Mike`s Blog

The musings of a Methodist Minister

Archive for June, 2009

Team 2

Posted by mike redshaw on June 22, 2009

Please pray for team 2 this week as they journey to Poiana and as they work there. Pray for their safety, for their travel that the car doesn’t break down, for the building of the shelter and especially for the baptisms (5 adults) that will take place at the end of the week.

Team 2 consists of Andrew (leader)

John & Geraldine

Jean

Louise

David (Louises son)

Alison

Pam

Lynne

Pam

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relaxation

Posted by mike redshaw on June 22, 2009

I sit here in the gap between my trip to Poiana in Romania and going on my annual holidays; this year we’re going to the Isle of Sheppey. its that moment of madness when I’m trying to get everything squeezed in before I go, knowing that there will always be some item I’ve forgotten !

 
Funny isn’t it how we try to pack so much in; we run around here and there, carrying out this task and that task. I wonder how important some of our tasks really are ? I know that I have to complete paperwork but I wonder how much difference it will make to the lives of the people of our area: I have to maintain a certain appearance (I’m told) but does it affect how I carry out my work ?; I’ve even been told recently that I have to ensure that everyone in Church life fulfills health and safety responsibilities or else I, personally, am responsible !
 
Yes, many of these things are important but I do ask the question “what is the one thing that I should not go without ?” The reply I keep coming back to concerns my relationship with other people and with Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. If the Church were to close tomorrow that would NOT be a disaster, for my relationship with people and with Jesus is not built with bricks and mortar, nor is it built with rules and regulations. It is built with trust, love and faithfulness. My Lord is constantly faithful to me and regularly shows his love for me; He died on the cross so that I could have an everlasting relationship with him and so I try to return that same faithful love and care in following him. In turn this love for Jesus affects my love for other people. I try to see them as he would see them and therefore treat them accordingly. So how do we go about building such a relationship with Jesus ? Simply by trying to jettison that which is not important and by spending time in the important things, in the presence of Jesus. Church worship, quietness, solitude, in a garden, in our mind are all places where we can relax into his presence and learn from him how to deal with the business of life.
 
Happy relaxation everyone.

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Romania

Posted by mike redshaw on June 15, 2009

Very conscious that I’ve been back from Romania for some time now and not shared anything with you. Its been a mixture of business and trying to assess what happened in Romania.

The picture above is of the team standing beside the finished wooden play area that we built, (notice the sartorial elegance of the team leader, orange shirt, green shorts and yellow crocs.)

Not only did we build the play area but we also ran a holiday club each day, spoke at the men’s meeting, attended an Alpha diploma night, visited three Romanian houses and families, I visited another Romanian project where Ripley Chapel have built a house, and I also preached on the Sunday morning service.

It was a packed week and in many ways it felt better than our visit last year.

The week began badly when the car that some of us were travelling in broke down on the Romanian motorway (A2). It meant that Anthony and I had an hours wait while the minibus went off to get a tow rope and then we had to be towed all the way to Poiana, a further 70~80 kilometres.

As you can see it was a rather lonely wait, but it was livened up when Alec invited Anthony and I to push start the car, ON THE MOTORWAY !  I’ll never forget Anthony shouting “Push harder Mike, there’s a lorry coming“. Let me tell you it did wonders for my prayer life.

The transport issue was a major cause of concern for us all week, as without a car the day to day work of the family was severely restricted. Fortunately the minibus was hired so we were able to get around but our concern was what would happen when it was returned at the end of the week ? Please pray for a resolution to the transport issues.

It was lovely to see the Romanian villagers again, Anngela and her husband and Tante Lena and others; it was especially lovely to see the children again, Vadeleka, Bobu, Coke, Dodo, Robert (hope I’ve spelt them right), but what was very touching to me was how many of them remembered me from last year. That was very moving.

I think that what was special for me was the opportunity to teach at the kids club and then to preach on the Sunday morning. What a powerful privilege and I found it so affirming for myself. Last year I felt as though I was a step behind the rest of the team and came away wondering how useful I had been. This year has had a very different feel about it and I think that because I had the opportunity to use my teaching gifts I felt as though I had played a more powerful part.

It was emotionally draining, physically shattering but powerful in a spiritual sense. God really worked amongst the team that week, opening each one of us to learn new things about ourselves. We go out to Poiana to bless the people and yet come back feeling more blessed ourselves.

Would I go again ? Well, there are still vacancies on the October team (24th October 2009) and of course we’ll be looking to take teams out again in 2010. Yes, I will go again as this year really felt as though I belonged.

Please pray for team 2 who travel out this coming Sunday that they may have as good a week as we have.

One final picture may sum up the sense of joy and achievement that we as a team now have.

Children on Swings !!

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