Saturday, 29 March 2008
No you're not imagining things...I've actually returned to my blog after a long winter hibernation!!
I was fast joining the statistic of those people who stop blogging after the first six months. It really does get harder the longer you stay away.
So a quick update....
2008 has been a bit mental to be honest. I think if Andrea and I could re-plan our first six months of marriage it would have been a lot more chilled. Probably one out of two weekends has been spent with either travelling, church stuff or having family and friends visit. All of it has been good but it's left us a bit zonked and quite drained by it all at times.
Thankfully, things are slowing down at last and Andrea and I are looking forward to some weekends home and away together over the next few weeks.
We had an awesome Easter week this year. 15 students from Bangor S.A. in N.Ireland joined us for a week and helped us run a kids club in our local leisure centre. It was amazing watching 30 kids and a fantastic team have so much fun and also learn about what a life following Jesus Christ looks like.
Here are some highlights....
- Hearing 30 kids from our estate sing with conviction the simple but profound words to each other -'God loves you and nothing you can do will ever change that.'
- Hear one kid tell us that he'd love to be a Salvation Army officer when he grows up and another of our youth say he wants to be a youth worker after volunteering with us this week.
- Watch with immense pride as five of our local teenagers from our youth club volunteered all week with our kids work. They were AMAZING!
- Holding our Easter Sunday service in our local pub and see 85 people turn up and pack the place!
- Witness 15 young people from N. Ireland come and make our community their community for the past week and serve it so selflessly.
In the midst of the craziness of the week I had to lead a funeral in the estate. I've only led one before and tragically that was of a 14 year old girl who was part of our youth work in Gibby.
I have to be honest and say that it's not my favourite thing to do but it's always a huge honour and privilege.
On Wednesday, over 120 people from the community packed into our church to remember Betty, a lady that lived round the corner from us. What a privilege to share with my neighbours at such a difficult time in their lives. What an honour to speak words of hope and life into their lives as they gathered to grieve, remember and celebrate.
Life here can be so surreal at times. One minute you're doing silly actions with kids at a club and the next you're literally in your black suit standing by a graveside saying 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust'.
It's only God's grace that carries me in this work. He's so faithful.
Anyway, that's my little update. For all you doubters who took me off your list...Oh ye of little faith!
See ya in three months!