Our friends in Jefferson Street

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Following our first community visit, spending time in Mississippi, we arrived on Sunday afternoon at the Georgia based Alterna community.

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Previously, these doors were for male, female, and Negro.

Alterna is based in Lagrange, a town with one of the highest income disparities in the United States. In stark contrast to the rich suburbs filled with wealthy white families, there are high numbers of working poor, mostly African American, with a growing population of undocumented immigrants from Latin America. 

In response to this, Alterna is a bilingual community, with core members making a commitment to become fluent in

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Our friends in West Jackson

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“You gotta be born again. And again. And again.”
John M Perkins

John told us this as we sat on the porch, drinking coffee and talking about the commencement address he was about to give at Taylor University.

IMGP7307Its easy to forget how much of an icon he is whilst you sit with him, and laugh as he eats all the sweet potato, or tells you he doesn’t want any food, then steadily works his way through your fries. He has no airs and graces, no attitude of expecting you to honour his fame: he is humble, friendly and straight-forward.…

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Seeking questions

I Have Questions

This year has been a huge journey for our family. Rather than just a holiday trip, we’ve been taken on a voyage; there’s a sense we have that God is preparing us for a destination.

I don’t mean a physical place – although I do wonder where “home” will be in 5 or 10 years – but I feel God is shaking us down, getting us ready for a change of life.

Many of us experience a huge “about turn” when we first become believers: the word repentance literally means “to turn around”. I fear though, that all too often, …

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A brief stopover

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We are back in England. For those of you who read our prayer updates, thanks for the support, we had a fairly uneventful flight home, albeit with very little sleep – as expected with two children under the age of four!

We are now relaxing in my parents home, trying to enjoy the sacred art of rest, as we prepare for a month long road trip across America. Its amazing just how vibrant and green everything is here, and there’s no sand!

Lots of people talk about culture shock, and reverse culture shock. Thanks to some very supportive friends, …

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No more foreigners

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At the moment there’s a lot of fear and hype surrounding Xenophobia in SA. There has been a new wave of attacks on foreigners, in several big cities. Many hundreds of Zimbabweans, Congolese, and Indians have been forced to leave the country, whilst businesses have been burnt down and looted.

So far, there’s been very little sign of it in rural areas, and media coverage of the city violence appears to have been blown out of proportion – but its still a slightly tense time to be a non local living in South Africa.

You can deal with foreigners

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You are free

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In March, we had the opportunity to visit Harrismith, the town we’ve stayed in during all our previous South Africa visits. You can see the Platberg behind us in the photo, the majestic mountain that hovers over the town.

It was a real blessing to see our lovely friends, and Freedom Church gave me the honour of preaching at their Sunday morning fellowship.

Continuing on a theme from our talk on Sending Sunday, I used Ephesians 2 as the basis for my talk.

Feel free to download it here, or listen by clicking play below.


Apologies

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Staying true

Mbazwana Market

I enjoy music tremendously. I’m terrible at remembering band names, or song titles, but the one piece of dedication I excel at? Listening to albums on repeat. Again and again.

In June, I am going to see a band called The Movielife with some close old friends. As part of preparing for this, I’ve purchase their first two albums, which I didn’t already have, and am now spending all my exercising time listening to their entire catalogue, over and over.

Generally, there are aspects to a band’s lyrics I agree with… and disagree with. Often I’m not on board with …

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The New South Africa

The New South Africa

Last week we went to the beach at Sodwana. It was probably not the best time to visit, given that it was the day after New Year, a day that traditionally *everyone* heads to the seaside.

But we went anyway, with our lovely Scottish friends Paul & Debbie (read their awesome blog about living in Soshanguve township). As expected, the streams of tourists meant that the queue to get onto the beach parking took more than an hour – it usually takes us a few minutes – but we persevered.

Once through the parking barrier, there were approximately …

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like…

Kids at Christmas

It is very strange living in a country that gets hotter as Christmas comes near. For 27 years of my life, the build up to our annual celebration has been marked by the temperature dropping.

The nights draw in, the Christmas tree appearing all the more bright as a result, festive candles illuminating the dark. And the social events: carol singing in a thick coat, followed by hot, freshly-baked mince pies and mulled wine; food that warms you up as it sinks down.

Here in South Africa, its been reliably 30+ degrees each day, with a few hitting 36. I’ve …

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A trip to the beach

Joen on Black Rock Beach

This weekend, myself and Joen went away for a trip without the girls. Just father and son, enjoying a trip to the remote Black Rock Beach with some of our friends from the hospital.

It was my first experience of real 4×4 offroading. Not only did I have to use the 4×4, I had to put it in ultra low gear mode, and in the end I still had to give up on one hill and find another route round.

After a fairly exhilarating 2 hour scramble along sand dunes and vague attempts at dirt tracks, the beach was incredible. …

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