Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A very early Christmas morning - or were we late?

The journey to spend Christmas in Colorado with my family was wonderfully uneventful, with 5 C Colorado sunshine out to greet us. By 7:00 Christmas eve we were warm and cozy in my parent’s house in Grover, and really glad to see our beds.
The Christmas morning wake-up call came at 3:30am, with all four of us very much awake. Soon my parents joined us, and all the presents and playing with the same and special breakfast were over by 6am. I thought this only happened with toddlers!!
Of course, looking at our watches showing UK time, it means we slept in until 10:30am.
So as long as we’ve no place to go, let it snow ...

We have had a very white Christmas!
The howling wind was our first clue. A few inches of fresh white had fallen through the night onto the already snowy and icy ground. We foreigners ventured out Christmas morning to play in the new snow for a few minutes, but it was very cold out there and we didn’t last long!
By Boxing Day most of the snowdrifts across the road were broken by the snow plows, and we are mobile again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Home for Christmas

After two years we are coming back to Colorado for 3 weeks.

We land in Denver on the 24th of December, and probably will all be up very early Chrismas morning to celebrate. We will begin our trip in Grover and are still working out the rest of the itinerary.

I understand it's cold but I'm really looking forward to some Colorado sunshine!

Sadness in Denver

As a King's Lodge family and as YWAMers, we are saddened by the killing of two and wounding of two YWAM staff in Denver last Sunday. Updates can be found on our international web site:

My first YWAM experiences were with YWAM Denver in 1987, first at weekend away "taster" camp, and then a summer worship seminar. I was so impressed with the sense of acceptance of everyone and godliness of those around me. The leader of the Denver base was just at The King's Lodge 2 weeks ago to teach on our DTS.

Our PCYM (Principles of Child and Youth Ministries) school includes the entire staff of YWAM Sarajevo (Bosnia) who are training in children's ministry. This Sarajevo team formed in Denver and was sent out from them. Two of our students were quite close friends with the two who died.

YWAM Denver had agreed to be in the media spotlight beginning in January 2008 with some reality TV watching them live out their Christian faith and growth. It seems the media eye has turned on them sooner than expected.

Pyramids, Romans and Luggage

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

Phil, along with Dave, a traveling companion from our Hinckley church spent the final week of November in Egypt. You might remember that the ongoing work to establish Inductive Bible Training in Egypt (and, therefore, the Middle East) has been happening for years, and earlier this year we wondered if it had all crashed to the ground in a heap. In only the way God can do things, an Egyptian has "appeared" and capably taken up the challenging role of school leader.

Details should not be posted on the internet, but the course is filled with Christians from the region who want to learn so they can tell others. Phil was overwhelmed with the hunger and desire to learn the scriptures. In the past Egypt has been called a "desert of the word of God"; please pray that this will not be able to be said for long.

Unfortunately once in Amsterdam they were told their flight on to Cairo was cancelled. The passengers were re-routed through Hungary, but the luggage went on a 4-day holiday before catching up with the fellows. Weight restrictions forced some teaching materials to be checked in, only arriving for the final day. Phil lectured 4 days on Romans using only his Bible, and it was a really powerful time. He says one of the most fulfilling trips in a long time.

He would love to visit them again in the spring to support all that's happening.

TheNile at dusk and and the tourists


We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

A friend from our church used to "commute" to San Francisco from his home in the Midlands of England. As you can imagine, he would work for a few weeks there, and then come home to his wife and do the paperwork here. He had the amazing experience at Thanksgiving-time of being overwhelmed with invitations to come celebrate the holiday with different colleagues. That experience made a big impact on Liam.

Now working back in the UK, Liam began thinking of all the international students we might have at TKL. He loves to cook and is good at it, and decided to invite every American at The Lodge for Thanksgiving dinner. For at least four years now he has shopped and cooked for nearly 30 American YWAMers away from home.

That's were we enjoyed our Thanksgiving, and boy, did we enjoy it!

Please, Daddy!!!

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

Phil has looked forward to the day when he could take one of his children with him on a teaching trip. That way they can see more of what he does, get to meet so many interesting people, and expand their understanding of the world and of God. So when Elisa brought the suggestion to her dad that she go with him to Switzerland during the October half-term, there was an immediate YES!

We put them on the EasyJet budget flight, and within a few hours they were in Lausanne, where Phil did his first YWAM course back in 1983. He could take Elisa down memory lane during his free time, but much of his time was spent prepping and teaching on the Bible Core Course there. The school is bilingual (English/Korean) and has 15 students.

Too bad she came back saying she was very bored, but we trust it is one of those moments she will look back at as part of her story.

September Wedding Bells

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

The last weekend in September sent us to Stockton (nr Middlesbrough) for the wedding of nephew Steve and Angela. When Phil and I first met, Steve was a teenager in school, but now a successful businessman in London who has found himself a lovely wife to spend his life with.

It was a fantastic occasion with family and celebration, with some very pround aunties, uncles, mums & dads, and grannies.

The wedding coincided with the launch of the new term at The King's Lodge. It was the first time in 8 years that I wasn't "getting the house ready" and it felt very strange to not even be there for the weekend.

Three schools began in September - DTS, SBS and PCYM (Principles in Child and Youth Ministry) with about 40 students plus families this term.

A New Job for Linda

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

In December 1999 I was handed a folder containing job assignments by a lady who was headed to Kosovo on outreach. That was the beginning of my responsibility as House Functions Co-ordinator for The King's Lodge. Our dear Jonathan was not quite 3 yet, but I did our best meeting with people, doing some practical jobs, and observing our systems and methods of management. The responsibily was to run the domestic side of this training facility that can house 70 students -- managing a staff who ensures there are a (good) meals on the table, and clean home, and looking after any guests who are staying with us. Managing the equipment and resources, and complying with government regulations brought other interesting aspects to the job.

As Jonathan entered school in 2001 the job really took off for me, investing time in our department staff and developing system. The job had lots of areas of fulfillment for me, especially as I believe a big part of my calling is to help see things run well. The down side has been that the job wasn't always done when the kids came home from school.

We made a family decision this year for me to step back and focus on our 2 wonderful pre-teens. When they were first born, even people I didn't know would tell me that they grow up so fast and to enjoy them while you have them. That's what we've decided to do, and the shift has already been very fulfilling.

In keeping with my calling to help things run well, I have moved across the building to the youth and family ministry office of King's Kids. It is such a shift from the routine of 12-week terms and residential life to planning for weekend outreaches with young people and prepping for school assemblies. I am finding my way and where I fit; there has been a big cry for admin help in this TKL ministry and I love it.

A Dream Come True

We are now playing catch-up with our communication and months of news. Let us tell you more about what has been happening with the Leages ...

Once back from China, we thought we would pick up a last-minute holiday at rock-bottom prices for the end of August. Unfortunately the rainy and generally unpleasant weather persuaded most of England to evacuate at some point over the summer, buying up all the airline seats.

In conversation with a work associate, Phil asked what the weather was like in Cyprus as we had always thought a holiday there might be nice. Within days we were on a Romanian airline to spend two weeks in Larnaca, staying in a holiday apartment attached to their home. What a gift!

Phil and I love the warmth of the sun and Meditteranean way; the children loved the sand and surf. It was the fulfillment of a dream.

Crusing the Med!