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my urbana story, so far…

I went to Urbana in my role with IFES, with jobs to do and people to meet. I went with an uncanny ability to block the sound of God’s voice, to keep me from being distracted from the work I had to do. Slowly I realised this had become a reflex action in many of the contexts in and through which God has been trying to speak to me.

God made me realise how hard my heart had become to the gentle touch of his Spirit.

Following Urbana, God opened my eyes to see this, and is now gently breaking my heart with a desire to see His glory in my life and in the lives of those around me; the ones I love, and the ones he is calling me to love.

Praise God for his patience and persistence with us.

The story continues…

A modern dream.

Came across a brilliant post by The Simple Pastor this morning, looking back at the power of Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech, and the hunger for a similar “visionary dreamer” for today.

It was Martin Luther King’s description of the black community being ‘an island of poverty in an ocean of material prosperity’ that gets the pastor thinking; both that today’s prosperity is still not shared equally, but also of the truth that ‘many are drowning in the ocean of material prosperity’.

They’ve swum in it and the tide has carried them out into the ocean and there isn’t the strength to reach a safe shore. When so many are drowning in debt, drowning in self-indulgence, drowning in depression and anxiety, drowning in our own fat, drowning in greed there are too few voices that can be heard that say, ‘I have a dream.’

This year in the UK we will have an election, we will hear from those who aspire to govern us, but what I want to hear and what I fear I will not hear, is a dream. A dream of a society that turns its back on the god of the individual and seeks the solace of community, a society that ends its fruitless pursuit of self-interest and seeks the harvests of partnership, that rejects the sour dreams of happiness through acquisition and discovers the sweetness of generosity and sharing. A society more interested in the quality of life than the quantity of wealth.

I will add my ‘amen’ to that!

You can read the full post here.

Hannah’s African Quest.

My sister, Hannah, has safely arrived in Zambia for her 6 month African Quest with the charity Soapbox.

The ministries we are likely to be involved in are “St Anthony’s Children’s Village” (orphan care centre), “Eagles Wings School” and “Lifeline Zambia” (HIV/AIDS home based care project). Our studies will include Basic Christian Doctrine, African Culture and a week long course with the African Quest founder, John Miles. On Sundays we will be involved in local churches.

I guess my biggest prayer, that I’d ask you to join me in, is that God will equip me, and the others on the team for all He has prepared for us to do over the next few months.

You can follow her blog, which I guess will be updated infrequently during the trip, at: http://hannahafricanquest.wordpress.com