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Derrick’s Family Christmas Letter 2019 

Dear Friends,

As we are rapidly approaching Christmas, I always find myself behind in everything, - presents particularly! Barbara always had an eye-out for presents throughout the year so that the problem was nicely sorted well in advance - the only problem was that in recent years she often forgot where she had hidden them! Just this morning I have found two lost presents (books of course) which were tucked under the bed in the front guest room. Because I am down at Katie’s for Christmas celebrations, I have not decked my house with boughs of holly or anything else for that matter except that I have brought out of storage my Christmas Lilliput Lane village complete with tiny figures and lights. One of my figures is a little dwarf who is over 70 years old, he has a long-peaked hat and a long flowing beard, very much like one of the seven magnificent dwarfs associated with Snow White who ate the apple with dire consequences. I used to play with my dwarf in a fascinating imaginary world of make-belief which reminds me a bit of Christmas.

The year before Barbara died, I bought her a Lilliput Lane thatched cottage with an old vintage wedding car waiting outside the front garden gate. It was only after she was gone to be with Jesus that I noticed that the name of the cottage was “Heavenlea cottage” – truly Barbara had gone to enjoy her heavenly cottage! What a wonderful God we have! The bridal car was waiting to take her to the wedding!

One more word about Christmas and the unusual practise of bringing a real tree into your living room. Have you reflected for one moment on how strange a thing this is to do and have you considered how many, many, people indulge in this practise? Last Saturday I went to a Garden Centre with Beth and Hope and noticed that artificial Christmas trees were over £200 to buy! I wondered how much they were charging for real trees. How did we get here? Well, I am told that it is quite simply down to the famous German Reformer, Martin Luther. Ruth Tucker, a Christian historian writes, “While, walking under the starry sky in a snowy wood just outside Wittenberg on a bright moon-lit night, Martin Luther was so overtaken by the glorious scene that he determined to recreate it inside his home ... He chopped down a fresh blue spruce, brought it inside and attached lighted candles, their flames reminding him of the lovely stars in the sky. And thus, began a long tradition of houses burning down during the Christmas season.”

Luther wrote carols (one had 15 verses, which he wrote to sing with his family in their home) and he preached about the birth of Jesus lots of times. Here is an excerpt from a sermon he preached,

“The pictures always show Mary riding on a donkey, but there’s no donkey in the Gospels. She … went on foot, and trudged her weight across the snow of the Galilean and the Judean hills. And as they approached Bethlehem, Joseph was saying, “Oh, it will be all right. Soon we’ll be among relatives and we can borrow everything.” A fine idea that was! Her time came as they were drawing near, and Joseph sought room for them in the inn. But there was no room in the inn. Of course, there was! There was all the room in the inn, but nobody would give up a room! Shame on you, wretched Bethlehem; you should’ve been burned with brimstone!

And don’t let you people in this congregation think you’d have done any better if you were there. I can just hear you say, “Oh, we would have loved to take care of the Baby Jesus. We would have washed his nappies (diapers in America).” No, you wouldn’t! If you’d been there you wouldn’t have done a bit better, and if you think you would, why don’t you do it for your neighbour in your midst, who is Christ among you? . . .

Mary and Joseph were obliged to take refuge in a stable, to share with the cattle, lodging, table, bedchamber and bed, while many a wicked man sat in the hotels and was honoured as lord. . . .O what a dark night this was for Bethlehem, that was not conscious of that glorious light! . . .

“And she brought forth her firstborn child, and laid him in a manger.” Think of it … women! She didn’t even have a cradle to lay the baby in. She didn’t have anything. No warm water, no cold water, no pan, no towels, no table — nothing that our women have at such a time. It’s a wonder the little fellow didn’t freeze to death …

I wouldn’t have believed. If I’d been God and wanted to save the world, I wouldn’t have done it that way. I would have just called in the devil and twisted his nose and said, “Let my people go!”

But God is amazing. He sends a little baby, as weak as an earthworm, lying in the feeding-box of a donkey, and that little baby crunches the devil’s back and overcomes all the power of Hell, and sin, and death.”

I think that’s good preaching, don’t you? How well would it go down in your Carol Service?

