Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Africa - Retrospect

It took two weeks to sort out the unpaid balance of our Dar es Salaam hotel bill.  In our email exchanges, the front-of-house manager used calculations that involved rather spurious exchange rates, but we ended on amicable terms.   At least two guys from Tanzania have booked for MILC (the June UK conference week).

Wakey, Jonny and Jason did a short spot at Men Alive, while my photos polled round on the GFX screen.  Jonny produced a sharp video for the Alive Festival weekend, and the guys gave gripping accounts of their reactions.  Viv helped me to upload to my laptop the HD video and audio I'd taken, but it's got no further.  Deja vue with the India recordings.  We must fix this for MILC and beyond.

 I tidied up the Facebook account I'd created three years ago as part of the digital means to  keep in touch with the AMEN guys, and have collected a healthy batch of friends.

Steven in Zambia has proved impossible to contact.  As soon as he recovered from malaria, he chipped off to Malawi.  I haven't been able to pass on my appreciation of his brother Jakob's support in Dar es Salaam, or ask Steven about the charity project he's got sorted out.  Rukundo decided to bring church discipline to Claud to try to arrest him from his backsliding.  Gregory's team "up country" in Kenya have made great strides as a result of Jonny's and Jason's input there.  Daniel Grimmer and I are doing a MILC workshop on apostolic administration , and we've had some warm exchanges in preparation.

Huw's pushed on with Multiply's application for Sponsor status with the Home Office so we can make a decent job of the internship scheme.  The trouble is, it will take some time, and we're not likely to get any take-up until later in the year.  Wakey's kept up good contact with the guys he met.

We've pencilled in a joint Sierra Leone and Nigeria trip for Spring 2013.  It looks like a team of six, which will permit a couple of JGen folks to do something (probably at Matthew's church), while the leaders do the conference hopping bit in the two regions.

Mary's getting anxious about the MILC day we shall host at the Jesus Centre here now on 7th June.  (London Day falls on 9th June, so the MILC Conference has come forward to Friday 8th.)  We've become famous for our spicy food, and are in danger of being victims of our own ambitions!  Mercifully, on Sundays we have ladies around from both East and West Africa, so should get the expert catering needed.

I found myself looking at steep driveways to houses round here, and remembering that they weren't a problem out in Africa because they don't get snowed up in winter.

Did anything else have a lasting effect?   The problem of the one-dimensional church, where paid pastorates just drive the shepherds further from the flock.  I don't think I shall be able to keep quiet at MILC.   I did a customary week's prayer and fasting: we need a lot of grace to play the part God has manoeuvred us in to.

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