Hello lovely people! Another quick update from us – I realise it’s been six weeks or so since the last one…
Work is going well for both of us – Ben’s still enjoying working in the café in Charlton Kings, though there are days when he goes between being bored (no customers) to being stressed (many customers at once) – but otherwise he enjoys it. He gets on well with his colleagues, which is the main thing J My work as a Community Builder is going well – it’s a slow process, and there are major challenges, but those satisfying moments when you know someone’s life has been positively changed make it all worthwhile.
Some time ago we had to decide whether to stay at St Lawrence’s church where we’ve been going for almost three and a half years, and which is a ten-minute walk away from where we now live, or to start going to the Baptist church where Ben works, and he could take on a part-time youth work position there as well as the café job. In the end we felt that it was right to stay at St Lawrence’s and really try to commit to getting involved there where we can. We love the people at St Lawrence’s, and are very excited to join them on the church weekend away early next year. We are also soon to be robed up and turned into ‘acolytes’ and ‘crucifers’ – which sounds scarier than it is…!
Recently both sets of parents came to visit us for a weekend each, which was lovely! It was great to see them, to show them a little of the wonderful county where we live, and to catch up a bit.
We’re very excited because in a few weeks’ time we’re going to the USA to visit some friends for a week and go to their wedding! We will be lodging with friends of the bride, and will spend the first couple of days in Chicago city (and will see some of the sights!), then the next couple of days in her hometown not too far from the city, then will have an American early-Christmas with the bride’s family, and then for the last few days will help them with last-minute wedding preparations and setting up one of the venues. We’re very much looking forward to it and are excited to see them again – and are also taking the opportunity to see a friend from Michigan who we lived and worked with for a year in Bolivia, who is currently living in Illinois.
Regarding the long-term future, we are still uncertain. For the next two years at least we will commit to Barnwood, the village in Gloucester where we live. We’ve been assigned a ‘mentor’ to help us think about long-term plans, and it is encouraging to meet with him and pray about different options. We haven’t given up on the plans to go abroad and do some form of ‘cross-cultural mission work’ – though, as before, we are unclear as to what that will look like or where we will go. There are so many options, so many incredible opportunities in amazing places where we are assured we would be very useful – but we are yet to decide on one. For now we’re in Barnwood 🙂 We’ll keep you posted.
Hope you all enjoy the preparations for Christmas – it will soon be upon us! We had our first mulled wine of the season yesterday at a local Candlelit Christmas Market with an indoor brass band and ‘real Santa’! It made us feel very festive.