I’m often struck by how easily our perspective can be affected by a change in our circumstances and/or simply the passage of time. In relation to the sale of Skywaves House, the initial decision to start marketing the office and look for alternative premises seems an awfully long time ago; at times over those eight years, it has been frustrating and seemed as though we’d take one step forward and then two back – with no end in sight. Today, however, it all feels very real!

My previous blog included a summary of the journey to the point of exchange of contracts and an introduction to the plans for redevelopment of the Skywaves House site. We’ve never been under any illusion about the magnitude of the task of preparing to relocate and the team has been chipping away at it for some time, but having a fixed completion date (31st July) in the diary focuses the mind somewhat. I’m actually drafting this on Friday 14th July, with the removers due to arrive next Tuesday 18th - eeek!

After almost 40 years in the building, Feba had accumulated and a lot of technical equipment related to the international radio ministry: some of it was for the service and repair of studio or transmitter installations; other things were used for recording of content for broadcast; there were also items used to produce promotional materials for supporters in the UK. The task of sorting through that kit required input from someone with a good level of knowledge – enabling them to identify things quickly, coupled with an understanding of the way in which our ministry partners overseas operate today. We were therefore very grateful to Alex Walker of Reach Beyond who spent a few days with us helping determine the best option for what to do with a sizeable amount of gadgetry: some has been kept for future use or allocation by Feba, once further assessment of our partners’ needs is complete; it is good to know that several caseloads have already been transported to Africa for distribution to existing projects; other items are being prepared for shipping to Burkina Faso for a new work there; and some will actually be used by another UK-based media ministry. A collection of quite generic workshop tools has been sent to Tools With A Mission for use by apprentices in their international projects too.

Alex Walker of Reach Beyond, who has helped sort some of Feba's technical equipment

Having gone through everything, you perhaps won’t be surprised to hear that there were some things we're unlikely to have use for in the foreseeable future, and/or for which the cost of shipping would be disproportionate. We’re therefore very grateful to a midlands-based gentleman called Paul who has very kindly agree to list things on eBay for us. Did you know that there is a facility to donate a percentage of the proceeds of any sale on eBay to a charity of your choice? Feba will be benefiting from 100% of the proceeds from the auctions that Paul is listing. If you’d like to know more about how you could do the same, then please click here to have a look at the information available online or else do get in touch and we’d be very happy to explain the simple process to you.

We are very thankful for the way in which God has provided for Feba over the years; indeed, His extraordinary provision has been a hallmark of the ministry through various seasons. We wanted to mark the end of Feba’s time in Skywaves House with a service of thanksgiving and dedication – looking both to the past and the future. Local vicar Rev. Tom Robson led our service yesterday, to which we had invited Joanna Malton (the daughter of Feba’s co-founder, Douglas), Peter and Mary Parish (former Feba missionaries, having served in both Seychelles and Pakistan), and George Gilbert (Feba’s current Chairman); we were also joined online by a partner in India, alongside Kevin Wren (our Head of International Ministry) who is out there visiting at present. It was special to spend time with each of our guests, acknowledging their respective contributions to Feba’s ministry over the years; as ‘representatives’ of different groups, we are equally appreciative of those many others whom they represent. Joanna touched on some of the remarkable stories of God's provision from the very earliest years of Feba's existence, which you can read by clicking here.

L to R: Peter Parish, Mary Parish, Joanna Malton, Bob Chambers, George Gilbert, Rev. Tom Robson

After the service had concluded, we enjoyed a fish and chip lunch together. I was then very pleased to be able to share with everyone a short video of an office that we’ve identified as a possible new home for Feba, having shared photographs previously. We’ve not yet signed a lease, but it is looking quite likely that we’ll agree terms in the coming days. God’s timing in this has been remarkable: after some to-and-fro, the email I received from the agent detailing the final offer (that we’ve now accepted) landed in my Inbox at 18:26 – precisely as Feba’s Board meeting was closing, having included a fairly length discussion about what sort of deal would be acceptable. Needless to say, the offer was at exactly the sum that had just been approved by the Trustees! I look forward to sharing more in due course once the arrangements are finalised, and would ask for your continued prayers in the meantime please.

On a very practical note, could I please just clarify that we have arrangements in place to ensure that all regular mail addressed to Skywaves House will now be redirected and so we should still be able to receive that as normal – albeit with a slight delay which might impact our response times, for which we apologise in advance. We will of course share our new details once confirmed, but for now please continue to post to the usual address on Ivy Arch Road if you’re using Royal Mail. If, however, you intend to use a courier service for whatever reason, then please do contact us in advance as they will not be deliver to Skywaves after the end of July. Our phone and email services should be unaffected.

In other news, Ruth Sanders (Ministry Impact and Learning Lead) is heading up to the Lake District as I type. Ruth will be covering the Feba stand in the Base Camp exhibition for Week One of this year’s Keswick Convention, which starts tomorrow. I’ll then be heading up for Week Two, and Kevin Wren will be heading to ‘Keswick in Wales’ the following weekend. If you're planning to be at any of those events then do please visit the stand to introduce yourself – we’d love to meet with you. If you can’t be there in person, you can watch material from the Keswick Convention being streamed online, or track related content on social media using the hashtag #KesCon23

I must be honest and tell you that I am looking forward to our family holiday in early August. The past few months have been particularly busy and the autumn is looking similar, with establishing a new office probably imminent and our end of / new financial year just around the corner. We have our annual Feba Board residential coming up at the end of September, and some international trips too. My elder son is awaiting A Level results and will hopefully be heading off to university in October, so it’s a time of significant change at home as well. All in all, it really does feel as though there are several fairly big moving pieces at the moment, and yet I remain very thankful for the unshakeable truth that God is utterly constant: He is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my shield, my salvation and my stronghold. He is indeed worthy of praise! (Ps. 18:1-3).

Thank you for your interest in and support for Feba’s ministry. I can assure you that your prayers for us at this time are very much appreciated.

For an update on Feba's new office in Steyning, please click here.

Original Article posted by Bob Chambers on 14th July 2023