The last few months have been full of change and adaption as we got back into the world of school runs, homework and the rhythm of term time. Ellie is in her third year of primary school. The work level has increased dramatically this year which was a shock to all of us and took some weeks to adapt to. Ellie now has reached the level where the school uses Dictations as a key tool for learning. This (as all French speakers have confessed to me) is dreaded by everyone, but is just the way it is done! She is getting the knack of it now though.
|October 2009 Baudwijn Sea Park (click for more)|
YWAM Brussels has adapted too. We have said farewell to 3 staff members, Liam, Steve and Christel, although none are leaving Brussels! They are all moving on to other things. Liam to university and Steve and Christel to full-time ministry outside of YWAM. It is nice to know that they are still here in Brussels serving God!
We have also welcomed two short-term staff members (Esther and Therisa) and three long-term staff members, Marieke, Ye-Soon (from Korea) and Rick. Marieke also married Frankwin who came in the spring. So we have also all had a wedding too. For a small team, this is a lot of change. The new people bring a lot of energy and creativity. Marieke, Ye-Soon and Rick have all joined Team Contrast to do creative evangelism. On top of this Patrick and Mariette (who lead Team Contrast) have just had a baby boy!
For Kevin and his leadership team there has been a lot of orientating people to the base, plus looking at how we organise ourselves. The Brussels team are now taking on more of the organising of the community and managing the building and staff times. Kevin has also been spending a lot of time preparing the way for other staff to come to Brussels. He has been back and forth to the local town hall, the immigration departments, on and off the phone to America, Africa and Russia to sort out paperwork for visas and other problems with staff we are recruiting from overseas. To be honest a lot of time has gone into getting his own documentation sorted out! It is rarely straightforward and on a number of occasions the officials have given wrong information (recently resulting in Nicki spending a wasted two hours at the town hall with the Twins!) Both of us find this sort of thing exasperating (as does everyone living in Brussels!) and not the kind of exciting missionary life we want to write home about!!!
Joshua and Luc are now very busy little people. They have entered Toddlerhood with a gusto that thrills and exhausts us in equal measure. The biggest challenge comes when they get ill. Nicki recently coped magnificently with a bout of sickness that hit the twins for 10 days or so. Sadly the 10 days did not overlap so it became longer! That was a significant drain on Nicki and all of us. But the boys are fine mostly, happy and cheeky and love their books. Sam has started with BUC Rugby club, a French-speaking club. He is loving it and doing very well for a novice. His speed, fearlessness and willingness to tackle anyone makes him a useful player! The club is French-speaking and he is doing well there.
Nicki and Kevin are both working hard in the children’s work at the church. We are taking turns to do different age ranges. We enjoy it a lot and love seeing the kids faith grow and develop. Recently the 9+ age has moved to better accommodation but further from the main church. It is a better environment for the kids and everyone is seeing the benefits! Kevin has also made time to run an Evangelistic Linux Computing morning too!
That is all for this time. We will base ourselves here in Brussels for the rest of the autumn and Christmas. We are looking forward to it.
Kevin and Nicki