New flat!!

Hello again!! This is my June update…. Last month Ben and I went flat-hunting in Gloucester and viewed 17 or 18 different properties over the course of 2 and a half days, varying a lot in shape, size, price, location and personality! It was pretty tiring but a lot of fun. The one we decided on in the end is right beside a large supermarket (convenient for groceries since we don’t have a car, but very noisy in the mornings with all the bread deliveries etc), and has a patio with a lovely view of the cathedral. It’s near where we’ll have our lectures from September, so that’s useful. I moved in on 28th May, and it’s beginning to feel like home now 🙂 Ben will move in in September, though he’s already moved his keyboard, books, ornaments and other bits into the flat so (hopefully) he’ll just be bringing clothes and a few small things in September…! Until then he’s making the most of his last summer as a bachelor, staying with his parents and potentially getting a summer job to help out with some of the flat costs 😀
You may know that our college is relocating this Summer. So the first two weeks of June were an emotional time as everyone was returning from placements all over the world, and we came together for the two weeks to do reports and presentations, to hear everyone’s stories from placements, and to say goodbye to the building as well as to the graduating students. It was a fortnight full of cleaning and social events, and it was a lot of fun 🙂 we’ll all miss the old building, and the community lifestyle, and it’s sad to leave it, but it’s time for Redcliffe to move on to new things…
So now College has finished until September, I’ve had time to settle into the flat and take on some more hours with work so that I can actually afford to live here over the summer. I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with food again, having not had much chance to cook for the past two years (!) and have been able to rest a little too when not out at work. Now I have a month to finish off the wedding preparations – there’s still a fair bit left to do, though I thought we’d more or less done it all – and I plan to finally read the Lord of the Rings series, which I’ve been hoping to get around to for several years but until now hadn’t yet managed to make the time. 
Will you pray for something for me? A good friend of mine, Erika, who I got to know well when living in Bolivia, is about to give birth to a child she’s been hoping for for over a decade. The due date was two days ago. Erika is more or less running the ministry at the moment, and has a lot of big responsibilities – she’s not getting much chance to rest. At the weekend she was out at the dodgy end of the city (?!) and came across a 13-year-old girl (Roselin) who had been living in the girls’ home where I worked and who recently gave birth, but at the weekend left the home and the baby to return to her drugs and old friends and ‘clients’ and lifestyle on the streets. Erika had time to chat with her and enquire why she left the home etc, but nothing will persuade Roselin to return even to see her own newborn daughter – living without drugs and sex and gang-lifestyle is too difficult for her, even with all the support that the ministry offers. So pray for Erika as she deals with this (it’s always difficult when one of the girls leaves – hard on the staff and on the other girls in the home and always an emotional time in which anything could happen – also somebody needs to decide what will happen to Roselin’s baby girl….) and, of course, pray for Roselin and for Carla, her baby, who will probably end up in an orphanage for babies in the city.
Although I’ve more or less adjusted to being back in the UK now (after two years…!), hearing from my friends in Bolivia is always quite sobering for me and makes my life seem so trivial in comparison with the never-ending drama out there. I miss them so much, especially after phone conversations with them. Please pray for them, that God will work it out in the end, and keep them safe – and that Erika’s baby (Emily) is born swiftly and safely, and healthy! In Bolivia there’s a big party when a baby turns a year old, because they’ve survived their first year of life – rather than celebrating at the birth, because anything could happen afterwards. Pray that the long-awaited Emily is born safely and remains healthy throughout the first year of her life and beyond?
…Thanks!! 🙂

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