Saturday, 15 August 2009

Oh Yeah!
Wednesday 5th August 2009
Citygroup was at Oh Yeah Centre, the venue we will be using from September and will be using when we launch. It was great to get to see it. It felt like home. Already we seem to be outgrowing Pizza Express which is great as we are unable to use that from September. I'm wondering how long until our Sunday service outgrows this venue.We discussed what would be happening from September onwards. There are few developments. I'm really excited to find out how this will impact the church.
We are starting to have Small Groups – not in the sense of a home/cell group but as an evangelistic tool. Activity based groups meeting fortnightly gathering like-minded people. An opportunity to find out what we are like – building relationships outside of the church. I'm having difficulty deciding which one I want to go to. There will be (at the moment) family based group, book club, film club, pool ladder and periodically a food/drink activity. I'd love to spend time learning to play pool as the last games I had I was so much better than I have been and beat the boys as well (I'm sure they were playing properly!). I'd like to do the book one but not if I have to read books over fortnight – not good at pressured reading! Film club – are the films going to be varied? I like films but don't get to see many so it'd be good to catch up on them. I'm going to have to ask the people running the group to get some answers to these questions. Hopefully that'll make it a bit easier to make a decision!
We were also told about the development of three-person-discipleship-groups. This is a great idea. I have got to the point where I need to get back into discipleship and this is a great idea. The groups can evolve as the church grows. I'm not sure this is set in stone but I'm happy with the provisional choice of group members I'm with. Trish, Charis and myself are one group. I had come to the peaceful realisation before coming to live here that Trish won't be discipling me as she'll have lots of other things to do. So to learn that we may be in a group together is great – must find out when I'll know this is a group.
I love the way the church is looking towards the bigger picture. It must be an easier route to only look at the immediate situation but if you start doing that it's difficult to change things. By having systems in place early on when we hit the growth these systems are established and will help develop and strengthen the church instead of isolating members.

Clearer Head
Sunday 26th July 2009

On the way to meet up with the Dublin Church plant I had to write down some words which were crowding my head. I've had a sense of something developing over the last couple of days but haven't had the chance to put pen to paper. In the back of the car I started scribbling – not the best I've written, it's been over a year.
The Creator, our God, has call you to be His child
Nothing you can do to earn His love
Nothing you can do to stop Him loving you
Your hope is in Him alone because of His sacrifice,
giving His life so you can live.

It was good to meet up with people from the church plant. Some of them are from Chelmsford, Essex – my old stomping ground. I'm looking forward to see how our friendships develop.

Frankie Says ...
Thursday 16th July 2009
Citygroup was last night (Redeemer Central weekly meeting) It's odd – I don't feel like the new person. I know I don't really know these people but that really doesn't matter. It was such a good meeting – great worship and a great time together.
I arranged to meet Kelly and Jules in the city today. My first adventure out – yay can get to the city by bus. Not that it's difficult but still an achievement!
I feel we were really blessed – on the way to the coffee shop we were offered a free frappé then we filled out a form which enabled us to have a free coffee. Great. It was good being able to spend time with the girls.
After Kelly left Jules and I headed off to Oxfam Vintage shop as we have an 80's party to go to tomorrow. It was great fun looking through what they had and trying on some things. I didn't want to spend too much. It was so strange looking at the clothes in Primark – 80's is definitely back in. Great clothes, still as colourful! (yes, I'm admitting I was there the first time round). I'm looking forward to seeing what the others have found.
One thing I'm enjoying is being able to spend time studying and as much time as I need/want to in prayer. I thought I'd make the most of the spare time I have while I can as I know when I'm at work I'll be tired again and a lot less time.
I love the way I start praying for things and then go off on a tangent – something I hadn't even thought about. That's why it's good keeping a journal to see where the Holy Spirit leads the prayers.

It's My Party And I'll ...

