Who are you?
Mark Lilley, 39
Short word on your time in Belgium?
I was your first Gapper ;) I was in belgium from September 2005 until June 2006
I lived in Household in Kessel-Lo with Alex, Sam Geleyn and Eric Laureys. There was also a girls household with Delphine, Joni and Noemi.
Roselien Geleyn and Sam Collet were babies!
My service was light, but always fun. I think my main service was actually just to help show a vision for Gap for the community and to make household a possibility. I was able to bring an international flavour to the beginnings of the Student Outreach but my biggest service was with the younger age group (school aged) both in the community and with other groups - The “Schoolmissions” group in Gent. I established the “boys” group which we called Banah. I am delighted that this group is still going and still continues to keep the same name!!
We also hosted the Kairos Weekend (then called “Le Weekend”) in Belgium in February 2006, so the organisation of this also took up a lot of my time - it was a truly blessed weekend for all.
I got to know many of the families during my time - Geleyn’s; Laureys; Lebbe; Tavernier; Luyts; Vanderstuyft; Collet; VanRaes; Van Den Broeck and many more. I am still pleased to have so many friends that I still keep in touch with.
What is the best memory of your time in Belgium?
Where to begin!!! There were so many happy times. I know Alex Lebbe would probably say my greatest memory was doing my Sumo Sudoko books :) Living in Leuven and learning Nederlands were key highlights. I loved Leuven. My parents came to visit me on May 2006. When I showed my dad around the town at the end of the day he said that “if he was told he had to spend the rest of his days in Leuven; he would be ok with that”. It really is a beautiful city. Sharing Household with Sam, Alex and Eric was also amazing. We had a lot of fun. From holidays in Rennes to visits to the Reynaert!
A little word on your life right now?
I continue to live in my home town of Glasgow and I am still a part of the Community of the Risen Christ. I am married to Ruth and we have 2 children - Patrick (5) and Hannah (2). We were so grateful to be able to come to On Holiday in Belgium 2017 - was a great opportunity to see everyone again and to introduce my family!
I work in the Children’s hospital in Glasgow. I have been working as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department for 5 years. But I am just about to change jobs to become the Major Trauma Coordinator.
Do you have a message for the people of Jerusalem?
My time in Jerusalem was a key point in my life. I had already been working for 5 years and I felt it was important to give a year of service to God. My work was very generous in accommodating this for me. I grew in maturity in my relationship with God. You all helped me in some special different way. You all welcomed me into your community, homes and hearts. I am continually inspired by the distance you are all willing to travel to attend prayer meetings - that dedication continues to challenge and encourage me. Thank you all for helping to shape me into the Christian man I have become.
What can we pray for?
Please continue to pray for me and my family. That my children would continue to choose God in their lives.