I won't say it was the busiest week we've ever had, but this past week was the fullest we've had in a long time. I make the distinction because there's a difference between busy and full. Busyness is often a self-induced state; a byproduct of poor scheduling and time management. Fullness, on the other hand, is complete, rich, gratifying, productive.
Although the week was physically, spiritually and emotionally draining, it was also life-giving.
The backdrop of our week is set against preparing for and taking the Life in the UK test that is a prerequisite when applying for permanent residence. Having been here for five years now, we're eligible to apply for permanent residence which will allow me to find part-time work in the marketplace, fostering a deeper connection with locals, as well as providing financial stability for our family. One of the reasons that this is a critical step in our ministry, is that permanent residence is the last step before gaining British citizenship, and by becoming British citizens, we will also be gaining European Union (EU) citizenship. This would allow us to move into countries that are becoming more difficult for church-planting missionaries to move into should the Lord lead that direction in the future.
All of this to say, Jasheen and I both passed the 24-question True/False - Either/Or - Multiple Choice test. The test itself wasn't so difficult, but preparing for it was the primary contributor to our full and draining week. Unlike students that have time allotted for studying, we have our regularly scheduled week that we have to incorporate study-time into.
Throw in a friend visiting from the States, a friend moving down to London this week, and the start of Mosaic's youth group ministry, and that's a recipe for very little sleep. My friend Sharon (former Westmont classmate) was visiting her parents here for a couple of weeks. And our good friend and babysitter (one of the few that refuses payment) from Kember & Jones, Becca, is heading down to London to attend Uni - that's the second K&J pal we're losing in as many months. (For those of you unfamiliar with Kember & Jones, it's our favorite little patisserie/food emporium around the corner). Anyway, between quality time with Sharon and Becca, attending Becca's going away party with her work colleagues, and hosting a youth group pizza & movie kickoff... not to mention squeezing studies into our already chaotic schedule(s)... we had a VERY... FULL... WEEK.