Sunday 12th July 2009
My last week in Norfolk has been manic with a big “M”. I really don't know how it managed to come together, but it has. Late nights and early mornings have helped as well as people from Small Group. I know a few of you have felt you should have done more but the help you gave has been an amazing help. Thank you for taking things to charity shops, to the tip, feeding me, helping me clean and being a huge emotional support.
I want to say a special thank you to Sarah – I couldn't have got through my birthday without your help. I would have crumbled under the last day of pressure. You kept lifting me each time I dropped. I was exhausted – physically and mentally and still had a hill to climb. I kept praying for more strength and it kept being given.
I was late to my leaving party.
I had been joking in the week that I may not be able to make it. I didn't realise how near that was. I was pleasantly surprised how many people came. It was great to see them. When clearing my kitchen I found a half-bottle of Port and thought I'd take it with me to have. I had only had a sandwich and the drink went straight to my head. Ooops. The evening went really quick. I had invited lots of people and some didn't come which was a shame. It would have been good to spend some quality time with people as I felt I haven't done that since I've been back (well, I have with some of you but not all).
It was difficult to spend time with people at my party. I was exhausted and once I sat down people were chatting. I didn't manage to eat much. There was plenty left over which was taken to a barbeque tonight (glad it was put to good use).
I was going to go to my party and continue to tidy up then be picked up to go to the airport. Thankfully Sarah offered more help to finish off the last few bits after I'd gone. Phew. I'm never going to repeat that again – having my leaving do on the last day before moving. Not the best idea I've had but it was also my birthday and always like to have people around.
Up early this morning – was it 5am? I think so. I had arranged to meet my brother at Stansted to see him before I leave. We both were there later than planned and only had about 5/10 minutes to chat. I felt bad it wasn't longer as they'd been at the Casino the night before but it was great to see him before I went. I know it's only a short flight away but why not meet up while we still had the chance.
I cannot believe I've brought 2 suitcases and posted 2 boxes of paperwork and some clothes. I cannot believe I only have one more suitcase of clothes to bring over – and alot of that space is shoes/boots and coats. Wow, talk about cutting down on my clothes. 3 wardrobes into 2 suitcases.
It feels great to be in Belfast although at the moment it feels like I'm on holiday which is great for now after the busy few weeks I had.
I had a lovely birthday meal with a cake and candles – when was the last time someone had done that for me? Some of the church plant had come over which was good to see them. Such a laugh.
The church plant aren't meeting on a Sunday yet in an official capacity but we meet up and at the moment are going to different churches and have lunch together. The church we went to today I felt very restricted and restrained – very odd feeling not being able to worship freely.
Lunch was great – good opportunity to spend a bit more time with people. They are such a great group. I'm going to enjoy getting to know them and spend more time with them.

Step By Step
Friday 26th June 2009
What an amazing couple of days I've had. I've been blown away.
I have been blessed again. I needed to buy some paint to start decorating earlier in the week and was trying to find the cheapest shop as I didn't have much money. I looked on the mat at the front door – there was an envelope with money in (enough money to get paint and to buy some decent food). Thank You Lord Jesus for your provision and perfect timing. I ask You to bless the mystery giver(s).
I rang Steggles-Larner, a letting agency a couple of my friends are using, earlier in the week and had Chris Larner come round yesterday lunchtime. I explained I had more cleaning, tidying and decorating to do but wanted to know what else I'd need to do to let ou the house. I explained I was going on 11th July and understand it may take a while to find someone. I instructed him to act as agents – I've made a commitment to get things done by then – was that a good idea? Only time will tell.

I slept well that night – having painted most of the living room. I got up the next morning and continued. I figured out that if I could finish downstairs on the Friday upstairs would have to be done over the weekend and I can start packing things up then. It's going to be tight and may mean not much sleep but I've got to do it.
At lunchtime on Friday Steggles-Larner called to say the family really liked the house and want to rent it. Wow, I'm amazed. It gets better. They realised I had lots of decorating to do and wondered if I would reduce the rent for 2 months to enable them to buy paint and decorate to their colours. I think I said Yes before she had even finished speaking. Such a blessing. Such a weight off my mind. The next thing on the list was working out how to get cheap carpets as the one's down are quite dirty. Do I try to get someone to clean or buy new to start with? Not sure I have the money to get new ones but will have to find it somewhere. I'm running out of time. I could feel myself starting to get stressed so turned to prayer again – just a quick one.
Then the phone rang – it was Steggles-Larner again saying they'd arrange to get the carpets cleaned and check the house is clean prior to them moving in. Of course, not doing it free of charge but at least it's something less for me. Not that I'm going to leave it dirty but if I run out of time it's not a problem.
Hallelujah – my expectation for prayers being answered is rising again. It's making me want to stop all work and just pray and pray and pray.
At around 2pm Thursday after I had a phone call requesting a viewing that evening. I said yes as long as they can see past the work I'm in the middle of. They came round about 6pm. I was a little stressed but had the feeling this was a God-incidence – God was working in this viewing. I was trying hard not to get too excited about this because they may not make a decision for a couple of weeks.

