Our Navigator Family in the UK
By Jeanette Dibden
Grant and I lived in England in 1989 and on the way there we travelled to Kenya. We were going to go on a safari camping trip but found ourselves in Nairobi and unable to hire a sleeping bag. Grant’s solution was to ring the Navigators (listed in the phone book – remember those?) and ask for help. An American missionary couple working there had us round, fed us, lent us what we needed and we didn’t freeze on our trip. A beautiful example to us of hospitality to strangers and love and service in the body of Christ.
We hadn’t been back to the UK until this July when we attended the Bishop’s Conference at Lambeth. We added a bit extra to our time away and again found that hospitality was a theme among the Navigators we met with.
Bill and Cathy Sparks, the European Regional Leaders, had just arrived back from visiting some of the staff in Germany and were about to head off to the US, but were keen to see us and shout us dinner!
Next we caught up with Mike and Chris Treneer. Mike had visited Australia several times and spoken at some of our conferences before becoming the International President for the Navigators. We had lunch with them in their charming little home in London and loved catching up with this godly, older couple who keep on looking for ways to love their family, connect with their neighbours and serve the Navigator community.
In Scotland we had planned to meet up with Phil and Ros Boyley, who lead the Nav work in the UK. Phil was unwell however, but Ros still spent a couple of hours with us, showing us around Stirling and telling us about the work and opportunities happening there.
In Edinburgh we stayed with Ben and Kat S, a young couple Grant has been working with in his role as the Missions person for Asia Pacific. Ben and Kat and their two small children had just been on a vision trip to [South Asia] and are hoping to pioneer work [there].
In St Andrews we stayed with Stu and Clare Newland, who lead the Scottish and Irish work. We joined them for a family picnic, they let us sleep in their bed overnight and got us to the airport on time!
The UK is an old and interesting place and we had a terrific time away, but some of the best highlights were the Christians we met with, the kindnesses we were shown and the encouragement we received. Please be praying for the UK and the work there.
Jeanette is the wife of our current National Director, Grant Dibden. Jeanette ministers to women in their local community, meeting one-to-one and in groups, and is also active in reaching out to their neighbours. They reside in Canberra.