Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Lot to Cheer About

March always lives up to its name - it feels as if we stride so quickly through this month toward Spring!

Early March the September DTS was welcomed back for a week of debrief. They reported fantastic growth in themselves and their relationships with God, and being fruitful in Tanzania for 8 weeks (after 2 weeks in London).

Last Sunday we waved goodbye to our January DTS, who flew down to South Africa for their outreach until mid-June. Yesterday the term ended, with our Bible Coure Course graduating 11 students,and the SBS completing Term Two. Now on to the prophets ...!

Smack in the middle of all this was Jonathan's birthday -- our special boy has turned 10! He enjoyed a Laser Tag birthday party with his friends, but his actual birthday day was also focusing on Elisa.

The UK Cheerleading Association National Championships fell on 17-18 March, the weekend of Jonathan's birthday. At 10 he was less interested in being surrounded by girls all looking their best, but we are proud of him that he made the best of the day and was actually fascinated at how the girls were stunting, being thrown up in the air, and on all but just a few occasions they were being caught! Elisa's squad competed against older and more experienced girls and therefore didn't rank very high. The whole experience was brilliant for them, and there is a new determination to train and improve.

The new term begins Easter weekend. We are expecting about 20 on the Crossroads CDTS (and 10 children) and 10 on the Primary Health School along with our third term of the SBS. More new students to welcome and to induct and come to know, and to love.

For the next few days, though, we plan a well-earned rest.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In the classroom again

Its great to be back in the classroom again. A couple of weeks ago I was with the School of Biblical Studies here at The King’s Lodge where we were looking at the book of Deuteronomy. It was a great week of understanding how the law worked in the life of the ancient nation of Israel, its significance and what the implications are for today.

My time in Germany was a delight as I was able to spend time with my friends that run the school there. It was again looking at the law of Moses, this time the school was the shorter three month Bible Core Course (BCC). I had the joy both weeks of seeing the students’ attitude to this part of scripture change though out the week, and finish by loving the law – for the right reasons!

This week I am in the classroom again with the BCC here at the Lodge, this time exploring Wisdom literature. From the heights of lifestyle challenges in Proverbs, to the despair and confusion of Job and ‘ho hum, what’s the point’ of Ecclesiastes to the heights of romantic love of the Song of Solomon. Quite a ride.

Next week, the book of Kings.

Linda and the children are doing very well.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Travels continue

The Philippines was great. It has taken longer than hoped to recover from a packed week of "spying out the land", travel and adjust to the 8-hour time difference - twice! One of the best things about me doing these little excursions is the appreciation I have of what it is like for Phil to be away from the family and deal with the weariness of the travel.

We were a working party of 5 - all having worked together before in Cagayan de Oro - and all with different giftings and interests. The mission for these few days on the ground was to find the target areas of the city for the Mega-outreach for focus and impact. In such a short time I believe we heard God and saw the things he wanted us to.

It was an absolute joy to revisit locations where we had worked these past two years. Over the past two years and for just a few weeks we did what we could, prayed and shared our love for Jesus, and served the Filipinos. This return trip allowed me to see the "... and then ..." work that the pastors, YWAMers, and especially the Holy Spirit did after we left. It is a rare privilege to see the fruit of our labour from a short-term outreach.

One near-by city had been a main focus of our last two outreaches. Teams were there nearly every day for seven weeks running, going house-to-house to build relationships and share about Jesus. Many asked for Bible studies so we continued to visit their homes and became their friends. An area of this city was hit by a typhoon last year just after our team arrived, and all efforts shifted to restoring their homes and lives. The mayor has become our greatest advocate in the city. The evening before we flew out - last day of Chinese New Year - Madame Mayor invited our scouting party out to a 10-course Chinese meal as a way of honouring what we have done over these two years.
Phil is now the one who is away. He is teaching Deuteronomy on the Bible Core Course in Germany. It'll be great to be back together again on Friday!