Archive | July, 2008

Romania Go Relief Team 2008

29 Jul

By way of introduction I thought I would upload the a brief history of the place we were at, which came in our Welcome Packs. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (sorry if you’re trying to read these on a small screen!)

This year, the project was the completion of two buildings at Harghita Christian Camp which are going to be Old People’s Homes. In total there were 36 rooms, in various stages of completion, to be worked on during the week. As well as this, there was outdoor work to be done around the buildings laying a path for disabled access. As you might have gathered from the history, there was a children’s camp being run while we were there for children about 12-15 years old. I think there were 47 campers.

The team arrived over two days as we were too large a group to go on a single plane, and in the end this turned out to work to our advantage. The journey there was rather long and drawn out, and included 3 breakfasts from McD’s. I thought wearing jeans was a decent enough idea when I was leaving, as it was pouring, but I was questioning this by Budapest, where the heat was intolerable. After landing we had a 2 hour bus journey to the camp, during which Philip coloured in my ear as I slept. Upon arrival we had red stuff to eat, soon followed by sleep for the first time in near 40 hours.

4.01 am

Hungarian hoverbus

Even planes are using MSN speak these days

Breakfast was at 7.30 the next morning, which I made it to, a trend I was not to keep up throughout the week. With only half the team present, the work done was all preparatory and basically involved cleaning out the building of dust and other building site stuff. In the afternoon we had a games time where the children moved round the different games we had going. Our game involved children dressing up and running round a volleyball court. I was doing the game with Alicia, who is from Clare!

We journeyed to a naturally heated pool on Saturday night. I question where the natural heat was coming from…

On Sabbath we had morning worship at 11, followed by lunch then a walk for anyone foolish enough. We were walking for 3 and half hours in some serious heat. After lots of walking we got to the spring with natural sparkling water. Sadly it tasted of eggs. Much craic though. And we came across some pretty strange sights on our journey…

Cows in the middle of a forest??

Cows in the middle of a forest??

Not quite a strange, a natural spring

Not quite as strange, a natural spring

After the rest of the team arrived, the work was putting lime on the walls, followed by paint. The lime was rather messy stuff to work with, and was very good at drying out your hands. After 3 coats of lime and 2 of paint we were finally done with 15 minutes to spare. In the other building, the lime had already been applied, so they just had to paint and spend a lot of time sanding wood. Much fun.

Sam cleverly sanded through his hand

I’d gone to Romania expecting sunshine the whole time, and had packed accordingly. This now seems slightly foolish, and bringing a few long sleeved garments would probably have been wise. It rained for all of Tuesday, and as well as holding up the outdoor work, it made for some muddy conditions outside. However this did mean that the work indoors was speeded up, and so it wasn’t really a hindrance after all, and we got to witness some cool thunder and lightening.

(

Rain :(

Wednesday was our day out, during which we visited 3 towns and a salt mine. The first was a place selling lots of souvenirs and stuff like that, Philip bought a class big mask. From there it was on to the salt mine which was a less of a salt mine and more of a big amusement thing. Bit of a hole to be honest. Still, we sung Psalm 23 in a chapel 150m underground. To be respected like.. The next place had lots of restaurants and a big salt lake. Time was limited, so obviously I chose the latter along with Sam, Catherine, Heather and Megan. It was immense. To round off the day we went to Sighisoara, which is the place where Dracula was apparently born. Philip got a brick from the house! Had a bit of T and L on the way home. Good day.

Brilliant for £10

Brilliant for £10

Sighisoara

Sighisoara

The concert type thing was on Thursday. Johnny Cash was resurrected, Noel McCune performed and a few psalms were sung

There was a football match between us and the kids, then the builders. Unfortunately the children hammered us, but our pride was restored with a comfortable 2-0 against the builders. Kits were supplied by Institute Football Club.

On the last night there was a bonfire, it was huge.

Phil

Phil

Lots of people...

Lots of people...