Just before Luther’s death he noticed how anxious his wife Katie was and he wrote a letter to her eleven days before he died, scolding her for being so worried about him. “I have a better guardian than thou and all the angels. He lies in the manger and hangs on the breast of a virgin; but sits none the less at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. Therefore, be at peace, Amen”

Just before my wife Barbara went to the Hospice where she died, we all met together at Matt and Angie’s home for a family gathering. Since then we meet together at the beginning of each New Year to celebrate Jesus’ birth and Barbara’s life. She lives still in our hearts and we realize how blessed we were to have her and we rejoice together despite her absence. We also sorrow in her absence. Is it not amazing how sorrow intermingles with joy? Each one of us have tasted trials, disappointments, pain and loneliness in our personal lives but whatever is our situation this Christmas-time we eagerly reach out our hands to our Lord Jesus Christ who is our comfort, our strength and healer. Jesus desires to be the centre of our heart’s affection and we respond gladly to His desire for intimacy (Read, “Responsiveness to the Lord” via a link at the end of my letter).

Christina Rossetti was the sister of the famous Pre-Raphaelite painter Daniel Rossetti, – (his Nativity hangs in the Birmingham Art Gallery); she was a devout Christian, a single woman who suffered sadness and tragedy in her life. The carol she wrote, “In the Bleak Midwinter” expresses her love for Jesus and she invites us to gather round the manger with her to worship the Beloved holy Child Jesus and to give Him the precious gift of our heart,

Angels and Archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.



Family news!

Katie and Scott now foster 3 Vietnamese girls. They also assist foster parents by taking in their children to give them a break. Katie continues her Alpha courses in the home, most of the kids are not from Christian families and some find Jesus during the course. Scott anticipates early retirement so that he can devote more time to the Lifeboat. Laurie is doing a further degree, Ben has graduated from University, Joel is now at University and Naomi is still at school.

Stephen and Manjit continue at Grace Church which gives Steve opportunity to work with church planters in Minneapolis and to travel to Nepal and South America on mission. Hannah had her second little girl when we were there last summer for Daniel’s wedding. Ellie is taking a year out before University; Amy is still at University and Isaac at school.

Matt and Angie: Matt continues to develop his network of homes for clients with severe autism and behavioural problems and employs about 700 staff. Angie excels at her golf and with Matt, fosters Jamie. Karissa enjoys Azura who is growing up so fast, Liam has taken a year out to work in one of Matt’s homes, whilst Jobe regularly visits and keeps in touch.

Beth and Gareth are key leaders in the church at RRCC. Gareth continues his ministry in the community seeking renewal and seeking to address some of the social needs. Caleb continues at University and the three girls are still at home.

This year’s events

I did not go to Malaysia this year and therefore missed my wonderful brothers and sisters at Living Springs Church and my student friends from AOIC where I have been teaching for 10 years. I have also been visiting Emmaus Church, Albania for 10 years. Two young men I have known during that time were both married to beautiful Christian Brides this year. I stay with Erise and Nila on the top floor of their apartment block (Erise works full-time in the church). They have a beautiful girl called Era who is 8 years old and a little boy called Edon who is 18 months old. He has become my special friend, - he holds my finger tightly and takes me wherever he chose to go (he was not yet walking by himself). We had great fun together. Powerful earthquakes have racked Albania; the church in Kamsa erected tents and provided food for people in the emergency. No one from the church has been injured or their houses damaged. During the first quake they gathered together in the church to pray. The church building is unscathed. Tremors continue to alert people of their danger – may it be a wake-up call for sinners to fly to Jesus. Certainly, people are coming to Jesus.

Tanzania Trip.

A few weeks ago, I sent to you a full account of our trip (Beth and Derrick) to be with two amazing missionaries, Penny Elliott and Margaret Beckett, - If you want to know more about them both see my last prayer letter (there is a link at the end of this letter). if you want their prayer letters email me. My plan is to return to Tanzania and particularly the Bible School I visited belonging to the Pentecostal Holiness network of churches. This will entail a lot of preparation of teaching materials – much simplified, as a resource for future pastors, teachers, evangelists and Christian workers.

