Sunday, March 28

Mission Day 10

I made it back from Mission in Newham after an amazing week: challenge, enthusiasm, difference, experience, team, grace, legacy, opportunity, humility and family... ten words for ten amazing days.

Challenge... I was scared and worried about what I would have to face, the things we would have to do, London, the team the people, it was all a challenege, but God is a God of Challenges.

Enthusiasm... This was when I found my enthusiasm, it was joyful chance. God is a God of Enthusiasm.

Difference... People can make a difference, its all to do about our dreams and visions. And we all live in different worlds with different people, with different dreams and visions. God is a God of Difference.

Experience... its all about seeing what is out their in this world and more than seeing it experiencing it. God is a God of Experience.

Team... We are all a team, we all support each other, work with and for each other, God is a God of our team.

Legacy... Where do we go from here? What now? What mark do we leave? What mark has been imprinted on our hearts? God is a God of Legacy.

Opportunity... You have to take the chances, create the opportunities. Grasp them and run with them. God is a God of Opportunities.

Humility... How can we walk past the lowest on earth and expect to understand them, if we do not serve them? God is a God of Humility.

Family... I started using the word friends but then I realised it was more than that but rather I have more family, a wider family now. God is a God of family.

God is God (in the words of someone I know well) endo!

Mission Day 9

What is happening in this area. The Olympic Games of 2012. We went to look at the near completion of the stadium from the view tube... to get their I walked along the Green Way and saw a lot of Newham, different types of Newham. It was a strange back drop for the olympic games.

Thos evening however I have helped host a quiz night. It wasn't huge and it wasn't greatly significant but it was family. Family all together, enjoying, having fun.

I was with the people who have helped me grow, learn, experience and enjoy the last nine days. These are the people who although worried and scared of coming on mission have taught me not to fear as I have an amazing God and amazing friends.

Where next, well we will get past church tomorrow, have lunch and travel home and see what awaits me for my next steps

To the glory of your name
I bring to you my life in praise.

How can you accept us?
I’ve seen the work our hands have done
Crazy shameful moments
Time wasters, life suckers
Criminals, hypocrites
Murders, surfers.
Middle class mums
And high class dads
Working class aunts
And vagabond uncles.
Brothers and sisters lost and in pain
Wandering feet and wandering spirits
Life with incredible limits.
Boundaries and walls
I can’t imagine how they can fall
How can your inexhaustible love
infiltrate into this pollution
into a world where you can be moving
yet few see you
and fewer seek you
Such disunity and helplessness

But Lord I have seen your people
Connected, praying, loving
Not judging.
I have seen their passion for you
Their love for your people
Who have answered your call
And stayed true to your word and work
I have seen hearts break with love for these people
And I have seen hearts mended here
I have seen people walk in humility
Walking ever closer to you
They have their eyes on the goal
And are solid in their foundations
Based upon the one true Cornerstone

They are a living for you Lord
And you supply and bless

To the glory of your name
In response
I bring to you my life in praise.

Friday, March 26

Mission Day 8

Taking an opportunity can be great. I've spent my day in a Cafe.

Drinking tea

Chatting to people

Trying to be help

More standing in the way

It was a taken opportunity.

I have been blown away by people in this place, not just the people of Newham but the team I am a part of. They're still there encouraging me when deep inside I've fallen asleep and I'm ready really to give up.

Oh and today I did some knitting :)

Thursday, March 25

Mission Day 7

Today has been really good.

What is our legacy?
Our legacy on this place?
What has marked our legacy?
What will be this legacy?

Not just empty question but something for all to think of in any place I feel.

Wednesday, March 24

Mission Day 6

Once again we went to Stratford to join the Easter Experience crew, which has been amazing. The walk their this morning also gave us a great view of the place, what it is to really walk the streets of London.

Also the lent group this evening where amazing and so willing to ask questions.

Yet tonight I have started to reflect upon the willingness to do things. Are we willing to drop everything and go and do God's bidding at the shortest notices, least of all with little preparation or expectancy?

On this mission I think that is something I am being called to consider as a lot of what we do turn up and see, and do what is needed then and their, being prepared to get stuck in, and just being willing and open to being used. As well as agreeing to assemblies less than 24 hours before hand.

I really pray that God opens my heart and my head to being this willing and just going with his flow more than trying to confine and constrict his amazing power and plans.

Tuesday, March 23

Mission Day 5

Bx Belshaw is really inspired just by how much much people are willing to give, how far people are willing to go and how desperate they are to share the grace and love of God.

The place of Newham where I'm on mission, just keeps on giving and giving. Not just new experiences and food, but its generosity for life, its love for the people and the passion for God is really hard to comprehend. Let alone get you head around. I've seen God in some strange places, but Newham has really blessed me as God isn't just in strange places, he just is and that is so profoundly obvious.

We looked around a warehouse today with first fruits, and the guys who's behind just has given so much to this area, and he quickly introduced us to his manager for Aspire (a clothing recycle plant type collection thing) who told us about Aspire, and at the end he turned around and said I know some of you will probably looking for jobs soon and theirs just around the corner this opportunity. To me it just showed the willingness to help welcome and supply to all the needs of all they meet.

If I have been so blown away in the first five days of Mission to which I was terrified and apprehensive and kinda willing to do, then what has got planned for the rest of the week to make me more aware of him in this place as the tiredness sets in?

On this note I shared with the Lady who cooked tea for us this evening about how I really hadn't been sure about this Mission and how in some ways I really wanted to escape it and run away, and some time later she said very quietly to me "I'm glad you came," and so am I. It might not be easy but its all about being Christian everyday.

