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January Jottings

Dear everyone,

I cannot believe we are nearly at the end of January! This month has flown by, mainly because it has been a busy start to the new year with many good things happening. We hope that you all had a great Christmas and New year. We loved our first Christmas as a family of six (Sam and Ellie enjoyed opening the presents for their younger brothers!) and we had a fantastic New Year staying with our friends in Germany (see photos!). We were all too tired to see the new year in properly though so instead had early nights (definitely a season for grabbing sleep when we can!)

January pictures – click for more

We returned to Brussels ready for Kevin and the team to do the inventory for the bookshop and the bar. It’s always a good way to start a new year, with the whole team working together rather than on different things. Due to an effective computer system the inventory was done in record time this year and was remarkably accurate (and encouraging!)

We have had some extra life brought to the base this month with the arrival of an outreach team from New Caledonia (all French speaking). They were often found with Patrick worshipping God the Central Station using their traditional dances. They even managed to get some of our team to do one of their dances in a staff meeting! As well as teaching young people in the city, the team also helped with a 24/3 prayer time on the base. We all took time slots to ensure that as much prayer as possible was done for Brussels and Belgium over a three day period. Since it has been renovated, one of the offices has been permanently set aside as a prayer/meeting room. For me personally I found it a peaceful place to go and listen to God. With many things in the room set up to aid prayer it also helped creativity and keeping focused. Having the team here was also a good chance for Kevin to do some teaching in French. He did some training for them on Evangelism which went down really well and encouraged Kevin in how much his French has improved.

(Video showing the New Caledonian team performing in the tunnel and the reactions they got.)

There have also been some answers to prayer regarding gaining new staff. We have a number of people applying at the moment to join us on staff but we have had some blockages due to visa problems. It has been a complex situation concerning how we relate as an organisation in the country and at one point it seemed that certain visas would only be permitted if we declared that we would only work exclusively with certain denominations. As this goes against our YWAM values of being inter-denominational we knew we needed to stand firm and engage in much prayer. Thankfully we think God has opened a way and in fact has strengthened out relationship with some key people in the process! Please continue to pray with us that the application processes will go through quickly from this point on for Ye Soon (from Korea), Miwuh (Cameroon), Marina (Eastern Europe), Frankwin (Netherlands), and yet others who are just starting applications.

Looking ahead, February will start with Kevin visiting Berlin for five days of meetings with European leaders  (2nd – 6th). It looks like he will be contributing to sessions on Church planting and Communication. Mid way through the month the whole team will also be going on retreat to the Ardennes to draw closer to God and each other. This time we will have some Argentinian guest speakers Jose and Rosana Liste who are working with YWAM London. Please pray that this will be a time of refreshing and encouragement for all the team.

Finally, please can we ask you to pray with us for a new house/apartment. We have seriously started hunting now for a new home. We are prepared to compromise on bedrooms but really need somewhere on the ground floor and with a garage or parking space. We would also really like a garden and to be near public transport on route to the schools and base. We are aware we need a bit of a miracle… as properties close to us are very expensive and the cheaper accommodation is way out of the city. Thank-fully we have a great God who knows our needs.

With much love,

Nicki, Kevin, Sam, Ellie, Luc and Josh!

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