Taking the family home to Folkestone leaves me overwhelmed with emotion and love

– Rebekah and Derek on the hills behind Folkestone

Jesus said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

Mark 5:19

I have so much to share in today’s post. My heart is full to overflowing with emotion, and love, and deep ungraspable feelings that I can’t find the words to express but I have to try. I want to be able – as Jesus encouraged the man in the Mark 5 verse – to go home and tell everyone how much the Lord has done for me.

I almost cried (the good kind of tears) when I saw our grandson, three-year-old Mr. T., playing in the park near the house where I grew up, and then again when I watched him run – so happy – on top of the hills behind the town. It moved me just to be able to share such a beautiful experience with him on a breezy, sunny, clear, cool fall day.

– on the Leas

The day started out with clouds then rain and a cold wind when we walked along Folkestone’s clifftop promenade (The Leas) in the late morning before lunch. Then everything cleared, suddenly, in the way it so often does in England and the day turned glorious.

I have shared some of my story before in this space, memories. But this week I actually walked the familiar streets of the community where I grew up, breathing in the fresh, salty air of the seaside, standing on the steps of my old church, climbing to the top of my favorite hill behind the town, watching my grandson, Mr. T,. swing and slide and laugh in the playground in my old neighborhood, running through the grass with a grin on his face, and seeing our son, Andrew, hold his son close against the cold wind and morning rain up on the clifftops.

– on the church steps at Folkestone Baptist

For lunch, and this was bittersweet, we went to the church I attended growing up. Folkestone Baptist Church was a strong, vital, well-attended presence in the center of the town. Today the building is occupied by a restaurant/pub. The owners are doing a good job of preserving the historical building, but it was an interesting sensation to occupy a pub table at the same corner in the church I used to sit for worship. The food was good, but – on balance – I would rather have been there singing hymns with the people who taught me to love Jesus.

Then we went to play in the park before heading up to the hills behind the town. What a spectacularly beautiful afternoon! I have so many amazing images to share, and a few of them are in the gallery below, but this video will give you a sense of what it was like to stand on the breezy summit with 360-degrees of panoramic view. I pan from the east (looking toward Dover, through the town of Folkestone then to the west (Romney Marsh and Camber, where we are staying) and – after briefly pausing on the entry to the famed Channel Tunnel – turning the view behind the hills to the beautiful countryside.

Finally, we drove back to the East Cliff, the vantage point above Folkestone Harbor looking back into the afternoon sun. The sunshine and the clarity were spectacular, especially in contrast to the cold wet morning. But that’s England for you, especially in the fall.

Watch the short video, and then scroll through the pictures. I am sure you will agree that this (Monday October 10th) was a most wonderful day, and I believe you will understand why I feel so privileged and joyfully blessed – in very many ways.

In love, and because love is the heartbeat of my life – DEREK


  1. Derek, so good you got to go back to where you were raised, along with your wife, son, daughter-in-law and Mr. T. It looks beautiful. Sorry your old church was turned into a pub and restaurant. So sad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I choked up that your grandson played in the park near the place you grew up. Let’s face it. No matter where you live – England or U.S. It must be in the south!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s