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We have had an action packed May and June (so much for taking it easier after the house move) and had a lot of fun as a result! May and June are odd months in Belgium as there are a large number of bank holidays at surprising times of the week. So it has been a lot of short weeks and long and busy weekends (that we made the most of).
We have had a pleasing number of visitors to the house. Ellie usually offers her room to visitors and happily shares Sam’s room (“Daddy! Sam’s strangling me because he says I wont stop singing!”). The house is great! We are finding we can get a lot of peace and quiet. One day Kevin arrived home knowing that there would be one extra child for a sleep over and was surprised to learn there were three extra kids upstairs! That is the advantage of five floors. It has been great having people to stay and experimenting with eating breakfast in the backyard. Nicki can host a housegroup on Friday mornings, which suits many women with small children. They have a babysitter who takes the kids up to Luc and Josh’s room, which is easily big enough to house them all. The house is a great blessing.
All the kids are doing well. Sam is thriving in a new drama club at school and Ellie loves her ballet class and recently performed another beautiful tragedy (Butterfly’s burning their wings on Glow-worms!?) at the school’s May Fair. Josh and Luc are on the move. The stair gates are going up (much to their disgust). They both have cut two teeth each and are crawling with increasing speed and confidence in a forward direction. Josh is constantly pulling himself up and it can’t be long before he will be walking! They are getting a reputation for being active. One nick name for Josh that we like is “the squirmy brown one”. He got this name because of his utter inability to lie still when his nappy is changed! (We do recall that Sam, at a similar age, once needed three people to change his nappy!)
We have been very active as ever at the Link. Nicki is taking Sunday school lessons again. Josh and Luc are now going into the crèche so we are both freed a little more to help out. We also managed to get out to Kevin’s monthly evangelism night at Bier Circus called “God and my Pint” (a low key, social discussion based evening with 100 beers to choose from!) Kevin has also put in many hours delivering evangelism training to the Link house groups. He felt it went very well, and the feedback has been positive. The Linkers feel much more confident in how to share their faith in a relevant and simple way. It was very enjoyable for Kevin who was very pleased with the level of boldness and confidence in the different groups.
This month for Kevin has been a hectic one in YWAM. He has had to pull together YWAM’s accounts, and get them audited and ready for the Annual General Meeting. Ordinarily this is straightforward, however the accountant dropped off the scope for weeks necessitating a last minute rush. As well as this he has been working on PR and produced YWAM’s annual report as well as helping to organise the Brussels’ Open Day. He also held a week long conference for his KnowledgeBase project (http://www.ywamkb.net). Currently he is working on staff development by implementing evaluations. Of course there has been a myriad of other tasks and meetings with people.
A lot of the work is essential background management, without which YWAM would grind to a slow halt. But it is the little bits of outreach and people development that he really enjoys. Kevin has been meeting with a young Belgian guy called Nickolai, giving the occasional evening of coaching and encouragement. This is a lot of fun as Nickolai is very open and teachable. Kevin also was invited to give a school lesson on Methodism in the local European schools’ religion class. It meant a fair bit of research but it was great fun to teach the class, who really were interested in understanding the concept of “Justification by Faith” that Wesley taught as his heart was “strangely warmed”. Kevin also really enjoyed the Open day where he stood on the front door and welcome all passing to pop into the YWAM centre and find out what we do. We had a large number of non-Christians come in and it was lots of fun to explain (in French or English) the reasons why we do what we do! (And of course the person behind it all, Jesus)
Coming up next is the summer break. Nicki is especially looking forward to it, as are Sam and Ellie who are feeling tired after the long school year. We are planning on taking an early break in July and going camping together in Holland. We will pop briefly into Stroud but will be spending the eight weeks break here in Brussels. Next year we will have furlough time and will be planning on being in the UK for much longer.
Lots of love,
Kevin, Nicki, Sam, Ellie, Josh and Luc