Just a pile of ashes by this stage

So it was time to get out the flammable stuff

So it was time to get out the flammable stuff

I had long since retired for the night

I had long since retired for the night

Other photos:

I sure do

I sure do

Another Philip Morrison original

Another Philip Morrison original

Psalm Singers

Psalm Singers

Funny as

Funny as

Floater soup was back

Floater soup was back

This was the nearest I got to vegetables

This was the nearest I got to vegetables

This guy looks scarily like one of the Hotel Inspectors from Fawlty Towers

This guy looks scarily like one of the Hotel Inspectors from Fawlty Towers

A year later the colour of the gloves has changed but that's about it

A year later the colour of the gloves has changed but that's about it

As you might have heard, the younger end of the team got a bit sick on the last few days. I think most people are back to health now, so it’s all good.

So there you have it, another fantastic week.

All over for another year...

Camp Website

Lots of photos on Flickr

Report on the 2007 team

Milford Go Team 2008

26 Jul

Do you know where Milford is? I have to admit that I hadn’t a more precise idea than “somewhere in Donegal” until last week. Milford has the most northernly Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ireland and probably the most northern evangelical witness on the island. Another experience during the week further highlighted that I’m not a geographer as Luke and myself managed to get badly lost, turning half of an afternoon’s leaflet distribution into a scenic drive! During the week we distributed “4you” magazines in Milford and surronding towns and villages and after a few days I discovered that the term “housing estate” infact means “cul-de-sac” in Donegal. God also provided some oppertunities for us to share the gospel during our Door to Door work and several people were interested in doing a Chrisitanity Explored course which was very encouraging.

Map of Donegal, Blue indicates where we gave out magazines
 
Chris chillaxing in the flat
 
Luke in the Jukebox on Wheels
 
Surely to be expected on a road?
 
Donegal does have the oddest signs!
 
4you magazine
 
Working hard?
 
Or hardly working?
 
Avoiding doing a “South Africa”
 
Me and Luke
 
Distribution in Downings

Wednesday night was our evening off and we travelled to Rathmullan where we went to a chippy with the alluring name of “Salt and Batter” and after eating (including Charlotte picking the batter off her chicken burger?!) we hit the beach. We were joined by Matthew, Shona, Bapman and his two English cousins Ruth and Laura all of whom assisted the team during the week. Lisa and Esther dominated the Ultamite Frisbee pitch before I showed my shocking lack of prowess with a rounders bat. The week ended probably the best congregational bbq I’ve been at. The food was delicious and the musical entertainment provided by Martin and Mary Crossin was sensational. An apt way to round off a brilliant week.

Maggie had left her shades in Jonny’s car


Playing on the beach

Team plus Willy T, Laura and Ruth @ Beach

Leaving beach

Teaching Mafia to the Londonders

Eating Mr Al Fresco

Laura and Me

BBQ

Martin and Mary


Rumour has it that they are performing at Castlewellan

The Girls have a go on the harp

The real work of the Go Team was done during the each morning, after Jonny led us in worship we prayed earnestly for the church and people in Ireland, Donegal and Milford. Prayer was the main lesson of the week however we also learnt alot in the apologetics seminars before lunch from Mark Loughridge, Tim Keller and Greg Bahnsen. In the evenings we dined in different houses of members of the congregation and the welcome we received was very appreciated and Mark led us in Bible studies on the book of Colossians. During the Go Team I know I learnt a lot more than I gave and I am very grateful for the chance to be part of this team. Go Teams are a good opportunity to serve but they are a fantastic opportunity to grow spiritually as they push you outside your comfort zone. Pray that the work we did in Milford will be used by God to bring unbelievers to Christ, that it will encourage the small congregation and that each of us will be able to put into practice the lessons we learnt on the throughout the week.

Team: Esther Stronge (Free Presbyterian), Charlotte Hyndman (Newtonards RPC, Team Nutritionist), Lisa Heggarty (Ballymoney RPC), Chris Carson (Ballyclabber RPC), James McCullough (Dromore RPC), Mark Loughridge (Milford RPC, Minister), Luke McCollum (Limavady RPC) and Jonny McCollum (Cullybackey RPC, Team Leader)

UTV Abortion Poll

26 Jul

Below is an email I recieved yesterday written by Callum Webster of Christian Institute. Please vote in the poll.

Brethren,

This week 6 British MPs have tabled an amendment to the HFEA Bill calling for the 1967 Abortion Act to be extended to Northern Ireland. None of these 6 MPs are from Northern Ireland and none of them represent Northern Irish constituencies.

