So, if you can’t guess, this is a picture of a healthy growing baby inside Tany’s womb. You’ve got to admit, it’s kind of cool. For those who can’t tell, and there’s no reason why you should be able to, the head is at the right and the legs are at the left. Launch date is due sometime in early October.
Now the important, technical bit. We have been pregnant before (I say ‘we’, obviously it was Tany that was pregnant but I understand that it’s politically correct for husbands to say ‘we’ in all things related to the baby), the last time ending in a miscarriage at some point towards the end of last year. Miscarriages happen in somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of all pregnancies in the UK, so it was by no means a unique event, but during the course of medical check-ups afterwards we discovered that Tany’s womb was a slightly different shape to normal. As a result we carry a 43% chance of miscarriage right through the second trimester (technical phrase for the fist six months of gestation) and a higher than normal chance of a premature birth.
We are OK about this. Although, if you do talk to us about babies you may find that we are not quite as excited as normal expecting parents. We are, it’s just we are trying to keep that excitement in check. In fact, we probably wouldn’t be saying too much about this now if it wasn’t for the fact that Tany’s physique isn’t doing a very good job of keeping this a secret anymore.
So, there you go. The news is now public, we are pregnant.
Of course, if you wanted to be amongst the first to hear this news you should be signed up to our newsletter. It’s free, and sent by e-mail about once every three or four months, depending on whether we feel there’s anything useful to say. You can sign-up easily online.
So we’ve been gone for almost one week. Visiting Tany’s grandparents in Marco Island before moving on to Nashville for a few days, then Orlando, then home.
You may not be able to guess from the picture, but this was one of the coldest days on record in Florida. Maybe we brought some British weather with us, but some areas got freezing temperatures! Usually unheard of this far south.
But now we’ve moved north, to Nashville, where I’d expect cold weather. However, today it’s warm and we could/should have gone out in shirt sleeves. Go figure!
Anyway, an evening’s entertainment in the bars of Broadway and I’m now back in the hotel with Tany in bed and me watching the end of the Cotton Bowl game between Arkansas and Kansas State.
I love travel but there’s something nice about getting home.
Yesterday afternoon my flight from Nigeria touched down at London Heathrow and I returned to the milder climate and more sensible driving of the UK.
There were a couple of occasions over the last few days when I wondered if we were ever going to make it. The road from Jos to Abuja cuts through some beautiful countryside, but you daren’t take you eyes off the road for a second as the pot holes are big enough to ruin a wheel and trucks and cars coming in the other direction are quite prepared to face you down as they attempt to overtake or seek out smoother tarmac.
Our last night was spent in the Catholic guest house near to the airport. Not a luxury facility but still well equipped by Nigerian standards as well as being clean and affordable. The downside turned out to be a nearby church that had opted to hold an all night prayer and praise session with the volume turned up to 11. The quality of amplification didn’t make it possible to understand what the preacher was saying but his enthusiasm was unmistakeable.
Now I’m home with a couple of days to let my body and head recover before going back to work. It’s going to take that long to get over the physical impact of the last few weeks. Then it’s on with the job of writing up our experiences.
Thanks for the prayers about this trip. They were answered in so many ways.
When I rolled out of bed I had a vague idea of where I wanted the day to go, I knew what needed to be done and I had some good expectations of how I was going to get there.
By 09:05 everything had changed. The person expected to lead the Wycliffe Vision Morning was unable to attend and it was too late to un-invite the guests. I had to change focus from the work I expected to do to leading a meeting that, to be honest, I was dubious about going to in the first place (nothing about Vision morning, it’s a wonderful thing to be at, just the pressure of work was building). The work that I saw as important, editing the next edition of Words for Life, that needed my full attention, had to be put to one side as all my energy needed to be put into something completely different.
We can make our plans,
but the Lord determines our steps.
By 17:30 I was in a better place than I had planned to be when I was getting out of bed in the morning.
God had taken me, by a completely different route, to an even better place. I discovered, through the unplanned nature of the meeting, a story that’s going to make a great feature in the next magazine. I also got to worship God with others – when life’s too busy it’s great to have others around who can spur you on in worship.
