So we’ve been here in Carlisle for just over two weeks now and we’re almost all settled in. We are so very thankful for the gifts that people have given us towards setting up a new home together. Every time I cut up vegetables I am thankful for sharp knives and nice (colour coded!) chopping boards. We love the concept of being able to store things in places other than our bedroom for once! One important part of setting up a home happened just last night – we finally got our new book-cases. Ruth had lots of fun putting out all her books on display, and I must say they look great. And don’t worry, I’ve set up the TV and Wii so we’re all set there!
But we’ve had little time to sit at home and play with our toys because we are already hard at work at OM. With the TeenStreet conference in Germany happening this month, Ruth has been planning a whole kid’s program and I have been training in the use of some pretty crazy sophisticated equipment. It is going to be a hectic two weeks so please pray for us as we go on this adventure together.
While the ship was in Bermuda, my colleagues and I asked for donations for school supplies – pens, notebooks, pencils, erasers etc – for school kids in Africa. Today I had the chance to distribute the gifts that the people of Bermuda had donated. First we shared with the kids where we came from, about the ship, and then the Gospel. They were all very receptive to what we had to say. Then they all lined up and each of us gave them one item of stationary to help them with their studies. We also gave some more tools to the teachers and for each classroom, these included an atlas, a bible, scissor sets, highlighters, a blackboard and wall charts. Though these donations will not last for very long, we hope that we have shown that God loves them and cares for their needs, and that they have listened to the message of hope that we have brought.
Today is the second day following the end of a 40 day fast of Television. During the 40 days I have tried to not watch any television at all, the exception being when I spend time with my parents. Yesterday I arrived home in the afternoon from church and sat on my couch in front of my big TV with an hour or two to kill. I sat for a moment pondering my next move. Watching TV would involve removing the towel I had placed over the TV and retrieving the remote controls from the entertainment unit. I chose what may have been the more lazy option, or simply the one that I would enjoy more: I reached for a book. With all the entertainment in the world at my fingertips including many hours of recorded television and three game consoles, I reached for a book. I wanted to know the next adventure in the story.
So apart from forgetting to watch TV, what have I gained? During the time I’ve been not watching TV, I’ve read a lot. This inculdes both the fantasy fiction allagory novel that I’ve been enjoying and severeal inspirational teaching books. One in particular “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan has taken me on an amazing journy of discovery with God. I beleive I connected with him more during this time that I would normally and I heard from him more and more concerning my relationship with him and others. It has been a fantastic time of learning and growing, all by switching off the TV.