Updates and ‘lowlights’

A nice British family
It’s hard to believe, but Jonah and I leave the UK to return to the USA to begin the visa renewal process just 3 weeks from tomorrow! We’re going home 8 days before the others to attend a family reunion, while the others are staying in the UK since Brodie’s school doesn’t get out until mid-July! In some ways, it feels like time has flown by, and in other ways, this has been the longest 10 months of our lives! It’s been great, rewarding, hard, fun, boring, exciting, frustrating, gloomy, enchanting, etc. and un-etc. ;)

The Colchester Baptist Church, where EMI-UK's office is
located. We're in the back corner and stare out the window at
brick walls, but we're very grateful to the church for giving us
two rooms to work in, rent free. This is also our home church -
we really like the people of this church.
We have a list a mile long to accomplish for year two, many of it renewing exactly what we had to do for year one. It’s an expensive undertaking, but we are hopeful that staying another year will make a big difference in EMI’s ability to mobilize British design professionals to the developing world. We’ve made some big strides of late, including a partnership with another ministry that very well may ensure that EMI-UK lives on beyond our time here. So we’re excited about that possibility!

We also are hopeful that we’ve found a school for Jonah and Graysen next year. It’s a Church of England school (again, like Brodie’s school, a strange mix of a religious school while still being a public school with no fees). They haven’t been officially placed yet, but we are feeling good about the chances after having met the headmistress last week. It has been our top prayer request for awhile to get them in a school – they very much want to go to school here and we agree it’s probably best for these two little socialites.

Picking up interns at the airport is becoming no small feat!
Beyond that, I just picked up our next batch of interns at Heathrow Airport today! They head out on our office’s next project trip to Ghana in a couple of weeks. Mike’s leading this team since we have to return to the USA. Also, it looks like we will be sending out three new staff families to EMI offices overseas by the end of the summer. A lot is happening here, but yet there’s still a lot of work to be done.
My next trip to Uganda in September is almost fully recruited! I have a bigger team (12) and I am really looking forward to working with YWAM on their new primary school project! And, a quick update on my previous project in Uganda, that ministry (The Mustard Seed Academy) has been in contact and they are moving forward with starting construction, with the goal of moving the school to the site we just designed by February!

Ok, now some ‘lowlights’ from around the Crawford household… J

#1 – “Three parents”

A make-shift campfire, orchestrated by Jonah.
A makeshift BBQ, also orchestrated by Jonah.
Something Jonah struggles with at times is parenting his brothers. It’s probably the thing that gets him in trouble the most. He usually has good ideas and is right more often than wrong in what he’s saying, but it just doesn’t work for a kid to parent his siblings, especially when the parents are right there in the room! Recently, Jonah and Graysen got into it over this. Jonah was parenting Graysen, who responded in a ‘physical way’ to communicate his displeasure. So we gave them each an appropriate consequence – Jonah to his room where he couldn’t parent, and Graysen out front pulling weeds. Just as we were thinking to ourselves of how perfectly we had solved the situation, we heard the argument re-erupt. So we head up into Jonah’s room to figure out how they could be arguing while separated, and lo and behold, we found Jonah at the window shaking his head at his window telling Graysen that he’s not pulling the weeds correctly! ‘Stop parenting me Jonah!’ came the inevitable reply.

#2 – “Pride cometh before the fall”

Brodie and I went to London last weekend to meet up with
a couple of guys from the Colorado Springs office who were
passing through on their way to a project trip in Kenya.
I asked Brodie after school today how his day went. ‘Great’ he said. ‘Really?’ I pressed. ‘Mom told me that you had detention.’
‘Oh, well yeah, that.’
‘Why did you have detention?’
‘Because I was making jokes in French class.’
‘Tell me what happened.’
‘Well, the teacher was reading off scores from our recent quiz and one of the smarter kids got a low score. So I yelled out ‘Waaaaaayyyy!’. (side note: ‘Waaaaayyyy!’ is what soccer fans here yell out at a game when a player has made a silly mistake, such as firing a ball way up into the stands when trying to take a shot on goal, or tripping over the ball).
‘Oh, so what did the teacher say?’
‘Well nothing at that point, but a few moments later, she read out my score and I got the exact same score as the other boy. So the entire class yelled, ‘Waaaaaayyyy’ and starting laughing. It was pretty funny.’
‘Did your teacher laugh?’
‘No. That’s why I got 10 minutes detention.’

#3 – “Soccer fail”

Graysen is a passionate little man, and he wears his
emotions on his sleeves.
After the last game of his soccer tournament this past weekend, Graysen walked off the pitch in tears. They were outclassed in the tournament, losing 3 games and drawing 2, and scoring no goals as a team in any of the games. The last game, they lost 6-0 to a team of kids a year younger than his team (a couple of their players I have no doubt will end up playing professional soccer someday – unbelievable talent for 8 year olds. Arsenal had a couple of scouts at the tournament, so it’s even possible they could be signed away soon.) Anyway, I tried to encourage Graysen that he had actually played well and really hustled and tried his hardest against what was nothing less than world class talent. Graysen was having none of it though, and said through his sobs, ‘Stop dad. I don’t want to have a good attitude. We did terrible!’ So much for the theory that all young boys want in life is to please their father. Graysen is clearly internally motivated! (By the way, the U8 team I mentioned ended up winning the whole tournament playing in the U9 bracket!)
This is out our back window yesterday...at 9:45pm! It's weird
to not have true darkness until around 10:30pm.
Brodie's just found a new team too, so this was their first time
playing together in a tournament. The season starts when
we return from the States. The season runs Sept thru May.
Hard to believe he'll be playing U13.
Graysen's football team - Stanway Villa FC U9 Spartans
Brodie turned 12 a couple of weeks ago. Hard to believe. I
don't want to talk about it. :)

The brothers got him some 'unusual' fruit for his birthday!
Our long-time friends Jason and Julie DeJong stopped through
for a short visit. Jason had a work trip to London, so they came
to see us. Fun to see friends from home on this side of the pond.

We also had a visit from some friends from Colorado Springs!
Hugh and Rachel Jones came to the UK for a holiday, and
stayed with us for 4 nights. So fun to have them around for
awhile, though we missed out on seeing their 3 young
daughters. A couple years ago, Hugh started an EMI-style
ministry called 'Law as Ministry' - yes, lawyers can be
Christians too! :)


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