Monday, 28 December 2009

Beyond Greed, by Brian Rosner

Until Christmas is over and done, December is a notoriously busy month! Most of us find very little time for extra reading. If December is like this for you, I doubt that you've managed to read Beyond Greed this month with EQUIP BOOK CLUB. To be perfectly honest, if I hadn't been writing the posts, I doubt I would have managed it myself.

However, now that Christmas celebrations are over and done, perhaps you do have time for a read. If so, I wouldn't mind if you had a squiz at the EQUIP posts for the month. I'd really appreciate your comments and feedback, and love to hear your stories.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Interested in mission?

Interested in Africa?

My brother and his wife, together with their three children will be leaving for Tanzania in January with CMS. After language training, they will live and work at Munguishi Bible college, training pastors and evangelists.

They have recently found out that their daughter has a severe anaphylatic allergy to egg. This may actually be easier to manage in Tanzania than Australia (because egg is not used much in cooking) but the health-care is much less advanced should an emergency situation develop.

Mike and Katie are still committed to going to Tanzania and trust our gracious and loving Father with their lives. However, they are understandably concerned about their first four months during which they will both do intensive language study and neither will be able to be the primary carer for their children during class times.

CMS is looking for someone who would like to help as a short term volunteer to care for their children, and children of other missionaries also studying language during this time. Here is a quote from CMS News, Latest Missionary Oppurtunites, 9/12/2009

Home School assistant - URGENT NEED

There is an urgent need for someone who would be prepared to assist three of our families during their language study in Tanzania. If you are able to home school 3 delightful infant/primary children and keep a preschooler occupied AND are able to depart for Tanzania on either 12 or 17 January 2010 (to travel with the family) AND can stay in lovely Musoma on the shores of Lake Victoria up until the middle of May 2010 then come on down have we got a deal for you!!
Contact your CMS branch NOW if you are willing to fill this position.

new classrooms!


    ... window frames eaten out by termites that crumble on touch.
    ... flyscreens ripped around the edges and blowing in the breeze.
    ... louvre frames rusted, unshut-able, unable to keep out the rain.
    ... having to stop class to remove glass panes before they fall and break on the floor.
    ... the growing pile of louvre glass panes in the corner.
    ... the concrete bricks, never painted, dull and dirty.

Then in come the team from backyard blitz... no, sorry, the team from changing rooms... no, that's the team from Christ Church St Ives Youth Group (all having just finished their HSC). Three of four days of hard work later and...

    ... freshly painted classrooms, inside and out.
    ... new timber in the window frames.
    ... new louvre frames installed, no panes missing.
    ... flyscreens replaced, no more holes.
    ... corrugated iron roof painted to prevent rusting.

The classrooms look better than ever. The students won't be able to believe their eyes and will appreciate your hard work very much. It will mean a lot to them, as it does to us, that you have put love into action so far from home where the benefit to you is but the joy of having served your brothers and sisters.

The team also covered library books and laid the foundation for a water-tank next to the library.

Though I was not there at the time, I have heard report that all their work was carried out with much eagerness, maturity and determination.

Thank you for your hard work and it was a pleasure to share with you in the work of Christ in this way.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

my poor deprived children

This afternoon they were offered some squares of chocolate. Delicious, dark chocolate.
"What's this? Worm medicine?"

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

late for advent, again

Just like last year. I'm late for advent. Well, late for starting advent calendar activities.

However, it means I picked up a great bargain on a wooden advent calendar-drawer thingy and if we go double pace we might be there by Christmas.

But now as I'm sitting down to think about dividing up the bible verses into 25 parts to tell the Christmas story, I've got the same question I had last year.

Most of what is in the traditional nativity scene happens AFTER the birth. The shepherds and the magi come to the stable AFTER he is born.

What do I do about that? How do you not tell most of the story until AFTER Christmas. How do you stretch half the story out for 24 days and then do the other half in one morning? How is it that all the other characters appear on the scene and are waiting for baby Jesus to arrive on Christmas morning, when actually, in the story, they haven't turned up yet, and might not turn up for a week or so. It isn't in proportion!

I know the Jesse Tree has a great answer to this, by looking at the OT as well in the days before Christmas.

But what other solutions have people come up with to this dilemma?

Christmas poetry

Here's a site full of Christmas poetry if you have time to browse...

Thanks Alison for the link!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

culture shock

Molly Piper wrote a moving article here about how she felt upon returning to the first world from the developing world.

I always feel somewhat similar returning to Australia at Christmas-time. I have learnt to cope with the emotions (for better or worse) mostly by completely separating my two lives in my mind. When in one, the other is very much like a dream...

This year the emotions hit me in an unexpected way.

This year I returned home with the children a week earlier than Glen to attend the wedding of an old friend. Before we left we carefully chose clothes to wear to the wedding. The girls were very excited about wearing their best dresses.

They don't wear their best dresses much at Talua. I am embarrassed about how lovely they are; the quality of the fabric, the pretty prints, the well-tailored seams. They've only been worn once each.

But as I ironed these dresses the morning of the wedding my eyes filled with tears. There are numerous stains. Food stains that are so difficult to get out in hard water. Mould stains. Mould that grew even before they'd been worn once. Mould just seems to love cotton. I was ashamed. I couldn't let them wear these dresses to a wedding.

It's not fair! Why is what is so good in one place be not good enough somewhere else? Why are the standards so different?

Why am I so worried about their clothes of all things? Why do I care so much about what people think about what my children are wearing? Is it some sort of test I'm afraid of failing?

I don't yet understand all my emotions... what sort of thoughts produce them and why, nor how to respond to them rightly.

But I still grieve for my people who are so wealthy they throw out food, daily. And I praise God for my friends who have taught me what it means to trust God for their daily bread.

looking for a christmas song

I'm looking for a christmas song (about Jesus) to teach the children to sing on Christmas day.

I'm also interested in a poem they could learn.

Any recommendations?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

another good reason to read beyond greed

reason three

want to work on your Greek?

Here's a great resource for anyone struggling to keep up their Greek after college, wanting to learn Greek independently, or wanting to push themselves on with their Greek.

Read more here.