Emmaus church in Warrington

I continue to visit regularly and I am given opportunity to preach and share with the leadership team. I now spend a week at a time with the church there and love to visit with the couples. Kunle the pastor has published my book on preaching for the use of the church. The Lord is doing great things there and they are experiencing a season of renewing. One development is the formation of a team of preachers (see my book on preaching which is accessible via this letter) and about 20 people have gathered on several Saturday mornings for 3 hours for the sole purpose of sharing Scripture together as a prelude to the public preaching of the Scriptures. Genesis will be expounded first and the content of the preaching will then be shared in the Home groups.

Next year’s events

Laurie’s Wedding in July!

My visit to Portugal
for David da Silva’s Wedding in March after the wedding I will stay with Pete and Marilyn, Elizeu and Jan – in their new home!

Helcio and Angels will be celebrating 30 years of missionary work in Portugal on 28th Dec. at RRCC

April visit to Albania

August/September visit to Tanzania

U.K. Visits to Warrington and preaching at week-ends

Thank you for your prayers, your sacrificial support and your faithful love. I am so humbled when close friends tell me that they pray for me daily, - and so I am blessed! We send you our love and greetings and pray that you will be richly blessed in our Saviour’s Love. Please keep in touch! Let’s encourage one another, let’s pray and build-up one another in our most holy faith! Now let’s pour out our love on a world that needs Jesus.

Blessings and love to you in the Lord Jesus, from Derrick and his Family xxxx



 2019_09 - Tanzania with Beth

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus,

A personal recollection: It is exactly three years since Barbara was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It came upon us without warning and on January 6th 2017 she went to be with Jesus who she dearly loved! When Beth sent out information about Barbara’s deteriorating condition to our friends, she ended each letter with one word (it just happened that way, it was not planned), it was simply the word: “Blessings!” I now automatically put it at the end of my emails. Truly, Jesus meets me in my need, gives me daily strength to engage with his calling upon my life. In sharing that I also speak your testimony and the testimony of all those who are called by Jesus Christ and love Him and serve Him.

In April I visited Emmaus Church, Kamez, in Albania: I have been coming here for 10 years. My visit covered 3 Sundays and 2 weeks of Bible teaching each evening (2 hours) and preaching on Sunday. My son-in-law Gareth who works full-time in the church and the local community, Kevin our full-time leader at RRCC, Robert Hawkes one of our elders and Amy my granddaughter from America were with me in the church and my sister Christine and her husband Derek Hartill have just returned after conducting a Marriage Course. The new church building is now completely finished and paid for. The Lord has been faithful and the brothers and sisters have maintained their first love for Jesus and the Lord is moving among them. On my first visit the church met in an old dilapidated building. I noticed several young teenage boys and that night I told them how I had come to Jesus as a child and asked Him into my life. One of those boys was called Drini and he was married a couple of weeks ago to a Christian girl called Julie who wants not only to set up a home but also to work for the Lord. They will, I think take over a church plant in a village nearby. Another of those boys will also soon marry a Christian girl. Najua, the Brazilian missionary who founded the church has mentored, prayed for and loved these young people and now she is seeing her boys getting married! Well done Najua you are amazing!

In July my grandson Daniel in America was married to a Christian girl called Maria, I travelled there with my grandson’s Ben and Caleb and later we were joined by Beth. Hannah had her second baby called Lucy (after Barbara’s mum) while we were there and then we set about building a deck at the back of Steve’s house before Ellie’s graduation! I then travelled to Canada to Walt and Wennie’s Fellowship in Stouville. Of course, coming home means catching up with my garden wilderness!

I am writing to you from Emmaus Church, Warrington where I visit several times a year. On Saturday morning we spent several hours together with a good number of saints from the church in the book of Genesis. How encouraging it was to simply gather for the sole purpose of studying the Scriptures. How blessed we all were! On Sunday the brother who led the meeting shared about the servant-hood of Jesus. He did not know that I was to preach about the Suffering Servant of Isaiah ch.53.

On Thursday Beth (my daughter) and I fly to TANZANIA, she is going for 3 weeks and I will be there for 4 weeks. I have been twice before and we will be visiting Penny Elliott who was a children’s evangelist at RRCC and went to Tanzania about 20 years ago to train Children’s workers and to win children to the Lord Jesus. We will be going to John Nkanda’s church and I will be meeting up with a former CWP student called Elirhuma. We will travel with Penny to visit Margaret Beckett who was formerly with Wycliffe Bible Translators and is now working with a network of holiness churches writing the history of the movement and teaching. Margaret and Penny are with Avail, the missionary arm of New Life Conference.