Flying Out The House
Thursday 18th June 2009
What a lot of bargains on ebay lately. I've put quite a few larger items of furniture on ebay for bargain prices. Some items went at the ridiculously low prices I entered them on while others were having a battle with a few other members. I got more than I thought for them. The items are slowly being collected. My biggest worry about the prices being so low was that a shop would buy them and sell on and make lots of money, which of course they're quite entitled to do. But thankfully, I think the purchasers have been blessed.
It's feeling as if I've gone full circle – I had a few months when I moved in here without a cooker and now the cookers gone. A couple of weeks of limited eating ahead. It's strange, I'm really wanting to cook lots but know I cannot. I'll have to sort out my kitchen cupboards as I have lots of pulses which I won't be able to microwave! I should have planned ahead and made lots of soup and put in the freezer – never mind, hindsights great.

Another Answer
Saturday 13th June 2009
As I was collecting some information I needed to take with me to Kathryn's I came across a savings statement I had forgotton about. I had started it a few years ago and had to stop paying into a while back. I wanted to keep it for an emergency. Do you know what, I think this is classed as an emergency. After talking a few things through with Kathryn I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. It is not as desperate as I first thought. Kathryn has given me some good advice.
We also chatted about what my plans are. Over the last week or so looking at my finances I realise that if no job is forthcoming soon I will get to a stage where I won't be able to afford to go over to Belfast as I won't have any money left. I've been going round in circles trying to work out what to do. My first thought was to shut up the house and leave it, get a job in Belfast then come back later on to get ready to let. Or to work hard and get the house done soon ready to let. The funny thing is I've booked my ticket – I fly on 11th July early morning. Oooo, that's under a month away. I don't think I can get the house done in that time without lots of help – there is soooo much to do. Kathryn suggested I get an agent round this week to find out how much it could be let for and see what the way forward is for that. Watch this space.

How Tight Can The Belt Go?
Thursday 11th June 2009
You know the phrase “tightening your belt” well mines going to have to be painfully tight. I've created my budget based on what Jobseekers Allowance I'll (hopefully) receive. There is no way I can survive on that. I'm left with not much a week to buy food, clothing (ok don't need to buy every week but most of my clothes are too big now), travelling to interviews and socialising. Hmm, what I'm left with is a quarter of what I would have spent on food for 5 days. I'm going to have to find creative ways of doing things.
I'm really not liking this experience at all. I cannot see a way through at the moment. I'm finding it distressing - a great opportunity to pray more.

Thankfully there was Small Group tonight and I shared my budget with them. Kathryn has offered to walk through my budget and see if there's other things that can be done. I really need to do this. I don't think I've ever shared money details with anyone before but I trust her and know if she has any pearls of wisdom she'll share them.
I've been praising God for all the offers of help I've received today – use of a car, meals and for the unexpected gifts that arrived. Lord Jesus, You are so amazing the way you provide when all else seems hopeless. Thank You.

Hotline To Heaven
Sunday 7th June 2009
Lesley at church asked where I was over Easter. I said at Love Belfast. She asked if I was alright there as she had a desperate need to pray for protection over me. Wow, God's amazing. As I wrote in my entry about Love Belfast it was a great time and lots of revelation but at the same time it was a very challenging time.

