As our eighth month in the UK comes to a close, three things are clear: I need an office assistant, we are in a stretching season, and nothing is easy. Yet the one thing that overrides all of those is that God is good. We cling to His goodness always, and we’re learning more and more about Him and Who He is.
So due to the busyness of the past month and the shape that our office is in, all my good intentions of setting up a monthly newsletter have come to . . . this. A last minute blog post update; sometimes something is better than nothing. Here’s to hoping a newsletter will happen in June, and for now, here is what we’ve been up to (in no particular order):
Employment – As many of you know, Longmont Hospital was bought out, and therefore, the business office that Mark has worked for for 5 years is slowly shutting down. We do have a timeline from his boss on when we can expect his employment to end, so this is a big prayer request. God supernaturally worked out Mark’s employment, and it allowed for us to come here. My visa also depends on Mark earning a certain amount of money, so this is always an issue that is at the front of our minds. Please keep Mark in your prayers as he works and looks for new employment. He has also been the driver for our team over the past month, and we’re so thankful that he can drive here and does so well in maneuvering through Edinburgh.
Driving – Speaking of driving, I’m now able to get myself around our neighborhood villages and into the outskirts of the city. I will need to take my driving test around October, so it’s a work in progress. I recently read that driving in the UK requires a PhD as it is difficult to drive on the left and maneuver through the tight roads, roundabouts, and plethora of driving rules. Not an easy task by any means.
Ministry – Our team is in Edinburgh, and it’s been a process of finding housing and moving. This is also an area to cover in prayer as half the team is still homeless, which is not easy. Edinburgh is a tough city to settle in, and when there is no credit history or solid income, it makes it even more difficult. We know God has it all worked out; the team is just growing in their trust in God. 🙂
We’re very busy with promoting the school, continuing to meet pastors and people in the city, networking, and getting ready for big three school events in June. Pastor Steve will be joining us for 10 days to meet with pastors and to do two nights of worship and the Word. These are the main items that we’re working towards. As we’ve said before, only 2 to 5% of the Scottish population says that they’re born again Christians. The city of Edinburgh and the surrounding villages are made up of a mix of people who are agnostic, atheist, humanist, Muslim, Hindu, from the Church of Scotland, and Christian. Yet the predominant view tends toward humanism above all else. There is a vibrant Church in Edinburgh, and we’re joining in with them to help spread the love of Jesus and the heart of the Father. As with any new culture, it’s a learning curve, and culture shock seems to hit at the most inopportune times. Yet we know that God’s heart is to cover our cultural differences and to unite us in Him. We’ve been thankful to have met so many kind people, and between our small team, we’ve made great progress in visiting a number of churches and building community.
Family Life – My mom and my sister flew in at the beginning of May and brought our dog with them. Our kids have LOVED having their dog, their auntie, and their Chan with us. It will be very hard to see my mom leave us next week. The emotions of living far from family never leave. Sometimes we cope better and sometimes we cope less. But it’s always emotional. Skype and FaceTime don’t replace real life time.
Ryder will soon complete first grade (and our first year of homeschooling). He’s reading beautifully, is quite good at math, and loves science. We’ve been able to do quite the field trips for history, which is really cool for him, as he has climbed William Wallace’s monument, seen real dungeons, visited the ruins of ancient castles, and has learned quite a lot. We’re loving our house as Chan and Ryde have discovered fabulous trails, nature, old manor houses, cottages, and just a wonderland all in our backyard. God really knew what He was doing when He put us in this house, and we’re so thankful.
Many of you have prayed for Eden this month as she fell and broke a quarter off her front tooth. After three trips to the dentist, we’ve been put on the waiting list for her to see a pediatric dental surgeon. We’re praying the infection goes away and that the nerve in her tooth recovers while we wait, but she seems to constantly bump her tooth. Our daughter takes after her brothers in that no wall is too high to climb nor is any adventure too risky. We’re learning to submit our children to the Lord on a daily basis.
And lastly, if you made it this far, thank you for reading!! Thank you for your prayers, support, and financial giving. Please keep them coming, and please keep our finances in your prayers. Please also pray for me as the past year has been a big one. I’ve learned to manage my stress quite well, but I still have moments of feeling very out of my depth and do miss people and food from the U.S. Overall though, I think we’ve all adapted very well, and God has brought us so far. We’re just ever thankful for Him.