First of all, I’ll start with an apology that this is a little late (we’ve had a few e-mails from people wondering if we are OK!). We are doing well, the reason for the delay is that we have all been travelling until Friday. Kevin has been in Holland at the YWAM Western European Leadership Consultation (WELC) and I have been in England with the children visiting family and friends. More about our trips later.
The Easter weekend brought us some sad news this year. Eva-Lianne, the youngest daughter of Jan-Piet and Heddy, the leaders of YWAM Belgium, tragically died in a car crash in Zambia. The news has shocked and saddened all of the team, some of whom were around when she was born on the YWAM base 20 years ago. Some of you in Plymouth may remember her from an outreach team who worked with us there. Please lift Jan-Piet and Heddy, as well her sister and brother, Daphne and Raph, up to the Lord at this sad time. As a team we all attended the moving funeral service Saturday morning and were amazed at the incredible way she has touched so many people in her short life. It was estimated that 650-700 people were there to say their farewells. One quote from the service sums up Eva’s love for the Lord… “She always wanted to be closer to God, now she truly is”.
|WELC 2008 and Easter pictures. Click for more|
Kevin really enjoyed the WELC and appreciated the wider support from Western Europe as YWAM Belgium goes through this time of grieving. It was an exciting time when 200 people gathered to pray, discuss and seek God for the future especially in respect to new teams and initiatives. There are a number of new teams aiming to start work in lots of European cities: Nice, Lyon, Valencia, Milan, Leeds and more. The whole thrust of the WELC was to start new teams out to do evangelism and plant churches in Western Europe. Kev was busier than he had expected, leading the devotional that Jan-Piet was due to lead, leading a discussion session on communication across Europe and also a session on supporting new teams. This was the first major conference Kevin has had so much influence in, mostly from behind the scenes. In between there was lots of time to catch up with other leaders. Overall he has come back tired but encouraged.
The team also returned refreshed and hearing God for the future. On Monday we will be getting together as a team to reflect on what God is saying and to eat together. One thing we all feel is that positive change is around the corner. There needs to be some major changes in our leadership structure on the base as both myself and Sheila will be stepping down from the leadership team at the end of June. Please pray for our time together on Monday and over the next few months that God will show us the way forward for our ministries and the clear leadership team to support Kevin.
On a personal front we increasingly feel we are called here for the foreseeable future. Our initial agreement to come for 5 years will be complete this coming Christmas, but in many ways we still feel like we have just moved here and that our work is just beginning. We are hoping to sell our house in Plymouth as we have had continuous problems with tenants. We are not rushing into buying another house at the moment. We intend to remain on the YWAM base until we will outgrow our apartment! In the meantime we will be seeking God regarding the long term decisions we need to make and if we should in fact buy in Brussels. Please pray for us as a family and the many changes we will face personally in this next year. Pray particularly for Kevin to know how to prioritise his ministry especially as in the immediate future Jan-Piet will be needing more support in his YWAM Belgium role.
Finally, thank you so much for all your prayers for my health and that of the babies. As you would have probably guessed by the fact I was able to travel alone with the children, I am feeling so much better. The babies continue to grow healthily and are given me quite hefty kicks now! I had a good trip to Gloucestershire with the children and managed to see many people. Please forgive me if I didn’t manage to see you, time was just too short. Thank you particularly to all the prayers from our friends at Holy Trinity Brimscombe, it’s always good to go back there.
Thank you for all your e-mails and updates, we’ll endeavour to send personal replies in the next few days,
Much love, Nicki and Kevin
- April 7th: YWAM Brussels day, to pray and discuss future
- April 10th: Mothers and babies PLUS (Nicki leading discussion on talking with your child)
- April 12th: Nicki (and Sheila) will be talking at a Woman’s Aglow meeting on Alternatives and God’s heart
- April 14th-20th: Kevin possibly in Plymouth to sort out house if the council is ready to return it