Another World
Wednesday 2nd June 2009

What a scary place the job centre in Dereham is. I had an interview to register with them. There weren't many people about when I went in. After filling in various forms and creating a Job Seekers Agreement I was free to go! I turned round and there were lots and lots of people. The atmosphere in that place had significantly. I could sense a huge cloud of frustration and anger I had to walk through. Ouch, I hope I don't lose my peace.
I've been praying lots for energy to keep on tidying and sorting through things. This is hard. I feel there are barriers I need to cross but haven't worked out what they are yet to be able to pray specifically for them. I know I can do this through Your strength.
"Give all your worries to Him because He cares for you" 1 Peter 5:7
How have I forgotton that verse? It's strange how reading it again it prompts me – praying I don't forget (but remembering verses is not my strong point!).

Lost In Praise Forevermore

Thursday 29th May 2009

Last night I made sure I was able to pray and worship the same time Citygroup was happening like I did last week. It was strange, I'd made this decision last week and speaking to Trish before she went to Citygroup she suggested I do that.
I had a long time worshipping and again the prayers were flowing. My main prayers were protection – physically, mentally and spiritually - over all involved in the church plant.
I prayed against any attempt hairy legs would make during my sleep tonight as last week I was spiritually attacked. I prayed but each time they came back until I got out of bed and demanded they flee from me in Jesus' name – they went then and I had a lovely sleep.
Tonight I gave a short presentation to the church about the work going on in Serbia. There were lots of questions being asked. I prayed earlier on in the day that some people would attend. Quite a few people came – it's half-term so some families are away and couldn't make it. It was better to do it this week as the centre is booked up for another few weeks. I had to re-do my presentation. I was upset as the one I had prepared was quite good with a variety of photo's to break up my talking. My pc crashed and wouldn't turn on. I had 30 minutes to pull a presentation together. I was very limited with my photo's I could use, but a brief presentation was made.

"You're The King Of This City"
 Sunday 17th May 2009
My heart broke during church today for Belfast. We were singing “You're the King Of This City”. It reminded me so much of Love Belfast. I didn't quite understand at that point what it meant. Part of the preach today was on Paul's deep sorrow and anguish for the lost. Ahhh, I'm beginning to understand now. I began to sense God was saying not to worry as there are good people already in Belfast working with the unsaved and making progress. He knows the good work being done and the heart of all there and is very pleased.
There was a regional celebration this evening at Aylsham which I went to. It was great to catch up with so many people. I felt God was saying to trust in Him with all I own – it all belongs to Him. Even if I feel I'm getting rid of a part of who I am and also have to let go of Ma and Pa I need to do this to be able to move on to the better times ahead. It will be a healing process which may bring up some baggage but His hand is over me and He will guide me through. I AM NOT ALONE.

There Is No Small Part To Play
 Friday 15th May 2009
I was quite surprised how few people from Wellspring knew I was back. I returned with very limited credit on my mobile – which was used trying to get my landline reinstated and trying to make contact with R G Carter's and employment agencies. As my first week progressed I bumped into people in the town from church who would have walked past me had I not spoken (they weren't expecting to see me so didn't register it was me!). It turned out for the good in a way as it meant I met people slowly and got back into things at a slower pace.
It is really odd feeling being back in my house – it is so big. I cannot get used to not having the cat or rabbit about. The fish are getting special treatment as I'm not distracted by other animals. Sarah and Andy have done a smashing job looking after them. One poor fish waited for me to return before he died.
It's the end of the first week and I have my landline back – I feel more connected. I've set myself a little challenge – not to connect the tv's to the aerials until I'm working – one less expense to worry about. I'm not too sure I'll be able to do that – knowing CSI is on and not watching it will be difficult.
I'm beginning to realise what a daunting task I have ahead of me – sharing my news about moving to Belfast to help with the church plant and getting the house let. Looking around the place I'm wondering what I need to sell and what I can take with me to Belfast. At the moment I'm hoping to get a temping job/s to finance redecorating and getting jobs done and to be out in Belfast by September. I'm unsure where to start on the house. First things first, it really needs a good dusting and hoover then I can start clearing things.
I have a desperate need to worship and to praise God – there is so much I need to thank Him for. I'm off to hunt out my hi-fi to put on my worship songs (where did I put them??)
I've been questioning how to reconnect with church and move forwards. Again I feel like I'm part of 2 churches (at times it feels like 3 but have to concentrate on the here and now and the future, not the past). God's reminded me there's no small part to play in the body of Christ. We are ALL a separate but necessary part – unique. God has made us this way for a reason. We each have our own role – if we don't do it no-one else is able to do it for us. What would the body of Christ miss out if you don't step out?
I have amazing peace about being out of work. Even after ringing R G Carter's and finding out there's been another run of redundancies I'm still at peace. I know God has provided a job for me – the right job for me and He'll sustain and provide for me until then.
I have spent lots of time this evening praying for the church plant. I thought it would be a quick run through of a list of people but how wrong was I? I was trying to write the prayers down in my journal but have been unable to keep up. I won't write them down as some things may be personal to them (one of these days I may ask you if these were relevant prayer requests at the time – not ready to ask you yet!).
I have an amazing sense that the power of the Holy Spirit being experienced at Citygroup is a small foretaste of so much more to come.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Counting Down ... My Last Week in Serbia

