We have a lot to write and update you with so we will be writing this newsletter in two parts, with part two coming next week.
It was this time last year that we began to feel God prompting us to return to the UK. It has felt at times a long way off and now suddenly our time to return is approaching fast. We are thrilled that during the last few months, that whilst looking to the future, God has answered our prayers to meet with us in the moment.
Through Kevin’s illness God radically changed his prayer life. He has explored contemplative prayer and over the last few months has led sessions on contemplative prayer, along with Sonya Stark, a Christian counsellor and member of the Vineyard leadership. After running three evening prayer workshops they started up a regular monthly prayer meeting on Saturdays, “God Space”. On Saturday they were both thrilled to be joined by 18 people! It is obviously meeting a hunger within people to draw closer to God.
On Saturday we also had a special Pain et Vin. We had met a few weeks ago with Louise and Auguste who have been the two main participants in the simple church to discuss how we could bring it to a close… They told us that was certainly not what they had on their minds! We drew others into the discussion on Saturday and a small core will continue to meet monthly. At one point we just shared some memorable moments of P&V over the last 18 months. There were encouraging stories of people being challenged in their faith or just touched by being able to come, in their weaknesses, to receive God’s grace. So please pray for the small group of folks as they seek to meet regularly to remember Jesus together and experience Him make a difference in their lives.
So what is happening now? Well, Kevin has already stated working two days a week as the YWAM representative with the Fresh Expressions group which has involved meeting in the UK once a month. He has completed writing a booklet for them and it is currently being edited. He is also finishing up the last of his responsibilities for the YWAM Belgian board, especially in his role of treasurer in preparation for the board meetings and AGM in March and the renovation work to the YWAM building. There are so many little things that take place and we have had a number of people who have had great pastoral needs at the moment which we delight to spend time meeting.
One small but important moment recently was Kevin’s visit to the EU Parliament to support the work of Maryna, our colleague, who supports the EU Parliamentary Working Group on Freedom of Religion and Beliefs. The group just released their first report, which all hope will have an impact on EU foreign policy. See the report here.
For myself (Nicki) I have one more week working with Alternatives. Then I will spend the last weeks looking after the children and sorting and packing… and no doubt meeting up with lots of people for the last time! We all have mixed feelings; excitement at what God has in store for us but of course also sadness for all the wonderful people we are saying goodbye to.
We would really value your prayers over the next few weeks and months. We have yet to find a house and that is the most scary part. Please pray. We will tell you more about the plans for Woodley in part two next week! Thank you as ever for your love and support as we embark on this adventure with God!
Love Nicki, Kevin, Sam, Ellie, Luc and Josh
The outline of the next few months is as follows:
- 20th February: Nicki finishes working with Alternatives
- 24th-26th Feb: Kevin in UK, CofE meeting
- 6 March: Nicki in Parliament attending reports on combating human trafficking
- 10th-14th March: Kevin in Lyon at YWAM Western European leaders conference
- 15th March: Leaving party!
- 17-19th March: YWAM Belgium board and AGM meetings
- 8th April: MOVING DATE!