27 Jun

Togo Update 2

Well we made it! Everyone and all their bags arrived and made it though the airport! We were delayed 2 hours sat on the tarmac in Paris, they
were having problems with the bag scanning machines, so it was taking FOREVER for people to get through the system and onto the various
planes, air france decided to hold all the flights until the passengers were on. 🙁 But apart from that, the flight was good.
Richie had never flown before and apart from sore ears whilst landing enjoyed himself!

Togo is currently 1 hour behind the UK time zone, and we had a MASSIVE thunderstorm last night, nothing like English storms , far louder,
rain was far heavier, but the plus side is that it brings the temperature down a bit so it will only be 30oC today! As they say it won’t be the heat that kills you, it will be the humidity!

Keep praying for the team as we spend time adjusting to the climate out here and visit various people today, and travel tomorrow.

The picture is a quick snap of the guest house where we are staying in Lome.

26 Jun

Tim and the Togo team get set

Bit of a delay in gettin it on here but here is the first update from Tim and the Togo team . . .

So the team has been together for a whole 30 hours now and we are now
at a hotel right near Heathrow so we can check in at 0530 Thursday
morning. Orientation has gone very well, and we can’t wait to get
out there to see African life in full swing.

*Pray for safe travels to Lome (Capitol of Togo).
*Pray for the 1 visa we need to get in the airport!

We land in Lome Thursday 1735, and Samuel who is our contact on the
translation team will be meeting us at the airport and we will head
out to the SIL guest house. SIL is Wycliffe’s partner organisation in
Togo and many other places around the world.

Friday we’ll be doing some cultural orientation and aclimatisation,
we’ll be visiting a couple of other partner’s offices and generally
absorbing the African atmosphere! Tim will be off getting money
changed and buying supplies.

*Pray for safety in the supply buying and money changing.

Saturday we will head up to Bassar in a minibus stopping to visit a UK
short-termer who is making dictionaries. She also happens to live
next door to a lady who sells cloth so we will have our first cloth
buying experience.

*Pray for safe travels on the roads

Then we settle down in Bassar for the majority of our stay! I hope
to pop a quick message out to let you know we have arrived okay.

20 Jun

Corporate Silence

Praise and worship are interesting things. Everyone has their own preferences as to style, instruments, volume, lyrics and even settings. I of course also have my own preferences. However as a worship leader in church and various youth events and even occasionally at work people like to voice their preferences to me.

Now let me just add, I am just exploring this issue, I don’t have all the answers, God loves us all no matter what our preferences (unless it involves organs!) that was a joke;).

We have a meeting at work 1 hour every Tuesday, some call it Tuesday fellowship, some centre fellowship, it is a nice time to get together, worship the one true living God, hear about what he is doing over the world and in the office and stuff. The struggle is that our organisation is made up of people all different backgrounds and denominations all with their own preferences and procedures and of late instead of enjoying the variety of what different people bring, one or two have been dropping in and out for the bits they like, or if they enjoy the style of the person leading the meeting they don’t turn up at all (I have been guilty in the past).

Where am I going with this? Corporate silence. One such suggestion made to me of late was

“there should be more corporate silence in said meetings especially during out worship times, after all worship is just about singing is it!”

Ouch. Fortunately I hadn’t been leading the meeting jstu before this email had arrived.

I guess the place to start is why do we do corporate praise and worship?
Is it to wake us up at the start of a meeting?
Get some practice in for heaven? Rev 7

Or is it so that we can collectively agree that our God is awesome and worthy of our praise, to edify one another, and the church, to be encouraged by each other’s praise.

Praise and worship are different things. Praise is all about giving God glory, recognising who he is, declaring to the world his attributes and all he has done for us. Worship is about sacrifice, it is about us laying our lives down for him, giving up our own plans, intentions desires to be filled by him. Romans 12 Sacrifice has to cost us, otherwise it is no sacrifice at all. 1 Chronicles 21 but of course applied in the context of Romans 12!

So i had an email asking me to turn the volume down for these meetings and requesting more times of silence as part of the worship time. In themselves perfectly normal requests except i can’t get my head around corporate silence. If the purpose of getting together to do these things, then surely we need to stay together whilst we do them? There is a time and place. After a sermon for example, “lets take a couple minutes to reflect on when God has been saying to us.” Even at the start of the service, I am not happy about but ” Lets take a moment to be still and get ready to meet with God” As though we don’t meet with him at any other time of the day or week for that matter, how we must calm ourselves before the storm of the next 30 minutes of song singing. I understand peoples lives are busy, takes time to get into ‘it’ on a Sunday morning… but I don’t understand singing a couple songs then having a time of silence, great for the individuals not so great for the corporate, unless something comes out of it, like a word a prophecy, a vision, a testimony a scripture (the theology of those can be debated at another time!). If you want silence, use your personal devotional time.

