Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Meet the parents!

Last night Rowan and I drove to Chesham to here Claire Gingell and Dalibor Kojic speak about young people, church, and Bosnia Herzegovina. Claire is now Novi Most's longest serving worker in Mostar and Dalibor is Pastor of Brankovac Evangelical Church in East Mostar.

The evening had many memorable moments but one of the funnier was when Dalibor was explaining their values. He told how he had inherited a church with a vision statement but had always struggled with its wording until one day he realsised that Jesus gave us the Great Commission - that is the vision. His refreshingly straight-forward approach seemed to challenge our desire to hide behind cool slogans: "I don't need church for the 21st century!" We had to smile.

It was great to catch up with Gill again, and to get the chance to introduce our parents to Novi Most. And so the countdown continues. It's less than four months until we move. I must get back learning vocab!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Blessed are the brief!

Sunday will be a big day. It'll be the first time an official announcement about our move will be made in church. Despite the fact we've been telling people, posting here, vlogging on Youtube and inviting people to our Facebook group I'd not be surprised to discover many people are still unaware of what we're up to.

With just a couple of minutes to communicate the story so far we been discussing who'll say what and what will be left unsaid. It is better to leave people wanting more than to bore them silly at the first opportunity! If you're reading this before the 11th May 2008 then you could watch us live online - we'll be talking sometime between 9.30am - 11.30am BST!

Monday, 5 May 2008

It's time to sieze the opportunity

We have a leaving date - 8th September, if you're asking! - and that does funny things to you. It's a cut off, a full stop. It means that for somethings if they don't happen by then they won't happen. Explaining what exactly is going on in my head isn't that easy: I want to go but there is a huge cost to leaving some things behind. All of this means I'm leaving with a heightened sense of 'carpe diem'.

And so last night we were in London, listening to Christine Caine speak at Hillsong church, before taking in the delights of The Cans Festival in Leake Street. Christine's message couldn't have been more suited to our situation. She spoke about starting A21 because she saw a need, and of the continuous cost of choosing to step up into the next thing God puts in front of you. She spoke of long hours of unseen, unrecognised work and the character it builds. It was encouraging and inspiring.

But from one of the UK's most forward looking church we wound our way to a tunnel under Waterloo Station where Banksy - the UK's leading proponant of stencil art - and organised a stencil art street battle. The walls were plastered in polically-charged, stencilled social comment; the floor strewn with customised furniture and car-crash-as-art installations! There, opposite a piece of Banksy own art was a piano bearing the sign 'play me'. So I did. Next to a piece that morphed the Pope pronouncing a blessing with Monroe's classic dress-caught-in-an-updraft legs I played. More than one piece screamed 'religion kills'. Indeed in does. But I played for a God who is life.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Cultural adjustments

It's May, the month of the Eurovision Song Contest! I stumbled upon a video of Bosnia Herzegovina's entry the other day. I went back to find it but found this live version instead.



Important things I should point out:

1. I've no idea what they're singing about so sorry if it's inappropriate.
2. Due to tactical vote swapping this will doubtless score more points than the UK entry, whatever that is!
3. From what I've heard we're moving to a country that's never experienced the joy of a Terry Wogan commentary!