11th May 2009

Saturday – I arrived at church a little earlier than the team were expected. I had cleared the day to finish off some cleaning and to welcome the team. I managed to finish a bit earlier than I thought so I sat in the courtyard reading. I'm really going to miss this place, I love relaxing in the courtyard. I've finally made a decision to come home with the Team – a week earlier than planned. It'll be good to have some company on the way back.
I had a phone call from Sonja to say the team were about 30km's away. I wasn't sure what that meant in time-wise but thought a rough estimate. I didn't want to go outside and check the road every time I heard something bigger than a car. I'd be up and down so many times. I checked my watch and thought I'd relax for 20 minutes or so. When 20 minutes were up I put on the kettle then popped my head out the gate. As I looked down the road a minibus passed. Could this be the team? It pulled in – yes it was. What great timing. It was great to see them, cannot believe they are here. I know it sounds odd but it feels as if family have returned. I'm looking forward to spending time with these guys and getting to know them better.
On Sunday I had invited Vesna, Slaviša and Dajan over for lunch. Dajan didn't come – i think he'd have been a bit bored. It was great being able to share more with Vesna and Slaviša. We were sharing cooking tips – me being able to share a cooking tip, new experience for me. But my tip I cannot take the credit – Katarina gave me it and I passed onto Vesna and onto you. So simple – make a paste from garlic cloves and some salt and mix it into plain yogurt. Goes lovely with pasta and many other dishes.

The afternoon passed by too quickly. This was the last time I'd be able to spend with Vesna this trip as Faculty will be very demanding. That's when it hit me I'm going home and have to say some more “see you soon”s.
I had a few things I needed to get done before I returned to the UK so I didn't see the team until the Tuesday. Wow, they have made some fantastic progress. They have come over to do some decorating. I've been looking at the doors for months itching to get some paint stripper on them – that's what they've been doing. They've stripped 2 of the doors and repainted them. Such a different. The windows are being done as well. What can I say but you guys are such hard workers and have really made a difference.
I spent time with the team on Tuesday in prayer and worship. The Holy Spirit was definitely with us. It was fantastic. There were so many prayers and prophecy for each of us. I feel very blessed to be able to spend time with Team Attleborough. I raise my glass to you and say “Asphalt”:0)
During the week there were lots of people coming and going from downstairs. I was amazed to see how many people were blessed by the humanitarian aid. By the time I left most of it had been distributed. Sladjaner had worked hard in organising people.
The next few days passed by quickly – painting, cleaning, having fun, cooking, shopping. I found it very useful to be busy and keep focused on something.
My last day arrived. This was going to be a difficult day and I needed to be busy. The team had finished most of their work and were taken to Niška Banja. It was a beautiful day for a walk about and a relax by the spring. Then they were introduced to the wonderful pancakes (getting hungry just thinking of them!). Some had savoury then wanted a sweet one as well. Mmmm, šlag, plazma and chocolate sauce. Oh, there I go again made me think of Bombay's hot chocolate. Why oh why aren't our hot chocolates that delicious and thick here? It is true – Serbian's make the best hot chocolate (at least the best I've ever had).
There was church communion, meal and party in the evening. It was great. One of the reasons was to introduce Team Attleborough to the church and thank them. Another reason was to say goodbye to me and the other was to have some fun together. I found the worship very emotional – this was the last time for a while that I'd be worshipping in Serbian.
I'm now back in Norfolk. Team Attleborough were such a great support on the way home and the first day back. I decided to stay over in Attleborough to help at Ignite and stay for Sunday Service. I've missed english services. I didn't realise how much.
My house is so dusty. I cannot wait to clean it. But now the hard work really starts ...

