Cousin fun and countryside antics.

This past week in amongst Pete and I ploughing through the ENORMOUS and brain draining SIM doctrinal questionnaire and medical forms, we have all enjoyed lots of time Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins on both sides of the family.

The boys have made airbed rides slides down the stairs, cycled through the woods in the rain, floated ducks down the stream at a village carnival and generally been loud and energetic.

We have appreciated time to enjoy Gods glorious creation and breathe in the fresh air on the farm where Pete’s parents live. From climbing to ‘the top of the world’ to running down the wooded valley. From riding the quad bike with the farmer to hours staring and sheep and cows. This week has created precious memories and helped us process these past months. We are grateful to God for time as the 5 of us and with extended family.

So as we return to Cambridge this evening, after some not insignificant medicals (more later), we will trust the Lord to help us through this final push to get the PhD thesis finished and the SIM process completed.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore

he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore

How to live abroad training.

Guest post by Jos.

We went to Wetheringsett Manor. There were lots of children’s activities to do while the grown ups learnt stuff.

We learnt about lots of countries in Africa where SIM work. Here are photos of some.

We trained to be God’s agents in our new countries. We were set missions to do in coffee breaks to find out about the SIM home office staff.

We made a den.

Climbed trees.

We also went over the wobbly bridge to help us understand how we might feel when we first go to Ethiopia and that it is OK to ask for help. Our bears tried too! I want to put a video of me on the bridge, but it won’t upload. Mum says she will try to put it in next post.

Full signs in our eyes!

Pete and I feel like every spare gap in our brains have been filled these last few days. We have learnt about living cross culturally in another’s world and working in teams of people from around the world. We have talked about finance, raising support, child protection etc. We have looked at mission statements, code of conducts and and most importantly we have looked at the biblical basis of what we will be doing. It is all fascinating and there are still 2 and a half days of information to take in!

Just as well we have these beautiful grounds to get some fresh air in.

Meet our adventurous bears

I would like you to meet the boys bears.

Each bear travelled all the way from the Hudson Bay Trading Company to join our family for the boys first Christmas courtesy of Auntie Cheryl and Uncle John (my Dad’s cousin).

Jos has the originally named Hudson (none still have the given name by HBTC for the bear).

Seth has Harry.

and Levi has Hamish.

These bears are living through the crazy journey of possibly moving to Ethiopia with us. This week Hudson and Harry visited an Ethiopian restaurant in Kings Cross with us for Seth’s birthday.

They took some leftovers home for Hamish to try.

He got his paws very mucky because you eat by tearing strips of the Enjeara fermented bread and pinching up bits of food.

Tomorrow they will be joining us for cross cultural training for a week at SIM HQ in Suffolk. Please pray we all stay well, have energy and most of all find it useful and take it all in.

Seasons.

The weather here has been so changeable the last few weeks. It has been hard to believe what the weather forecastors say will arrive the next day. Last Friday it was 13c, warm and sunny in our garden.

The next morning we woke to snow and biting ‘Beast from the East’ winds. With the wind chill it felt like – 6.

It is so odd to think that if we do end up in Ethiopia, these extremes will no longer be a daily conversation starter!

Our plan (if we get accepted by SIM) had been to move out in August for the start of the new academic year. However, we have heard from SIM Ethiopia they are unable to accept any new long term team members before January due to staffing issues.

All in all, I think this is a good thing. Wonderful God ordained timing. We will get to enjoy time regrouping as a family post PhD, enjoy all of us going on the river at the bottom of the garden over summer without me thinking I should be sorting things at home. Those things can wait to a degree until the boys start school again in September. Best of all we get to experience a few more seasons.

Tonight we have the next step along our selection path. A 2.5 hour personal history review interview!

The forms are submitted.

So the last month has been spent wading through the forms to apply to be members of the Serving in Mission (SIM) agency, the mission support group from Christ Church Cambridge and Bingham Academy, the school the boys will be going to. These forms have all been mammoth brain stretchers to be filled in amongst all sorts of other normal life things – PhD thesis, sermon prep, poorly kids, pastoral situations etc. Needless to say we are exhausted, and these are only the first steps to going. We would value your prayers for energy and clarity of thought for the thesis being written and the next set of forms!

Back with our boys.

Hello. I’m sorry it has taken a whole week to give another update. Life back at home with 3 boys who missed Mum and Dad lots has been full on, as well as Levi being ill with a cold and then tummy bug ever since we got back.

My parents did an amazing job looking after the boys while we were away and the boys were genenrally on good form apparently.

 Here is a photo of the boys with their presents.

SIM Guesthouse

We have been staying at the SIM (Serving in Mission) guesthouse here in Addis. SIM have by far the biggest team and infrastructure for missionaries here in Addis. It has been great to get a feel for how we could be part of the team.

We have been amazed by the amount of beautiful flowers and greenery even amongst all the dust and poverty.

Bingham School.

This is where the boys would come to school. They currently have 27 nations represented here and 40% of the school not from Christian families.

Here are some photos of the school. 


Just for you boys…here is a picture of the squash court, so you can even bring your rackets with you!

And finally one of the schools five Giant Tortoise!