What will we be doing? We will take every opportunity to visit with the Lord’s people. I have a couple of seminars and I am sure I will be preaching and sharing as opportunities arise. It will just be great to be in Africa again to enjoy their worship and to fellowship with such wonderful people. Beth is going on behalf of the church to see how RRCC can best support the work there.

Early next year I plan to visit our 3 missionary families in Portugal at the time of David’s wedding. (Helcio and Angie’s son).

 I always ask for particular prayer regarding travelling. Thanks! This is Beth’s first visit to Africa and she will be leaving her 3 precious girls, Millie, Phoebe and Hope for three long weeks! You can pray for Gareth and the family please.

Thank you so much for showering me with love and refreshing my soul with your prayers.

Lots of love and blessings to you in the Lord Jesus,

Derrick and Beth.Ø


2019-03 - Blessings at the outbreak of Spring!

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Thank you for your love and prayers. I have been home for 3 months, which simply means that I have been in the U.K. Actually, my planned quiet time for reflection did not entirely reflect what happened because I found myself busy and having to cancel some appointments. My regular visit to Emmaus church in Warrington was extended a couple of days and I have hardly been home for Sundays at RRCC. However, I have spent some time reflecting on my life which of course was for nearly 50 years entwined with Barbara’s life. How well I am “processing” things I really don’t know. I just know that the Lord is pleased with me alongside my wonderful family and friends. I have found such delight and blessing as I have discovered how much I am loved by the saints of God. I am always humbled by dear friends who speak to me and say: “We pray daily for you.” That is like having your feet washed by Jesus. It is beautifully humbling and gratifying.

I was invited to speak at a 24-hour Men’s Conference spearheaded by Pete French and Matt Armstrong in the Cotswolds entitled “Momentum: be spiritual.” I was asked to speak on prayer and run a workshop. The teaching is available on my website where you will find a page devoted to this subject. Of particular interest are my pamphlets on “The Prayer life of Jesus” and “The Prayer Life of the Early Church” both from Luke’s writings.

I leave on Friday for my annual visit to Emmanuel church in Albania. I shared with you last August some amazing pictures of their new church building. I have also shared how I am loved and honoured among my precious brothers and sisters who are mostly young people. The first week I will be teaching in their church bible school on: “The Lord Jesus as Messiah.” This will take us into the O.T. to consider those wonderful prophecies which anticipate His coming among men and women to live and to die, to be raised and to ascend to Father’s right hand and from there send the Holy Spirit. The second week I will be teaching the whole church on the subject of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and then we will pray for the Spirit to come amongst us. I will be preaching on three consecutive Sundays, including Easter Sunday. In June Derek and Chris Hartill (Christine is my sister) will be going to Emmanuel church to conduct a series of seminars on marriage. They have been engaged in this ministry for a number of years and so our links with the church are strengthened as others visit to minister and to bless.

I am home a couple of weeks (just enough time to get the garden up-to-date) and then I fly to USA for my grandson Daniel’s wedding (You may recall that last year he took me on a holiday to the Bahamas!). I will be flying with two of my grandson’s – Ben (Katie’s oldest son) and Caleb (Beth’s son).  I will be staying with my granddaughter Hannah who is expecting her second baby while I am there – that will be exciting! I fly on to Canada to Walt and Wennie who are dear friends who care for the saints who meet at Stouville Fellowship near Toronto.

Later in the year I plan to visit our missionaries in Portugal and then travel with Beth to visit our missionary friends in Tanzania.

 I always ask for particular prayer regarding travelling. Thanks!

Thank you so much for showering me with love and refreshing my soul with your prayers.

Lots of love and blessings to you in the Lord Jesus, Derrick.




2018_08 - Update before New Life Conference - Blessings in the midst of the summer's heat wave!


Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Thank you for your love and your prayers for my Albania trip. The teaching went so well. It was my first-time in the new church building which is completely finished and totally paid for!! Praises to the Lord. The main meeting room is on the first floor; it will seat about 500 people or perhaps even more. The floor is tiled as are all the floors in the building. Everything is beautifully simple but the standard of workmanship and the fittings are well above average. Now the Emmaus church fellowship can focus on the important matters of reaching more people for the Lord Jesus and addressing the needs of the community around the church.

