One thing I've been reminded of this week, which was helped by some outside reflection, is that city pace is so much faster than normal life. And throw into that the requirement for planting a new church, caring for a sick family, keeping up with a UK job, writing a book....etc...I realised that maybe going at such speed for too long will not be healthy or possible.
But there is an element of it, in a non-maniac way, that is essential if we are to successfully help to plant this international city church.
So it's on that note that we press through. We aren't (always) doing it in our strength anyway, and the times we are we soon find out, as we can't possibly hope to do it by ourselves. We wouldn't stand a chance.
But what is it about life here that makes it faster or busier? Travel is one big thing. To actually get around to do any one said activity can take much longer because of the time it takes to get there and back. For example, this Monday (Monday's being quite tiring days for me because of the meetings in the morning but also because it follows on from a busy Sunday) having got to the orphanage for our weekly visit, I found out that the children we not there and therefore we couldn't go. I hadn't even left the metro station. So on some level the hour I didn't spend playing with the children (mainly emotional energy used) should have been a welcome break, but its a 45 minute journey each way, on a day with heavy wet snow. So the usual 60 minute weekly visit in the orphanage is actually a 150 minute door to door activity, the travelling probably the most tiring element (certainly physically). In future, I'll try and get a number for the orphanage so that we can call in advance. This was the second time I'd got there to find there were no children!
But hear me right, I'm not moaning, more reflecting. This is normal life now for us and I wouldn't have been thinking about it had it not been for our friend coming over and bringing up the subject for us. You kind of get used to the pace after a while, only noticing it when you're back out of it, which is why us being in England for over 3 months for the birth of the baby is going to be tough as compared to Russia, what will we have to do! (I am working on a schedule that will hopefully give me some base for building on relationships that will help us in Russia, as well as travelling around a bit to learn all we can from churches further down the road than we are).
But the main reason I want to write such things, the main reason for writing this blog (besides for personal reflective reasons and for people to actually understand me for who I am - ie HEARING my heart) was so that I could help, encourage and be there for people going through, and about to go through the sort of things that we have been doing. I felt I learnt a lot doing the journey we did, much of it pushing us closer to God, which was important, but its the other areas of lack that I feel I've learnt to help with so that others don't miss out like we did. So I want to help coach people, encourage people, be there for people. I want to be part of the process because I've been through the process, and while I'm still going through it, anyone further on the same course as yourself is able to bring some input and insight, and its also fresh in the mind, which in today's society, we can't place highly enough.
So if this is you, and you want some input, I'm here for you. Contact me before you even leave you home shores. I can't promise you to sort out all your problems but I might be able to help you see through them. And then once in your new place, when you actually need even more encouragement and contact, I'll be happy to be there for you - lets face it, now days, anywhere with an internet connection opens up all possibilities...emails, skype calls even.
So I hope you found this interesting. I'm off to continue writing my second novel now....time is moving on already. Glad I finally fitted in another blog though. Again, how do people find the time to regularly blog so much AND have something worthwhile to blog about?? lol
Until next time.....