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Dear Friends,

With the good summer weather we are experiencing, some people have been going out for walks, on their own, or in groups, enjoying and making new discoveries on the way. Chatting to a few, made me recall a hill climbing journey which we undertook with friends in Sierra Leone – climbing up the 2,411ft. Sugar Loaf Mountain, in the capital Freetown. As this was my first attempt on that climb, I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect. It turned out to be a worthwhile and never to be forgotten experience.

We climbed up a rocky path, with a tiny stream of water, which we didn’t find the source of, we saw lovely plants and flowers, and also saw and heard birds and some monkeys in the forested areas.  Watching our steps, we trudge onwards and upwards: As the sun grew hotter, and the climb challenging, we all decided to keep climbing, no point in turning back, we had gone too far. We continued heading up scanning the landscape before us. When we got to our destination, the view at the top was absolutely stunning – It was nature at its best. The sights and sounds on that hill, filled us with joy, and were an awesome reminder of God’s glory and greatness that is seen in all the world. Indeed, none can compare to God almighty, He is the master designer of all the universe, and with the psalmist we can say: O Lord, my God, how great you are! …You make springs flow in the valleys and rivers run between the hills…Lord, you have made so many things! How wisely you made them all Psalm 104:(selected verses). I must mention that the most challenging bit of our hill climbing experience was the journey back down, we had to link hands and form a chain to prevent anyone from falling.

After the challenges of the past 18months, we journey on ahead into the yet to be fully discovered new normal. Just as in any journey there will be spiritual, physical and psychological reasons to keep going. There will always be more to discover, more to enjoy and more to come, as we stay connected with Creator God, who is also our Father, who loves us.

God, is always with us in the daily activities of life, waiting to meet, lead and bless us. So, let’s keep going, trusting Him for our future hopes and blessings. Let’s use the journey into the new normal as an opportunity to link hands with others even as we continue to show kindness and fellow human feeling to those we meet on the way. Let’s burst out, come alive, and thrive, just as this poppy that Alison Hale was fortunate to witness bursting out of its shell and coming alive in her garden.

Have a lovely summer

Every blessing

Irene John