Monthly Update April 2012
India is an intense place! Well I can't judge all of India but 3 days in Mumbai have left me a plethora of experiences, emotions and challenging notions. I will continue to take processing time. Here the ears are bombarded with the varying pitches of the honkng of horns. The eyes are kept busy with an explosion of constant colour and constant movement. The nose is greeted with an array of aromas, curries and spices, incense near every corner shrine, and the reminders of how difficult sanitation is in over populated areas. The mouth has been host to a wonderful gourmet experience, yes even Jono has been loving the curries, garlic naans and mango lassis. And all you need to do is ride the train system to know what it means to touch a lot of people at one time. One certainly needs to redefine one's meaning of personal space.
But my over riding question is what does God think of India? What is Jesus' response to my feelings? What things that I think are important, really are important?
When is culture right or wrong? Can more than one opposing idea be right? In what light should I interpret truth from God. Ghandi wrote: "I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.” I believe that is possible for me if my feet are firmly planted on the Rock. Jesus is the truth, not western or any other culture.
UKRAINE AND OTHER LANDS
What a month! I have had an amazing time in Tajikistan. I can't write about all of it here. But I would love to invite anyone living in Sydney to come to WPHCC on May 26 to hear all about it. More on that next month.
I spent a short time in Dubai and even there met people who know friends from West Penno. Our world is small, yet I know how far from people I can sometimes feel. Please pray as I go back to Ukraine in June and reconnect with my "Ukrainian family" that God will show me the way forward. I would love to live there again. I would also love to return to Tajikistan and maybe God could have a "job" for me there. Please pray as God uses my travels in 2012 to teach me many things and lead me forward in His will.
In Ukraine, please continue to pray for Vlad. I have no new news and so it is easy to forget his plight and continue in my comfortable bubble.
Bruce's cafe is closer to completion. Pray that it will be an effective outreach into the community. I visited a similar concept in Dushanbe providing great employment for workers coming from difficult situations.
Ukraine will co host Euro 2012 in June and July. Some groups from the UK are looking to utilize this time for effective outreach. Please pray for open hearts amongst Ukraine's football fanatics.
I am getting ready to board another couple of flights and spend sometime in the north of Thailand with Dan and Xan and family. Very much lookng forward to it..
BACK DOWN UNDER
I'm not there right now so not too much to report. Please continue to praise God and pray for Ruth and Jon as they seek to start a family. Pray for the kids' camp coming up in a few weeks. Please pray for me as I prepare the gospel talks for this camp. It's hard to believe there are kids in NZ who don't know what a Bible is or who Jesus is.
Please also continue to pray for Kids' Club at WPHCC. I won't be back til May; it is so great to see community kids coming along and enthusiastically learning about Jesus and memorising His word.
WHAT YA READIN’?
I've slowed down and am still reading Bonhoeffer. As I read and anticipate the impending evil that Hitler brought to that land my blood starts to run hot. The birthing of evil is so subtle. God spare us anything like this in my life time!
PRAYER AND PRAISE
· Continued travel
· Vlad in jail
· Cafe in Rzhyshchiv
· Kids Camp in NZ
· Kids Club at Penno
· Future direction throughout this year
· A sore finger (possibly broken)
Pete and Soph for your hospitality and your encouragement :-)