We knew God was in control

Gareth and Nicole

Hello St John’s and St Mary’s church friends! Last week, Nicole and I returned from a somewhat lengthy visit to our hometown of Cape Town, South Africa. As much as we enjoyed our time away, it is so good to be back in Isleworth!

Apart from seeing family and friends, and sneaking in a weekend safari trip, our main reason for travelling was to apply for our 5-year UK visas. This was also the reason that our trip was extended from three weeks to six! Due to circumstances unknown, the application process took much longer than anticipated, resulting in us rescheduling our return flight and dealing with a fair bit of anxiety in not knowing when, or if, our visas would ever be approved.

As stressful as the wait was, we knew that God had it all under control. We reminded ourselves that His timing is often quite different to our expectations, but always works out in a way that is best for our lives. We felt plenty of love knowing that friends and family in SA, as well as from the church here, were praying for us. We think that praying for others is so important and have seen so many times that constant, thoughtful prayer really does yield results.

Now that we’re back, we will be continuing as parish assistants at both churches; helping with things like sound and visuals, kids groups, worship, communion, readings, and general background organisation.

Over the last couple of years in Isleworth, we’ve been made to feel so welcome and consider so many people here to be good friends and our extended UK family. During our time here we’ve learnt to trust God when we feel uncertain about the future, as well as to thank him for His many provisions and blessings. We feel that this is the right place for us right now and that God has a lot in store for the next few years.

Gareth Hanekom