Our friends in New York

Our final experience of driving in America was our journey from Philadelphia to JFK airport. IMGP8105Obviously, we got lost, and arrived at the car hire drop-off at literally 12:31, crossing the line into late by 1 minute; luckily we managed to get away with this terrible crime with no further charges.

My takeaway from a month and 3,000 miles of driving in America? After paying $16 to cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, I’m never going to complain about the Dartford Crossing again!


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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 …

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Our friends in Enderly Park

IMGP7670Fresh from our stay at Koinonia, we made our way to Charlotte, North Carolina, with a brief stopover in Atlanta. QC Family Tree were to be our latest victims hosts.

Pulling into the neighbourhood was a familiar feeling. Slightly tatty wooden houses, with cars in a similar state of disrepair, a populace very visible on the streets. Much like the majority of communities we’ve visited, QC Family Tree is located on the edge of empire, an area that once comprised a stable, well-off neighbourhood, now far less economically and socially prosperous.

Joen enjoying the free porch library

Joen enjoying the free porch library

It was …

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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.

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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

“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

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 little less fear

Coming to South Africa was daunting. You read (and are told) stories about the country from people who live here – and others that don’t – and you wonder, “Do I really want to put myself in that position?”

Thankfully I told my fears to God and He met with me. He calmed my fears and gave me the strength to come and live here with my family for what will be 9 months.

Whilst in SA, we are being mentored by a lovely couple who head up the UK section to CRM – a missionary organisation with many …

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Different Worlds

Coming here, I was aware that South Africa is not England. I was also aware that South Africa is not just one culture itself – any country that has 13 official languages is likely to have very diverse national identities!

I’ve seen several of my friends from Nigeria get frustrated with the Western tendency to think of Africa as one big, perhaps slightly backwards, country. Whilst I’ve always tried to avoid falling into that trap, I’ve still been surprised by the huge variety of ways of life here in Mseleni.…

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Water

We have been in Mseleni for just over 2 weeks now. The adjustment to life here has had its challenges.

There’s a slower pace of life here, coupled with no nursery for Joen, which means full time care once again (and thus the institution of a rather nursery-like routine to keep us all sane). Just as the icing on the cake, there’s also no hot water.

Our boiler (or “geyser” as it’s called here) is broken. It has been since before we arrived. Permission to order a new boiler has been asked (but not yet given). When we will actually …

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Choice

Choice. What an amazing gift.

Many in this world don’t have it. Those that do, generally take it for granted. I know I do.

The choice to move, to vote, go to university, change job, choose what food I eat, what recipe to follow, even what church I go to, what bible app to download… I am privileged and yet I still complain.

The decision “oh what on earth are we going to cook this time?” should become “Wow what shall we cook?!”

bowlsJoen is 3, and part of his stage in life involves becoming aware of choice. One big …

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