Friday, June 22, 2007

Getting back to 'normal'

Zac's Place is gradually getting back to 'normal' after the burglary and insurance work, (New door plus a fancy roller shutter) plus a few bits and bobs of maintenance, (four major holes in the ceiling now repaired). I have to use the term 'normal' in it's broadest sense, because the very core of most of what goes on is quite unpredictable. Breakfast and Coffee bar work among the homeless and vulnerable is back fully functioning - although there's concern for 'dancing Kenny' who's not been seen for about five weeks. S is going into rehab and it was a precious moment to pray for him before he departs Swansea. Last Tuesday's Tribal Gathering was more informal than normal as we had some food together celebrating the completion of the last series of studies! Lorraine came down and shared a few poignant songs amid a gathering which included numerous going through real heartache. Next week we'll begin looking at some of the parables of Jesus. This coming week also sees Jems Drama School's annual production - weds, thurs and fri. Lots of extra work in the venue and lots of people coming through - and 45 children performing each night under the direction of my Jayne. I continue to be humbled by the profound impact such 'ordinaryness' can have when looked through the eyes of the searching, the lonely and the lost.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another Typical Week....

Apologies for any that do return here now and again to see if I've joted a note down - it's been a while, and it's also been a little hectic!

Finally, Zac's Place as a venue is now fully functioning again having had the damaged door replaced after the burglary back in February. It has been a lengthy drawn out process. I will endeavour to use my most tactful approach in explaing the frustration and inconvenience this has caused when I next see the two young gentlemen who caused the damage in the first place.

The past week or so has seen me make a 1500 mile 5 day round trip, by bike, to NE Holland and Southern Germany fullfilling some European God's Squad responsibilities. Great to be back riding on the continent - the autobahns of Germany, although much quicker that UK motorways feel much safer, much more disciplined and respectful. Great to be in the company at each destination of very dear Christian brothers and sisters also engaged in admirable missional efforts among the biking communities they engage with. Maybe some pics to follow soon.

24 hours after arriving back I am taking the funeral service of a young man who's parents have had associations with Zac's Place and some of our musician friends. It was difficult to make the arrangements on the road through Europe - I would normally like to spend plenty of time with those grieving in person. Never the less, I was glad to be there on the day and the evening before. The utter emptiness and pain of parents losing their kids and siblings losing a brother is human wounding at it's most raw and most vulnerable. To attempt to bring any words and actions of comfort and hope, for me, need to be utterly dependant of the compassion of Christ himself.

I was very appreciative to Glenn for taking the lead at our Zac's Bible study following the funeral - despite him also having to take one the following day too.

Finally by Wednesday I was able to catch up properly with my own family & jobs at home. The following two days were spent up an 8 metre scaffold with Glenn in the main hall of Zac's Place making some long overdue repairs on the ceiling - which continue into this week.

Sometimes I get asked, usually by writers or journalists, what does a typical week look like. Diverse is perhaps an understatement.