Autumn is Here & An Answer to Prayer
BY PAT & MAYA LAURENT, LONDON CHURCH PLANTERS
As fall, or as they call it in the UK, autumn begins, we are slowly adjusting to life in London. The boys are in school and we are settling into a routine. Let's rewind though and tell you a story from just over a month ago. When we first moved in, we briefly met our neighbor and found out they had five boys and that one was in Zane's (our oldest) school year and their twins were in Jude's (our middle child) year. They then left for holiday and when they arrived home our boys could hear their boys playing. We have learned that you don't knock on neighbors' doors here, so we kept praying for a way for our boys to meet. Zane and I prayed one night for a natural way for us to connect with our neighbors. The next morning I looked out into our garden to see a toy that was not ours. I asked Zane where it came from and he said "It's a Ninjago toy! I bet it's the neighbors!" He put on shoes in lighting speed and before I could say a word ran the toy next door, Jude following him without a shirt or shoes on! They were there for 15 minutes and came home to say they had arranged a play date to get to know the boys. Forward to about a week later after the playdate and our front door and the neighbor's is open while seven boys run in and out of the two homes, playing, eating a TON of food with Veda trying to chase them. It was such an amazing opportunity for us to show the boys a true answer to prayer...in the form of a LEGO toy in our garden!
The neighbor boys were so helpful in helping our boys settle into a new school, as they attend there as well. They have introduced the boys to classmates and helped them get aquatinted with everything. On the first day of school, one of the neighbor boys was clearly feeling anxious, so Jude grabbed his hand and said "It's okay, I'll help you find your class." Jude didn't know where he was going! He found his teacher and he led his friend into the school.
We've hosted a movie night with three huge bowls of popcorn, 12 apples, a block of cheese and a batch of cookies all consumed by the boys! The eldest boy seemed to think it might be "uncool" to hang out with the younger kids but I think we won him over with the homemade popcorn and cookies, and he stayed later than any of the other boys! Our boys now have been to their home for supper, Monopoly and a film night too.
In a city and culture that is truly closed off and not open, this kind of relationship between neighbors is rare. We are so thankful for how God opened up these relationships for our boys and ask for prayer as Pat and I attempt to dive in with their parents more. Pray for God to open up the cultural barrier of "being very private" with this family as we love on their boys and hope to get know the parents too! God is clearly moving in how he has opened up these relationships.
Here's how you can be praying for us in the meantime:
Pray for us as we start to identify some individuals we'd like to disciple and spend some intentional time with them in life together. Pray for those relationships to develop as real and honest.
We as a couple are really missing friends in the same life stage as us. Pray for people to come into our life who are in the same life stage and for friendships to begin. It is hard to break through the cultural barrier of super private life here, so pray for ways to break through and open up with others.