Well, it's been a tough month! We've had chaos and struggles
aplenty over the last few weeks. I've been fighting in the ring,
encountering unexpected opposition within the community, and
am struggling to maintain morale amongst the troops on staff.
But first things first. Most of you will remember that I sent
out a special prayer request letter a couple of weeks ago concerning
two of our boys who were being severely threatened by some local
criminals. Sadly the matter is still not resolved.
Of the two boys that were threatened (one receiving a bullet
through his kitchen window) only one of them turned up to court
that week as a witness for the prosecution. Consequently the
case was deferred until all the relevant witnesses could be found!
And so the problem continues...
The mum of one of the boys under threat tried to resolve matters
by paying a visit to the mother of the guy who is on trial. This
was a gutsy thing to do and Andy, my brother and our senior Youth
Worker, met with this lady and was quite impressed. Her desire
was to have her son drop the case against the other boy. We do
not agree with this course of action, but her reasoning was not
based solely on the self-preservation of her family. She said
to Andy "we need to get that boy back into church, not
back into gaol".
It is ironic that we have the boy's former Sunday School teacher
as part of our congregation! And I don't doubt doubt that this
mum's compassion I is quite genuine. Personally I feel that the
prison chapel is just the place for him, but perhaps I'm growing
As to my fight, I've been unable to walk far without the aid
of a stick for the last couple of days. I received some heavy
blows this time, but I gave a few too. I enjoyed the stoush immensely,
even though, as my friend Kon says "the older I get,
the faster I was".
More importantly, our three boys who fought last Saturday
night did very well, even though (astonishingly) they didn't
record a win between them! This was particularly remarkable when
you consider that one of our lads knocked his opponent down twice
in his three rounds. I don't know how the judges managed to score
that fight, but boxing is a strange game.
On the church front, would you do me a favour and pray for
our staff please. Pressures are high and we're only frail human
beings. A number of us have shown signs of coming close to breaking
point lately. There's no need to go into any further detail than
that, just keep us in your prayers. You can click here to see a picture of our church staff
in the case that will help you pray more meaningfully.
And yes, the opposition from our latest unknown antagonists
continues. We finally cleaned all the paint off the front door
of the church where someone had thrown a bucket of white paint
all over it. Then, two nights later, somebody emptied another
bucket over it! We're not going to bother having it scrapped
back and cleaned this time - not if it's just going to happpen
again a few days later.
As my old rector used to say: 'if you're not getting shot
at, you're not in the front line'. In as much as I hate this
sort of turmoil, it's good to know that we must be giving the
devil a hard time.