13 Jul

Foody Friday – Hot and cold Sorbet.

As inspired by our friends over at thosewinklers.wordpress.org we are starting a Foody Friday spot on our blog.   Ali will probably be the main contributor so look out for some treats  — Tim


Since moving to Nigeria I have developed a passion for trying to make foods that I have only ever previously bought pre-made.  Some of this has come from the difficulty of buying some food-types here and some from a desire to do something that is both enjoyable and productive.

In the pursuit of new taste sensations I have made various sorbets from fresh fruit.  An early attempt involved squeezing oranges and adding a bit of sugar and some (what I thought was) powdered ginger.  Now to explain this, I actually have to back up a bit . . .

When we moved into our first house in Jos we inherited cupboards full of food, including various herbs and spices that I did not recognise.  Among them was a unlabelled jam jar full of a powdered substance that looked like ginger, smelled like ginger and which, shockingly, I assumed was ginger!  Turns out it was ginger, but mixed with cayenne pepper (or at least the Nigerian equivalent) to be used in spicy, savory dishes.

So, in blissful ignorance, I merrily added a good dose of it to my orange sorbet mixture.  The next day I served up my creation, anticipating sighs of delight.  The first taste was fresh, a little tangy, then the tang built and developed until the heat in our mouths demanded to be cooled with another mouthful.  So it continued, each mouthful cooling the heat of the previous mouthful, only to build into an inferno of its own. It was a weird, and not altogether unpleasant, sensation.  We christened it “Hot and Cold Sorbet” and decided that we quite liked it, but I must admit that I have not made any more since!

23 Jul

Togo 2010 Update 4 – Sent on Thursday 22nd July

Hello families and friends, sorry the updates haven’t been very extensive, due to an upset laptop we couldn’t send any emails whilst in Bassar, so bit and pieces were sent via texts. However, we have just arrived safely back in Lomé to take on the last couple of days in a bit more comfort.

I’m just going to bring you up to speed on what we been up to recently and then below you find plans for the next 2 days and flight details of our return journey.

In the morning we put our feet up, had a late breakfast and took time off. We wanted to reserve our energy, because in the afternoon we were about to become famous. We went to Radio Reveil, Bassar Christian radio station. After a few introductions with the manager of the station, all 8 of us (plus Samuel) piled in to a very small room, probably made for 2 people, and they hit the record button. Steve made
a little speech about why a bunch of English students had come to Bassar, and then we sang Light of the World. This may be Samuel’s favourite song, or just the only English one he knows!

Suddenly, we were all thankful for the restful day yesterday, because we had a rather early morning, with breakfast at 6. We had a 3hr journey to Kara and we wanted to start early. Kara is probably the biggest city near us, and it’s where groups go for a fun day. After a quick stop off at a patner organisation’s compound to meet up with our friend Becky. She was to be our escort to the Kara market, where we bought some nice cloth; Becky has been in Togo a few years now and really knew how to barter in the market.
The highlight of the day came next as we went to Hotel Kara, had a great lunch of pork/steak/chicken/guinea fowl and CHIPS, so nice to have chips again. We then chilled out in or around the swimming pool there.

Got to go to Samuel’s Church today – twice. In the morning we went to their normal service, the pastor was away, but Steve was already prepared with a message about our calling to be more like Jesus. As a team we all introduced ourselves, sang a song and made an attempt at a tradional dance of theirs…looks very much like a chicken dance, we got a lot of laughter in response.

A couple of the girls went into town to buy a bit more cloth, was nice to stroll into town for one of the last times. Samuel and his wife had invited us round for lunch, so at 12 we made our way there, enjoy some
great beef and rice and a very rich red sauce. Was good to spend some time with them just being.

The other couple of girls wanted to go into town this morning, this time to buy sweets. Then it was round to Samuel’s for lunch again (2 invites in 2 days, we’re doing well). In the afternoon we filmed a few
clips of language learning and Samuel’s teaching to put into a video we hope to produce, and then at 4pm the committee that oversees the translation project, ACEB, came to say goodbye to us. Was a pleasant
meeting, they introduced themselves, sang some songs, prayed, let us ask them questions about what they do. Then we introduced ourselves and thanked them for their work with the project. After another song
and prayer we cracked open some cokes and biscuits.

