|Click for more photos including Kevin in Paris.|
I am sitting on the Thalys, the high-speed train link from Brussels to Paris, returning from a week spent with the Discipleship Training School they are running. (It is Kevin writing this time by the way) It is hard to believe how close we can actually be and I am kicking myself for not having made the journey much sooner. It only takes and hour and a half and then a quick 10 min bus ride to the small apartment and restaurant that YWAM has in the Belleville region of Paris. I had a wonderful time teaching 21 eager young trainee missionaries about the foundations of good relationships. I feel particularly glad that I can urge them on in their efforts to learn French! It is a very recent feeling to stumble around in a foreign tongue!
In fact I have done just that. I had planned for a short but intensive Dutch course. It turned into a six-week course (which was WAY more sensible!) and as I was making such progress I signed up for level two. There is a long way to go, but I am thrilled with my progress. I get a buzz out of going to my Dutch class that I have never experienced before when learning a language!
This change of priorities has made the last months good ones but much more hectic than planned. I have been to the UK for a significant gathering of YWAM leaders from all over the Western European region. It was a great encouragement to hear of the amazing work that YWAM is doing. I always enjoy meeting leaders from other urban teams (often teams that have just started) and hearing their news and encouraging them as I can.
I have appreciated the chance to network more widely as I have developed my new National role. I have met pastors and have discovered initiatives I never knew existed! I am getting a clearer picture of what is happening and how we as YWAM can help build God’s kingdom in this nation.
I have spent more time considering the next steps of church planting. There are a number of potential projects in the sprouting stage. Actually it is a little like the white beans that Ellie is trying to germinate for her school project. It takes a focused intention to soak the bean, give the right warmth and light and moisture for the bean to sprout. It may not have helped that we threw her beans out by mistake once, or that she missed a step in the instructions and left her soaked beans drying out again on the radiator! I feel very much like Ellie and her beans at the moment. However, I grow increasingly certain that there is a very deep longing for radically different models of church here and a hunger for it that is shared by Belgians and international people alike. Please keep praying during this germinating season.
Nicki is adapting to her new roles and some challenging moments in Alternatives. Currently the National Press has picked up on a story a journalist wrote following an interview with Nicki. Despite answering clearly Nicki felt the journalist misrepresented Alternatives. On a positive note a lot of people have shown their support of the ministry and there has been positive debate. Please pray for strength and wisdom for Nicki and the team at this time.
As for the rest of us we are all thriving. The boys are cheeky and cheery. Sam is maturing wonderfully this year. We are all enjoying the turn towards spring too!
Lots of love,
Kevin and Nicki, Sam, Ellie, Luc and Josh
- March 28th – YWAM Belgium – Annual General Meeting (Kevin chairing)
- April 17th – Nicki starts five weeks of intensive French
- April 28th – Alternatives new volunteer training day