Newsletter: Christmas 2004
Richard seems to have been travelling quite a bit this year, including a month in Northern Iraq in the spring (filming and starting up a studio), and a month travelling around the UK in November. In June he enjoyed hosting a team of students (all girls!) from Nothern Ireland 'Youth for Christ' who repainted all his offices - a mammoth task - and in July he was delighted to be joined by a full-time colleague: Peter is a network expert who has been with another mission agency in Larnaka for the past couple of years, and goes to our church.
In his spare time (ha!) Richard has helped a local theatre group convert an old cinema into a custom-made theatre. Richard would still like more people to join him in his work, a chance to do some sailing, and many more hours in the day!
Sue continues to look after the house and garden, and to co-ordinate the boys' home education, such as it is. She runs three web-sites including this family one where you can usually find out what we've been doing in the monthly 'life in Cyprus' journals. She also tries to keep in touch via email with relatives, friends and home educators around the world.
At church Sue continues to produce the weekly bulletin and songsheets and the annual directory, and to teach the under-six class at Sunday School. In the past year we have been hosting a house group on Friday evenings. In the Autumn Sue started helping in the kitchens for an 'Alpha' course being run at our church; by the end she was doing this alone (not the cooking, but the serving and washing up) as other helpers dropped out.
Daniel (18) took the Guildhall Drama grade 8 exam in the spring, which he passed with honours, and is now working for the theatre group as an actor, musician, artist and web-site designer. He is still playing the clarinet, and also the drums: he became church drummer temporarily in the spring, is taking drum lessons and is progressing rapidly. He will be joining the Larnaka Municipal training band as drummer, with debut concert soon, and hopes to start a small jazz band.
Daniel has not quite finished his National Christian Schools Certificate (level 2) but hopes to get that done by next Summer. In the Spring he will be taking the grade 5 music theory exam, and probably grade 6 clarinet; in the Summer he hopes to spend a couple of months working on the missionary book ship 'MV Doulos'
Tim (16) has remained as church pianist all year, and has been able to do a few paid sessions as organist for weddings and funerals at the Anglican church nearby. Once again he will be accompanying the inter-church choir at their annual Christmas concert. He helps to organise games at a church club for under-10s on Saturdays, plays keyboard with the youth band on Friday nights, and plays guitar at the outreach group for International students on Tuesday nights.
He has also been operating the video projector at the Alpha course and - when not involved in church activities - helping to wire the many plugs needed for the theatre conversion. Education-wise, he is still working on the National Christian Schools Certificate programme, close to achieving the first level (equivalent to GCSEs) and may take a piano exam in the spring.
Back in 1997 we thought we would only be in this house for a year… but our landlady is finally talking about redeveloping the site, so sooner or later we shall have to move. We're probably going to sell our house in Birmingham, since the necessary maintenance and repairs are becoming extensive and it's unlikely we'll be living there again; we could then consider buying property here - much easier now that Cyprus is in the EU. We hope to find somewhere big enough to continue to have regular guests, of course!
Wishing you a happy Christmas and every blessing for 2005,
Richard, Sue, Daniel and Timothy