Dear Family and Friends,
Happy Pre-Fall! It’s soon here. We had only a week or two of hot weather this summer and now we’re having Fall-like weather, which is Belgium’s normal summer weather, much like that of the Northwestern US.
Schools here began again September 1st as usual. So we’re already into a couple of weeks of the new school year in Belgium where schools are back to a normal schedule. In schools where a student has come down with the corona virus, they have sent the students from his/her class home for distance-learning for two weeks. Teachers are wearing masks all day as they teach, but the students under 12 years of age are not.
Things here in the city are not quite in full swing again. People are back at their jobs after vacation but many are still working from home and tele-conferencing. The European Parliament should be kicking off again as plenary sessions are this week. But as one friend who arrived last week said ‘It feels rather dead here’. He’s so right. We are not back to normal, but the new normal right now does include working from home.
The corona virus cases in Belgium are continuing to rise due to people returning from holidays elsewhere and some being tired of the restrictions. We received a new set of pandemic regulations a few weeks ago as covid cases had increased first in Antwerp and later in Brussels. In Brussels we now have to wear a mask even to walk around outside, and of course still on public transportation and in stores. It’s not too bad since the weather is cooler. But it’s not been too encouraging for me to get out and take a walk as masks are so restrictive. Our ‘bubbles’ – people we can see regularly – decreased from 15 to five. So… precautions. Many of us are still praying the corona virus dies out completely or that everyone builds up an immunity to it and it no longer has a bad affect on anyone.
My local church, Vineyard Brussels, has begun having Sunday services requiring registration for up to 55 attendees. Of course, that’s wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, staying 1½ meters from one another, not hugging or touching… They also started a new Sunday evening service focusing on worship and prayer. I attended my first one yesterday evening and it was so refreshing and a blessing!
Belgium has been without a formal government since the elections in May 2019. King Philip has appointed two men to “form” a new government. Talks now need to continue by video linking as one came down with the corona virus and the other must be quarantined. Please pray for Belgium to have a “real” government with a Prime Minister who will lead with integrity and wisdom. A new government will include Flemish and French-speaking people as well as several political parties.
There are only two direct flights from Belgium to the US and no direct flights coming into Belgium from the US as the US is still considered a hot-spot for the corona virus. I could get to the States but the tickets are more than double the normal price and I’d have to change airports once going and again on the return trip. Also, I’d be flying back through Istanbul and I don’t really want to be adding so many hours to the trip. What would usually take 19-23 hours of travel to get to California would be more like 33 hours. It’s possible, just complicated and expensive. Such limitations on visiting people and all the smoke due to fires in California could make it more difficult as well. So, I have decided NOT to go to the US this year. I will miss seeing all of you. I think the stress of trying to avoid getting the corona virus will be much less if I remain here. I will plan to go next September and be in North Carolina for the Missions Conference in October 2021.
Travel is open in most places within Europe, but many are requiring covid testing if they’ve been in an ‘orange’ or ‘red’ area and if they have traveled from outside of Europe.
Our prayer trip in October for which some of my international prayer team still had airline tickets has been cancelled. They’ve been told that cases of the corona virus have increased in that area. So, we will reschedule.
I am doing well. I am losing weight and trying to eat healthily. I still need to exercise and take walks regularly.
Will you pray that I can continue to be disciplined enough to eat right, exercise, and be healed of diabetes, respiratory problems and heart weakness with no long-term problems?
My finances have been a little low lately, but my bills are all paid and I have no huge upcoming expenses. I am in the process of doing some more fund-raising. The Lord has been and is faithful to provide. Will you pray that my support will increase and my expenses decrease?
May God’s Kingdom come here on earth as it is in Heaven!
Thank you so much for your prayers, friendship and support. Your partnership is so important to me. I love and appreciate each of you so much.
Love in Christ,
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About Carol Britton
Carol’s passion is strengthening Believers to take their place in society – to make a difference wherever they are, living their Christian lives more fully and being an influence for the Kingdom of God in the workplace. Her desire is for believers to learn to invite Jesus into every situation and pray into the injustice they see and experience even in their jobs.