24 May 2008

Friends & Food & Faith

Anton and Sarah are wonderful friends. We've known them, along with their daughters Laura and Amy, a couple of years before the public launch of Dickens Heath Village Church. Anton is a sound and video expert, great at puns, and has named all the important bits of kit used for worship services (Daphne the Desk, for instance); he records and puts all the messages from DHVC on the church web site. Sarah has the gift of hospitality, hence our visit and meal with them tonight.

I was really encouraged by our conversation, for two reasons. First, we talked about how important it is to not just discern God's voice in our circumstances, but have a posture of obedience just as Jesus did, who said 'I obey my Father so the world will know I love Him' (John 14.31, CEV). Second, the crucial role of exercising trust in this obedience, learning to overcome our fears with a confidence that abandoning myself to God is the safest and most secure thing one can do.

As Tam and made our way home, so that I could make a bid on an eBay auction (and win, YES!), I reflected on a verse from the New Testament book of Hebrews. I used to narrowly think of this verse as simply applying to entering a relationship with the Father, but actually, it describes the ongoing Kingdom of God living one experiences in this relationship. 'Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because those who come to God must believe that He exists, and is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him' (Hebrews 11.6, NIV).

Thanks Sarah and Anton, for loving us, and showing us an example of loving God that we can follow.

A Brief Visit to Prague

A couple of weeks ago we managed a three day getaway to Prague. A couple from one of our supporting churches gifted us with some funds for use as we deemed fit. Tam did some digging around, and found some discount tickets. We traveled with our teammates Aaron and Diane.

The weather was delightful, and the architecture and history was wonderful. We walked miles and miles. A couple of highlights include explaining to our walking tour guide the Pentecost stained glass window ("I've never heard such a thing" she said) and being sobered by the box of tefillim (Phylacteries) in the Spanish Synagogue collected before Jewish residents were shipped off to camps and executed. Of 83,000 Jews in the region, 77,000 were killed, and their names are inscribed on a wall of another synagogue close by.

Our trip was another reminder of the kindness and generosity we receive that we do not deserve. We are grateful for the love so many show toward us!