actually, the flowers do come out in Russia, just a lot later, so that even now in mid June, the tulips are just dying and daffodils are still out.

I guess it was just one of those culture, closed minded things. Because we had only lived in England, and Spring came in March, we thought that there wasn't a Spring in Russia because at the usual time it was still winter like. We are learning in these areas though to stop thinking like English people! Its actually not a bad thing! Living in another country, other than your birth country, is a really usual thing to do and opens your eyes to things that you would just never see by staying put. So praise God for his leading!

And for as dark as the winter got, we have all the light we could ever need now in Summer time, with the sun appearing around 4am and still visible in the distant sky at midnight. The city at 4am is a splendid place to be, so bright, so clear, so quiet. Walking by the river, with the bridges just closing and the skies getting colourful, I had a truly wonderful early morning walk with God.

My daughter is calling me, so I will take that as the time to stop. Be blessed today.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Treasure Hunting the Streets of St Petersburg

Today I did my first Treasure Hunt, aided greatly by a Durham student, Philly Udy.

For those that are unaware of what a Treasure Hunt is, its simply seeking God for prophetic words, clues that highlight individuals to which God is wanting to bless. The encounters may lead to prayer, healings, miracles, salvation...all sorts.

There is plenty of info available which further explains the process, so I won't explain any further here, just share what happened!

Having prayed, soaking in the Spirit of God, we took three minutes to write down what we felt God was saying to us, under each of the 5 headings that experience has shown people works better - these are: Location, Name, Appearance, Prayer Need & The Unusual.

Being in Russia we did then have the added complication of making sure our lists were bi-lingual, so then spent some time getting the translation worked out as well as the odd useful Russian phrase!

And then off we went! Maybe the first such hunt in St Petersburg?

The first forty (ish) minutes we spent walking around, based on a few of our clues we felt we had - "Garden", "River", "Grassy Patch", "Flowers".

One of the location pointers took us to a very popular and well known tourist attraction in the city - The Church of Our Saviour of Spilt Blood. Suddenly, having not had anything so far, three pointers came along in the space of 20 seconds. Having walked around the building, potentially heading up past the area, we saw our first clues - "North Face" and "Blue". There was a couple that passed us, the wife in a blue top and the husband in a North Face sweater. It was the first one we'd seen so we turned around and started walking back. Just then, a man in "Camouflage" trousers passed us the other way, not long followed by a man on a bike with a "Blue" "North Face" coat on. What should we do? We felt the man on the bike was a hotter clue so watched to see if he would stop. He did, so we turned back round and went to him. It was quickly clear that he was dropping off some more stock to a number of sellers - and especially "Umbrellas" - he had about 15 of them! The Umbrella clue had been with me all day but I felt it was stupid because it was a rainy day and EVERYONE had an umbrella, but when the three minutes started, I knew I had to write it down.

Now it was clear why. This guy therefore had three pointers, so we knew it was time to speak to him. He told us everything was good....he checked the rest of our lists and said he didn't need anything. So we said God bless, and went on our way encouraged that we had started our hunt, pleased to have heard from God.

Thinking that encounter through, had we not stopped to follow the original couple, we would not have seen the man on the bike....we were learning to go with what God was doing.

We had one further chat with a lady begging, her "Walking Stick" pointing her out though we didn't feel strongly that we were to pray with her there, as she had said she didn't have any problems with her "Legs" so we prayed as we walked away.

But God had already by then shown that He can speak to us in such ways. It was both of our first Treasure Hunts...but it certainly will not be the last.