Two weekends ago, Ruth had one of her “cultural experience” trips to Lilongwe in a local bus with Joseph and Elevate of CFCM. It is undoubtedly the cheapest way to get to Lilongwe, at 4000MwK (about £4) to travel 300km – as long as you don’t mind standing all the way, or arriving at least 2 hours before you would like to travel to secure a seat; as long as you don’t mind having all your luggage crushed around your feet or on your lap the whole journey; as long as you don’t mind having absolutely no personal space since standing passengers are packed like sardines down the aisle, and inevitably lean over the people who have got seats; as long as you don’t mind zero air-conditioning, or being by a window that is either permanently stuck open, or cannot be opened at all; as long as you don’t mind 6-7 hours of music with the same jangling accompaniment and rhythm being pumped out of the loud speakers. Ruth doesn’t mind – but is glad when it’s over! Continue reading
“Come, children, join and sing”
Many years ago, CEF worker Etiny Thole, had a vision of a throng of children standing on a stage singing praises to God. As a child growing up in Mzuzu, she remembers her grandmother teaching her hymns in Tumbuka in her home every evening. Continue reading
Ruth – doing music training with Echoes of Grace while also training Echoes of Grace to be trainers – appears on the new Echoes of Grace website. In turn the site was developed by Myles and Eric, who is being trained by Myles to be the Echoes of Grace digital media director. It’s all go! 🙂
A change of plan meant that Ruth and I had the opportunity to travel with Michael Priestley and his ZM driver Anthony, to visit five ZEC churches in the Mulanje area east of Blantyre.
Michael is the sort of older Christian who is a challenging example to us all. He must be well into his seventies and he has been visiting Malawi from England for 23 years. Initially he came with his wife Joy, they fell in love with the people and the place, and even after her death eight years ago Michael has been coming back regularly to buy and distribute bibles in the local Chichewa language using money gifted by Christians in the UK.
1st September 2013
The last two weeks have passed so very quickly and thanks to the gracious support of our hosts, Silas and Rahab, we have learned so much about Kenya, about its people, and about ourselves.
So it is only fitting that we have spent our last day in Kenya with our amazingly hospitable hosts; back again at their lively church, and then at home with them for a family meal around their big dining table.
It is an example of their open hearted character that “family” included us, a brother, a nephew, a missionary friend, his children, and our driver!
24 June 2013
On this trip to Romania we were determined to see more of the reputedly beautiful Romanian countryside, and to get a taste of some of the wider Christian ministry in the country. So Ruth and I – accompanied by our daughter and church friend – headed off eastwards on a road trip that took us through the beautiful green pastureland of Transylvania to the Casa Harului (meaning “House of Grace”)Christian campsite near Deva.
On our January trip to Carand we had met Beni Medrea and we were keen to meet up with him and his wife, Maria, to check out the stories we had heard about their alpine campsite that provided holidays, good food and sound Christian teaching to children from a wide variety of backgrounds. With clear vision, starting with army tents, and through decades of hard effort and strong partnership from UK Christians, this very special place rose out of a pasture near their family hill farm. Today it serves the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of disadvantaged families, physically disabled children and children with learning disabilities from a wide area of Romania.
After the wonderful scenery, hospitality and fellowship in Midleton and in County Mayo, Ruth and I drove across Ireland’s green and pleasant countryside for our final stay, in Trim and County Meath.
Last August I had the privilege of being an “honorary Irishman” for two weeks when I sharing lodgings with a dynamic group of Irish church planters at a conference organised by One Mission Society in Greenwood, Indiana. In Trim I was looking forward to repeating the long evenings of practical theological discussions with Ciaran that I had enjoyed in Indiana, and to worshiping with the Living Hope Church that I had heard so much about. I was not disappointed on either front.