Wednesday, February 27, 2008

BBC NEWS | In Pictures | In pictures: UK earthquake

BBC NEWS In Pictures In pictures: UK earthquake

Earth-shaking News

Just before 1:00am this morning we woke up to a roar ... no, a shaking ... no, both. EARTHQUAKE! We learned later that the epicenter was in Lincolnshire (northeast of us) about 150 miles away. It measured 5.2 and the 10-second event was felt all over the nation. The experience is hard to explain, but as we spoke to people today we discovered it was very frightening for many. Only one major injury has been reported and many chimneys have collapsed, but that seems to be the extent of the damage. It was odd hearing the hangers in the closet rocking back and forth after all else was silent.

Oh, but THAT isn't the big news in the Leage family. Today Phil completed the final adjustments to his dissertation and put it in the mail to the University for grading. Everything is done now apart from donning his cap and gown next November to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Theology diploma.


Investing in Westerm Europe

It was great to have Phil home for a week after his trip to Israel. After flying in Sunday night he began teaching the book of Genesis on our SBS here at at TKL. It was a week of unfolding "in the beginning ..." -- not simply creation but how God spoke into the world from the beginning and his heart for all. This was Phil's first teaching slot with this class and they all loved it.

February half-term (which included Valentine's Day) was spent with his brother in Spain. No, they were not sunning themselves as it seems Phil has the ability to attract unseasonably cold weather on these teaching trips. D and R have relocated to the Costa del Sol to reestablish the DTS program there, and Phil traveled to teach on their first North Africa-focused DTS. This week he covered "Inductive Bible Study". In the students' words, it was "amazing", "exciting", "inspiring", and "brilliant". Great comments, and not said often enough when talking about studying the Bible!

Following a weekend at home, Phil jetted over to Hurlach, Germany to teach Deuteronomy on their SBS. I'm observing a deep fulfillment in him as he pours through the books with these students and helps them understand God's word. There seems to be a fresh anointing on his teaching, and we pray there will be great fruit.

Slumming it

Ever wonder how the "other half" live? Too often our thoughts tell us that we might be the ones without or having to do with less. Our dear Elisa signed up for an experience to find out what life is like to live in poverty.

For three days of her February half-term, Elisa and 16 others from their youth group took part in SLUM SURVIVOR It is a simulation experience designed by TearFund and hosted locally of living in a slum in make-shift housing, given two meals a day, having to work for materials needed to live, and experiencing lots of injustice along the way.

She came home very cold, dirty, extremely tired, hungry and newly aware of the pain that others feel on a daily basis. We noticed that she has begun to say "thank you" much more than before!

Monday, February 04, 2008

It was cold in Jerusalem

I have just returned from a busy teaching trip to Israel. The school is an 18 month track training the students in the skills of digital photography. They are focussing on issues of injustice, a subject that will take them to many countries. As part of the course they are having a biblical studies element which I was helping with. It was a full week, where I taught an overview of the Old Testament history from Joshua to Solomon, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. We had a wonderful time. It was also a very cold week with snow for a couple of days which severely hampered normal life. The small café just next door to the hostel we stayed in remained shut so I was not able to get my morning Turkish coffee!

We were staying in a hostel just outside the Damascus Gate of the old city of Jerusalem, and one street away from the Garden Tomb. Saturday was the time I could explore the area. I began with the Mount of Olives, which should now be called the Mount of grave yards and churches! I did find a couple of olive trees though. Then on to the Wailing Wall, the Old City, David’s city just south of the present Old City and the Garden Tomb. Being the Sabbath some things were closed but there was still much to see. It was a very wonderful experience for which I am most thankful.
On Sunday I returned to my wonderful family and am now catching up with life here. Tuesday - Friday of this week I will be in the SBS classroom here at The King's Lodge, teaching Genesis.