Well, what an eventful February it has been, with both encouraging and disappointing news. On reflection though we continue to see God’s faithfulness and support to us… and as always we are grateful for all your prayers.
The month had started a little discouraging with a difficult staff issue which involved extra meetings (now resolved), as well as hearing that two staff members will be leaving in the coming months. They are both leaving for positive reasons (one will be getting married in this coming year) but it is always hard in a volunteer organisation to find key staff members to fill roles. Kevin was particularly saddened that he will be losing his administrator who has only just become fully trained in the role. Without an administrator a lot of extra work falls on Kevin which can very often feel overwhelming so please pray for the right replacement (someone who is fluent in at least French and English).
On the positive front the bar has really begun to take off after a quiet few months leading up to Christmas. The “open mic night” on Wednesdays have seen people returning again and again and it has a real buzz as Christian and Non-Christian artists perform in the relaxed atmosphere. (Listen to the Daya Trio!) On the other evenings Patrick or Liam on the team often gently play their songs as people drink… many worship songs. The bar is slowly gaining a reputation as a place where people can really be themselves and indeed not be afraid to ask questions.
We have also been joined by four young people who are currently training on a school of Evangelism. They have come here for their practical outreach phase and have definitely brought joy and creativity to the base… they have been joining some of the rest of the team in the weekly outreach time in the Central station. They are making many good contacts and have currently made a Muslim friend who is now always in the bar. They can also often be spotted carrying big flasks of coffee around as they chat with folks in the area… and of course offer them a hot drink! In addition to this they have been helping local churches in a variety of activities including doing English lessons and helping with Alpha.
We have just returned from an extremely busy week in Plymouth. We had originally planned to go for a long weekend as we were thrilled to be asked to be God-parents to our very good friend’s new adopted daughter, Chloe. It was a beautiful service and we were delighted to rejoice with them in the precious gift of Chloe. She’s lovely and we are all enjoying getting to know her (she’s the same age as Sam). However a few weeks before our travel we discovered that our house in Plymouth needed a lot of work doing on it before the next tenant can occupy it. It was mainly damp problems, not uncommon in rainy Plymouth! Quotes for how much the work would cost were far higher than we could cope with and we really wanted to see the house for ourselves. So, we changed our tickets, decided to stay for a whole week and do the work ourselves. Amazingly in the space of five days, we achieved (with the help of many good friends and mum!), to re-plaster walls, redecorate three rooms, repair a falling down ceiling, put in new windows in the shed, generally tidy and touch up all the other rooms! Needless to say we returned to Brussels on Saturday tired but extremely satisfied, especially as we did it for a tenth of the cost quoted!
We are looking forward to March and indeed the daffodils are about to come out on our balcony! We are also really looking forward to Nicki’s mum and Warren visiting in a few weeks when once again we will be treated to a day in Euro-Disney! Please pray that Kev makes it this time especially as his back has been rather sore following all the travelling and decorating.
So, please continue to pray for us for the following:
- Praise God that we managed to repair and decorate our house
- Praise God for the evangelism that has been taking place in the bar, mothers and babies/Alternatives, and out in the city
- Please pray for our on going staffing needs, especially for an administrator
- Health, especially fighting the winter virus’s off and Kev’s continuing twinges with his back.
- Praise God for all our generous friends who have enabled us to borrow their cars!
Many thanks, as always we love hearing from you as well,
Love Nicki, Kevin, Sam and Ellie