Happy New Year!
Christmas can be a hard time when you are away from family. However, we have felt very blessed this year by being surrounded by friends who have become like family. Together with our upstairs neighbours we – okay, okay, to be honest it was really mostly Tim – masterminded a Christmas Day feast with five or six courses (depending on how technical you are in your definition of these things!). We had 12 of us sat around the table (s) and I think I can safely say that a good time was had by all! We interspersed courses with Bible readings reminding us what this was really all about. Then we rounded up the day with some entertaining rounds of “Balderdash” – one person picks a very obscure word from the dictionary and everyone has to write a (reasonably ridiculous but hopefully convincing) definition. The definitions are read out, along with the genuine definition, and people vote for the definition they think is the real one. Points are gained by people voting for your definition and by you voting for the correct definition. My favourite word was borborygmus – definitions on a postcard, please!
Boxing Day we had a couple of families join us for a barbeque – definite advantage to living closer to the equator! Then, after a few days to recover, we launched into our New Year’s adventure. This involved a whole pig (well, minus the head, trotters and internal organs), a big hole, lots of rocks and several banana trees. You guessed it – we had a luau-style affair! Look out for a blog post with more details at some point!
January 2nd we headed off to Miango (a retreat centre about 30-45 mins drive away) for the SIM retreat. SIM is probably the largest mission in Nigeria (used to stand for Sudan Inland Mission – now Serving in Mission). They had asked Tim to help with the youth sessions and his inner youth worker was delighted to agree. In fact he ended up co-ordinating the whole kids’ and youth programme as well as leading the youth sessions and drumming for the group worship times – what can I say? – he is multi-talented and likes to be kept busy!
Dan had a great time with all the kids sessions and hanging out with some of his SIM friends. I enjoyed some down-time after the busyness of Christmas and New Year and it was nice to get to know some new people and hang out with others that I don’t often see a lot of. I particularly enjoyed not having to even think about cooking or washing up!
We arrived back home on the afternoon of Tuesday the 7th. Tim got stuck straight back in on Wednesday, giving a seminar at NBTT (Nigerian Bible Translation Trust) to language project staff on “Fundraising methods for good project management”.
Tim is excited to have been invited to join some Africa Area meetings in Nairobi (19th – 30th Jan). They will be working on future strategy and potential changes to our planning and funding models.
Dan headed back to school on Thursday and I will be heading back to the office. I’m still getting used to the idea that I will not be teaching this semester, but really looking forward to having a bit more time to get stuck into some data archiving tasks that have been dragging on.
I hope you can all look back on this Christmas past and see God’s blessings and look forward to the year to come with anticipation and hope.
A peaceful Christmas season in Jos.
Good times with good friends and good food!
A chance for Tim to scratch his youth-work itch at the SIM retreat
Tim will not crash after all the action and highs of the last few weeks
Tim will travel well and have good interactions during the meetings
Dan will start the new semester well and continue to build strong, godly, relationships at school
Good progress with my data archiving work now that I have more time to devote to it
Ali (for Tim and Dan)