This Sunday evening, the DeYoung family–all eight of us, two parents and six kids (ages 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12)–will board a plane for London. We are not due back home for seven weeks.
Two years ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with William Taylor, the Rector at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, a large evangelical Anglican church in London. For two weeks I made London my home base as I preached all over the country at several Gospel Partnerships. Shortly after that trip, William asked if I’d consider coming back for a longer visit. I told him that I didn’t want to be away from my family for more than a couple weeks. I figured this would be the end of the discussion. Nice offer, not going to work. To my surprise, William said, “Well bring your whole family then! We’ll find a place for you.” All eight of us. In the UK. For seven weeks. Without a car. Sounds like an adventure. I trust that if we meet Adele, she’ll write a song about us.
And what will we be doing, besides looking for sugar cereals and trying to explain that Donald Trump is not our fault? My wife will be homeschooling our kids. My kids will be touching things they shouldn’t at the British Museum. And I’ll be preaching (a lot) and working on my PhD (a little). Of course, we’ll also see really cool things, take a bunch of pictures, and learn the difference between chips and crisps.
I won’t give you the precise rundown of my schedule, but I’ll be speaking in Leyland, London, Nottingham, Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh, along with stops in Sussex, Northern Ireland, and Germany. All told, it looks like I’ll be doing something in the neighborhood of 35 sermons. If you are so inclined, prayers for strength, safety, and good health are always appreciated. Most weeks have 3 days on, 4 days off. It’s during the off days that I hope to do some work on my dissertation and see some sights with my family.
While I’m gone, University Reformed Church will be just fine with Jason Helopoulos doing most of the preaching. You can expect less tweeting and a great lineup of guest bloggers (I’ll chime in every once in awhile). We are thankful to URC for allowing our family this (likely) once in a lifetime opportunity. We are thankful for our friends here helping us in a hundred ways to clean, to pack, to provide meals, and to stay at the house while we’re away. We are thankful for all the folks in the UK who have already been hard at work to provide our only-slightly-less-than-ginormous family with warm, Christian hospitality. We are thankful (we hope) for the patience of whatever poor souls will be sitting near us on the plane.
It’s hard to believe, but when we get back the college basketball regular season will be over, the presidential nominating process could be essentially over, and maybe even winter will be over. It’s a long time to be on the other side of the pond–not like moving there, but definitely more than a quick vacation blitz. It’s all a bit daunting and overwhelming at the moment. But all eight of us are excited too. We are off on an adventure.