I am writing in the sun (and rain) drenched wilds of Wezembeek-Oppem, a world apart from our apartment in bustling Brussels (well, 10km anyway). We are house, dog and rabbit sitting for our friends and having a great time. The house plants are not dead. The rabbit and dog have not run off or anything. We are all at peace!
The last few weeks have been a winding down time at work for Kevin. There is not much work to report on and it gets quiet anyway at this time of year. It gives us much time to reflect on how the last two years have gone and what is next. At home we have been getting ready for the furlough and preparing for the babies’ arrival. We have been showered with cots, bottles, buggies and all the baby paraphernalia we could wish for. We only have needed to buy a few things and even then we had an anonymous gift that paid for all but 20 Euros of what we needed. Thank you all sooooo much. So we feel ready for the arrival of the twins.
|Ellie’s baptism and birthday (click for more)|
The biggest happening have been in the lives of Sam and Ellie. Sam finished school well and has made great progress this year. It all has come together for him with strong friendships, a great teacher and several good achievements at school. He is now a free reader, which was a major goal for him. His football skills are growing and he is becoming a fearless goal keeper.
Ellie had another great year too. This was the first official year of primary and she has excelled. She can now read (and write) basic French. Nicki and I keep getting little notes under our pillows telling us “tu é mon trésur” and such like. She writes phonetic French which is so delightful to read. Not content with that she is reading English too using her phonetic skills to piece together sentences. If only we all could keep such an absorbent memory all our lives! She passed her seventh birthday and a day later was baptised in a swimming pool just around the corner from the church. She has firmly decided that she wanted to follow Jesus her whole life and this was why she asked to be Baptised. We are very pleased as we wanted all our children to be able to make the decision to follow Christ for themselves.
The Baptism’s have been a high point of life in the church plant. This year we have seen strong growth and we are all feeling confident that over the next year God will do more. The saddest thing is saying goodbye to Sean and Helen and family as they are leaving Belgium to take up leading a church plant in Reading. We will miss them very much. However, the church itself is in a strong place and Sean’s low key leadership style has meant that the church is very much a team endeavour and the responsibility is already spread around. We are hoping to recruit a replacement for Sean over the next year, but please pray that we continue to grow with confidence anyway!
Nicki has been enduring the last months of her pregnancy. She is exploring the deeper meaning of the expression “Great with Child”. The latest news is that the babies are fine and healthy (as is their mother) and look like they are enjoying it in there and are in no hurry to appear. This is good of course, but tough on Nicki. She is due on the 1st of September but is likely to be induced if they haven’t popped out before then around 14th August. Please pray they hang on a bit and that Nicki also hangs on in there with them as well!
News just in about our house is that is has JUST become vacant. This is a huge relief to us, although I am not sure how or when we will do the official handover from Plymouth Council so we can get the house on the market. But the best thing is that we are free to make our own choices about the house again!
We hope we will be in touch with many of you by phone over the next weeks of our furlough. We wont be able to visit but we have the telephone and Skype (with webcam) so watch out.
Kevin and Nicki
- 14 August – Probable date the Twins will come
- 1 September – Official due date
- September – Kevin due back to work after furlough.