John Coles’ Upcoming Departure

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

(The message this week is by John Coles.  His last Sunday with us will be Nov. 17, but we didn’t want to wait until the last minute to announce this, especially as he has served IBCZ so faithfully in many ways – often unseen.  I hope everyone will take a moment to express your gratitude to John in the coming weeks. Pastor Bob)

Being an International Church, we are used to people coming and going at regular intervals and sad to say, in a way, the Lord has decided, with the help of Credit Suisse, to instigate my retirement. I will be going back to family in the UK at the end of November and although I will not re-enter the workplace, I am sure both Carol and the Lord will not let me be idle!

In December 2009 I came on a 6-month contract to cover a leave of absence and 10 years has flown by. In a way, it is as if time has stood still but having been presented with three grandsons in that time any illusion of this is just that, an illusion. However, the fact that time passing does seem to change as one gets older does, for me at least, prove that we are being prepared for the afterlife to live with our Lord.

During my period in Zurich I served for 2 years in the Children’s Ministry with BSF and then both in teaching the youth at IBCZ and leading the home group that originally was hosted by Colin and Petra Forrest which then moved to the home of Jack and Maria, where good fellowship continued. During the time of Pastor Bruce, I was called to server as both a deacon and more recently as an elder and I hope that I have been able to serve you all to the best of my gifting and abilities. For both Carol and myself the one regret is that she has not been able to join me as frequently as was thought at the time of my accepting my post at CS. However, the times she has joined me have been a time of joy that we have been together serving.

As a postscript, most of you will know my second grandson Arthur was diagnosed with Leukaemia early this year. The latest news is that he is on his second cycle of Chemotherapy treatment and is doing very well. The initial treatment saw his personality change due to the high amount of steroids used, but thankfully this time the dosage is much lower and the Arthur we knew is returning, with his lovely, joyful personality. His response to the treatment has been a surprise to the experts treating him; indeed, they have said they cannot remember a case where the patient has responded so well and so quickly. Of course, we know that this is down to prayer and we ask you to continue to remember him.

May God bless you all as you continue to server and worship at IBCZ.

John & Carol.

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