Showing posts from May, 2005

British Community

On Sunday we went to a British Community Open House dinner. The British Community in Asunción is made up of a mix of old school ex-pats and a new breed of younger (less than 60) families on contracts. The best-seller 'At The Tomb of the Inflatable Pig', gave a colourful caricature of some of the more eccentric ex-pats. Many of them were there on Sunday. We used not to go to these events, but with more families around these days we feel a bit more comfortable. In fact, the invitation mentioned there would be a bouncy castle, and because of that we went. With a six year old and three year old, child entertainment is a priority at these things. I met a larger than life guy called Pete. He'd retired 6 months ago to Paraguay with his Paraguayan wife. He said he was totally non religious, but I invited him along to our small group anyway. I told him it was fine to be non religious in the small group setting, in fact you can ask any question you like no matter

The return of the Irish

Yesterday we dropped Denis and Andrew off at the airport for their return to Irish soil. We managed to spend more time with them than we first thought, thanks to the generosity of our school principal who gave us time off school. On Thursday I went with them to a community way across the Paraguay River called Remansito. It used to be a shanty town but has matured over the years and now has brick built homes with the occasional shack. We saw the new Anglican church in Remansito which various teams from Ireland and England have built over the last three years. It was really good to see the finished church. I'll try to get some photos on-line soon. Then on Tuesday Eileen was able to visit Zeballous Cue with them. This is where a team from Ireland will visit in July and do some construction work for the church there. It is also a poorer area on the fringes of the city. It is a community badly affected by the supermarket fire in Asunción last year. It goes without sa

Franklin Graham

Press reports here say there were 40,000 people at the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope each night. On Saturday 60,000 children and families went to a large youth event.

Irish visitors

Our 'boss' arrived today! We'll not really, Denis Johnston is the secretary of SAMS Ireland . He does have overall responsibility for SAMS Ireland staff though. An old friend Andrew Forster also is visiting, he was Church of Ireland chaplin at Queen's University Belfast when I worked there. Great to see him again. We're having dinner later. It was a bit of an adventure getting them from the airport. I was to use the Bishop's pickup to get them and thought I'd get it a early, it was well I did. It had a flat battery and needs to be push started, twice! Then it was low on fuel and because of the another power cut this morning none of the petrol stations had working pumps (welcome to the developing world!). But it was without mishap and I picked them up without hitch at the airport. Another thing starting today is the Festival de Esperanza with Franklin Graham - son of Billy. A massive evangelical campaign that aims to fill the national football sta

Darkness descends

It's been a busy week this one. We are looking after two boys for a week, their mum has returned to the UK to sort out a new house and school for them when they return to the UK in July. Elijah and Hannah get on with them very well and things have been swimming along nicely, no problems. But by the end of each day we are pretty exhausted and going to bed early. This evening was our second week of the small group - Christianity Explored. Again it was a good meeting. Everyone was very open about where they are at spiritually and hopefully they will feel comfortable to come back and open up some more next week. Just after everyone went home there was a nation wide power cut, the whole country was plunged into darkness. We could not see a thing in the house and did that thing where you use your mobile phone as a torch, to find a proper torch. The sky outside was fantastic, a beautiful starry night. Something we never see because of the light pollution. The Milky Way was very

Small Group

On Wednesday we had our first small group meeting of the year. It was a good night. A mix of those who had done the Alpha Course last year and some new ones. We shared a meal and got to know each other better. Based on the group we decided to do a course called Christianity Explored , which is similar to Alpha. It allows those interested in Christianity to ask questions and explore what the Bible says about Jesus. It felt really good to have a small group up and going again. We believe being part of a small group is an essential thing for any member of a church. After our experience with Alpha we learnt the informal setting that allows seekers to ask any question is a wonderful thing. We're looking forward to the weeks ahead and sharing more about Jesus to our friends.