Time for the trip from Bassar to Lomé. All our stuff was packed up, the last bills were payed and we were ready to go….but no driver at 7am. Our bus was in the garage for some repairs. Poor Samuel was not
impressed, but the team did a great job of killing 3 hours whilst waiting. The 8hr drive was actually pretty uneventful, thank you God.

It is now very nice to be back in the guesthouse, to just relax and not have to do the washing up!

Here’s what the plan is for the last couple of days.

A few meet and greets and farewells in the morning, we’ll visit the Bible Society where the consultant for the translation project is based. Then we’ll go to the Wycliffe Togo office, where we will meet Napo, who has been involved in the project for a long time, he is actually a native Ntcham speaking, so has a keen interest.
The main part of the morning will actually be spent in the Lomé tourist market, where the team will have opportunity to buy you all presents (no promises).

In the afternoon we’ll begin our team debriefs, where we’ll talk about returning to the UK. After spending 3 weeks in Africa certain things can take the team by surprise when we return, so we do an extensive
job of preparing them.

We’ll continue debriefs and do some feedback sessions and pack our bags. Late morning we’ll check bags in, and then we’ll take the rest of the day easy until needing to be at the airport again for 8pm.


Departure City Arrival City Departure Flight Dep Arr
Lomé Paris CDG 23-Jul-10 AF0861 22:00 06:10
Paris CDG Heathrow T4 24-Jul-10 AF1680 07:30 07:50

We’re due to land at Terminal 4 at 7.50am; we hope to get through
security and the baggage hall in 30-60mins. Please be at the arrivals
gate in good time.

See you all soon.
Steve (on behalf of the whole Togo team)

16 Jul

Togo 2010 Update 3 – Sent on Thursday 15th July

I’ve just had a series of text messages from Tim as Samuel, the local translator’s computer has broken. It will hopefully be up and running again sometime after the weekend. Your prayers would be much appreciated as it’s not only used as a communication tool for us and the team but it has a lot of hard translation work on too. Thanks! So the update below is from Tim, extended to a legible format!

Monday – relaxed in the morning to recover from the bustle of Sunday’s church visits. Churches on Sunday were brilliant. Afternoon in the office recording some testimonies for the radio.

Tuesday – final session of language learning (Ntcham) in the morning. Went into town using “what is this?” type tool to practice what we’d learnt. We spent the afternoon in the office learning about the translation process and making more booklets.

Wednesday – spent the morning in 2 teams visiting families. Challenged to create a word list of all the word’s they learn. We also experienced a day in the life of what it’s like to live with a family in the visits, mostly spent cooking lunch! In the afternoon we relaxed and in the evening the tailor came round with all the clothers the team had ordered, very exciting!

Thursday – Teams swapping which family they are with, using the word list now as a competition between teams. Now relaxing and a couple of people go to the farm later.

13 Jul

Togo 2010 Update 2 – Sent on Sunday 11th July

Monday 5th
Pretty much the whole day was taken up with travelling to Bassar. We and all our bags piled into the minibus and headed off at 0700! We arrived about 1500 and promptly prayed over the building our beds and then the rains came! Boy was it loud, pretty awesome! Hanging mosquito nets is a bit of a mission when you are hot and sticky, but they all got hung and supplies bought and we started to settle in!

Tuesday 6th
Day 1 in Bassar involved a little walk into town to visit the police station
to let them know we are around in town. The Chief Constable, Raymond there is always very welcoming and open to hear about what we are up to this time on our visit. Wondering around the town is surprising hot and tiresome for us ‘yovo’ (white people), so after a lovely siesta we sat down with our resident linguist, Ruth who taught us some of the basic linguistics we need to go on and learn some Ntcham. This mostly involved trying to figure out how we make all the various sounds in English, only to find that Ntcham has so many others that we aren’t used to making!

Wednesday 7th
The morning had in store for us our first Ntcham learning session with Samuel. We learnt about the different sounds in the Ntcham alphabet and then all the various greetings. We moved onto to have a wander into town practicing those greetings with everyone we meet along the way.
The afternoon was spent chilling out hope for the big rain storm to come our way. It didn’t.

