Thank you so much for the deluge of emails full of kind words and concern for us after the last newsletter. We felt surrounded by a great cloud of loving witnesses urging us onwards! I (Kevin) am feeling so much improved and better in myself. I appreciate your prayers over the last months as it has been hard for all of us. I have received a lot of help and support from friends and professionals too. It has been hard but there have been, surprisingly many good things to have come out of my time of depression. Nicki and I have grown much closer, we have a deeper sense of our calling but most importantly I have been discovering God’s power to support me through a difficult time. I have learned much more about prayer and been gaining better skills in Contemplative prayer which I have found really helpful as a way to deal with depression. I also have a new exercise regime which gives me much energy and helps with sleep. I am now increasing my workload, which is a challenge with all the exercise, prayer and therapy I am taking too!
I also started supporting Centre Culturale Catalpa by teaching a two-hour English Conversation class. This is an outreach of a small church plant in the north-east of Brussels in Laeken. I have known Nat Winston, the pastor, a long time and as he needed a replacement for one of his teachers on maternity leave I thought I could help. I have loved it. There are opportunities for gentle witness from time to time and I really enjoy the teaching. My class of seven local people are a lot of fun and I have learned one or two Belgian customs in return.
Nicki has been hard at work with Alternatives with a steady increase in the number of appointments for pregnant ladies wanting to talk through the options. “Mothers and babies” meetings continue to be filled to capacity. She has also been working with two new clients who are following the post-abortion counselling programme which will take a number of months. One of the ladies has an amazing story. “M”, as non-christian, regularly visited the YWAM café in Amsterdam with her partner. Over many years she got to know the team working there including Marina who was the cook. They would recommend good beers to include on the menu! In the meantime Marina and her husband moved to Brussels. Without realising it M also moved to Brussels to a flat opposite the YWAM base! One day she decided to see what was sold in the Christian bookshop and it happened to be the day Marina was working there. They recognised each other and had a coffee together. They began to meet regularly and M wonderfully gave her life to the Lord. After a while of meeting, M shared for the first time about an abortion she had nearly twenty years ago and how it continues to trouble her deeply. Marina put her in touch with Brigid and Nicki and they were able to meet and pray with her, starting the counselling programme called “the Journey”. M is now in the process of returning back to Holland but amazingly a christian counselor has been found to continue the work God has begun and when she was contacted had just finished having “The Journey” translated into Dutch, so was familiar with the material! God is so good. Please pray for M and indeed the other client that Nicki and Brigid continues to meet with, that they may find freedom to live life in all it’s fullness. The lady that they took through the programme last year has felt such a new lease of life she now wants to train up as one of our counsellors too!
As for the rest of the family they are well and healthy. There were a few grumbles going back to school on Monday following the Easter break but that shows what a good time they had at Easter! We spent a wonderful week in Westgate, Kent, (provided by two wonderful supporters – thank you!) in “a house with no stairs!” as the twins put it in wonder! It was, of course, absolutely freezing (see the photo’s of us on the beach!) but we had a great time despite all that. It was just what we needed. The long winter term was a tough one for all. One highlight came at the end when Ellie was singing in her school choir. She had a number of solo’s and brought the house down as Mary Poppins in a French version of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Thanks once again for all the prayers and support. Keep praying for us as I certainly recognise a great need to rely on God at the moment.
Kevin, Nicki, Sam, Ellie, Luc and Joshua