Holidaybobs

Having not posted for a while, it’s time for a quick family update from the last few weeks.

Let’s start with the church weekend away where we thought about our involvement in the local community, discussed philosophy into the evening, Tany and I went for a jog together (we’ve never been able to do that before), we flew kites (see photo) and climbed through a bouncy castle obstacle course. Of course, this turned into a race and I managed to pull a hamstring, I’ve never done that before, it really hurt.

The next weekend was a trip to Southampton to celebrate my 40th birthday with family and friends.

We had a garden party at my parents’ house with a good number of family members. I’m very blessed to have all these people in my life and the group seems to be growing every year. I remember being a child and coming to these things and playing with my cousins. Now it’s our kids playing.

This was followed by a few hours at the Southwestern Arms with more friends from Above Bar Church.

All this celebrating was swiftly followed by a virus that I couldn’t shake. One moment I was fine, the next I was in bed, for days. I just recovered in time for our family holiday to Norfolk.

We did lots during the week, steam train rides, fish and chips, swimming (in the pool – this was still the UK), ice creams every day, but the best part was watching my girls playing together.

We followed a week away with a week at home. I did some DIY around the home, not as much as I’d planned, and Tany helped with Lighthouse (a local church holiday club) in the morning and worked a little in the afternoon. Amy got to officially go to Lighthouse as she starts school this year, she had a wonderful time, as did Sophie who was in the creche.

That was supposed to be it. After a busy two weeks, we were going to spend the final weekend of the holiday with Tany’s parents and go out for a quiet meal on Friday evening. Only, Tany had saved a surprise.

We got to the grandparents’ when I was given a card telling me that we were flying off to Dublin that evening. I thought something was going on, maybe a night in London, but this was more than I expected. That wasn’t the end of the surprise though.

I told Tany that my best birthday present would be an evening in a pub with friends, so we could talk, catch up on life, reminisce. So, waiting for me in Dublin was Adam and Kate, Joe and Jenny, friends for years, guys I love more than I can say, who just came to hang out for the weekend.

This wasn’t our first visit to Dublin. Tany and I (with Kate and Neil) were there 12 years ago! We’d just started dating. Clearly, we’ve hardly aged.

 

Singapore

One of the things that I appreciate about working for the Wycliffe Global Alliance, is the recognition that my family gets for the part that they play in me being able to do what I do. It’s tough for them, as they are the ones that get left behind when I get on a plane and fly off to meet people for different meetings.

To show love towards them and to recognise that, in enabling me to do what I do, they are a part of this team too, the Alliance has an annual Leadership Retreat. A time to refresh in the company of colleagues and their families.

Prior family in the Botanical Gardens, Singapore

Now, we are a little unique in this team. Most of the other families, in this context, comprise husband and wife. Where there are still children at home, they usually have to stay behind because of school. But our two are pre-school, so we got to take Amy and Sophie to Singapore for this year’s Retreat.

Prior family at the southernmost point of continental Asia, Sentosa Island, Singapore

We had three days of holiday before the main gathering. A chance to get over jet-lag and allow the family to acclimatise. We had a couple of early morning walks, made more bearable by the warmth of Singapore at 3 am, and the safety of the city. The kids spent part of every day in the hotel swimming pool, and we visited Sentosa Island, twice. Enjoying the beaches, waterparks, visiting a giant aquarium and riding on the cable car.

Then it was off to a different hotel, out of the city, to join my colleagues and get to know them a little better. We had some formal presentations, but mostly we had time to share, reflect, catch up and pray for one another.

Kirk Franklin, Executive Director, Wycliffe Global Alliance, presenting at the Alliance Leaders Retreat – February 2017

It was a little different doing this kind of thing with kids in tow. They did brilliantly at playing by themselves while we adults sat talking around tables. Tany and I, along with another parent, took turns at taking the kids swimming (the hotel didn’t have a proper pool, but the underused spa tub was big enough for them) for at least some of the day.

It was a wonderful week all round, and especially good for Amy. She now has an idea of what it’s like when I go away to work. My colleagues also have a better idea of the chaos we have at this stage of life, and how we are trying to balance work, raising the kids and functioning as a family.

One prayer, that I keep reflecting on, is that this journey God is taking us on with Wycliffe would inspire Amy and Sophie to grow up following God where ever it may lead them, rather than hating everything to do with faith.

The kids at the hotel window, Singapore

You can see more images from our trip in this Google album.