Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ups and Downs

The last few months have been pretty horrible in terms of ups and downs. I feel like things are starting to level out again now, which is good.

  • Work has been difficult - new management etc. etc. There's a lot I could say but won't. Thankfully, due mainly to the insight of senior management at a State level, things now look like they will be settling down.
  • New friends moving off - My off-sider on Kick Start, Tim, recently resigned and had his last day at work on Thursday. Tim joined us from Kununurra on October last year when our previous trainer left us. Tim has has been an asset to the program and has become a great friend. He joined us in our missional venture early on and has been a big part of what we have been doing, both through Kick Start and also in our community. He's heading back to Kununurra where his family is and a new job working in the local District High School. I am going to miss Tim and wish him all the best "up-north".

    Tim (on right) with Shane (middle) and me (left) at Tim's fairwell on Thursday

  • Trainer wanted - With Tim leaving we are now chasing a new trainer. The suitable applicant will have a trade background and experience in working with "at risk" youth. Our program is a drug and alcohol diversionary and intervention program, so an understanding (i.e. non-judgemental) and empathetic attitude is essential. If you think this is you, let me know!
  • Rwanda - Alyssa and I am off to Kigali in 2 weeks. I am finding that I don't have the usual pre-trip dread this year round. I think it is because I am taking Alyssa with me and not leaving her behind this year. I am going to miss the kids like crazy - I always end up leaving in tears, big sook that I am, but at least Lyss will be with me. I am really looking forward to showing her around and introducing her to my Rwandan family.
  • Amahoro Gathering 08 - While we are in Rwanda we will be attending Amahoro 2008 which is (very conveniently) taking place in Kigali this year. I attended the inaugeral gathering last year in Mukono, Uganda where the focus was on the gospel of transformation (as opposed to the gospel of evacuation). I am looking forward to catching up with Claude Nikondeha - the man behind the gathering and Edward Simiyu - an amazing leader from Kenya and also Brian McLaren and the other "emerging/emergent" guys from the states who will be there.

    The focus of this years gathering is the gospel of reconcilliation and I don't think there is a better place in Africa than Rwanda to be holding such a conversation. Rwanda is a model of reconcilliation for the rest of the world.

    I want to try and blog the conference here but, it sometimes takes a while for the message to sink in and for me to more fully understand what it is I am hearing. So we'll see how that comes together!
  • Guitar at Sunday gathering - for the first time ever I am on guitar duty at our Sunday morning gathering. We don't have a big band of musicians - really just one dedicated lady who plays guitar for us most Sundays. But she's away tomorrow and I was asked to fill in.

    I used to play guitar in a pub band - but that was when I was a drinker, and I don't think I played a single concert sober, so tomorrow should be interesting.

Ouch - New Tatt

I just found this photo, taken with my phone camera, the day after getting my latest tattoo back in early February this year.

Man it looks sore.

Anyone who tells you tatts don't hurt is lying!

New Blog - Reimagine

Just wanted to let you all know about a new blog launched a couple of days ago by Hamo from Backyard Missionary/Forge.

It's hopefully gonna be centred around the experiences of those currently involved in Forge's Re-imagine process - helping established churches become missional.

Re-imagine something we at Binningup are getting into.

Here's what Hamo has to say about the blog:

The idea is to set up an online space where the local reimagine projects can share their learning, interact and spark ideas with one another ...that it may also serve as a tool to those all around the world who are currently seeking to re-imagine ... the work we do here in WA could be invaluable to many others.
Check it out -

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chinese Weapons Ship leaves South Africa

Chinese cargo ship carrying arms shippment to Zimbabwe, anchored off South African coast (picture stolen from Sky News)

A Chinese ship reportedly carying arms and ammunition to Zimbabwe has left the South African coast after port workers refused to unload its cargo and the South African courts blocked its passage through the country.

It is believed the arms were sold to the Mugabe led government by the Chinese government. Opposition parties in Zimbabwe have said the arms would be used against the Zimbabwean public, especially those opposing the Mugabe regime.

Sky News have reported that South African newspaper, the Beeld, has published details of the ship's inventory which includes 3 million rounds of AK-47 ammunition and 1,500 rocket propelled grenades.

While China's human rights record in relation to Tibet has been in the news a lot lately, it's also worth remembering the Chinese governments ongoing involvement in violating the rights of other minority groups within China - including millions of Chinese followers of Jesus - and their continued involvement in supporting oppressive foreign regimes such as those of Mugabe in Zimbabwe, through the supply of arms and ammunition. Weapons which almost undoubtedly will used against innocent civilians.

I think we (Australia and perhaps the rest of the Western world) should be boycotting the Beijing Olympics. I can't think of a more current and internationally significant way of letting China know that we want nothing to do with their oppressive political system and oppose their involvement in and support of other oppressive regimes elsewhere in the world, not to mention the role they have to play in the persecution of minorities within their own boarders.

Some links to news sites with information on the Chinese ship and its cargo. You can also congratulate the South African dock workers by emailing them from the website of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union website.

BBC News


Sky News

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The pursuit to be like Jesus

[Emerging churches] do not believe in evangelistic strategies, other than the pursuit to be like Jesus in his interactions with others. They do not target people or have an agenda but rather seek to love all those whom God brings to them. They do not hope for a belief change for their conversation partners as much as a life change. Because of their high level of engagement with other cultures, the sacred/secular split is overcome as they practice the kingdom in their midst, in community.
Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger cited in Scot McKnights, A community called atonement (Abingdon Press, 2007).