Day Four - Saturday, September 3.
We got up at 6 am and got ready for the day. Sondra left at 8:30 in the morning to attend a Women's Aglow meeting with a group of ladies from the local churches. It was an inspirational time of singing and message, with Sondra meeting a lady named Maggie who has been going through so much turmoil in her life. That's another story to be told later. As for me, I rode over to the host home of Ken and Beifei to hang out with Ken for the morning at Paul and Fran's home. At noon, we went to a small village called Seale to visit and eat at The Seale Tea Room, a small eating establishment inside an old converted barn. Very charming and quaint. The soups and breads were delicious! We toured the St. Laurence Church (Church of England) next door after lunch.
The highlight of the day was to see Peter Gates, the man who sponsored our trip to the U.K. This day was his 89th birthday, and we were going to celebrate it with him! He is a very proper and wonderful English gentleman in every respect - gracious, kind, orderly and keen of mind. We spent just a short while at his home, as we were all going to another house for the cake and birthday festivities. We went to a lady's house close by and had food and fellowship. The candles were lit and Peter blew them out.
After some time, we left to go visit Asator (who I mentioned in the last blog) and his family. Asator was born to Iranian parents in Saudi Arabia, moved to Iran for a while and then was sent with his brother to Syria to get away from the oppressive regime in Iran. He was unable to return to Iran to visit family for 25 years! He learned Arabic, Farsi, English and several other languages during the years. His family was Christian and he has been a believer for many years. He took classical guitar lessons from the top mentor in Syria and is quite accomplished. His wife, also a believer, was born in Bethlehem. They have three children, all who are learning to play various instruments. We spent several hours at Asator's home before going home.
The Seale Tea Room at the barn
The inside eating area was very cozy
Here we are enjoying our lunch
The St. Laurence Church
Galen and Sondra with Peter Gates on his 89th birthday
Peter blowing out the candles on his birthday cake
Sue and Beifei with the Asator Gazarian family
Day Five - Sunday, September 4.
What a special day this was! We left for Guildford Park Church at 9:30 am to attend the 10:30 worship service. I had been contacted and was scheduled to be interviewed by the pastor and then to preach the morning message. It was a blessed time indeed. it seemed as if God's Spirit took control and touched many hearts. My message was titled "The Call to Serve." The passsage of Scripture was from Jonah chapters 1 and 3. Our three major times of life can be classified into Trial, Tragedy and Triumph. The call of God to serve is for every chapter of life that we have. Our life of service to the Lord comes from three areas:
1. The call to Holiness, which is accomplished by allowing God to work in us and through us. We are not holy or perfect on our own. We are holy because God makes us holy!
2. The call to Obedience, which is accomplished by doing the bidding of the Lord. We let God be master of our lives in every respect. We do what He says.
3. The call to Passion, which is accomplished by having a heart that is changed to show forth the glory of God. A heart that is full of passion leads to evangelism and ministry and missions!
The church tapes the sermons and you can listen to my message on the church website:
and then click on the "Download Sermons" link. You will find my sermon listed as "God's Plan" by Galen Greenwalt. The actual link is: www.gpchurch.org.uk/sermons/2011-09-04am.mp3 to listen by audio. It was such a blessing as many came to me and said, "That message on the call to service was just for me!"
We then went over to Paul and Fran's for lunch. Fran is such an efficient cook as she prepares for around 20 people each Sunday afternoon. So many international students come and enjoy the afternoon there. I must admit I was quite tired after lunch and fell asleep for a short while in a very comfortable chair.
At 5 pm we returned to our host home. Within the hour, we were served tea and crumpets, as well as chocolate croissants and other "goodies." At 6:15 pm, we were taken to the Emanuel Church, an Anglican Christian contemporary church. It was youth night named the Cafe Service (as tea and coffee were served prior to the time of worship), and the time of worship consisted of music, testimonies, prayer time and a message geared to the youth. Many of the young people had attended a Youth Conference (called Soul Survivor) recently and shared their experiences and what God had done in their lives. It was very interesting and moving for many of the youth.
The Guildford Park Church
Pastor Glenn Shotton and Galen
Galen preaching at the Guildford Park Church worship service
The entrance to the Emanuel Church auditorium
The youth-led service at Emanuel's Cafe Service on Sunday night
This night we were home around 8 pm!