Monday 4 March dawned bright and clear, as 14 British Union Conference retirees, spouses and friends, flocked to Luton Airport for their annual migration to sunnier climes. Waiting in the departure lounge it was wonderful to meet and greet old friends from many different parts of the country. They came from Crieff in Scotland, Bristol, Grantham, Watford and Norwich. We were saddened that one of the number, Lyn Dyason was not with us, having passed away a short time before.
The flight to Paphos, Cyprus went smoothly, and we made our way to the very familiar Athena Beach Hotel for dinner and a well-earned rest after an early morning start to the day. The 2-hour time difference meant that we were tucked up in bed well before we would have been back in Britain!
In Paphos at this time of the year the daytime temperatures were a comfortable 21C and the sun shone every day.
In the mornings after a leisurely breakfast we would assemble beside the beach for our morning worship, with various members of our group giving testimony to the goodness of the Lord in their lives, and we would all come to the Master in prayer. Our daily morning worship attracted interested looks from other holidaymakers, and even encouraged one of the holidaymakers there to join in prayer with us, and to ask the Lord for healing for a near relative.
Glyn Jones, from the Norwich church was able to be used by God in the practice of healing using the Bowen method to bring relief from aches, pains and muscle spasms. This God-given talent was also used to good effect to treat a lady who had fallen over on a cobble-stoned road who was in serious pain to be able to be relieved of her pain after treatment.
On the two Sabbaths that we were in Paphos, we had the privilege of having Pastor Paul Lockham travel all the way from Nicosia to preach to us, once at our own Sabbath meeting at our hotel and again with the Paphos Russian speaking group.
The highlight of the trip was an excursion across the 'Green Line' to Turkish North Cyprus to visit Salamis and the 'ghost' city in Famagusta. Salamis is the city where the Apostle Paul first arrived by ship, before walking south over the daunting Troodos Mountains to arrive in Paphos, during his first missionary journey. A short-day trip nowadays by vehicle, but which would have been a very arduous journey and would have taken Paul many months to do on foot.
There is much to do, and interesting and historical places to see and visit in Paphos and its surroundings, and although we have been visiting annually for quite a few years, there always seems to be someplace new and exciting to visit; by the many who said they would like to come again next year, it looks like we will be able to continue our annual migration.