Clocking Up Bus Miles

30th April 2009
What a shame we cannot get bus miles. Over the last couple of days I've managed to collect a few.
My first week back in Serbia was spent doing alot of travelling. I had arranged to stay with Marija in Knjazevac for a couple of days. I had to postpone us going because my cold I came back with went to my chest. I wasn't sure I'd be able to go at all. On the day I was meant to be travelling I was finding it so hard to breath. I had to re-register with the Police because I went with Sonja to collect her mum and it meant I hadn't got a visa. On the way back home Vlada dropped me off at the Pharmacy to buy some drugs. I wasn't sure how quick they'd work. On the way bus stop one of the taxi's was trying to get my attention. It was Mihailo. I was so relieved to see him. He took me home free of charge - thank you. I wasn't sure I'd be able to walk from the bus stop. I just about made it upstairs and went straight back to bed.

On waking up Tuesday I felt a bit better - not completely well but able to breath alot easier. I made a decision to go away. Marija said the town was very small with not much to do so I thought I'd be resting alot of the time.
We went by train to Knjazevac. When I say train, it was 2 carriages. Marija cannot travel by bus. The train took over 2 hours. I have never been on such a slow train journey! It only takes an hour by car!
The first night was awful. I'm not sure if it was my sinus' making me so rough or a migraine brewing so I took myself off to bed to hopefully sleep it off. I woke up on Wednesday in a hyper mood and very relieved to be feeling much better. I could tell Marija had been worried about me.
The next couple of days were spent walking around town, visiting her friends. Some of them spoke english, others didn't. It was good getting to see a little bit more of the country.
On Saturday I went to see my dear friend, Vesna and her family in Aleksinac. I managed to buy a bus ticket – and without the help of a piece of paper. I was very excited to be going to see her and meet her family. We've been talking about meeting up for months and I cannot believe it has happened.
Vesna was waiting for me at the bus station. Vesna showed me around town – doing her tour guide duty. It felt about the same size as Knjazevac, but I may be wrong. It was interesting walking about the town.
We had to walk through a park to get to Vesna's house. The park was on the side of a hill. From near the top you can see across the valley – can see for miles. What a view, so beautiful.
When we got to Vesna's I was introduced to Dajan (Vesna's son) and her two nieces. They were all very shy and didn't want to speak english in front of me. After a while Slaviša (Vesna's husband) and her sister came (I'm really sorry, I cannot remember names!).
Vesna and her sister prepared some krompir pite (potato pies) and showed me how to make them. I cannot believe how simple it looked to make the pastry and roll it out – I think it's because they've been making them years and it won't be as easy for me! I was really pleased to learn how to cook something. Apparently it is a Bosnian version of potato pie – yummy.
Vesna was a fantastic translator. I tried to understand the Serbian conversations and questions as much as I could be still have a problem with constructing a sentence. Slaviša kept telling Vesna to speak in Serbian – that way I'd learn quicker. We tried to communicate with him speaking English and me replying in Serbian. We didn't get very far!
Vesna's cousin, Violet, and husband came over to see the “English”. They have returned to Serbia after living in Luxembourg. When they arrived I started to speak in French which confused them a bit until they realised what language was being spoken. It was very strange speaking to Vesna's cousin's husband (is there a bg there?). His english is very good – only a slight accent. He uses alot of slang phrases. I couldn't stop laughing at him. He, like many people, learnt english via films.
The family couldn't believe that I was spending time with them. Vesna is in her first year at Faculty which the family are surprised at. Then to have a “real life english person” in the house spending time with them was fantastic. They were surprised how much english Vesna speaks and how we get on. I'm not sure what their ideas of an english person are but I'm nothing like that. Looks like I've left them with a good impression.
