What a wonderful, hectic, fun, sunny, rainy eight weeks of furlough we have had! We hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we have been. We got back to Brussels a few days ago without mishap so we thought it about time to tell you a few highlights of the last little while.
|Norfolk holiday – click for more photos|
What has gone really well has been the catching up with so many dear supporters and friends. Time and again over the last weeks we were so thrilled to be in touch with such a lovely group of people. We often felt a regret that circumstances have meant we spent so little time in the UK over the last four years: the pregnancy and birth of the twins came right in the middle of our last furlough and we missed visiting and catching up with some many people. It was such a joy to correct that this time.
We also sensed a very clear pattern as we shared and listened to everyone. Everyone was very focussed on serving God and taking little and large decisions of faith. Some were giving up jobs to get training in ministry – just at the point they were established in them. Some were cutting time at work down and sacrificing income to instead focus on outreach and community building and development. Many people were caring for their loved ones some of whom were incredibly vulnerable. Quite a number have been fostering or adopting children and pouring much love and care into the new expanded family (with wonderful results too!). Some were simply persevering. Both of us were deeply moved and felt honoured to be a part of such a community of faith. It was clear too that all these choices that had been made had been pushing people deeper in their relationship to God – that came out time and again too!
The most restful time was our holiday in Norfolk. We stayed in a beautiful holiday home, owned by our dear friend Ness, who also holidayed with us. We caught up with Steph, Andy and baby Daisy who stayed a little down the coast. Norfolk was an active time with canoeing and bike riding with plenty of space for crabbing at the quayside in Wells-Next-The-Sea, the charming village we stayed in. We found simple and fun things to do every day and Ellie is now a champion crabber with over 100 crabs to her name (as some of you know!)
Before that week Nicki and Kevin both got to spend a week each on their own visiting. This was liberating and made it much easier to travel and visit so many dear friends. We both missed the kids terribly, but they seemed to miss us less though, which is good! Nicki flew all over London and Kevin made a round trip to the North West. We both arrived back shattered as we packed so much in but we loved it! Hope to do it again soon!
The highlights for the kids were Sam speaking in Brimscombe church, just two days before his 11th birthday. He did our little talk on “The Lost Crab” (Luke 15) and wowed the punters (as they say!). Ellie was so thrilled to be with all her cousins (in our lightning trip to the Lake District for 24 hours) despite them all being boys. We recall Luc spontaneously cuddling people like his Great Uncle Wain and Josh improve his speech with his very emphatic phrase: no no no no no. Both boys have started to play wrestle and we think they have grown about 3-5cm’s. They vastly improved their physical skills with all the play-time in gardens and parks. They are live-wires now, but have gained a lot of sense and steadiness which means we can worry a little less about them falling and tripping etc.
We returned to Brussels pleased to be home, refreshed by being away and much strengthened by all the prayer and sharing we had with everyone. We had lots of good memories too. It was busy and we are pleased to be able to adapt back into a slower and familiar rhythm in Brussels. We will be easing our way back to work and school and planning and preparing for the autumn. Which will most likely be as hectic as ever!
Over the next weeks we will break this pattern for the exciting and chaotic Bible club. We are expecting well over a hundred children as in previous years. This time we are both doing the teenage work, the twins with tyrannise the crèche and Sam and Ellie will enjoy the programme.
Thanks for all the prayers – we were conscious of the vulnerability of travelling, especially as we have done so much of it recently. We are seeing some initial pleasing results from the fund-raising with about 25% of our goal already reached. We enjoyed meeting everyone so much, and so sorry we couldn’t see more!
Kevin and Nicki
See how well you can do with these tricky questions!
1. What is the twins’ word for Fire Engine?
a) Dee Dee
b) Nee Naa
c) Da Dar
2. During the last 8 weeks, what have been Sam and Ellie’s most favourite two letters of the alphabet?
a) S E
b) E U
c) U K
d) D S
3. According to Luc what noise does a train make?
a) shhh shhh shhh!
4. Which member of the Colyer family would you least want on the back of a tandem because they don’t pedal?
5. Which member of the family lost in the Great Water Fight of Devereaux Crescent?
6. Who likes white chocolate the most in the family?
7. When asked if it is time for bed what do the twins say?
c) no no no no no
d) zuzzers zuzzers
8. According to the twins what is the correct number of rubber ducks to have in your bath?
ANSWERS (don’t peep!)
7-8 answers correct: Welcome to the family – you are adopted!
5-6 answers correct: You have hung around us too long!
3-4 answers correct: You show good Colyer knowledge – put that on your CV!
0-2 answers correct: You should come and visit more!