Finally the summer has arrived after a long winter for all of us. A lot has happened over the past few months hence our delayed communication to you but hopefully we will see many of you in the next few weeks. We head to the UK this Saturday (20th) and will be in Stroud for a week. We will go from there to New Wine in Shepton Mallet and then four days in Plymouth (3rd-7th Aug), camping again at Riverside campsite. We are hoping for better camping weather than we had last year!
Thank you so much for your prayers over these past few months. The beginning of the year was indeed very difficult for us all but we are pleased that Kevin has returned to full health and we can all reflect on how much stronger we are in our faith and as a family through the experience. We continue to learn more about ourselves, our calling, our strengths and weaknesses… and most of all how good our God is.
The main thing to have come out of this time has been a strong sense that God is calling us to return to the UK and that our focus is changing as a family. Our heart and passion has increasingly been in church planting and we are looking at how we can be more involved in that. Kevin has started the process of applying for ordination within the Anglican church particularly with the Fresh Expression stream which seeks to start churches alongside the traditional church in radical and new ways. It is exciting what God is doing so check out the website to find out more (http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/). The application process is long and complex so please pray for God to guide us if indeed this is the right step. We will be exploring some possibilities over the next few weeks in and outside of YWAM but are currently planning towards a return next Summer. Watch this space!
We are still very much involved here though and Alternatives continues to keep me busy. I have lost count of the number of buggies, cots, high chairs, bags of baby clothes that have been given out over the last few months. I have also done a number of home visits which are always enlightening about a ladies situation. I was very touched recently when I visited one lady and her young baby to deliver a cot. They had very little furniture and the apartment was in bad repair but as an illegal immigrant the landlord knows he can get away without doing anything. She was so grateful for my visit and indeed took a lot of time to prepare Moroccan tea. Hospitality is a huge part of her culture and I felt very honoured.
I have also been thrilled to complete The Journey post-abortion programme with another client. After six months of meeting with her it is wonderful to see the difference God has made in her life. This last client particularly felt her faith was awakened as we helped her to read the Bible, exploring relevant Bible stories. In her last session we asked her how she viewed herself now and she said “without shame and with hope”. Praise God!
Kevin is very much in the midst of handing over his national role within YWAM Belgium and the past few months have been busy with all that involves such as extra meetings to discuss the new structure and as he trains others up. His current role is being divided up between a team of people although the exact structure is still being worked through. He has also been very much involved in the preparation for the renovation project of the YWAM Brussels building. This has been a very complex and time-consuming task dealing with Belgian banks and architects often in a second or third language! Renovation work begins in August. By the beginning of September Kevin will have stepped down completely from the national level although still a YWAM Belgian member. Already this process has freed him up to do more things within his gifting as he meets regularly with people from Pain et Vin, encouraging them in their individual walks with God and meeting to encourage other church planters in this nation. He is looking forward to teaching English to Belgians again in September at one of the church plants in North Brussels.
So, we still feel God has a lot for us to do here in Belgium over this next year so pray we get that right balance of preparing for the next phase of life whilst finishing the current work well!
Hope you all have a super summer and look forward to seeing some of you soon!
Love Nicki, Kevin, Sam, Ellie, Luc and Josh.