10 Oct

October 2016

We came, we spoke, we witnessed

chrislisaadtsellyoakWitnessing people pursue a relationship with Christ is part of what we find most encouraging in our work, and we saw it happen again on October 1st. This was the first A Day Together event we held in Selly Oak, Birmingham and also the first time Lisa and I had spoken and facilitated a session.

We were encouraged from the feedback to see people had picked up on some of the ideas we had shared and that four people wanted to know more about the Christian faith as a result of the day. That never gets old!

London Calling!

brucedebbielondonIt’s always exciting to meet up with friends. In September, we were blessed to spend a day in London with Bruce and Debbie who were visiting from South Dakota.

We had a wonderful day sharing some of our favorite places and trying new ones together. If you’re heading this way, do let us know…we have a guest room that we can offer up.

Looking forward

We recently had a great meeting with our bosses to discuss how they and we would like our roles to evolve in the next year.

toucan-logo-horizontal-1-300x115I (Chris) will likely increase my role with Toucan; our digital app for couples. We completed Beta testing of this new relationship app in June and spent time over the summer demonstrating it to Cru and FamilyLife colleagues in the US. It was very well received and we are currently aiming to launch it in the new year. It is our goal to bring this to 500,000 people by the end of 2018. With that in mind, I will be focusing more on the product development and architecture of Toucan and how we can provide this invaluable resource to couples in other countries. The Swiss have already expressed great interest in using the app as soon as possible.

Lisa is praying for inspiration in new ways to engage and equip our network and utilize her passion for discipleship. She has also been asked to consider a role with the Agapé School of Theology. Totally up her alley!

We’re excited at our new responsibilities and eager to serve well within these roles.

London to Paris

2016-08-28-14-12-31We did it! It was an amazing experience! Ethan, his friend Carter (who flew in from the US), and I (Lisa) cycled 250 miles with 23 other cyclists from London to Paris to raise funds for FamilyLife’s innovative digital resource, Toucan. We set a goal of raising £60,000, and we have around £50,000 as of today!

The experience of cycling this distance with 25 others left me speechless; and at times breathless! By the third day we had all begun to make deep bonds with one another, and it was a good thing too. On our fourth day, we cycled 67+ miles of open French countryside in 101 degrees. We had very little shade and needed to know how to encourage one another. To say we needed our support team, of which Chris was part, would be an understatement! I might have sent him a photo of my tomato red face at one point with the words, “Need water!”

Thank you for your prayers and support of this great adventure. Watch a great 2.5 minute video, and catch up on loads of fun photos, and a blog post for each day.

Thank you for your faithful support! It’s a privilege to partner with you in God’s work here in England and we’re encouraged to see how He’s stirring this nation through FamilyLife.

July

We were in the US for most of July, and it was a whirlwind tour. If we didn’t get to see you personally, we are so very sorry. We made every effort to connect with everyone; there never seems to be enough time.

Our first week in the Midwest was dedicated to family. We enjoyed several gatherings with both sides of my family: think BBQ’s, 4th of July, lawn games, and LOADS of fireworks! This was all sandwiched in by the burial of our dear Grandma. Visits home won’t ever be the same without Grandma there, but we are so thankful for the wonderful memories.

Ethan and I were blessed to have family and friends loan us bikes and help us continue our training for London2Paris during our visit. When we weren’t training for our cycle challenge, we were meeting with friends and ministry partners. We even got to visit the Vacation Bible School of our home church in Sioux Falls. These amazing children raised $1,462 for our staff children’s program in the UK!

fl-global-groupOur final week in the US was spent at the Staff Conference and celebrating the 40th Anniversary of FamilyLife in Little Rock, AR.

It is always a massive privilege to come together with like-minded individuals and families from all over the globe to encourage and inspire one another.

August

file-06-10-2016-16-26-37Just before we began our cycle adventure, we had our UK Staff Summer Bible Conference.

Read more about the conference and get a free resource for you to study the Gospel of Mark alone or with others.

Praise and Prayer

  • Praise God for keeping the riders and support team safe on our London to Paris fundraiser. Around £50,000 was raised for the next phase of Toucan.
  • Praise for time spent in the US in July with family and friends.
  • Pray for the upcoming FamilyLife events:
    • What is Love Actually? in Cambridge (October 10th)
    • A Day Together in Newcastle (October 15th)

Ethan’s Escapades

2016-08-28-14-11-38Well, that was quite the summer! Having finished up my GCSE exams in June (I got the grades I needed) and spending 4 weeks with family and friends in the US, I took part in FamilyLife’s fundraiser from London to Paris…and I made it!

Last month I returned to school to study for my A-Level exams, which I’ll sit in 2018; I’m studying Maths, Physics and Economics.