Vesna and I hadn't made firm arrangements as to when I'd go home. I thought that about 8pm would be a good time to leave. This came and went and then started to get dark. Hmm, what was I to do? No problem, I'd stay over. Thankfully Naomi and Miloš were planning on coming to church and had to come through Aleksinac so they picked me up.
Vesna had lots of questions that we hadn't managed to cover so we arranged to meet up in the week.
On Tuesday I went to see Naomi and Miloš in Sokobanja – another bus trip! Last year Naomi and I had arranged to meet up on 30th April this year to praise God for the amazing 12 months we had (at the time we were having an amazing time and thought it'd be good to catch up). We needed more than a day. I think we had only managed to cover 3 months. We have met up early because 1st May is Labour Day in Serbia – a big holiday and N&M were going to Novi Sad. Next year we may have to a few days to work through. It was amazing to read about the prayers which were answered and how amazing the answers were – exceeding what we thought may be the answer. It was so inspiring to talk about things and praise God and look forward to the next part of our adventures with Him. We were wondering where we'd be in 12-months and we haven't got a clue. Last year we never thought we'd both be in Serbia, a bus ride away from each other. Isn't God amazing how he works things out?
What a horrible bus ride home. I was fine until just after we left Aleksinac. We went a strange way home. I had a flash back to the last time I got a bus from Sokobanja (last year). We had to change buses and I was starting to panic in case I was meant to get off the bus. That's what I get for listening to other travellers conversations and trying to work out what they were saying. I must have got it wrong. I kept praying and tried to keep calm. I decided not to ask any of the passengers as it wouldn't have helped if I had known I was not going to Niš. I was trying to work out what to do if I was heading to Leskovac. I've been there before and know Vlada & Sonja know people there. The worry I had was if my phone charge would last to explain what I'd done. I eventually decided to enjoy the rest of the ride and deal with things if/when they happened. I was watching out of the window and started to get a bit excited. Was this the approach to Niš? The more I saw the more excited I became. Yes, it was. The bus had gone the long way round all the villages. Wow, I was sooooo happy to reach the bus station. Such a relief.
We have a team arriving from Attleborough, Norfolk on Saturday. I'm sooooo excited. I cannot wait for Amy to come over. It feels like years since we last did a Friday night youth outreach in Dereham and I'm so excited to show her and the rest of the team Niš. I think there are 6 on the team. It's been fun getting the rooms ready.
I went to see Vesna again on Wednesday afternoon. She is part of a choir but unfortunately I'm going to miss her next concert so she wanted me to attend one of her choir practices. We had a few hours before choir practice so we sat in the park on the hill. She brought her questions with her. It was very strange listening to some of her notes. Some of the information is out of date – I was being grilled about different aspects of UK life. It made me realise how little I know about different regions in the UK. I hope my answers are accurate and she gets a good mark! (did you?).
Choir practice was good – amazing to hear how powerful their voices are. Wow, I could imagine them doing their concert. One of the songs, a Serbian hymn, knocked my socks off. Fantastic. I got goose bumps! After we went into the cafe but quickly had to leave to catch my last bus. I just about caught the last bus. They made sure I got on a fast bus home this time!
Thursday – how wet can a day get? I was soaked getting to church. When I arrived I saw a huge yellow lorry. The Humanitarian Aid had arrived. It was pouring with rain and lots had to be unloaded. I managed to help a little but didn't want to get too wet in case it made my chest worse – didn't want it to get any worse. I set up refreshments for Coffee Pauza. Only one lady arrived. It was a shame as I had saved some of the cleaning and bed making for the ladies to help. There was lots of activity downstairs – some of the Humanitarian Aid was taken to Aleksinac and another place – Niš is the drop-off for this area of Serbia. I have never seen so much. How is this going to distributed? Where do you start?