Learning how to Cartwheel

We have now been living in Westy Estate for a whole year. Whilst we definitely feel settled, twelve months in our area is barely scratching the surface: our neighbours on one side have lived there forty-plus years and on the other side, more than twenty. Even the Hungarian family behind our house have lived there about seven; we are still definitely newcomers.

We’ve learnt a lot of lessons in our time here; from basic bike security, to being generous when you don’t have much to give. I talked about the challenges of hospitality in a small home previously, but …

Continue reading →

Saying goodbye to Boston

Our house is full of cardboard. Boxes everywhere. Empty and full, labelled and unlabelled. I estimate we’ve used a kilometre of brown tape in the last month. We are moving house in 10 days, and packing is always hard work.

It doesn’t seem like just four years since we were last at this point. Back in 2012, we moved to Boston. Since then, we’ve had a daughter, become part of a thriving church, lived in Africa for 9 months, lost a bit of weight, and I’ve even bought a snood

We love Boston. …

Continue reading →

Kingdom over comfort

Back at the turn of the year, we shared a blog post that talked about our desire for a lifestyle that more unconditionally reflects our convictions.

After much prayer – thanks to everyone who has supported us through our prayer updates – and after much discussion, and, ultimately, just deciding to take the plunge through our uncertainty, we have made the decision to move to Warrington and join Eden Latchford.

Every trip to Warrington has been hard work. Most of this has been because we’ve been constantly trying to process whether or not we want to move there. Underlying …

Continue reading →

Next

This is part of a longer reflection on 2015 which Chris has put on his blog.
Feel free to read Looking back at 2015 at allaboutchris.org.

The bible is full of phrases like this:

“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
Mark 8:34-35

When I read a passage like that, I think: …

Continue reading →

Our friends in Danville

After our fantastic time with the guys at QC Family Tree, we drove a few more hours North, and arrived at Grace & Main Fellowship in Danville, Virginia.

IMGP7712Grace & Main is an intentional community that values hospitality highly. Starting around 5 years ago in response to a dangerously challenging book club, they now have several community houses spread across the city, and a community garden large enough to be thought of as an urban farm.

A small group of friends, they moved from book study to a practice they referred to as “Roving Feasts”, making tens of packed …

Continue reading →

Our friends on Koinonia Farm

CIMGP7464hris: After our whistlestop trip to Alterna, we drove to the southernmost part of our American tour: Koinonia Farm, in Americus, South Georgia.

Koinonia Farm is a pretty unique place. Formed half a century ago by some white farmers, it was an oasis of progressive freedom in the otherwise staunchy conservative South. Workers taken on at a daily rate were paid the same, regardless of their skin colour. Suffice it to say, this was not a popular attitude to have during the federally imposed desegregation of schools; throughout the 60s, Koinonia had regular protests, and warning shooting from …

Continue reading →

Our friends in Jefferson Street

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

IMGP7425

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

Continue reading →

Our friends in West Jackson

“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.…

Continue reading →

Seeking 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, …

Continue reading →

Learning to breathe

We’ve now been here for 8 months. It has been the quickest 8 months of my life… but also the slowest. It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever really been forced to slow down.

When we first arrived, oh I got bored!

Bored – of looking after the kids,
Bored – of there being nothing to do that wasn’t at least 20km away,
Bored – of being hot,
Bored – of myself who grew bigger and bigger as the quieter days continued.

We persevered and what has happened is a simpler more contented perspective.

I have grown to …

Continue reading →