- The distance of travel between Canterbury, UK, to Lille, France is just over 120 miles (nearly 195 kms).
- Between Wye, UK (a small village in east Kent), to Ottawa, Canada, there lies not far short of 4,000 miles (nearly 6,500 kms).
- Population of Lille metropole is 1.1 million people
- Population of Ottawa metropole is 1.2 million people
- Both cities are the fourth largest city in their nation
Now, I could go on with further contrasting facts between these cities but I may be in danger of exasperating my readers for not sharing the reasoning behind the inclusion of Ottawa in what is a thoroughly Lille-oriented blog!
It has to do with two young families, part of churches within the Relational Mission family of churches, who are called to proclaim the gospel in cities that God has chosen for us to reach. I speak fondly of Simon and Andrée Kemp, an amazing couple who I have only had the pleasure of knowing for a short time, who will be moving, with their two young boys, from a sleepy village in the east Kent countryside, across “the Pond” to the capital of Canada.
I want to emphasise the crucial value of being part of a family of churches; a movement of people who are held together relationally by apostolic ministry, shaped by prophetic input and stewarded by eldership teams. Where this is cultivated, akin to a New Testament blueprint of following Jesus, it bears fruit in raising sons who will go to the ends of the Earth with the gospel; ‘ends’ near and far.
As you pray for Georgina and I for our move to Lille during the first half of 2013, please also pray for the Kemps as they move to Ottawa next month (February)! We are so thrilled for all that God has planned for them and even though thousands of miles separate us, the cause is the same and we will see Christ-honouring churches built in the great nations of Canada and France to the glory of God and for the sake of His name in the nations!