An update from Simon & Nicola

Posted on 9th Sep by Simon & Nicola Neal − Category: News, Testimonies

Dear Friends,

We wanted to write to you all to say a personal THANK YOU for so faithfully standing with us as a family and praying for us through the very challenging 18 months we have just faced.

We are so thankful to you all for your continual love and support. We know that without the prayers of yourselves and many others the last 18 months could have ended very differently.

For those of you who are not aware, Simon became seriously ill in April 2012 and was air ambulanced to Nairobi where he had emergency surgery to remove part of his bowel.  He then took time to recover in the UK and we returned to Uganda in June 2012

In August 2012 he then had a second emergency surgery to remove his appendix, this time in Kampala. This surgery led to some very serious complications and Simon was flown to the UK in Sept 2012 and then spent a lot of time in hospital in Stoke Mandeville where they tried to sort out the infections and complications he was experiencing.  This included a further two smaller surgeries.

Then in November 2012 he was taken very seriously ill once more and underwent more major surgery and since then has been in a process of recovery.

This last year has been nothing short of horrific for us as a family. The constant attacks on Simon’s health, the endless battle for his life and the resulting affects on our family have been extremely difficult to navigate, but we are so thankful to the Lord that through it all He has remained faithful to us and our children and He has brought us through to the other side.

We were given this scripture recently, which has hugely encouraged us:

2 Corinthians 8 – 11

We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”

We are so thankful to Lord for His limitless love, mercy and his great kindness to us, without Him we are very aware that we wouldn’t have made it through, so we are deeply humbled and grateful for Him.

THANK YOU for your prayers, for all your messages of love that always seemed to come at just the right time and for standing with us.

We have been back in the UK as a family since May 2013, dealing with the emotional and physical impact of this last year. Both Nicola and I were diagnosed with post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and we have been receiving both individual and couple professional counseling. This has been extremely hard process bringing both our journeys together and looking at the effects of the trauma on us. We are incredibly grateful for our counselors and are now very big fans of professional counseling.

Simon is back to full strength and in fact feeling better than he has done for over two years.  We are so thankful to Jesus for that.

Nicola is also doing really well, she has taken the time to rest and recuperate from the last 18 months.

James returned to Uganda for our Summer Missions School and had an amazing time. He has done incredibly well in his schooling this year considering all he has had to face.

Chantelle is her normal bubbly and active self and has enjoyed spending time with her cousins and grandparents, but does miss her Ugandan family.

Both James and Chantelle have been amazing over this time, being incredibly flexible and coping so well with all that they had to face. We are very proud of them.

We have decided to take a family holiday in September to celebrate the fact that ‘Daddy’ is alive and well and we as a family survived. So we are taking the children to Disney Land in Florida. We are really looking forward to creating some new happy memories together and having lots of fun.

We are then planning on returning home to Uganda in early October.

Our team in Uganda has been fantastic over the last year. They have faithfully and selflessly continued to serve the Lord and the poor in our absence.  We are so very proud of each one of them and thankful for the way they have given themselves to ensure that the ministry was able to continue to serve all of our slum communities.

We would like to take this opportunity to really honour our team and thank each of you for the way you have prayed and supported them too, during this difficult season.

We are really looking forward to getting back home to Uganda, catching up properly with them all and hearing all the testimonies of what God has been doing through them.

Once again we want to thank you for the bottom of our hearts for all support for our family and for Revelation Life.  We are truly grateful.

Please continue to pray for us as we begin to prepare to return home to Uganda, all that entails and for our team out there are they continue to faithfully serve the Lord in all they are doing.

With huge amounts of love and blessings

Simon and Nicola