I wouldn’t want a day like yesterday too often. But, it’s been a good reminder that:
God’s priorities aren’t always the same as our priorities
He doesn’t ignore the things that we see as important, he just may want to take us on a different journey
Being willing to serve can be a challenge but the rewards are quite special
Sorry if this post isn’t easy to follow. I think I was writing it as much for my own benefit as that of anyone else’s. That said, if it helps/challenges you that’s great.
This was our old living room on Wednesday evening. We’d spent the day moving the bed… and the wardrobes (which required a little bit of cutting to make them fit the new flat – tip: always buy wooden furniture, it can be resized) the kitchen stuff, bathroom things… the works. Well, apart from the stuff in the photo that we just didn’t get as far as moving.
Of course, things rarely run as smoothly as we’d like them to, and I reckon it’ll take the weekend for us to sort out our new home. We’re probably going to have to face another trip to Ikea to get more suitable storage, but hey… two bedrooms instead of one and a larger living area… oh, and the possibility of a washing machine… it has to be worth the back pain!
This edition will give you a good idea of what Tany and I have been up to over the last few months, a stunning trip to Australia and the usual full working lives. Then there’s the plans for the future, including my trip to Nigeria and our journey to… well, who knows? Maybe the decisions we having coming up will make good blog content. Now just to find the time to write.
We’ve finally made it to the Christmas break. I have high hopes that I’ll get back to blogging next year, but who knows. In the meantime, here’s our Christmas newsletter and a link to a seasonal blog post I wrote for The Seed Company’s website.
St Andrew's by the Wardrobe by Steve Cadman - available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/2354274047/
There are some rubbish church names out there, there are also some dull and ordinary church names, but there are also some wonderful names. Such as this one, St Andrew’s by the Wardrobe.
We had a moment of discussion in the office about its origins, wondering if there was a C. S. Lewis link – but no, nothing so glamorous. The real source of the name is explained on the church website,
The history of St Andrew’s dates back to the thirteenth century when it was associated with Baynard’s Castle, a
royal residence that has long since disappeared. When King
Edward III moved his state robes and other effects from the Tower of London to a large building close by, St Andrew’s became better known for its connection with the Great Wardrobe. The name stayed to specify its location
although the King’s store room is now only remembered in Wardrobe Place.
I got up at 5:45 this morning to wave my colleagues off. They’ve gone onto Ghana for another story. The plan was then to go back to bed and sleep until lunchtime because I doubt I’ll get any sleep on tonight’s flight. But, today is going to be hot and by 6:15 it was too warm and light to sleep. So, I’ve been up nibbling peanuts – given to us by one of the pastors we met on our journey and a local product from the Bissa region of Burkina Faso – and writing emails.
The plan for today is to have lunch with a colleague based at the SIL centre here in Ouagadougou before going over to ANTBA (Wycliffe Burkina) for the afternoon. I’m supposed to be ‘resting’ before getting to the airport at 6pm, but sleeping during the day has alluded me for most of the trip. Maybe the early start from today will change that.
I’ve been trying to think of a story that I can share here which will illustrate the experience of being in Burkina Faso, but that won’t steal the thunder from the stories that Hazel has been writing.
I guess last Sunday will stick in my memory for the longest. Because Biblefresh is supporting two translations we had to get to two communities and on Sunday that means two church services. Only, church here happens early to avoid the worst of the heat. That wasn’t going to work for us, so one pastor decided to start his service early, the other put his back until later – waiting for us to arrive before calling the congregation together.
Both services involved some level of translation, usually from French into whatever the local language was. People talk about African church services running for a long time, but out in the villages I suspect that a lot of that time is simply because you’re trying to conduct the service in a language that everyone will understand – this means speaking everything at least twice!
You know there are people here who go to church and don’t understand a word of what’s said. They rely on someone to translate it for them later when they get home. Could you imagine us doing that in the UK? – There’s probably some joke in there about preachers teaching in some foreign language even when they are speaking English, but you’re probably there before me.
There’s a taxi coming for me at some horrific time tomorrow morning. It’s taking me to the airport, where I’ll meet colleagues from the Bible Society and head off to Burkina Faso.
The picture on the right is from my last trip in January when it was warm and dry. This time it’s going to be warm and wet as we have managed to time our visit with the end of the rainy season.
The reason for the trip is simple. We are going to hear the stories from two translation projects in the south of the country, which will be supported through next year’s Biblefresh initiative. The results of this trip will probably become public for the first time at a launch event in central London in November.