Some thoughts from an human, a husband, a follower of Jesus and a Methodist Minister.
Gareth Higgs is in his early 30's, married to Laura, and a dad to Joseph & Naomi. He loves Jesus and is seeking to encourage people to love and follow Him too through the mechanisms of the Methodist Church. Is this possible?
Monday, 1 February 2010
"...for the joy of the Lord will be your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
Today we had a slightly later start which was lovely and headed out after breakfast to Benitez House for the staff team meeting for prayer and devotions. I had been asked to share on the way to the meal last night and been told to speak for anything up to 2 hours! (for some reason Kath seemed to think this would be easy for me!)
Now, as i explained to the staff, i have preached hundreds of sermons in doxens of different settings, to 2/3 people or to 1500. In 12 years of preaching, rarely have i felt so unworthy and nervous as i stood to speak this morning. As i have said before i feel so spiritually bankrupt compared to the giants in the Lord that sat around me this morning but
from nowhere really, the scripture above "...for the joy of the Lord will be your strength" came to mind and i spoke briefly on that theme. It seemed so appropriate as i was preparing because the overwhelming gift of Kanlunagn to me has been the joy we have experienced throughout the projects - children and staff alike. We worshipped and prayed together with delightful passion and fervour once again, and without any apology i have to say that this staff meeting put to shame the many i have attended within my own setting.
We headed out next with all the children from Benitez House to dinner at a kind of chinese version of McDonalds - the food was about as pleasant as you can imagine! - and then on to oceanworld with the children. It was great to see the thrill and exitement on their faces as we saw all the differnt kinds of fish and sea life and i have to say, the children were delightful. Here we were with children, most of which have suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of other people and they were brilliantly behaved, without meaning this at all critically, i expect a group of UK children would have been rather more chaotic!
And then we were done for the day. Plenty of space to reflect and share together as a group which was also a great blessing and an encouragement. It has been great to be a part of this small group over the last few days but please pray for us as emotions become more stretched, tiredness takes its toll and we begin to prepare to come home.
Just a final note on Stella, she had the day off with Esther as cheif nurse today - we were all very jealous! - but news is she is feeling a whole lot better and has sent us strict instructions not to start the mural without her supervision so some signs that she's getting back to normal!