Following our furlough this summer we have jumped right back into the thick of things as September arrived. The school run (well walk) resumed and we embarked on one of the busiest Septembers we have had recently.
We had our weekend away as a Base and despite not finding a suitable speaker for the weekend we had a great time; in fact it was probably better that we didn’t have a speaker! What happened? Well we enjoyed the sun and tranquillity of the Ardennes in the summer and in fact spent a lot of time together as a group chatting and talking outside the house we use. Sam and Ellie and Joelle (the Dutch couple’s little girl) utterly enjoyed the large garden and made great use of the swing in the garden. It always goes better when the kids enjoy themselves.
We talked through some issues that have affected us, prayed for our new staff member (a French speaking Belgian, Melissa) spent time in worship and prayer… and God did something. It feels like we have made a breakthrough in our times of worship and they have just started to flow and work really well. Before, we all felt like it was hard work (we take time for prayer and worship each week) and now it feels different. so the weekend was a powerful time that drew us all closer together.
From the weekend we have been back into a busy September: both Nicki and I have preached at the church. (recording available from the church’s website below), both have been speaking in French in the office generally and in particular as we have been leading sessions for Alternatives (Kevin in a training session, Nicki with the Mum’s).
The big event of September was our Open Day just last Saturday. The whole base worked like crazy. We cleaned, scrubbed, polished and finished those little jobs that needed to be done. Kevin bravely plastered a broken wall in the new counselling room (accompanied by much blood, sweat, and tears). We took four car loads full of rubbish to the recycle centre. And we worked on our publicity materials. To be honest the base here has had zero in the way of publicity stuff and so we worked from scratch. We looked through 1000’s of photos (not kidding), selected the best, printed, laminated, wrote explanatory text, translated into French, and Dutch, prepared display boards and… got it already in the nick of time!
We had about 80 visitors who stayed much longer than any of us anticipated. We gave them a map of the building and they could wander around and talk to the staff who excelled themselves. Everyone was entitled to a free drink in the bar. Liam and Patrick gave excellent acoustic concerts and the bookshop had many great offers (Leather bound Message Bible for 17 Euro anyone?). At first folk were not coming and as Kevin was standing at the door he invited everyone in. He approached three men in their mid twenties, clearly not Christians and told them about what we do here. They were clearly suspicious especially when they realised we were a Christian group but lured by a free drink and free concerts they went in accompanied by Patrick who gave them a guided tour. Anyway about a hour later they emerged and it was clear that God has touched them. One of them enthused to Kevin that he was really impressed with all that he had seen and experienced! It was great fun to see both non-church people and our keenest supporters have a good time and learn a lot they didn’t know about our work. We plan another for June next year and we are well on our way to presenting ourselves in a much more professional manner. The whole staff enjoyed the day and we were so pleased with all of them.
Sam and Ellie are pleased to be back at school and like their new teachers very much. They clearly soaked up the sun and food over the summer as everyone noticed how much they have grown. They continue to really enjoy their life in Brussels. On a practical note we were thrilled to be given a two and three seater sofa of really high quality that has replaced the terrible one that was here when we arrived. We are really grateful for that although it ended up adding cost as Kevin smashed the rear window of the car on the two seater sofa when trying to force it in!!! So for two weeks we drove around with bin bags taped to the back of the car until we could get a replacement window! It was a bit of a noisy trip to the Ardennes! On the plus point some supporters are treating us to a day at EuroDisney with them in October!!!!! We all can’t wait!
We hope you are all well. Let us know if there are any problems with the email newsletters. Plus remember there are pictures on the internet version!
Kevin and Nicki
PS Many thanks to Patrick and Mariette who took all the photo’s on this post
- With our church we are very busy and Nicki is taking on much worship leading and Kevin is leading a house group for not-yet-Christians. Please pray for them both and the people that they lead that all would move forward on their journeys with God.
- October is looking much calmer. Pray for Kevin as he goes in the place of his boss to a senior YWAM leaders meeting in France (16-19 October). Pray for refreshment and a good time with many of his peers who will be there.
- Pray that we will continue to learn how to balance work and family life, particularly with a demanding (and satisfying) church plant project too!