|Along the Apalacian Trail|
Well life was full of colds and feeling a bit stressed so September’s newsletter got forgotten and now November is here so we are playing catch up, while just realizing that yet another end of year is almost upon us. Even with another roller-coaster year of ups and downs I looked at Sarah this afternoon and said we are so blessed here with all the good things that God has given us especially three great children. So in this newsletter we want to share with you about our adventure to the USA.
Our travels got off to a rough start with us all being ill, and a bought of bronchitis for Sarah, however the trip was just what we were all needing. A break from the everyday life here in Bolivia, breathing in fresh oxygenated air and being surrounded by Gods wonderful creation and good friends. In the time we were there the weather was just cooling off and the leaves on the trees were just beginning to change into beautiful reds, oranges and yellows. Having not seen an autumn in eight years we were just mesmerized by all the colours.
|Our First attempts at carving pumpkins|
|Yay for tractor rides|
Our hosts were amazing and blessed us in so many different ways, from many practical things such as a car and food and lodging, to being a listening ear as people who understand what living in Bolivia is like and who have homeschooled their own four children.
|Not quite Cadburys, but a fun trip|
America was very different from what we are used to, both in the UK and Bolivia, having to drive everywhere being the biggest thing. However, we had a very positive and refreshing time and even made a number of new friends. One of the big benefits was that the children could get to experience a little more freedom and explore more of the world around them.
Part of our reason for going to the US was for Ed to complete part of a Coaching training course that he began back in September. The training provided the opportunity to finally begin to understand and practice being a coach. It is one thing to read about something but it is something completely different to actually do it.
|We can now say that Alana is almost as tall as a Rhino|
I (Ed) was not sure what to expect from the training, I guess in my mind I was expecting that the training would be 6 days of sitting and listening to people talk about what coaching is and how to do it. What it was in the end was 6 days of intense learning with teaching periods no longer than 20 minutes followed by either a demo where a trainer coached one of us or coaching a partner practicing what we had just learnt about. By the end of the training I felt much more confident in how to coach but my head was bursting with all that I had learned.
Some of the highlights from the training where: meeting the other students on the course and hearing their stories, getting in lots of practice time to grow in confidence, hearing God speak to me as I was coached about the issues and challenges I am currently working through, learning about personality types and how we interact and clash with each other, going to a pub and having ale and fish and chips, and getting to hike around some of the beautiful countryside of Colorado Springs.
Back in Bolivia, I am starting to put into practice what I have learned. Just this week I was in a meeting with a colleague and used some of the coaching skills I had learned to help him think about a particular training he was working on. Then I was able to help a friend from church to think through some key changes he wanted to make in his work.
One of the tag-lines from the training is ‘practice makes permanent,’ and so I am working at setting up some coaching relationships with different people, as well as being asked to coach the leadership staff of FH in Bolivia. All of which will go towards building up practice hours towards my certification. I am a little nervous stepping out in doing this, but one of the great things about coaching is that it is not about me coming up with the answers, because God speaks first and foremost to the client, so my role is to believe in them and walk with them whilst they work out what God is doing and where He wants to lead them.
As well as the coaching practice, this month I will start tele-classes for the 3rd module, which will be really interesting as it was what got me interested in coaching in the first place. The module is about discovering ones life purpose and how to coach people as they consider questions about design, passion, preparation and calling. A quote from a book I am reading at the moment says that ‘As Christians, our purpose is woven into the fabric of the purposes of God for all of creation. Purpose is implanted in us as well as revealed to us – we were made for what God calls us to be.’ I am looking forward to walking with others as they find God’s purposes for their lives.
Thank God for:
- A refreshing trip to the US
- An encouraging weeks training in Colorado for Ed
- The different opportunities opening up to put the coaching into practice
Ask God for:
- Working out what this next season in Bolivia looks like
- A good finish to this school year and a good beginning to next with Isaiah joining us at home
Ed, Sarah, Alana, Isaiah and Lucas