Thursday 8th
This morning was Ntcham class 102. 0900 in the office with Samuel learning our new Ntcham names. The pronunciations can be a challenge!

Tim- Gbati
Ruth- Damba
Megan – Jabii
Aimee – Saai
Lizzy – Jeeti
Miriam – Jaai
Hannah – Ajaa

We learnt how to introduce our selves and ask “what is your name” we also learnt a few more ‘survival’ phrases like, I’m sorry, thank you and I don’t understand. Once again, we took a wonder around town practicing the things we have just learnt. It is so much easier than learning a language in school. The freedom to go and apply what we just learnt is a real advantage! After a wee siesta in the afternoon we headed to the office to help Samuel produce some booklets of the scripture portions he has translated. We hope to distribute these in the various church meetings we visit while we are here. Every night after dinner we get together and have devotions. We take it in turns to lead based on one of the passages about Jesus ministry. The session includes a bit of singing, praying and sharing about our day, what we have found good and what we have maybe found harder. A great time to explore scripture together and grow closer to God and be challenged in ways that maybe we didn’t expect.

Friday 9th
A more chilled day today, Ruth wasn’t feeling so great yesterday and woke up feeling worse today. The team did a great job of reacting with prayer for her! Whilst the rest of the team headed into town to greet people and check out some cloth and negotiate with the Tailor, Tim and Ruth popped next door to see the doctor. The result is that we are currently treating her for malaria. It is far more precautionary than reactionary; it is very simple to treat here. She is fairly chirpy when not asleep but she has rested well, drank lots and even eaten some. We thank God that she is already doing better at the time we write this. Please do pray that her recovery is quick, the team miss having her around! After lunch, some of the girls got their hair braided, it is certainly an experience! You’ll have to check out some photos after we are home.

Saturday 10th
This morning we headed over to Samuels house to learn about making African Donuts! First job is to make the batter. We then headed into town to explore market day. Town is much busier than any other day we have been in, and the market was packet with everything imaginable included smoked fish on every corner. Ruth is doing better today; she managed to join the team for breakfast. After lunch we headed back to Samuels house to cook to donuts having given the batter time to rise over lunch.

05 Jul

Togo 2010 Update 1 – Sent on Sunday 3rd July

Hi folks, sorry for the lack of contact, we landed fine, managed to eventually get visas in Lome airport and found all our bags with no problems! The first few days are always tiring, due to the travel and the change in climate, but everyone is doing really well. Saturday was spent getting used to life here, drinking lots of water and hoping that Steve could get all the supplies we need. Thankfully he did, and we managed a short wander down the road near the guesthouse.

This morning we headed out for our first church meeting of the trip. The service started at 0700. Yes you did read that right! The church has 3 services and the 0700 service is conducted in French and English. The next 2 of the morning are conducted in French plus one of the local languages. Long and warm is not a great combination for staying awake, but a wonderful experience being with several hundred of God’s people worshiping together!

This afternoon we hope to head out to a small party with some of the other missionary families who are around at the moment. There has been some trouble here the past couple of weeks. The petrol prices were hiked up and several groups of workers held strikes that led to localised protests. Things have been calm since we have been here (I doubt it is our influence!). You could pray for continued peace and that our plans aren’t disrupted!

Tomorrow we head up to Bassar, a 5-7 hour minibus ride. We are all looking forward to getting up there and getting settled in.

– Pray for continued good health

– Pray for safe travels

07 Apr

Easter Update

Easter is a fantastic time to remind us of all that God has done for us. In case we forget that Jesus died on the cross, he also rose again, defeating death, sin, Satan, sickness and an abundance of other things. It is in THAT victory, in THAT freedom that we now live.
We’ve had an interesting few months, underlined by a fresh vision and desire to serve God overseas. Having come back from Nigeria, Tim was really stuck by the all the things that God is doing out there both through the ministry of Wycliffe colleagues and many other ministries too. (THIS BLOG POST) was a bit of a review of that trip. This renewed vision has given us cause to begin gingerly investigating if we might be called to go and serve in Nigeria for a spell. We are just at the start of the process of investigating and we are conscious of a few things.

