I am a long-time monolingual home-bird who loves God and my family. Since 2010 I have lived mostly away from England, become sort of bilingual and generally much less useful, but am learning a lot and still love God.
Why no photo?
I live in a part of the world where there is no historical church and where the small numbers of locals are often persecuted for following Jesus. As a family we were called by God and sent out by our church to be salt and light in a very different culture than Brighton and Hove. We are making work for ourselves here, schooling our children, praying, loving our neighbours, sharing good news where we have opportunities, and caring for other workers.
In my articles I plan to share my experiences together with what God is teaching me through everyday life.
Lesson 1: ‘HALT’!
Ramadan is a season when there are even more people begging on the streets of our neighbourhood than usual, as it is the traditional time of year for Muslim people to be more aware of the needs of the poor, and also to be more generous towards them. For myself, I often feel overwhelmed by their needs and in a quandary as to how to respond. For example, during just a short walk to pick up one of our daughters from gym, I passed by (twice) more than twenty people asking for my help. It is Ramadan, the days are long, and the temperature is in the thirties most days; most of these needy people are certainly hungry, angry, lonely and tired. If I feel troubled by their presence then how much more do they feel overwhelmed by their life situation? What combination of circumstances brings them to sit on the street everyday asking strangers for alms? What happened within their families that leaves them outside of the normal familial care structure? Where are the good fathers and the honourable husbands?
Experts tell us that the acronym HALT is helpful in recognising when we, our children, or others we care about are needing to stop. We make poor decisions when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, and when all four are working together it is a toxic combination.
Do you need to HALT today and go to the God spoken of in the book of Isaiah, chapter 40? The one who never grows tired or weary, who increases the power of the weak, and who restores the strength of those who are stumbling and falling.