Najua, the Brazilian missionary who founded the church has now begun a Bible School training programme for the brothers and sisters in the church. My granddaughter Ami joined me; she had been on mission with her dad Steve in Paris. Gareth my son-in-law also joined me to forge stronger links with Raglan Road Church in Smethwick, - so that was really nice for me to have family with me and companions in travel.

Najua introduced me to a dentist friend who has done a lot of dentistry work on soldiers who need specialist work. He had a look at my teeth and offered to put in my mouth several implants as a gift. The morning arrived and I am dutifully sitting in his chair. He takes my blood pressure 3 times and says that I have to go into hospital immediately due to my blood pressure (I’ve never ever had a problem with blood pressure). I am rushed to hospital, -staff are there to assist me into theatre where I am given a scan. I feel fine and feel a bit of a cheat. My blood pressure is now perfectly normal. I guess I must have got worked up over the anticipated dentistry? However, if I had proceeded with the job I would have been out of action for the rest of my time there. As it was I continued with my Bible studies without a break! My dentist friend did tell me that I must not travel alone, but I never do! Jesus said, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mat.28:20). This promise of Christ’s presence is specifically related to the preaching of the gospel.

I had several young teenagers in my Bible studies. One tall lad who is 13, sits on the front row with his Bible and note book every night. One boy comes to me privately and says to me: “The Lord has called me to Turkey!” One night I was speaking on the Second coming of Jesus when I had the consciousness that at that very moment the Lord Jesus had come among us, - He is here now!

In a few days’ time I leave for the New Life conference at Quinta in Oswestry. I am doing a Workshop on “Preaching” (Monday and Thursday). I have produced a pamphlet to go with the workshop as well as a power-point presentation. You can access these on my website where you will find a page called NLC 2018 where you can access the resources referred to in my Workshop.

I am planning to visit my family in America in October. I am also trying hard to bring more of my pamphlets up to date.

Thank you so much for showering me with love and refreshing my soul with your prayers.

Lots of love and blessings to you in the Lord Jesus,

Derrick.

Information about my pamphlets which you may skip: When I sent to you my last letter I mentioned that I had been working on one of my pamphlets. Over recent months I have brought up to date other pamphlets, “Edited Journal of George Fox” and “Emmanuel.”

Since returning from Albania and preaching at the Longcroft Church I wrote a pamphlet entitled:

“Caught on Camera - photo-shot moments of key events in the lives of men and women in the Bible.” (Ruth is one of the women who I include and therefore I have done more work on my pamphlet: Ruth and Boaz.

New work has been done on my teaching modules: The Second Coming (eschatology) and The Church (ecclesiology) for my teaching in Malaysia. Last time I was in America I did further work on the godly kings of Judah which is part of my module on, Revival and Renewal in the context of Scripture and Church History.

I have written a pamphlet for my Seminar on Preaching at New Life Conference, entitled, “PREACHING.” On my website there is a page devoted to the Conference; I have included teaching from CWP related to preaching by John Wood (homiletics) and Dr Colin Warner (hermeneutics).



2018_04 - Trip to Albania

Easter Greetings! “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus,

I am back from Malaysia and frantically trying to get my mind to focus on preparation of teaching material for Albania (thus far unsuccessfully)!

Firstly, thank you for praying for me. I had a wonderful time at AOIC (Alpha Omega International College). I had 18 students enrolled for my class and in that group were 4 pastors. I have never failed to be impressed with the quality of students I get to teach, it is a wonderful; testimony to the churches and the work of God in Malaysia. “The Second Coming of Jesus” never fails to spark interest; but more and more the subject of “The Church” has come to the fore. With more than 50% of Christians in the U.K. not going to church, we must ask ourselves some serious questions about what’s happening with the church. I taught a combined module of End time prophecy and the Biblical teaching of the Church (35 hours). This includes work-shops, discussions and presentations by the students. Thank you for praying for the students.

I met up with a number of former female students, who had been friends of Barbara. It was good to share about her and how she handled her last days with her family. Her sister Norma has just died this last week. At Barbara’s memorial service she raised her arms as we worshiped the Lord together – for her, it was her first opportunity to demonstrate her new - found faith in the Lord in front of her family. Please pray for her 2 sons and their wives who are tender towards the Lord.