1 – God’s leading (we need to be sure that we are totally open to God’s guidance in every step)
2 – Ali’s healthcare provision (we need to make sure that Ali can get a source for her daily medication and for the blood tests she needs on a fairly regular basis)
3 – Tim’s current health (read about knee & read about depression)
1 – Job roles (what would be the best use of our skills in Nigeria?)
2 – Finance (we are still quite short on donors)
3 – Dan’s schooling (does it make more sense for him to be home schooled or to go to the mission school in Jos?)
4 – Timing (when should we be looking at going and for how long?)
Prayer for all of those things would be much appreciated, as always if you feel God is saying anything to you for us, please do pass it on!

Tim continues to coordinate the From Eden to eternity tour www.eden2eternity.org . We are heading to 27 locations all over the country, there is quite possibly one close to where you are (if you live in the UK!)! On the 6th of April, we embarked on quite a complex publicity campaign, trying to do the correct bits of publicity the correct amount of time before any given performance. The tour runs in May and June, and then when July hits, Tim will be joining the WYnet team heading out to Togo.
Although Tim moved out of the WYnet job 12 months ago, there were some areas that could not be handed over as Tim’s successor Steve couldn’t get the training or did not have the necessary experience. Leading teams of young people on short term overseas trips was the main area where this was the case. So Tim’s involvement in the trip in July is really about getting Steve up to speed so he can lead teams in the future. Tim is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to go again, he is also pleased to be able to hand over the relationship with the project and get some closure.
The knee saga continues, having seen the surgeon, or at least his registrar, Tim has put in to try and have the ACL replacement surgery in August. Until the letter arrives, we have no idea what dates will be offered, but in the mean time, Tim continues doing physiotherapy to build strength which should aid the recovery process. We will let you know as soon as we receive the date.

Ali is pleased to have finished term, it doesn’t seem that long ago that it was half term but there are only a few teaching weeks after Easter, then exams kick in and Ali’s teaching schedule is dramatically reduced. There is talk of some extra hours from September as there are a couple staff members leaving the department. Ali has said she would be a happy to teach 8 days over two weeks. It doesn’t seem like much but that is a great testament of how well her health and energy levels are doing. Ali has been quite excited and energised by the discussion of a spell in Nigeria, if you don’t know, Ali spent the first 13 years of her life in Ghana and generally considers West Africa as one of her Homes.
We have done some initial investigating into how to get the medicine she takes daily if we head out to Nigeria. It seems that we can easily get hold of them, but at what cost? The solution could be anything from buying them in bulk from the USA to trying to source them in country. Any wisdom or experience welcome! Fortunately her consultant does most of his communicating with Ali via email, and has confirmed he would be happy to continue doing so, if we can get the blood tests done locally. On that theme, it turns out that there is a local hospital that can provide these tests!

Dan is in Year 1 at school, he still enjoys it for which we are hugely thankful! He says his favourite part is doing maths work because it is easy, he also enjoys reading, and is progressing very quickly which is fantastic! He has one term left with the wonderful Mrs Knapman, and then in September he moves class rooms and will be taught by Mrs Anderson, who we know very well (she used to be involved with WYnet when Tim was responsible for it and is also married to Tim’s current line manager!). Mrs Anderson is well practiced teaching Wycliffe Kids that she knows, we are also thankful for her expertise with wriggly little boys!
We’re trying to involved Dan in the discussions about Nigeria, we do find that as it is all in such vague terms at the moment he doesn’t quite grasp what it all means. Please do pray for wisdom as we look at what the move will mean for Dan, not only schooling, but change of environment, new friends and probably a whole lot more!

Well this has been a bit of a mammoth update, we’ve enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend, meeting up with lots of people, yet managing to complete a good number of jobs around the house too! Thank you all for your prayers and support, and HAPPY EASTER!

Tim & Ali & Dan.

19 Nov

#mission21 Day 3 has begun

I have to admit, i am questioning a few things right now.