Since the 1967 Act over 6.7 million babies have been aborted in England, Scotland, & Wales. Currently there are approx 200,000 abortions every year in Britain – about 1 in 5 of all pregnancies.

Ulster Television (UTV) is running an online poll asking whether abortion should be legalised in NI. Please vote “No” and pass the link on to anyone else who you think will vote against the legalisation of abortion. See http://www4.u.tv/polls/

 Your brother in Christ,

Callum

“It Means Nothing”

23 Jul

It often surprises me how close songwriters come to the truth yet simultaneously manage to entirely miss the point. One example of this is “It Means Nothing” by the Stereophonics in which the writer says there is no meaning in life without the person that he loves, repeating the line “If I haven’t got you”. This song reveals a longing in the heart of everyone for purpose and meaning. Sadly the message of this song is greviously flawed as it dismisses religion in the verse:

“You can find yourself a god
Believe in which one you want
‘Cos they love you all the same
They just go by different names”

This is an example of the brainwashing-postmodern attitude that all religions are equally valid (or non-valid) which is very prevalent in our Western culture and also puts an over emphasis on having a boy-girl relationship.

Whilst I’m obviously recommending this song there is a large degree of truth in it as there is a personal relationship without which everything does “mean nothing”. This is not a relationship with the perfect girl or guy as the song suggests rather it is with God. By nature this relationship is broken by sin but Christ came to pay the penalty for the sins of his people. If we repent and believe our relationship with God is fixed and our life is no longer meaningless.

“Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” Westminster Shorter Catechism

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11

If you are a Christian remember that in comparison to your relationship with God your other earthly relationships and interests are worthless. This is evident in the words of Christ:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

The lyrics of Stereophonics’ song should be changed. They should say:

“It means nothing, If I haven’t got Christ, If what I am doing isn’t done for him”

Stereophonics- “It Means Nothing”


Performed live at Radio 1’s Big Weekend at Preston 2007

Downhere- “The More”


Downhere singing about a far more important relationship.

Web Watch and Writers’ Strike

18 Jul

Web Watch

You may have wondered why Another King had such a short post regarding Senior Camp. It was because we felt it would be better to leave a more indepth look at camp to the expertise of Steelo. Senior Camp 2008, Senior Camp 2008: Videos 

Packer has recommended his Top Five Books to included in your own theological library. How many have you read?

Westside! Has John Piper joined a gang?

Tyler Kenney writes on Desiring God why “The Bible Is Better than Being There

Mark Devenport’s secular take on Iris Robinson. Probably one of the more reasonable correspondants on this story, the rest of the BBC seemed very keen to put the boot in!

 

Writers’ Strike

We aren’t really on strike though posting may still be sparse next week. Ali is jetting off to the sun with his family, Andy’s away to Romania as part of the Go Relief Team and I leave for the Go Team in Milford after making my debut in the RP Five-a-side Football Tournament . I’ll leave a post scheduled for next week but I just thought you’d appreciate knowing what we are up to. Please pray for safety for the large (in number not weight!) group travelling to Romania. You could also check out a report of last year’s Romania team written by Andy here.

Iris Robinson Speaks Out

17 Jul

I have often voiced criticism of the Democratic Unionist Party, their politicians and their policies but today I want to applaud Iris Robinson for saying on the Nolan radio show that “the government has the responsibility to uphold God’s laws morally”. In this statement she is recognising the fact that the will of the majority should not be supreme in state instead Christ should be. These words are telling the nation the message that inspires this blog, “there is another king, one called Jesus” (Acts17:7).  Iris Robinson has spoken out against homosexuality and made this statement in a discussion regarding abortion. Her pro-choice opponent in this debate responded scathingling “now we are down to it… it’s all to do with God’s law” denouncing her, a born-again Christian, as a “religious fundamentalist”. God’s law is the basis on which this country must be run and every nation has a duty to recognise God as the ultamite law giver. I may still disagree with the Strangford MP on many issues and how she seeks to apply God’s law in some situations but this controversial statement should be supported by all Christians. We have a duty to be salt and light politically as well as socially and our political involvement should primarily be telling our nation that Christ is King.

You can listen to the interview again on the bbc website.

Senior Camp 2008

16 Jul

A short video compilation of Senior Camp 2008, set to music from Coldplay.

And what a fantastic week it was.