When I am in Kuala Lumpur I spend the week-end with Sonny and Adeline from Living Springs Church, which has close links with our own network of churches in the U.K. It is so nice for me to look forward to living with a family and being in a church which shares similar values with regard to eldership (corporate leadership), the functioning of the body of Christ in open worship and the priority of Scripture exposition. I look forward to the possibility of returning to Living Springs.

I arrived home from Malaysia to be met by freezing conditions, my central heating not working and my patio flooded with water due to a failed pump. All sorted within a few of days!

Albania trip: (5th – 24th April). I will be teaching the first week on the Second coming and the second week on the subject of God Himself. This will be the first time I will see the church in their new building! My granddaughter Amy will join me in Albania from Paris where she will be on mission with my son Steve who is a pastor in America. While there Steve has a 3 hour public debate with a Muslim imam with 400 attendee’s in Paris. Beth’s husband Gareth will also join me in Albania for the last few days of my visit – he will explore the possibility of a team of young people from RRCC visiting.

On the 28th April my nephew Jon-Marc is getting married to Elise from RRCC. They love the Lord and have been engaged in Christian mission abroad and both are active in the life of the church. I will be taking the wedding ceremony, which I am thrilled about. Gareth will be preaching.

Thank you so much for your prayers which have a massive impact on my life, health and ministry. My life is sustained by your prayers just as your prayers pave the way for me as I travel. Thank you so much!

Easter Meditation: I enclose some teaching material for you to read!

1). the Sufferings of the Messiah, taken from my Christology module.

2). My pamphlet on “The Prayer Life of Jesus” from Luke’s Gospel – has a key section about Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, which of course is significant for this period of Easter meditation.

3). I had occasion recently to revise my “Edited Journal of George Fox” which originated 25 years ago when we hosted CWP – a training ministry based on the local church for international students.

Thank you for your prayers which have immeasurable significance in my spiritual journey and in my endeavour to fulfil the ministry which the Lord has given me.

Very much Love in the Lord Jesus, Derrick.



2018_02 - Trip to AOIC in Malaysia 

I am writing this from sitting in a train in Liverpool Lime Street Station (Wednesday). I had an emergency yesterday; seeking to process my passport I discovered I did not have enough months left on it to permit me to visit Malaysia. My son-in-law Gareth came to my aid (as he has done so many times!). We left home this morning at 5.30 am to get the train to Liverpool. I leave to-morrow for Kuala Lumpur to teach in Alpha Omega International College. I have been coming here for 10 years or more. I first came here for 3 months to teach their whole programme of theology. That was a challenge as I had to address some issues I had avoided for years. This is my first visit without Barbara and I am finding it very challenging. I will find myself in a house owned by the college, where I will live for nearly three weeks. I am within walking distance of the college.

I will teach each evening from 7.00 pm – 10.30 pm.


On Saturday I will be teaching from 9.30 am – 5.00 pm.


 I will be staying each week-end with personal friends – Sonny and Adelin and preaching in their church: “Living Springs” this Sunday.


I will be teaching on (1) the Church and (2) the Second Coming.


I am blessed indeed, to have very special friends who pray for me. I have a few prayer requests.

1. Travelling! The stress levels are up, having a crisis with my passport! One of Barbara’s sayings was: “sufficient unto the day!” Yes, grace for each moment. I will not be able to process my ticket until I arrive at the airport tomorrow.


2.      I will be meeting with some of Barbara’s personal friends and I want to bless them by sharing about her amazing journey.

3.      Ministry is a joy but a responsibility. I pray for inspiration and strength to face the challenge of each day. Physical and emotional strength also.

4.      Ministry at Living Springs, a blessing to the church.

5.      I have been waiting for laser surgery on both eye and I am having some discomfort in my left eye; probably wear and strain. I am struggling a bit with my sight.

6.      My teaching - each day with the students. They are challenging and demanding!

7.      Living in a humid hot country is itself demanding; add to that cooking, washing etc. and preparing teaching for each day full of challenges.


I think that covers most things! Thank you for your prayers, continual encouragement and love. In April I will be going to Albania for my annual visit. Amy Harrison, Steve’s daughter will be joining me there.


My love and thanks, Derrick.