Monday, March 22

Mission Day 4

Today has completely wiped me out. In guiding/camping terms its mid camp blues. Even so today was brilliant till after dinner which became challenging and made me wish to hide and think and have space to myself, and possibly even weep. My team however have been fantastic suport and really recognised that I just need that bit of space.
Tomorrow is a new day in Newham, and I might have slept.

Sunday, March 21

Mission Day 3

How do you process all this? This place is just a wonder. Today all I have done is been to church, sat with another family and been to a group who looked at some local stories on the succes of 'messy church' type events, but I have been blown away by the love these people have for the people here, not just to see them come to God but as building a community, and not just as a community but to see them come to God. Add into this the cultural mix which really does show the true diversity of this world, the welcome and caring nature of the greater Church of Christ and the peoples passion.

How can this be made into any form of understanding in my head?

How does this fit into the stereotypes that where put forward as suggestion to what we could be greeted by? How does this fit into the difficulty I thought I had but rather, my difficulty is not struggling with God in the sense of seeing him in the people here, but rather its overwhelming in a sense, yet even then these terms aren't the right way to describe this.

Knowing that I know not a lot, how do I move on to help serve this community in the next seven days?

Moreover, how do I take this experience and serve God with this in every situation I meet?

Saturday, March 20

Mission Day 2

Today we went on the Green Street Experience. We had to look for signs of religion, culture, history and boundaries amongst many things. Plus, we where set a challenge. In groups of three or four we had to buy a lunch that was food we had never had before, buy our tea to be cooked when we got back with only one item we vaguely recognised and two veg that we had to find the name, and how to cook it, buy three types of sweets and buy an item of clothing and learn how to wear it: All for Twenty pounds. My team managed it for £19.20.

It threw up some interesting questions. As part of the challenge we bought a head scarf and I wore it as part of the experience, and walking through the street I was stopped by what I believe was a Muslim women dressed with a head scarf who stopped and asked me for money and said 'sister pray for me'. I was unsure of how to respond to this situation. Some how I don't think they would have asked me if I wasn't wearing a head dress.

This evening was Newhams got talent. And they really have. It was great to see the energy supplied by young and old people.


God give us the gift of enthusiasm and patience. Within the world you have created so many unique things, and you love everyone in it. I pray for the continued enthusiasm for all the teams on Mission on Cliff, I also pray for their patience and for the patience for those at college doing work, may their enthusiasm be rich also.
Thank you God for being the God of the unexpected and the different.
We praise you holy and wonderful name.

Friday, March 19

Mission Day 1

We left, we arrived, and what a place.

Still living on the edge, but what a view currently. I hope everyone else is having an amazing time to.

Prayer points:

Well tomorrows a new day, and we are trying the Green street experience and Newhams Got Talent.
Just bonding with hosts and teams.

Thursday, March 18

Mission -1

Its been a real struggle the last fortnight. In college we have learnt so much about mission and always looming was the prospect of going on mission. Then it arrived. suddenly there where teams and planing and prep. There nerves and emotions and fear. For once I didn't keep this to myself which I am prone to do.

Two thing have come out of this:
  1. I have had great support of many brilliant people in varying ways, all of which I needed.
  2. My personal prayer life has increased greatly
Tomorrow I go 'on mission'. I am still terrified. I'm not going to hide that fact, I think that would be unhelpful. I'm possibly not as prepared as I could be, but we can't spend all our lives preparing. I'm possibly not a lot of things, but I assured and reassured that God will use that and what ever I am on top of that, and multiply that for he is a gracious God.

I return to the encouragement a friend in college gave me a week ago Tuesday during corridor prayers:

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1: 6-7

A prayer:

Lord would you walk with me today, use me in a different way
Open my eyes to the opportunities and chance which you give
For its for you in this life I live.

Friday, March 5

Today I shake my fist at God

In the last few weeks its been really hard to write... I am currently forcing myself to do so.

In recent weeks one of our lectures had an amazing focus on prayer. When talking to various people I have said that it rarely appears as if God is actually speaking to me. The one time I can really pin point this was on my decision to come to Cliff, then it was clear. God provided the answers when I asked in an instant, possibly sooner than I wanted. I'm human - never contented.

Last night I was at the pub, with two friends from college. We got to a stage where we were comfortable chatting and we were discussing our futures. Some advertising campaign would say the futures bright, the futures orange (although I'm more of the nature 'we are better connected') but our futures where different. One friend is thinking of politics, which she would be amazing at. Arguing and battling for Christ in the realms of words and social justice. The other wished to change the life of one council estate. A job which I would struggle to do. Such a noble process to change the world, in any way. I tell you this even though it has not much to do with my story due to the fact that we all had a plan, but in a way we were not overly sure. My plans have started to be formed in a way. Due to an advert around college I am trying to apply to do an Army Chaplaincy intro course over the summer. We where sharing how I suppose 'our hearts were warmed'. Yet I am still unsure of this notion.

God has been speaking to me though. When I have expressed the interest to lectures here at college in the need for letters, and support, most have said 'no you would be really good at that', which in itself has been a real positive affirmation, but as I expressed to my friends last night it wasn't really enough. Yet this morning I was reading a new book I bought (which is actually a really old book) which was looking at prayer and war, I sat in my room going oh! why today? Things continued in a moment, ignore the usual morning rigmarole in the Ikea lounge, morning prayers soon ensued, and it was on war, they praying for men at war and those affected by war and those who work with people at war. One of my friends who I had been sat in the pub with last night, turned at the point they mentioned people going to work with those at war, and I was like GGGGGODDDDD! *shakes fists*

What do I do now?