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Enjoying lunch with Mischa and Irena Stepnov and Lena Vabishevich in Minsk. Lena is a top manager in 3 companies in Belarus. Irena is the National Director of TeachBeyond Belarus.


Trains, Planes & Automobiles (& Buses!) Dear scattered friends and family,

Helen, Alexandra and Clara (now 12) share a moment outside our newly-adapted pony-stall Summer House; one of this summer’s family projects.

You could be forgiven for imagining that we are ‘slowing down a bit’ as the decades fly by. You’d be wrong. Since our July missive, the pace of life has if anything increased, with family visiting (yes, all of them!) during August, then a 3-week trip to Latvia and Belarus in late September - early October, teaching 3 times/week and co-leading a 3-day Godly Play Core Training event for Helen and a 10-day trip to Moldova for Nigel in late October - early November. We also helped organise and run a minisummit for TeachBeyond leaders from across Europe and Eurasia in the nearby village of Holzen in September. We really enjoyed hosting all 4 of our children and their families, enabling us to spend time with them and all 5 grandchildren.

The first week, it was "all hands to the pumps” as we worked together on barns and gardens, swam in the Rhein and enjoyed celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary with a barbecue by the river Kander to which several local friends also came. September was also busy as we helped prepare for and host a 3-day meeting of leaders from several countries across Eastern and Western Europe, then flew to Latvia for the Godly Play European Conference. This was made extra-special for us by the presence of 2 sisters from Belarus for the first time. From Riga, we trekked on 9 hours by bus to Minsk, where we began a ten-day visit to Belarus.

Helen discussing a point with Tanya and Alessia from Godly Play Belarus at the 5th European Godly Play Conference in Jūrmala, Latvia in September.

The Moldovan delegation listening intently in the September sunshine during the mini-summit meeting.


Nigel telling The Great Family (the story of Abraham and Sarah) at Baby English Club in Minsk. For the 2nd time this year, Helen was laid low by Bronchitis, so novice Nigel stepped up (or rather sat down) in her place.

Our visit to Belarus included two days in Brest, reached by a 5-hour train journey. Highlights were a visit to ‘Zephyr’ club run by old friends Zhenya and Alessia Gladko, ‘Paragraph’ Cafés and an evening presenting Godly Play to 9 Sunday-school teachers at Pure Heart church. While in Brest, Helen contracted another nasty cold. By the time we arrived back in Minsk, the cold had developed into Bronchitis. This put Helen out of action for 2 days, which meant Nigel jumping in to fill the gap at Baby English Club (left). She recovered in time to spend 2 wonderful sessions sharing with and mentoring the Godly Play team. The trip home meant an overnight bus trip back to Riga, a long wait at the airport followed by a flight back to Zürich, where seeing Daniel and Noah waiting with our Volvo (now repaired after the March crash) was a great relief.

FOURTH MOLDOVA VISIT OF 2016 November for Helen meant finishing preparations for a visit to Frankfurt, where she co-led a 3-day Godly Play training event at Christ the King Episcopal church. Shortly after her return, Nigel was back in Moldova. First on the itinerary was a short visit to Sophie Luta and the children. Sophie has been amazed at the Lord’s provision through the generous compassion of so many of you, enabling the family to install double-glazing, gas and central heating in the house she shares with her mother. This will mean a warm, dry winter, a great help for the children’s health. The rest of the trip was taken up with preparations for and then the 3-day visit of George Durance (Executive Director of TeachBeyond), Peter Regez (Regional Director) and donor Lloyd Thiessen to several key partners around the country. Moldova has such great potential and we expect to see significant growth in TeachBeyond’s work both in and beyond the country as a result of this important visit. As another year ends, we want to express our gratitude for your continued partnership with us, bringing transformation to communities around the world through education. Thank you! We would also like to know how we can pray for you, so do drop us a line. May you know God's joy and peace this Advent season. Sophie changing Raphael’s nappy, pregnant with Valentin Emanuel. Note the new radiator and window.

Nigel & Helen Spencer FaceBook pages: (home) (ministry news) Am Felsen 12 79429 Malsburg-Marzell Germany

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All gifts to the work will help to empower transformation through education in the difficult-to-reach countries of the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. TeachBeyond/Janz Team is a registered charity in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Canada & the USA. Details of how to give can be found on TeachBeyond websites.

Pillar of cloud November 2016  

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