HEARING from God is also a thought, we have to be silence to listen properly, true, but listen for the sake of it, do it on your own time, in the car, doing the washing up or the hovering. If we are going to be together lets be together and do stuff together.

“Everybody pray in silence”
Also and interesting concept, how can i agree with my brother if I haven’t heard what they have said? Yes God can hear that prayer, but none of the rest of the church nor the rest of the spiritual realm have heard it!

God delights in unity Psalm 133:1 and commands a blessing. How can I stand in unity with my brother if I have no idea what he just prayed?

Let alone the theology of God is in you head he can hear your prayer, my response is shame no-one /nothing else can, including the Devil who you might be praying against at the time.

“Worship is not only about singing”
But God created music to draw us into his presence. It is also handy for warding away evil spirits. 1 Samuel 16
Art is wonderful, dance is wonderful, drama can be wonderful, but singing is something that we do from pre-toddler stage, we all connect with music hear it all the time, and it is I think probably one of the easiest ways for a bunch of people to do to glorify God.

It is an interesting world we live in!
I have also stopped leading said meeting if I can get away with it, I can’t be doing with the questionings and abuse!

09 Jun

makes me happy!!

Please excuse the self indulgence, but it is nice to hear from punter that an event you have helped organise has gone well!

We just had our annual conference – and although it was squished into one day instead of the normal three – I really thought it was great! So many people came – most of whom I had emailed before, but never met outside of cyber-space. So, I spent the whole day taking mental snapshots of my colleagues.

The entire day was very well run and, as always, I enjoyed the insight my colleagues presented at the front, and almost took for granted the smooth operation of the sound and other techie things, except I knew how much planning went into that side of things – and it turned out very nicely Read more ..

…As written by our ED’s PA who is herself, a very organised woman!

07 Jun


What is dependency? I had to think about this. All the forms I fill in, they ask for dependents I have to mention my presently 3 year old son. He is dependent on us to supply all his needs. (all bar the need to cause trouble!). As a husband, inter-dependent with my wife.

David Ker wrote a provocative piece ..

Imagine for a minute some beautiful thing that you’d like to do to help the poor suffering people in Africa. Maybe you want to dig wells or hand out Bibles. Maybe you’d like to help protect small children or stop deforestation. Great stuff. Huge need. It’ll never work. In fact, in the process of solving these problems, I’ve seen again and again pie-in-the-sky optimists and goody two-shoes like myself crushed by the Aid Monster. The Aid Monster is this enormous demonic being that waits with its slavering mouth and grasping tentacles to divert aid from the needy and fatten its own belly.

The problem is we’re such easy prey. Idealists and change-the-world kinds of people are always blinded by their own self-righteousness to the human depravity that waits to divert their good intentions for personal gain.

Read More…

I am off to Togo in a couple weeks with a team of WYnet young people to visit a rather under-fund translation project that we’ve been involved in for the last 11 years. Three translators 1 office, a few churches, a guardian, a few computers, a server, electricity bills and soon The project set up is quite complex, or so I thought a partnership between a committee made up from a bunch of local churches, and the Bible Society Togo. Our involvement is to help with the committee’s contributions to the costs. I foresee three problems.

1) There obviously isn’t enough money
2) The translators wages are the 1st thing to be compromised.
3) The obvious answer is very root of the questions.

The easy solution is to throw money at it, but i am hesitant. I don’t want to continue the dependency. When we were they 2 years ago, we did some travelling around to encourage some of the churches and youth in the language area to get involved in praying and fundraising. They did for a while, but then not seeing the progress made, no more bible yet 🙁 Their interest has wained. There is talk of an income generation project, but a few people I have spoken too have said don’t bother, they generally turn out to be unsustainable.

So what do we do? Knowing that greater buy in from the local churches will result in more ownership, and eventually better use of the translated word. However, the churches don’t even have enough money to fix their own windows, how are they going to give more money to bible translation project?

I would LOVE a simple and quick answer, but i suspect there isn’t one. Anyone else had to tackle this kinda thing?

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