Mark has now completed his PhD (subject to viva on this Tuesday coming up) and we are seeking God’s way forward from here. There have been very few Old Testament specific teaching jobs come up so far, in fact only one that was OT, others have had a wider Biblical Studies focus. We have also considered church jobs but as of yet no clear way forward has emerged. Mark is currently working for a company in Cheltenham on a full time temporary contract doing data entry. We are thankful that they have extended this first contract for a further 3 months come January. It is not the job he longs to be doing, but it uses skills he had built up from before his study break. The husband and wife team who run the company have been supportive of Mark, his longer term goals, and offer great communication which makes a significant difference in how one feels, treating their staff like real individuals. They are also open to considering him going part time after the next 3 month contract if the right projects come up. This would then give him a day or two to work on research, writing resources and supporting church leaders with their church’s theological teaching. This is a real encouragement.
For those of you aware of our longing for Joshua’s Tree to flourish we need to find an appropriate home that would give room for family and ministry life to flow around each other. We recognise that right now is not yet the time to host over night guests on a regular basis but there is still lots of our dreams for Joshua’s Tree that could flourish in a day to day basis with the right setting.
As we are blessed with Mark’s current job and the great home education group we are part of and a church we are part of it seems sensible to us to stay here rather than simply move to some other part of the country just for the sake of a move when we have networks here and the children have strong friendships. So in order for us to step forward we need to find a new home nearby that would give us the right space. Where we live though is not cheap and moving to a house with even just a bit more room comes at considerable expense.
We have found a potential ideal home just further down the road from our own home. As with any house this size though in this area it comes with a significant extra increase in rent and therefore in council tax and bills. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-37403997.html While Mark’s job at present covers our current costs it would not by any means cover the increase in living costs, especially if he were to go part time.
So we are asking for prayers, wisdom and advice for how to go forward, ways to raise the money that would let us provide the ministry we long to do, ways to connect with churches and make links, people we should speak to. At present an extra £1500 a month would cover the increase in rent, bills and hospitality and travel. Any month there was surplus from the money would be set aside for further ministry purposes and cover a reduction in salary from Mark going part time.
For those reading this who are unfamiliar with the idea behind Joshua’s Tree you can read more here https://rozandmark.wordpress.com/why-joshuas-tree/