Here is a
quick update on events in 2002 as they looked in the Greaves family.
has revolved around three major events. The first was Helen's six-month long GAP
visit to Africa, the second was our involvement in a new church that started in
October and the third was Helen starting at Reading University.
Helen spent from January to June of this year in Ethiopia on her GAP year with
SIM. She helped with the home schooling of three children from a missionary
family (the Baldwins). She also taught English to young Ethiopian children.
Helen learnt much from the experience and was constantly aware of God's
faithfulness to her. You can find more about this at www.greaves2000.co.uk/helen.
Helen has made a tremendous start at Reading University where she is studying
for a degree in primary teaching with an art specialisation. She has made many
new friends, has joined the Christian Union, which is strong and flourishing and
has settled at Carey Baptist. She is enjoying the work, hard though it is, and
has already spent considerable time in the classroom teaching Year 2 and Year 5.
During the year Jonathan sat his AS exams in Maths, Computing, Politics and
Economics and he is now in the middle of his A2 year (upper 6th to those of you
of more mature years) having dropped Economics. He has applied to do Computing
at University and intends to take a gap year first. He has spent this year
heavily involved in the Youth group at St John's, the CU at college and helping
lead a Rock Solid club for 11-13's. He has already received offers from four
Universities and will be visiting some of them for Open Days and interviews
during the first few weeks of the New Year. At 17½ he has just made the
somewhat disturbing discovery that he is growing old. This came to light when he
realised that one of the younger members of his Youth Group is too young to
remember Jim'll Fix It!
The first six months of 2002 were very strange with Helen being away. The house
was quiet (amazing how much noise Helen and Jonathan make when they are both at
home!) but we became used to only laying the table for three at meal times.
Helen was very well looked after by both SIM and the Baldwin family, which meant
that we were never unduly concerned.
There was no family holiday this year for the first time ever! We did go with
Jonny to Word Alive week at Spring Harvest in Skegness at Easter and Janet and
Danny enjoyed two wonderfully relaxing weeks in the northwest of Scotland during
which they visited old friends. The weather was beautiful, and so much drier and
warmer than we had expected for that far north.
We continue to be extremely busy on all fronts. The biggest load has of course
been the new church. This is a church plant instigated by St Johns Hartford, the
church we have been attending for the last 12 years. I am delighted to say that
Christ Church is finally up and running! We meet in a former railway station
building and experience some minor rumblings during services as trains come
through the station. If you are interested in finding out more then visit www.christchurchgreenbank.org.
Christ Church has been going for three months now and has a congregation of
about 35 people, inclusive of children. Most encouragingly we are seeing a small
number of people each week who are local (live within 6 minutes walk) and who
had not been going to a church elsewhere before we opened. A most encouraging
start for which we give thanks to God!
Once again a very busy but blessed year for which we are truly grateful. We look
forward to 2003 including the prospect, in the summer, of the number of places
to set for meals reducing yet again! We wish you all a joyous Christmas and New
Year as well as a happy 2003 and look forward to seeing many of you during the
course of the next twelve months.