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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Friday, September 3, 2010

New season ahead - St Petersburg update

Wow - I've managed to grab some time to actually write something on here!

The summer has been long, hot and hard in many ways. The hottest summer for many many years, the south of the country on fire as a result, smoky skies to boot. The long nights of St Petersburg during the hottest spell meant there was no let up in the humidity and heat. It was unbarable at times, it really was, and something we hope is never repeated! Never!

So I'm grateful for the rain and cold that has hit. Anything is better than that heat. Anything!

At Hope Church as well, we saw the momentum we'd built up hit fast into the summer months, which really start anytime from the end of May, regardless of what the weather might say. Russian schools finish in that week, so from then onwards people go to their dacha's ('summer houses') for various lengths of times, but usually certainly the weekends. That means the city empties a little of Russian's, soon replaced by thousands of tourists.

So we knew the church, as it had been, was going to be a little quiet. Could a church as small and as young as ours get through financially a month that clearly had much the same costs, without the regular giving of our faithful members? How would we get through such a quiet month. Well, God had different ideas!

Yes, many were away but others still joined. In June a guy from England, having been in contact before, came for the first time. He's very much part of who we are, a great asset to us and a good friend now already! In August three American's arrived, all wanting to be a part of us. A Russian lady, who's been in this city for 5 years already, also decided to come for the first time. She's joined us as well.

These people alone are great people to be part of a church. So it was not quiet in relation to them coming.

But what of the finances? Well, having gone twelve clear months now, we have a better idea of the high months and low months. How did God work? Well, I'm not sure what the low month was but I know the high month easily....yes, August 2010....the 'quiet month' just gone! Somehow, with much fewer people and less happening, a much larger offering came in.....it's amazing how God works. We'd also taken a special offering in August for a family who'd had to flee their home town because of a death threat, and had nothing. If that amount wasn't included, it was still our highest month! Also, this didn't include a church in the UK spending about 22,000 rubles on two electronical devises which they wanted to bless the church with.

Finance wise - it was a huge month for the church. Amazing how God works. We are entering a season of financial challenge and God has started it by bringing in some key provisions.

I tell this just to glory in God, in how amazing He is, how He works in His own way, what ever we think might happen. With God you just can never tell!

Personally, as a family also reliant of faith giving, we've seen God starting to act and show that he's got everything under control.......He is good!

We tried to get some rest as well, though that was a little hard. It boiled down to a 4 day holiday we took in the middle of August which was great....but I came back to work with the same amount to do, just with a week's less time!

This Sunday see's the church celebrating our 1st Birthday, and launching a series on faith, titled By Faith. On the 13th September our school of ministry is launched, EFM (Equip for Ministry). (Check out our churches Facebook group for video's on both of these).

It's all great stuff but I'm already realising that I need to do this all with God's energy, because my own is already failing....

But I'm encouraged that St Petersburg is fertile soil. God has shown through his direction that He wants a great church in this city. Those that have invested finances with us as a family are seeing rich returns on thier investments - not only are you guaranteed riches in heaven, where thieves cannot take away from you, but your investments are bringing returns in this life as well through changed lives in this great city in Russia.

And if God effects St Petersburg for the gospel, then the nation and the nations will also follow after!

So I praise my God for all that He has done - I ask Him for strength to grow through these coming months. I also thank you for reading this, and for all those that are investing prayers and finance with us - they are making a difference and I trust by now you know it's a safe, profitable investment....one that you can continue with for as long as God allows!

Blessings upon blessings.