It's hard to believe we're five full weeks in to London. So much has happened and we're only just getting started. We just had a really nice visit with Elizabeth's family and now we're set to spend the next couple of weeks together. Here's a quick update on what's going on with us and around London...
Hart Family Visit
On Thursday we said goodbye to the Harts after a really enjoyable week together. Clynt and Susan flew in one week ago to spend some time with us in our new home. We had a really good time together.
Together, we toured the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, and and took a red bus tour around London. Thomas and Clynt toured around Westminster and the Churchill War Rooms while the girls took some time for tea and shopping. They were so encouraging of us and the work we're doing here. It really meant a lot to have their encouragements and wisdom with us for a week.
Maybe the best part of having the Harts with us were the many ways the kiddos loved their time together. We are so grateful for grandparents who love our children so much and do anything in their power to make them feel special and loved. Papa and Susu came bearing treats from States and well as items we needed for our new home. Elizabeth might have requested too many things, since they had to bring an extra suitcase.
We had lots of fun showing them the beautiful sights of London, but we really loved spending time with them in our neighborhood. They helped us settle more into our new home, went grocery shopping, saw the kids school, and experience our beloved Park! We loved having the Papa and Susu with us for the last week, and we can't wait for them to visit again.
In just two weeks Elizabeth's sister, Katherine (KK by the kiddos) is coming over for a week. We are looking forward to seeing KK and we're also grateful to have a few weeks "just us" before then.
So, the August holiday is for real. A lot of people have left London for holiday already and a few other of our friends are headed out in the next week. The slower pace of the next few weeks is very welcome given the fast start we had to our time here. After counting it all up, we hosted three churches and four families in just 4.5 weeks in country! What were we thinking?! Yet, we wouldn't change a thing.
This last week we hosted Southbridge from Raleigh who were in London for a day. The best part of the time was Thomas getting to see Danny Myers who he spent a lot of time mentoring in the previous season of ministry. Now Danny is married (we love you, Anna!) and leading an important work in Raleigh. Talk about the sweet fruit of ministry.
Thomas has a few days of meetings lined up in the next two weeks and just as much time set aside to read, pray, and work out the vision for where we're headed as a young church. Please pray for these important and formative days for us.
In the middle of it all we're going to take a few days to step aside from our normal rhythms and try to be tourists in our own city. We hope to get a few days of touring unexplored parts of London in before the school semester and ministry rhythms fire up in just a few short weeks.
Pray With Us
Would you continue to pray with us?
Please pray for our family. In a lot of ways we're in the calm before the storm. We know the school year will bring some adjustments for us all and the ministry rhythms will shift significantly. Would you pray for our family as we take a few days to rest?
Please pray for our growing friendships in the community. We are spending time with a few people in the week ahead that we are eager to partner with.
Please pray for Thomas and the ministry plan that is being established. These days of laying the foundation aren't very glamorous. Instead of building something high into the clouds we're actually going down, deeper into the ground, to ensure everything is sorted out. One thing we've coached our couples in through pre-marital counseling over the years is a proverb we created "How high you build is determined by how deep you dig." In a lot of ways, we're finding that to be true for us right now. Going deep in preparing the ground doesn't look like much - but it is important, even essential, work. Going deep in discernment, planning, praying, listening, responding, and adapting are some of the most important moments in this journey.
Pray for us as we think things through.
Pray for our team as we prepare for the days ahead.
"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."