2017-07-11


July 8th was Barbara’s birthday and our Wedding Anniversary. We would have been celebrating 50 years of marriage. We met at Birmingham Bible College and waited three years until our studies were completed before we married. Our closest friends at B. B. I. were Ken and Rosemary Staniforth who were on the staff of the college; Ken was our best-man and on our last visit to USA we were able to stay with them after not seeing them for many years. What a precious time it was - how good the Lord is!

I was sharing with our oldest daughter Katie some of the things I remember about our wedding day - getting a parking ticket due to waiting for a hair-cut. My mum was a confectioner; she decorated a three tier cake for us bringing it down from Cumbria in the car. I remember relatives repeatedly phoning frantically from New Street station waiting forever to be picked up. We had a friend called Don Foster who was driving his Bedford Dormobile to the wedding when suddenly the back door flew open and one of the students called Edna Levinger fell out, picked herself up and ran along the road to catch up with the disappearing vehicle. The principal of the College, Rev. Brash Bonsall took our wedding and we had our reception in one of the college buildings which was a large Victorian house – perfect for the purpose. Bible students don’t have much money, but we had lots of talented and kind student friends who did our reception for us and the money we received on our wedding day provided for our honey moon.

Fifty years on I travel with Beth, Gareth and family (four children) to stay with Katie and her family in Exmouth. Matt and his family (one son and 2 foster children) also travel down to join us. Barbara’s sister and husband join us on Saturday with her son and family! We are a large family gathered together to celebrate Barbara who is loved so dearly. Katie’s 4 children were all there and we were enjoying their large Georgian house near the sea. How blessed we are and what fun we have together. We looked at camcorder footage we had not seen before through the T.V. of our children and grandchildren; and Steve’s family visiting from USA – that was fun for the children to see themselves over ten years ago! We paddled in the sea; Barbara had to paddle whenever we were near the sea - which included the Adriatic Sea in Albania, so now I have begun the practise with my daughters! It seemed that we ate and ate because it was such beautiful weather for sitting outside, chatting for hours around the table. We had a huge B.B.Q. for about 30 of us and we had a treasure hunt on the moorland for the kids.

Sunday was very moving for me as I spent time alone reading and reflecting. Waves of emotion suddenly erupt without being invited, but I have always found the grace of God in my tears and as a result I find refreshment in pain. The one thing I find myself saying continually is that: “God is good.” It is a statement of affirmation and it is what I choose to say in the presence of God. I do not understand why the Lord took my wife Barbara, and I have a feeling that I may never have an answer that really satisfies me. I am not asking for an answer to what is the biggest thing I have ever had to handle in my entire life. I have not had to face my grief alone because our precious children are continually alongside me with their supportive encouragement and love. We also have a strong hope in the Lord concerning the future and His help for today and I have precious friends who pray for me daily.

My purpose in writing is simply to outline future events!

New Life Conference (July 29th - August 3rd). I am responsible for the morning Bible Studies which are entitled: “The Great heart of God.” I have friends who are praying for me; especially over the next two weeks during this time of preparation.

Portugal (13th - 20th September) this is a very short to stay with Helcio and Angela, with emphasis on prayer and fellowship.

USA (Nov – Dec) with Steve, Manjit and family; Beth, Gareth and family will join us over Christmas and I will return with them on 6th January which is the day exactly one year ago that Barbara took wings and flew to be with Jesus.

Malaysia (Feb/Mar – date to be fixed).

I thank you so much for your love which has been such an amazing support for me. Please continue to pray as I seek to take up the challenge of further ministry and the challenge of my own heart and a very different future in the will of God.

