2016!

Hello lovely people!

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope you had as good a Christmas break as we did 🙂

2016, for us, is quite an exciting year. Not only is it the first full year of married life for us, but it is also the year we finish college and enter the Real World, whatever that might mean. So, you may ask (as more or less everyone else we meet has been asking), what happens next? Well, we are finally coming a little bit closer to being able to give an answer to that frustrating and scary question!

Thought you might like to know about some of the things that we’ve been pondering for the not-too-distant future – will you pray for us for clarity and guidance as we think about these things?

Our third-year Placement is coming up in a few months’ time (this will be our final term at Redcliffe!), and it’s looking like we might be heading to South Asia for five or six weeks – contact us if you’d like more information about this! We don’t yet know all of the details ourselves, but are confident that God will provide and will enable us to sort things out in the right time. We’re beginning to get quite excited about the trip. There’s also the possibility that this trip will turn into a longer-term venture – we’ll see…

This Summer we hope to graduate with a degree: “Applied Theology in Intercultural Contexts”. We don’t yet know where we’ll be afterwards or what we’ll end up doing (*groan*). However, we have been communicating with a certain mission organisation and are in the process of planning an extended vision-trip around several countries across North Africa and Central/South Asia, the Middle East and generally around the 10/40 Window. We will be focusing on unreached and unengaged people groups, probably mainly in rural areas, and hope to visit different missionaries / projects / groups in search of where we might be most useful long-term.

After this vision trip we plan to return to the UK and will pray about the different projects and areas that we have visited, and hope that God makes it clear to us where He wants us to be long-term. If necessary while in the UK we will take courses in things that will make us more useful to the communities in which we might end up (the nature of the courses would depend on the community – we don’t yet know where we will end up or what the needs of those communities will be). We will stay in the UK as long as is necessary to sort things out and tie up any loose ends here, and then at some stage sooner or later will hopefully move ‘out there’…

As for the timescale of these things – we don’t yet know that either. We might end up staying in the UK for a while and working more normal jobs etc before embarking on this vision trip, depending on practicalities, finance, etc – or we might head off even as soon as September this year. We don’t know what life is going to look like, but we’re very happy that the ball is rolling. There are many questions whizzing around in our heads, but we recognise that not all of them will be answered in our preferred timing. Here’s to The Future…! 🙂

In other news, the big College Move has finally happened! I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the glitches, complications and conflicts that arise as a result of some of the changes that have taken place – but it seems the worst is over and we can soon begin to more or less settle in the new place. It’s been a funny few months at College since The Move began. There was the time when we found ourselves locked out of a borrowed lecture room that had been double-booked, wandering around town trying to find somewhere else to have the lecture. There was the niggling unanswered question of which members of staff would be staying on and which would have to leave. There were the regular meetings with assorted staff members to discuss what life would be like after The Move, each meeting presenting vastly different answers to our most commonly asked questions. And of course there was the final double-deadline, three days before which the college had begun to move the library (impeccable timing as ever), and one day before which the college Wi-Fi stopped working, so one or two of the local cafes were suddenly inundated with stressed and exhausted laptop-clad students… Despite these (and other) bumps in the road that we’ve hit along the way, on the whole the staff have been great and have tried to accommodate the student body as much as possible throughout the transition process. Nobody expected it to be quite so complicated, and I think we were all a little more shaken up by it than we initially expected. But hey – it’s just about done now!

So from now until Easter we have lectures in the new building. It’s not actually new – it’s a big old manor house, full of mystery, strange noises, and many rooms of all shapes and sizes. We hope that the heating will begin to kick in soon! The building boasts a beautiful view of the Cathedral, and is a convenient five-minute walk from our flat. Perfect! This term Ben and I are only taking two modules (though Ben may be auditing a third), plus the Dissertation, and I’m no longer working because the government student loan system are now providing us with enough money to live on this year – so we have a bit more time on our hands than before. I’m trying hard not to be constantly busy and am deliberately now significantly less active than I have been for the past several years, because it’s the final year at college and, more importantly, the first year of married life – we want to enjoy this year, to rest a little, to prepare for The Future whatever that may bring… It seems to be going well so far!

Keep in touch – we’d really love to hear from you 😀

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