make the most of it while you can

I’ve officially been away from my family for over a month now. It’s been really tough but I’m trying to make the most of the time that I do have on my own. I went for a 13-mile bike ride today and I just got done helping my mom sort some beans for an upcoming meal. Because I don’t actually know when I will be back in 🇺🇸 after I leave, it makes small things like this with my parents especially special.

Day trip with my parents!

My first sewing project in ages. Wanted to make some knitting project bags while I had access to sales at the fabric store and my mom’s sewing machine. 🧵 🧶

I miss these faces so much. We’re working on missions opportunities on the Continent so that hopefully we’ll be all together again in a couple of weeks.

Another quick sketch while listening to Dear Hank & John.

I’m supposed to be recovering from jet lag right now, but I’m still in the States. I’ve tried to stay productive in a sense, even though the things I was working on are all in Liverpool. I did a quick illustration on my iPad today, though.

Familiar =/= Stable

An update on ministry in Liverpool and the UK

I’ve been in the 🇺🇸 trying to renew my visa application. Today, I received the news that my visa application was refused.

In the spring, a new law went into affect in the UK that states that those working in the UK on a Tier 5 Charity or Religious Worker Visa (the type of visa that I was on) must have a 12-month cooling-off period before being able to apply again. This is a crushing blow to our goal of doing ministry in the UK but more so for our family as I have been away from Tracy for coming up on 3 weeks and the kids for nearly a month.

In my cohort, there are 5 apprentices and their families. 2 out of the 5 have been successful in their applications but the rest of us have been refused. For the immediate future, this means that I’m not allowed in the UK for a minimum of 12 months.

We are still exploring what this means in terms of ministry. For now, we’re working to figure out what we need to do to be reunited as a family again. Our goal for now is still to do ministry in the UK but we may need to spend some time in Europe for now, particularly while Tracy and the kids are still entitled to live and work there without a visa.

So please be praying for these things:

  1. Pray that we are reunited soon, as we have already been apart for too long.
  2. A path to continuing ministry would be made clear.
  3. Pray that there would be a way for the other apprentices to continue in ministry as well.

Fresh off the needles, the Irish Hiking Scarf. 🧶

Jesus knows what it’s like to be you.

Tim Chester, Enjoying God

There’s a storm coming.

This quick painting was a race against the fading sunlight.

First pair of socks are officially off the needles. 🧶

I finished my first sock! 🧶

Making socks for the first time while I continue to wait for my visa and inbetween booking meetings with people.

Little Daisy is keeping me company while I miss my wife and kids (they’re all back in the UK while I await my visa).

I had a great time at a hymn sing with my friends from Cross of Christ Fellowship last night. It was a really lovely evening at the Naperville Riverwalk too!

I did not adequately prepare for how expensive my use of Uber while here in 🇺🇸 was going to get. Good thing I only need to do this a couple times or I would be going home completely broke.

The day before I arrived back in 🇺🇸 to renew my visa, there was a shooting at a food festival in California. Less than a week into my stay and there’s been a mass shooting in Texas. I really hope my visa comes back in time so I can leave again.

I went to a Blick Art store and got immediate and completely crippling decision fatigue.

Taco special from the The Jalapeño Grill.

Really big lunch at Colombian’s Taste with my dad.

MAN🛫ATL. Next stop is ORD.

Visa Renewal Mission, stage one has commenced with a 🚞 from Liverpool to Manchester Airport!