Wow, what a week! This entry is going to be all over the place as so many different things are happening in so many different arenas.
First of all, Grandmother McKenzie is here in Glasgow offering her help and support... but really just soaking up precious time with her granddaughters. She arrived just in time for Gabrielle's 2nd birthday. That's right... we have a terrible-two (year-old) and she had a cracking good birthday. On a day that called for rain, we stayed dry as Gabrielle and friends enjoyed a party at the park. Friends from church, toddler's group and the neighborhood joined the celebration of her birth. Mommy made lots of yummy sandwiches and chocolate truffles and... (get ready for it) daddy made the cake!!! It may not have been quite the extravaganza that her 1st birthday was (60+ people in our little flat), but it was loads of fun, nonetheless.
You may also remember an entry I posted over a month ago about our friend Sally, the woman who was struggling with the prospect of losing custody of her son, Nathan. When I spoke to Sally I prayed with her that day and then told her that I would continue to do so until we saw each other again. Last week Jasheen and I were out on date-night and we were strolling on one of our favorite little streets in Glasgow (Ashton Lane), when we bumped in to none other than Sally. Upon recognizing us, the first thing out of her mouth was, "Are you still praying for me?" We told Sally that we were and then she tearfully shared how things were going. We asked Sally to come to church with us the next day just to get around some people that could genuinely care for her and perhaps pray for her circumstances. She did... and she really enjoyed it. She was immediately welcomed and embraced and within moments of arriving was in the middle of a prayer circle. What a blessing and answer to prayer! Not only is Sally enthusiastic about coming back, but she's also going to get involved in our monthly river clean-up of the Kelvin River through FORK (Friends Of the River Kelvin).
Which leads nicely into this next segment. FORK is a small way for our church to both connect with and appreciate God's creation, as well as forge relationships within the community with like-minded people. Because we believe that God made the world, loves it, and entrusts it to the care of the human society, we as a church through this missional expression are eager to support care for creation. One of the things we're trying to do as leaders is cultivate active participants in the Christian community. It's so easy to fall prey to a consumer mindset and become content attending church as passive observers (I know I've slipped into that from time-to-time), but we want the Christian community to be vibrantly active in engaging the culture around us. FORK is one way that we, as a collective, can do that. Gabrielle and I have been going on Saturdays and have thoroughly enjoyed it. In addition to countless bags of rubbish, we also extract the likes of partially submerged shopping carts and car tires. This past week Gabrielle enjoyed her time with friend, Sophia Kurtyka. Getting dirty can be pretty fun... even for a couple of dainty little girls.
As you can read in my previous blog entry, CATWALK continues to blossom as November 13th draws near. In addition to sponsorship, CATWALK is already receiving media exposure as Scottish newspaper, The Herald, ran two related articles in last Wednesday's paper. By 9:00am on the day the articles hit news stands, phone call orders for tickets began coming in. Jasheen picked up the promotional posters yesterday, but they will only serve as publicity now as there are only 32 tickets left for purchase. AMAZING! Almost 270 tickets have sold for the event before advertising has begun. The things that have come together for this event are nothing short of miraculous.
Possibly the most abstract and bizarre event currently going on with our family involves Gabrielle. I'm acquainted with a local casting agent (Gail) that deals mostly in modeling and television. Upon seeing pictures of Gabrielle earlier this week, she has cast her in a local television program called River City that shoots here in Glasgow. Following in the footsteps of her Uncle Patch, Gabrielle will be throwing her hat into the acting ring and making her small screen debut in River City's Christmas episode as one of the children going to sit on Santa's knee. That is... if she doesn't take one look at Santa, scream and run off the set. When dealing with two-year-old actors, you never know what you're going to get. Gabrielle and I ran into Gail this afternoon and after seeing Gaby in person, Gail stated with excitement, "I'm going to make a star out of you. You're good enough to eat!"
Please pray for grandmother's health during the next two weeks that she's here. She has been battling a pretty bad cough, fever and sinus infection. She came to offer assistance to us, and feels awful that she hasn't had the energy to do as much as she would like. We love her all the same and she probably has no idea how much assistance her mere presence provides. We do want her to thoroughly enjoy her time with the girls though. These are precious seasons for grandparents and we want her to enjoy every minute of it.
To see more photos of Gabrielle's birthday, grandmother's visit or FORK clean-up, you can go to our flickr site by clicking on the Photo Album link in our LINKS section to the left of this entry - or just click here.