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Saturday, 2 July 2016

A quick update from England... Brexit, UEFA and us

I've found myself questioning the wisdom of visiting England in June after having to turn on the heat to keep warm and watching it rain nearly every day since we arrived.  I packed shorts and Alan didn't bring a jacket or any long sleeve shirts so we feel a bit foolish in hindsight.  Still, the time so far has been rich and full of good memories.

So far we've focused on being with Alan's mum and family, hosting a birthday party for Chloe with all her aunts, uncles and cousins and having a couple of fun day outs exploring England and Wales. We attended a debrief with Pioneers in Bawtry and have met with nearly all of our supporters around the area. We got to visit with the pastor and see lots of our friends at our old sending church in Birkenhead and we've enjoyed attending church with Margaret in Chester each week at the old Queen's Street location where Alan was a former member.

God has truly provided for us and guided our steps in this move. We've met with friends who have fostered here in England and gotten some good advice from them. When asked about what exactly our jobs will be when we get home we have said we believe it to be multi-faceted at least for the foreseeable.  These things will be our focus:

  1. Continue to be good parents to Chloe, get her registered into kindergarten and get involved in ministry with her school, our neighborhood, church and community.
  2. Serve on staff with the Great Exchange through a secondment agreement with Pioneers for a period of two years. Our focus will be to engage in gospel conversations with students in Universities across the southeast through the use of spiritual background surveys. 
  3. Continue to research and complete the home study required to adopt from the foster care system.
  4. Convert the loft space in our home into at least one more bedroom and bath for the child(ren) we hope to adopt
  5. Build a part-time maitenance/construction business for Alan to help fund extra costs associated with our adoption

What else God has planned beyond all of this is unclear but we are eager to get home and get started.

So what else?

Well, this last week our downtime included debating the Brexit "leave" vote and trying to decifer what it will mean for us if we ever want to return to Europe and watching a historic Wales football team and the more experienced German team reach the Semi-finals in the UEFA cup. We look forward to attending Bex and Josch's wedding in just a few days and meeting up with our team and housegroup members from Germany before flying out on the 12th to the states.

Here are some pictures of our visit thus far...

In other news...

  • After nine months of waiting Nicole has finally been granted her residence visa for Germany. We are thankful that she can continue in ministry in Germany and are so appreciative to those of you who have prayed with us for this. 
  • Peter and Tosca Nathan are spending two months in Australia before flying to Germany to lead the team as of August the 6th.  Their initial focus will be on language learning and on refugees.
  • An intern from Oxford University will join the team in September.  She will live in the loft with Nicole and wants to work primarily with young people in the church to improve her German and with refugees.
  • Many have asked about our needs for adopting and moving home.  Yes, we have experienced lots of extra costs from visa expenses to shipping charges already.  We will need to buy some second-hand furniture for our home when we return and we'll need to do some renovations and repairs on the house after having it rented for the last seven years.  We believe on initial estimates that the cost of converting the loft into another bedroom and bath will be at least $10,000 even with Alan doing 95% of the labor.  Finally, we believe our costs for the actual adoption will be minimal in comparison to an International or domestic infant adoption yet we do anticipate some costs associated. If you would like to help with any of these extra expenses, you can send monthly or one-time gifts to Pioneers on our behalf using our names and account number: 136050
Thank you for standing with us! - Mary, Alan and Chloe

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