We hope you’re well and safe amidst these unusual times. We just thought we’d write to fill you in on our lives in lockdown and other recent news.
To kick off with, we’ve been very fortunate in remaining healthy as a family during this time. We have a number of parks/green spaces within walking distance to where we live and have been making the most of them during this lockdown. York in relative terms, hasn’t had a high number of cases of Covid-19 (about 450 cases out of the 200,000 population) but as a city that is driven by tourism, there will no doubt be implications to businesses and livelihoods, due to the lengthy travel restrictions.
Following government guidelines we’ve all been based at home most of the day. The kids have been remarkably resilient although do clearly miss family, friends and playgroups/nursery. Our rhythm as a family means I (Dave) work in the mornings, we have lunch and then go out for some exorcise together in the afternoon before dinner. We’re realizing more and more that as parents, we can’t provide all the human interaction that the girls are craving so despite Zoom, FaceTime etc it can be stretching for all of us to not have the wider network of relationships we used to enjoy so freely!
We were hoping to head back to the States this summer as it’s been 5 years since we were last in Colorado, it’s been really hard to let go of this trip. We were really excited about getting quality time with family and friends and introducing the girls. All being well, we’re planning to make the trip next year instead.
I have been able to continue working on the ongoing series of portraits that I have been developing for a book project in collaboration with a friend and church leader. Working digitally means I can set up in our bedroom and keep drawing. I’m hugely enjoying working on this series and realize again how much I come alive when creating art.
Above: Kiara joining me in my makeshift office (bedside table), continuing to work on a digital portrait series, one of our many Zoom leaders gatherings
Hosting YWAM Leader Zoom Gatherings
One of the roles I have within YWAM is, along with a friend, Lucy, to facilitate our National Leadership Forum. This is essentially, our broadest circle of leaders here in YWAM England, made up of location leaders, ministry leaders and elders in our nation. Since Covid-19 emerged, we felt led to gather these leaders online via Zoom every 2 weeks to encourage one-another, pray and discern what God might be saying to us as YWAM here in England in this time. Like many of us, we’ve been learning the incredible benefits of technology and figuring out how we remain connected during these strange times. Our most recent gathering was particularly rich, as we joined with about 100 other leaders from across Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England and among other things, took communion together. God has been leading people to approach this season of lockdown in so many different and varied ways within our YWAM family across England, there have been teams making meals for the vulnerable, people making face masks and PPE for key workers and serving local food banks to mention a few. Broadly it seems many of us are being invited into a time of re-focusing, evaluating, renewal and preparation for all that is to come after the lockdown.
Change on the horizon… Howland’s are on the move…
Many of you will know of our dear friends, Doug and Beth Howland (above). We have journeyed together in YWAM for about 12 years, in both Leeds and York. Over recent months Doug and Beth have felt God leading them as a family to move to Baltimore in the States. They will join the YWAM team there and Doug will enroll full time in studying art. We can see so much of how this is a great decision and fit for them as a family and are excited for all that God has in store for them. That being said, it also means a grieving process for us. They are really close friends and have been a huge part of our lives for the last 12 years, they have shaped us, encouraged us and inspired us in so many ways. Do keep us in your prayers as we adjust to all the changes their move will bring in our lives and theirs. They are hoping to move at the end of the summer.
There are implications for YWAM here in York as the Howland’s leave, with new leadership potentially coming in place, there have been some great conversations around this and a potential group in place to move to York to lead out in this next chapter, the details of this aren’t public yet and with so much up in the air in these times, nothing is set in stone as yet. Again, we would hugely appreciate your prayers that God would be making clear His plans for YWAM York and for wisdom and discernment for all those involved.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. We’d love to hear how you are doing at the moment..
Much love to you from us all!
Dave, Nicole, Savannah and Kiara