A very happy New Year to all of you! We are all well, healthy, happy (although somewhat crazy due to two very TWO year old busy boys!) and disappointed that the snow has gone. Why disappointed? Well we discovered the joy of sledging. Despite the lack of a sledge or two (they all sold out surprise, surprise!), we found a couple of excellent alternatives: a tough plastic sign and a wonderful plastic airfilled packing material that gives a fast and comfortable ride down a decent slope!
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We made the most of the snow, and one of the best park hills in Brussels nearby to sledge. At first Sam and Ellie were embarrassed with our homemade sledges, but seeing everyone else there with plastic bags, a road sign and even a baby bath(!) cheered up. Luc and Josh were the stars, showing no fear at all, and often quite content to chase the sldeges down hill and then up hill again! Despite some rough treatment (Sam, Daddy, Luc and Josh on at once!) the sledges still fine and awaiting a fresh snowfall.
We spent a quiet Christmas in Brussels, very much missing visits from our family, as only 1/3 of visitors made it due to snow and another feeble effort from Eurostar. We make up for it by inviting our friends over. On Christmas day we had Jan-Piet and Heddy, the twins God Parents, for a British Christmas dinner. JP and Heddy are Dutch, and despite being very familiar with British traditions were amazed by the crackers we pulled saying: “We thought it was only Mr Bean who pulled Crackers at Christmas.” JP was a good sport though, wearing his paper hat for many hours!
|Sledging and Snow – click for more…|
Our last update was in October. That is a poor show. What have we been up to? Nicki has been hard at work twins wrangling and working at Alternatives. She took a weekend away in the UK at the Care Confidential conference, where she could network with around 600 delegates from other Crisis pregnancy centres and get some much appreciated inspiration and input AND catch up with some wonderful friends she had not seen in ages (Mark, Crissy and Helen and Tony!) She also worked very hard on co-ordinating dozens of Shoeboxes full of Christmas presents for the Mothers and Babies.
Kevin has had a packed Autumn at YWAM Brussels. This autumn and winter has been marked by having many people come to Brussels for training and outreach. The Team hosted a group of 46 students from YWAM’s Discipleship Training School in Herrnhut, Germany (close to Dresden). We hosted Kevin and Courtney, a lovely American couple, who were DELIGHTED to be around the Twins and were a dream to host (they were out all the time!!!) There was also a week’s training event Kevin and the team organised and invited other YWAMers from around Europe to join in. It has been busy indeed,
One of the most enjoyable times Kevin has spent recently has been the evangelism he has done. He has been speaking on the Alpha-like course the Team runs on Wednesdays. It was very gratifying to do one evening, where despite jumping in at the last minute, and doing the talk on “If God is loving why is there Suffering?” off-the-cuff to hear that one non-western participant say “I feel drawn to this Jesus”. The course has been a lot of fun although it was deeply challenging to take part in the French speaking small group as Kevin’s French is not at it’s best in the late evening! (Not that good in the morning either!). He also had a blast going out carol singing with the Link on a chilly Saturday morning. Kevin, despite having a loud and easily heard singing voice, enjoyed chatting to all and a sundry, inviting them to the Link and giving out oranges! There were a multitude of nationalities who stopped to listen. Kevin discovered that the Germans and French share the Christmas Carol tradition, whilst the Belgians, knew of it, but generally don’t celebrate Christmas with Carolling.
What is next? We are all getting back to school and work. Kevin has a Tax Audit this Friday, which is demanding much extra paper work as he has to figure our what is a “Kadestral” and what is “Patrimoniale”, let alone a “Person Morale” (clue – it is not what you might think). He finds it all very “belasting”. The week after is a training week for the whole team sharpening their relationship skills.
Although there are not many key dates to mention each week is so often packed training people, encouraging others, sharing faith, changing nappies and homework! Please pray for us for energy and to keep our focus clearly on God in the daily pressures.
Kevin and Nicki and co.