We had a plan.
We would arrive in London and stay in a hotel for two weeks. We would use this time to search for a church to attend, a house to rent and then look for a school. Once we were sorted with a church, a house and a school, my husband would then start looking for a job. The best-laid plans…!
God has been very gracious to us though.
We found a lovely evangelical church and community almost immediately during these two weeks. We also found a home, a lovely home, in fact, it turned out to be the only available home in the area of London we were searching in! The only catch was that we had to wait 3 weeks to move in. Extending our hotel stay was an expensive option so we prayed about it. And we discussed it with our new pastor and asked if there were any church families who needed house-sitting for three weeks during the summer. Three families offered up their homes to us and we had three back-to-back weeks of house-sitting covering the three weeks that we had to wait until our new home was available to us!
Then it was time for us to find a school, which was our next challenge. We found out that getting into a public school in the UK depends on your “catchment area”. You had to apply to the local council and they assigned a school for your kids based on, among other things, the proximity of your home to the school. We managed to get through this challenge as well by God’s grace and were able to place all three of our kids into a local school with an attached nursery (for my youngest).
The school was only a 5-minute walk from our new home, so we felt incredibly blessed to have this provision.