I am grateful for the many wonderful details God’s planted into our last few days and only find difficulty in posting all about life as it’s happening! What a nice problem to face.
We ended our wonderful time with staff from church on Sunday by attending 2 different churches in inner-city London (don’t think “inner city” in scary terms; think “inner city” in Harrod’s (http://www.harrods.com/HarrodsStore/default.aspx) and Oxford Circus and Leicester Square terms!!). The underground tube ride into London went well (it was my first sight of the Thames River in over 9 years – so cool). We first visited Holy Trinity Brompton (www.htb.org.uk) and then Hillsong London (www.hillsong.co.uk). HTB’s worship pastor is Tim Hughes, whose written several well-known worship songs (including “Here I Am to Worship”).
Just 3 days before we left OKC, Chris saw a sign in front of a church across from his parents’ subdivision stating a worship group from England would be performing that morning. He went to see them perform, and they were from Hillsong London – so they were familiar faces this past Sunday afternoon in the service. Speaking of familiar faces, the Christian/Gospel duo MaryMary was in town on tour with Kirk Franklin and dropped in the Hillsong London service to perform “How Great Thou Art” and their #1 worldwide hit from a few years back “Shackles”. It was electric!
Hillsong London sets up its temporary campus weekly to meet in the Dominion Theatre (where the hit musical “We Will Rock You” featuring Queen’s music is now playing live). If you can imagine a crowded, busy mess of people outside the theatre doors, you get the idea. But add to it scads of people who began Christmas shopping in the recently holiday-theme-decorated London area, and you’ll really get the picture. (People line the city blocks on all sides of Harrod’s just to get in the door.) Following the service, the four men from church surrounded our family on the busy sidewalk and prayed for us all. Our time with them was an absolute encouragement, and our children are still asking for these guys by name (thanks to piggyback rides underground and on the busy city streets as well as frequent ticklings or peek-a-boo games). We are praying fervently for God to provide these men and our pastor His widsom as to His plans for LifeChurch.tv globally.
I didn’t get a chance to share that last Friday we received the INCREDIBLE surprise of 4 boxes from Oklahoma – items we’d packed to send at a later date including extra clothing, toiletries, and some of our Christmas presents for the kids which were less expensive to purchase in advance. While we managed to put the Christmas items away in our storage, the four of us probably looked as though we’d just experienced Christmas morning ourselves! Chris’s mom sent them to us but we were under the impression it’d be another week or two before they’d arrive, so the timing was neat. We were thrilled to see some extra clothing (translation: less laundry for Mom to do in her ‘world’s tiniest washer/dryer unit’)!
I haven’t blogged about this much at all until I had some clarity on what to do, but to those of you who are BSF friends of mine, we made a trip south to Guildford last Wednesday for class. There are a few snags in our plan, though, and after having prayed about it this past week I informed the class adminsitrator we won’t continue attending. Amazingly, while searching for an online Life Group for Chris and me to join while waiting for ours to form, I picked one last night and learned from its leader today that a young man from Cardiff, Wales (straight west of London) attends!! I think my mouth fell open when I received the e-mail that someone only hours away is attending the LC.tv Internet Campus as well as an Internet Life Group based in Oklahoma. I praise God for this special detail, especially in His direction to me as I struggled with giving up the BSF opportunity. I’ve already contacted the man in Cardiff and look forward to knowing him better. I hope Chris and I connect well with this Internet Life Group (done via web cam) as we pray for one to form in our home.
If you would, please pray with us for friends (“mates!”) for Blake. I’ve mentioned before that children his age are simply not around during the day but children Mackenzie’s age are easily found. I’ve discovered two openings at nearby preschools (“nurseries”) but they are quite expensive, even for part time attendance. Pray we’d have wisdom as to what to do – Blake is frustrated by his lack of interaction with kids his age (apart from his imaginary playmate, Heano, who smokes!…:)), and we believe that having Blake attend nursery could be a great way to meet other families. But – we don’t want to step outside His will for our family. I’ll let you know where God leads us on this issue. In the mean time, I need to sign off – both children have colds and fevers, and I think I’ll take a little rest while they do this afternoon in case they don’t sleep well tonight.
Love to you all –