I remember when I was young listening to a programme on the radio called 'Dear John' - I don't remember much about it other than the first few lines of the song: 'Dear John, by the time you've read this letter I'll be gone.' Well this is my 'Dear John' letter to all in Saltburn.
At the start of 2006 the rest of my family moved to Argentina. So I'm told. I delayed my departure for a year in order to lead the church in Eden Street which I lead and until I found out where my family had gone, as they had forgotten to tell me. The year has passed quickly and as you read this I will have departed from 'Sunny Saltburn' to join my family in Argentina, although I did receive a strange postcard from my father which was post marked Australia last week. Never mind, funny how post can go astray!
It's funny how life moves on, and it is difficult to know the impact the departure of my family has had on Saltburn. Certainly my father was well known in Saltburn for his preaching and church activities, particularly with young boys. And as for Mum, she was into just about everything. She always told us she was busy with Saltburn in Bloom, flower arranging, craft work, gardening and upholstery! How she managed it all I don't know, I only know that often she did not get back home until the early hours, having had to help people to bed! But the people she helped were always very generous because I remember she would always come home with rolls of twenty-pound notes in her handbag.
Above everything however I hope that we are remembered as a Christian family in the purest sense of the word. Apart from my Mum's good works my Father's wallet was regularly opened for women in need.
It just goes to show that the Christian life can be very interesting. Me and my family will continue to pray every day that the people of Saltburn can come to know Jesus the way we do!
God bless! Love, John Harrison