Petronas Towers, KL, Malaysia
Grafton Park & Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand
Sourmaya Museum, Mexico City
La Digue, Seychelles
Lake Melissani, Kefalonia, Greece
Dali Museum, Figueres, Spain
Kuala Lumpur - the city where three generations of our family have been involved. Heather's parents led a team which planted a church in Serdang, Kuala Lumpur in the 1960's and Heather was there with them as a child. Heather and I visited the same church in 2012 and spoke on behalf of the family. Then, to our amazement, Our children Joel & Emma were asked to go there to plant Hope City KL in 2014. Its 'no coincidence' of course.
KL is a huge city and very high tech. It is one of the busiest cities we have been to and you have to be careful not to get run over by one of the thousands of scooters.
We were excited to be able to visit New Zealand in 2012 as the nation had been on our hearts for a few years. We visited a number of places around the cities of Auckland and Hamilton, and Heather took a flight down to Christchurch to complete some research she was doing for her MsC. Our visit confirmed that this was a God idea, not just a good idea, and we were able to move to Hamilton in 2015. We are now privileged to be leading Freedom Acts Christian Church, planted in March 2016.
Hamilton is a lovely city with the magnificent Waikato river running through the centre. It is also home to the world famous Hamilton Gardens. We plan to live in the area for the foreseeable future so I guess New Zealand should probably come off the 'travels' section now that it is our home.
Mexico City is probably the biggest city in the world. They say 'probably' because there are so many unregistered inhabitants in the city that it is not possible to give a truly accurate figure.
The city is cosmopolitan and very colourful. It is also a city of great extremes with the exceptionally wealthy living next door to people living on the street. The world's richest man Carlos Slim built the Sourmaya Museum as a gift to the city. It houses 65,000 artistic exhibits. This seems crazy when all around the district where the museum is housed thousands of men, women and children are struggling to survive.
We visited an outstanding Christian home caring for single mothers and their children. The difference is that this home was for girls aged twelve to eighteen who had been raped - children looking after their own children! Its heartbreaking to see, but so positive to know that someone cares. It was also so good to see the hospitals using innovative and simple ideas like 'kangaroo care' to help premature babies to thrive.
We were able to visit The Seychelles while FEBA Radio were still there and Heather's parents were working for the organisation as missionaries. The Islands are exceptionally beautiful with a year-round hot tropical climate. We were able to stay for a month visiting a number of places on the main island Mahe and the second largest Island Praslin. It was great to see the international and Pentecostal churches thriving and effective. Soon after our visit FEBA moved out of the Islands, so we were very honoured to have been there at a crucial time when their broadcasts were reaching hundreds of thousands of people with the great news about Jesus Christ.
In four visits to Greece and Greek islands we still felt that we had only scratched the surface of the rich culture there. The Greek people are exceptionally friendly and hospitable and moussaka remains my favourite meal of all time. Greece is such a beautiful place and it is a nation that is responding to Christianity. In our visits we were able to stay in the capital city Athens, on the beautiful island of Kephalonia, and on the historical island of Aegina.
Although both are modern European countries, the culture of Spain seems so very different from the UK. Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are few and far between in this more traditional society with a strong Catholic tradition. Beautiful architecture and lovely beaches mean that Spain remained a favourite for many tourists. We continue to pray for missionary friends in Spain to see good results from their hard work.