Life has been very hectic since leaving the Lakes. We had an excellent Sunday with Holy Trinity at Gee Cross, and it was a pleasure staying overnight with Norma! After giving our Powerpoint presentation in the morning service we had a shared lunch in the church hall which was a great opportunity to meet people and to renew old acquaintances. Straight after lunch we shot off to Sheffield to stay with Roger, George, Yas' & Theo which was brilliant. Sadly it was a real flying visit as we had to get home on the Monday afternoon as we had a commitment on the Tue morning.
Roger & Dean in the 'Bear pit' in Sheffield Botanical Gardens
The week was then filled with a number of different activities including a trip to Waterloo for Paula, Joel & Eli to meet up with Julia & Rebecca. Sadly they all got very wet and Joel wasn't on top form. It was great to meet up and spend some time (if severely limited) together.
We've been really impressed with Joel (& Eli) and how he's coped with staying in 6 different beds in the first 4 weeks and meeting so many new people, most of whom he won't see again for quite some time. He's definitely 'peopled out' and needs some time just with Mum, Dad & Eli to get his rythm back. Amazingly each night we were away Joel never once played us up but rather went straight to sleep, we're really grateful to God for answering your prayers in this regard.
On Friday we had our 'Cheese & Wine Party' at St. George's church hall here in Weald. We had a good turnout of 47 people, and both of our Powerpoint presentations went very well. We had prepared a 20 minute photographic presentation with 4 songs which was well received. We made this one a lot more lighthearted with photos of family, church and work. The response we got was very positive. It was also good to have Jo from Crosslinks with us, she will be Mary's replacement so it was good to meet her. We were also delighted that some friends had managed to travel quite a way to be there, so thankyou to those of you who were there!
On Sunday we had our last formal church engagement at St. Peter's in Ightam, Kent. Thankfully only a short drive from Granddad's house. Again Joel was fantastic and probably enjoyed this church visit the most as there was a good crowd of children who played with him and looked out for him, especially after the service when we had another shared lunch. We really enjoyed our visit to St. Peter's, we were made to feel very welcome and we felt that our presentation went really well as we had made a few adjustments to it based on our previous presentations. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with our new friends there.
Today we've been up to Crosslinks head office and had a great time with Andy our General Secretary and Mary our Pastoral Director. Thankfully this is our last engagement and now we can spend some time with family before flying home on Saturday. Joel told us as we set off this morning that he "didn't want to go to church" so we know he's reached the end of his tether in terms of meeting people, so now we'll protect him and Eli making sure they only spend time with family and close friends.
Joel after he'd painted his face at Crosslinks
Tonight Granddad is doing Christmas dinner for the whole family which should be fun.
Joel in the Windmill in Weald