EMI-UK in the new year

These two young-timers were a part of our lives for the past 3
weeks, and though we were sad to see them go, we made so
many fun memories. Thanks mom and dad for coming
to England!!
A lot has been going on at EMI-UK the last several weeks so I thought I would catch up a bit. After finishing our Mercy Trips project report early, the last semester ended well and we sadly said goodbye to our interns in mid-December. They were three great and unique young ladies and it was definitely sad to say goodbye – that remains one of the hardest parts of working with EMI. We’re regularly saying permanent goodbye’s to people we’ve come to know and love!

The start of 2013 has actually been surprisingly significant. We were given free advertisement (FYI, my spell checker in the UK defaults to UK spellings, so from time to time most people reading this are going to a) be annoyed, or b) think I can’t spell) space in an architectural magazine so one of the last things we accomplished in 2012 was finally putting together an ad to place. At the time, we never could have imagined how successful the ad would be.
Christmas Day
As you may know, one of the primary reasons for our coming to the UK was to hopefully bridge a gap in time until a UK staff person could be found to help Mike in the office here. Up until Christmas, though we had been excited that three new UK staff couples/families are joining EMI-UK to launch out to the EMI offices in Uganda and Costa Rica, we still had no real leads for a staff person to join the EMI-UK office in Colchester.
The Christmas dinner table at the Prentices - it tasted even
better than it looked! You wouldn't believe how much food
our hosts, David and Fiona, prepared. They are Scottish, and
David helps EMI-UK by handling all the finances. Some of
our favourite people we've met here.
Well now, with this advertisement having only run for less than two weeks, we have suddenly been bombarded with interest from prospective volunteers, interns and yes, staff. Though we were hopeful that the advert would generate a few contacts, we have been ‘right shocked’ at how much of a buzz has been created by this one small ad. Anyway, stay tuned for what develops from this, but we are very excited!

The other significant thing I’ve been working on is preparing for my next project trip to Uganda. I am really looking forward to returning after over two years now. Just this week I’ve purchased airfare for 9 people and I’m hoping to add a 10th soon. We will be designing a boarding primary school for 600 underprivileged children about in Lukaya, about 2 hours southwest of Kampala (the capital city where we lived). Our trip dates are February 24th through March 8th.

Local boy has finally come home
Finally, our family life is now back to chugging along after the holiday break. We very much enjoyed my parents visit through the holidays and it really took the sting away from being gone for Christmas. We took them to see many sights in our area, as well as all the big touristy places in London. But the most interesting part of their visit was that my dad, who has spent hundreds of hours tracking our family history, figured out while they were here that we have 5 generations dating back into the 1300 to 1500’s buried in Ardleigh, a tiny little village that’s about 7 miles from our house! What are the chances? We drove over to the village and looked around some but couldn’t find any tombstones with the name ‘Stone’ on it – the surname of my grandfather’s mom that stretches back to this village. It really was a highlight figuring out that in fact, by moving to Colchester, our family has finally come home! ;)


Something about a picture with Big Ben is so enchanting. And
no, enchanting is not a word I often use. See what that tall
clock can do to a person? Enchanting.
So back in the swing of things, the younger two boys are back at homeschooling after the holiday break, and Brodie was especially very excited to return to his school (the kid loves school!). Alisha is spending most of her time on the homeschooling, though we are still actively pursuing getting them into the nearby catholic school – the primary school that feeds the secondary school where Brodie attends. Like its secondary counterpart, it’s a free ‘public’ school (called ‘state school’ here). We really would love for the younger two to be back amongst peers and experiencing the new culture. Having said that, as time has passed, we have become more certain than ever that pulling them from their previous school was the right decision. So we wait, and pray for God to work things out in His timing.

Items for prayer:  prayer that Jonah and Graysen would get into St. Teresa’s school; prayer for our family as we are in the midst of deciding whether we will be staying on in the UK for another year; prayer for my upcoming project trip to Uganda; and one special prayer request from Alisha: pray for sun! J
It was happy times on Dec 19th when Grammy & Papa arrived!

Fun seeing the sights, though less than ideal weather!
With the dominance of cell phones having taken
over the world, these things are now only useful
for tourists to take pictures in.

(above) We get used to seeing the towns here, but when
someone comes to visit it's always fun to see them react to the
differences from America. This is Frinton-on-Sea, a lovely
little seaside village that will see us again no doubt.
(middle) Grammy & Papa and the boys on the beach at Frinton.
(below) Frinton beach, with all the little beach huts.

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