Abundant blessings in the Lord Jesus and much love,

Derrick Harrison

Update on Albania Trip - Tuesday May 2nd 2017


I am amazed that I have found study no effort after months not able to study at all. Also the fact of an intense programme (at least 2 hours of teaching each night) I have not been over tired. Erise, the young pastor here believes it one of our best times here.
Several times I have not been able to continue speaking such was the presence of the Lord. I am doing a series on revival in the Bible. Last night I did John Baptist. We had gone out to the Adriatic Sea for the day - a port called Durres it is the end of the Roman road that travels west from Thessalonica. If you turn right you will eventually reach Istanbul. Paul was in this area and tradition has it that Titus was killed in the amphitheatre here at Durres. It is only a few years since the amphitheatre was discovered. It is quite an awesome experience to go underground and see the places where the animals were kept and the passageway into the arena where the gladiators came. Outside the building are two small mosques - we heard the call to prayer while we were there. The blood of the martyrs continually speaks before the throne of God.
Thanks for your intercessions, I feel the benefit of them. The presence and authority of the Lord is among these people. There are up to 40 people here each evening - numbers are constant. I know almost everyone here by name. I ought to!. This is my 9th. year.
This time is different for me. Things have changed and it is a new chapter in terms of ministry.
I shared some of Barbara's pictures with a woman who Barbara loved. She is from a gypsy family and works for Najua (Najua has discipled her also like her daughter) the Brazilian missionary who founded the church and is responsible for its growth. I felt I had a responsibility to her; Barbara had supported her daughter in school for a period of time. For me it opened up the flood gates again.
Last night a missionary couple from the church - (he had been the pastor of the church here) who are now in Greece; husband and wife spoke to me how a prophecy from Barbara to them had been the call of the Lord to them to go as missionaries. Lilliana (the wife) had observed how Barbara prayed and how she supported me in my ministry by prayer.
I finish tonight in the church in terms of preaching/teaching (except for Friday prayer mtg and Sunday morning), but wiil continue with those who want to go deeper into the history of revivals through the centuries. We will be looking at historical revivals rather than teaching from Scripture. I believe that the Lord uses these actual revival accounts in a powerful way to stir peoples hearts. It opens their eyes to see the amazing things the Lord has done and can do. I have Wed. - Thurs, and I have Mon - Tues of next week.I have the prayer mtg on Friday where we pray for the Lord to move and give opportunity for response. In the past the Lord has moved powerfully with deep weepings and joy. Sunday morning mtg. So you can see I am more than half way through. I have 2 more evenings than other years.


Please forgive me for talking about things that relate to myself. Thank you for your love and prayers - we are feling the impact of them each night. Glory to Jesus.

Derrick Harrison

Albania Trip 2017

Thanks to those who have assured me of their prayers for this trip. It is a “raw” time for me preparing and getting ready. I have not been able to concentrate my mind on the subject of “Revival from Scripture and examples from Church History” although I have been reading Scripture on the subject. I have found these recent days difficult not having Barbara to consult about simple things. But God is faithful and it is not difficult to trust Him for all that is past and all that is to come. Praise God! We have a wonderful Lord.

I leave tomorrow morning at 10:35 am with Turkish Airlines; stopping off at Istanbul and arriving at Tirana, Albania at 8.00 pm.

I stay with Erisi, Nila and their 5 year old daughter Era. Erisi is pastor of the church and suggests the subject of our teaching each year. At the end of the teaching programme each person receives a certificate for completing another module (almost every member of the church attends – from 10 year olds to elderly grandmas). To see young teenagers taking notes is quite amazing. To see old ladies eager to hear despite the fact that they probably understand little of what I say but give me beautiful smiles!

The teaching programme usually consists of evening meetings, followed by workshops. Saturdays are spent with the family.  Sunday preaching and hospitality. I have time with the leaders – last time half my teaching programme was devoted to them.

I return on Wednesday, 10th May.

 Matters for immediate prayer:

1.       Final preparations and check in tomorrow at Birmingham.

2.       Travelling “mercies”- safety, transfer at Istanbul airport (who likes airports?)

3.       Blessings on the home in which I stay.

4.       The Lord’s blessing on the teaching and on those who attend.

5.       That the Lord will move in people’s lives – especially in the young people.

6.       The general quickening of the Holy Spirit in the church.

7.       The time of fellowship with the leaders of the church and guidance for the future.

Thank you so much for your loving encouragement and for your prayers.

Much Love in the Lord Jesus,

Derrick Harrison

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Graham Gordon,
13 Jul 2017, 02:33
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Graham Gordon,
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Graham Gordon,
22 Feb 2018, 02:15
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Graham Gordon,
10 Aug 2018, 02:54
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Graham Gordon,
5 Sept 2013, 02:51
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Graham Gordon,
3 May 2012, 03:18
ĉ
Graham Gordon,
5 Sept 2013, 02:50
ĉ
Graham Gordon,
5 Sept 2013, 02:49
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