1- WHY did i play that stupid game last friday that ending up busting my leg?
2- HOW is it possible for people to claim there is a decline in the church when so many passion  people in the business of planting and growing churches.
3 – WHY does premier pro have to break down on me in the middle fo a job???

yesterday was a LONG day.  I met some amazing people.  Steve is a wicked bloke.  He works in all sorts of places that most us wouldn’t dream of.   So many others to mention and every single one of them helping to grow churches in places or areas of communities that are desperate for more of Jesus.

Bishop Graham Cray is what i can only describe as a total dude.  He is so normal. He is so spiritual.  He is so intelligent and theological if you want to go there with him.   But he also reads rolling stone magazine!!   He shared a bit int he morning about our perception of church and society.  How we perceive the churches positing in society and how we understand society will impact on how we do church, how we do evangelism and how we do church planting.  my favourite quote was  “People who state the church is now on the fringe of society, are assuming that there is a centre to our society. In fact we have more of a market place these days.”

I was extremely impressed with  Pastor Ironguru who was subbed in relatively last minute.  His message was simple.  Go find out where people are, and what they need, and then build some relationship with them!     Seems simple, but his point was that we shouldn’t plant a church just because our congregation is too big to fit into our hall.  that might start the process of working it through but when it comes to setting up and starting out, you need to have basically done your research.  nice.

However, my software died, i am to be honest feeling a bit like i failed, not vid for the last session, no final montage, because my stupid computer wouldn’t work right.   I didn’t have much desire to turn up this morning, but now i am here, i am looking forward to hearing form Billy Kennedy.

CD’s are available of all the talks …  get in touch if your are interested.

18 Nov

#mission21 Day 2

Day 1 was interesting to say the least.   LOTS of people tweeting about the conference you can go to http://twitter.com/search?q=%23mission21 and follow all the various people tweeting.

I learnt that there are SO many different ways that people are exploring church planting, it isn’t about seeing how many people you can gather on a sunday or how many new places you can start a church, but really it is all about how do we make church accessable for more people.    A lot of people seem to be thinking out the box.  I mean like “let’s go have a bible study in a Cafe”.  Lets find places with NO church, not just a town without one of our churches.   I do get a bit frustrated when people plant a church in a town where there are already 5 churches.  But i am learning that different people have different needs, and church planting is about looking at how to we help meet those needs.

I have to admit i got a bit  lost in yesterdays meeting, it got all a bit deep and theological, and i am simply not that way inclined. But currently the Bishop Graham Cray is EXCELLENT!!!!!

The Variety of people here is incredible!  From every stream of church, from all over the country and europe, it is fantastic to see folks interacting and discussion and exploring.  LOVE IT!

15 Dec

Tim jupp Interview

So Delirious have been around for a few years, and I have followed them, loved their music, played their music, criticised their music for a good 15 years.  I know I was young when i started!    I met Tim who is their keyboard player a few years ago and managed to stay in touch.

Last week a series of events opened up the opportunity to shot an interview with him.  I took that change and here it is!!

08 Nov

Broad Beans

Apparently if you want to reach an audience with your blogs you need to stick to a theme.  I am no idea who reads this blog if anyone at all .. so it is a little random.

This post is a fine example of Ali going a great job at work.

A couple weeks ago just before our half term, there was a ruckus in the Biology staff room.   It had been deemed by the upper echelons of management that giving year 11 students (15/16 year olds) broad beans to grow was ‘too primary school’ and so they had stopped doing it.  One of the new teachers didnt’ knwo abotu this and had given his class the beans to grow.  Ali’s class had found out and were desperate to have some of thier own.  So in the course of ‘fairness’ not beliveing it would really take off, Ali issued the class with beans.  So also set up a forum on the schools Virtual Learning Environment.  Interestingly named Moodle.  1/4 of the class has gone on and posted an update or even a picture of their bean. Many intersting stories, this was by far my favourite.

She set up her bean as instructed, but it was taking a long time to open a d grow, so she thought she would help it along.   But a bit snapped off, so she found a couple rubber bands and fixed it back together, put it back in the glass and it continued to grow!!   jokes …

maybe broad beans will be back on the agenda next year!

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