What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.T.S. Eliot
I used this same T.S. Eliot quote in my high school yearbook over twenty years ago. It’s held true through every transition, every move, every mistake and victory.
We are at an end and a beginning –
A juncture where we stop and reflect.
This past chapter has spanned almost three years, more if you count the waiting and preparation. It was an answer to prayer and yet so far from what we were expecting.
In truth, there have been some really difficult moments. God called us to England for an entirely different ministry than we thought he was calling us to when we sold most of our belongings and uprooted our family to move across the sea. It was a ministry we would have never said “yes” to, nor felt equipped to fulfill and yet, he needed us here so here we are. We have learned so much but now, it is time to go home.
One day, when I have had time to heal and process, I will write more about this chapter. I will share stories of the wonderful people we’ve met and the experiences we have had: both the good and the bad. For now, we’ll just let it all simmer until what we are left with is a rich, flavourful reduction of those things that help us grow and move forward as better versions of ourselves.
So where are we going and what will we do?
Ben has accepted a call to be the Minister of Worship at First Baptist Church in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada. We are thrilled about this opportunity. First Baptist is a church in love with Jesus, grounded in the word of God, and established in truth. It was, literally, the first baptist church in the newly incorporated city of 5,000 called Vancouver, 134 years ago (for those British folk, that is like super old for Canada). He will join a pastoral team of nine other ministers who are missionally focused and have a passion for sharing the love of God with a very diverse and widespread congregation of about 700 people. First Baptist is in the midst of a large building project, giving an opportunity to re-evaluate how they serve the surrounding community. We are excited to a part of it.
As a family, we have also accepted an invitation to live at an organization called Kinbrace. We will be part of a larger host family that welcomes and journeys alongside refugee claimants and asylum seekers. Kinbrace offers temporary housing and practical support to those experiencing Canada’s refugee protection system. This will involve living in intentional community, sharing meals, cups of tea, conversations, and generally being a good neighbour. Kinbrace has two houses, side-by-side, in East Vancouver with a shared yard complete with chickens and raised garden beds for growing veg, so I will still have a place to get my hands dirty.
The kids are equally as excited as they will be closer to their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, not to mention, the ocean. There are both elementary and secondary schools close by and Jakob is particularly excited to not have to wear a uniform. I do believe that the “specialised” school Ella has been in this past year was the best possible place for her to be during the pandemic but I will be glad to have her back in mainstream school in Vancouver, where inclusion is more understood and championed. I am also looking forward to having her and Audrey in the same school for the first time.
As for me, who knows? I will continue to work on my graduate studies and hope to bring that to completion by the end of 2021. I will be looking to get a job in communications eventually and have been having many conversations with friends about what opportunities might be available. I would certainly appreciate prayers that I would be able to find the right fit.
As always, I am so grateful for those of you who have journeyed with us, prayed for us and supported us. If you’re new here, welcome to the crazy adventure of the Ewerts. There is rarely a dull moment.