My goodness, where to begin???
Since we returned to Glasgow from our furlough in the States our schedule has been more than hectic. I know it seems like a stretch, but I've been waiting for the time to actually sit down and update the Blog, and insodoing I've waited far too long.
In the past two-and-a-half months we've seen our latest group of participants/students arrive for their nieuCommunities training/mission year; Gabrielle turned one-year-old; Jasheen's "bump" is growing; and our church (plant) has been displaced from the building we've been renting since it's up for sale.
The latest batch of young, emerging leaders have officially settled in and are underway in their training and development. I've embraced the new role of director and am thoroughly enjoying the new responsibility of leading our team. We have a wonderfully diverse group of young leaders hailing from California, Ohio, Canada and Texas... and ranging from ages 21 to 34. The group, as a whole, is very engaging and has started the year full of hope and enthusiasm.
We were so excited to celebrate Gabrielle's 1st birthday last month. But even more than that, we were amazed at the turnout for her party. Of course, we know that a child's first birthday party is more for the parents than the child, but she had an impressive turnout nonetheless. We hosted more than 60 people in our flat for the festive soiree. It was a true testament to the relational and missional investment we've made here since arriving. We were graced by the elderly ladies from the park, families and kids from our prenatal class and from Gabrielle's music class, our neighbors, some of Jasheen's piano students, our own teammates, and some of our local friends here... even Jasheen's hair-dresser made an appearance.
The kindness and generosity lavished upon Gabrielle was truly humbling. And to cap it all off, Gabrielle got her first taste of sugar - a small, but tasty fruit torte that she bathed herself in thoroughly (check out the Photo Album link on this page to see pictures).
Gabrielle has also started walking!!! She's still more proficient on her knees, but she has loads of fun walking back-and-forth between mommy and daddy in the lounge. her arrival to our arms is always accompanied by a shriek of jubilation as she beams with pride at her latest accomplishment.
Aside from the obvious joy that she brings to our lives, Gabrielle has been as effective a ministry tool as anything else we have. She is the consumate conversation starter and Jasheen has made many relationships with other 'mums' as a result. We praise the Lord daily for her and couldn't be more excited than we are as we watch her develop.
Jasheen is nearing her 18th week of pregnancy and all is good. She's been battling back from a bout with bronchitis, but she's on the mend and feeling better. One exciting development for her is that she will be 'coaching' two of the participant young women this year (Kathi & Melody). Jasheen is ever humble in her ability to pour into the lives of other young women, but she has proven to be very effective in this area thus far and we're excited to see her in this role. Please be praying for her as she seeks the Lord's wisdom and guidance in shaping and coaching these young leaders.
As I mentioned, my responsibilities have changed this year as I have accepted the role of director. Accompanied by an extremely capable staff, this transition has been easier to adjust to than I'd expected. In addition to the teaching that I'll be doing, I will also be coaching one of the young men here (Johnvir) and would also appreciate your prayers.
I'm also leading a Bible study with some guys I've met at the gym (pictured) - Johan, Dave and Drastic. This has proven to be a rich and rewarding experience for us all.
Our church-plant will be two-years-old this January and we've just been asked to vacate the building we've been using as it's gone on the market for sale. We've been talking with our ministry back home (CRM) about the possibility of being the buyers, and Lord willing that will happen. Please be praying that if it's the Lord's will, He'll provide the necessary funds to make this happen. At the very least we're hoping that if we're not the buyers, that whomever purchases the building will allow us to continue using the facility as it really is perfect for our needs.
In the meantime, another local church in the area is allowing us to use their building on Sunday afternoons for our gathering.
We continually praise God for the way He moves hearts to support us in ministry here in the city of Glasgow. We look forward to keeping you posted on the events and experiences that unfold this year.
Blessings and love!