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Wales

Origin stories seem to be all the rage, so I thought this site needed an origin story, my origin story.

It’s not going to be a life story, more of a description of development.

I come from a small village known as the ‘gateway to the valleys’ and from a family with its fair share of characters. My mother’s side was supposedly from Romany/Gypsy stock, although my mums wider family hush that up. My dad’s family came from Cornwall/Devon area and were manual workers.

My dad was an excellent sportsman and, in his day, created local folklore with his athletic abilities. In the 50s, he played for Portsmouth football club when they were in the first division. He was also invited to join the Manchester United football team. They had a contract on the table for him to sign, but as he was the only one left at home to look after and provide for his mother, he declined the offer. He could have been in that fateful Munich aircraft crash that killed many Manchester United players if he had accepted. In his day, there were many reports on his athletic prowess appearing in the local papers. He is mentioned in local books concerning his ability to throw a cricket ball over a local railway viaduct and catch it when it can down the other side. The viaduct was over 37m high. Even at 80 he made the headlines by rescuing a man of equal age from a burning building. Dad was the dashing sportsman.

My mother was a businesswoman who was at the forefront of pushing boundaries in the ’50 and 60s. She became a retail manager for a national grocery chain at a young age, which was rare for a female in those days. She also chased various business opportunities and eventually Mum and Dad developed a catering business from scratch, pushing through health challenges and lacking support from her own family of businessmen. She and Dad raised three children; sadly, a fourth died soon after childbirth.

Kevin, the dreamer, came into this mix as the middle child. I was often told to stop daydreaming, but it wasn’t that easy life held such options and possibilities. It didn’t do my education any good, and that has been a struggle that is part of my personal baggage even today. However, I loved to read books on adventure and stories about different countries. My family believed it was a throwback to our travelling ancestors. Unfortunately, I couldn’t act on this Spirit of adventure partly because of opportunity and partly because, at the time, it was a scary concept to consider.  It was so against the culture of the day. I lived in a small village. My family didn’t travel; crossing the Severn bridge was a significant escapade in the 60s and 70s. The prevailing mindset was that you were supposed to get a job, join a specific career path and settle down.

I struggled with this mindset until I was willing to engage in the adventure of uncertainty. Then I knew there was another way. Through this period of life, I had felt that there was a bit of me that was missing. I didn’t quite fit in, that was until I encountered the teachings of a man called Jesus. A month after making a clear decision to follow the way of Jesus, things become more integrated and adventurous, and I found myself in the jungles of South India.

Life in India helped me merge life and faith. I quickly became aware of the intertwined reality between the physical and the spiritual worlds, both of which became very real. One does not exist without the other, and the teachings of Jesus gave the sense, meaning and reality to them both. I experienced the physical world, but the spiritual world also proved itself to be just as natural.

Over the years, my journey has taken me to several countries. In each place, the reality of the natural and supernatural have interlocked and deepened.

This site is called ‘Reflections from the Valleys” because I came from a Welsh valley. I have travelled and lived in various valleys across the world. I have travelled on my own, with family and with the counsel of the Holy Spirit. In each place, I have experienced the various nuances that life can throw up.

I am very aware that this is nothing new. We all trek specific pathways that are personal to our journey. I am thankful that the people and the Spirit that travelled with me has shared practical wisdom, encouragement, hope and love. They have all provided supernatural council and strength that has enabled me to carry on this uncertain adventure. This site tries to share stories, insights and musings that may be interesting and enlightening. Where my journey eventually leads, we will see