How close is poverty?

[This first appeared on the KingsgateChurch.org website in September 2014] When I was thirteen years old I used to bake really large chocolate cakes every Monday evening. Our church hosted a meal for those who were homeless in the area and I got to make dessert for them! I’d head out every week and sit…

This will be my worship.

Someone once said that to write well you have to write what you know. Well, this is what I know…  Sometimes worship comes through gritted teeth and crying eyes, through tired breath and legs that shake as they stand. It’s not the care-free dance or the light-hearted shout, it’s the power of a mind deciding…

That moment when I try not to be a pushy activist.

I’m probably the one staring at you while you sip on bottled water, the one asking with raised eyebrows about the recycling and wondering where your Fair trade coffee is. We all know those people—those activist friends who tell you there are children working for 10p a day in horrendous conditions just to make your…

Can we rethink poverty?

I’ve worked in the development sector for nearly seven years. People talk to me about “the poor” a lot. You know, that homogenous mass of people who don’t have what we have. The unfortunate ones. We talk about “the poor” and very quickly it becomes us and them. Us, the rich. Them, the poor. I…

Remembering and practicing sacrifice.

Today is a day to be grateful for sacrifice. Remembrance Sunday. Today we remember countless thousands who have given their all to protect and defend others. People who have encountered the horrendous reality of war, who have stepped up time and time again, who have taken up residence on the front lines of battle. They…

The car is my prayer room.

Driving around Burundi it occurs to me just how beautiful the world is; rolling hills with vivid shades of green fresh from the rainfall, peaks and valleys sculpting the breathtaking landscape of this precious country, laughing children playing along the roadside laughing and pointing as they see the “Muzungu” drive past, bright bursts of colour…

The (simplified) Bolivia Story.

I’ve grown extremely fond of Bolivia over the last 12 days. I feel sad that its been such a short trip as friendships have been made and yet again I will be leaving a piece of my heart in another country. It’s been a real privilege to see some of the work that Mosoj Yan…

Ghana

A week in Ghana is really not long enough, I don’t want to leave. But I came here with a mind cluttered with thoughts and stresses and will return home with slightly more simplicity, so for that I am grateful. I hope it lasts. What strikes me most as I start the long drive back…

Easter Wonderings

Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. I know this to be only too true of life. Two years ago, on the Easter weekend of 2009, I was sitting on the side of a road in Zimbabwe.  I was crying out for justice to be done and feeling pretty angry…

One.

So as I get ready to go home and get back to life as I more generally know it, I am feeling a little overwhelmed. It is not in the least bit unusual I suppose. But my “fix-it” mind doesn’t cope well with knowing that I can’t actually fix it. The scale of the problem is huge….

Frustrations and Gifts

I’m frustrated. My flight was cancelled this morning. I’ve wasted a day. And now I’m sitting here in a completely drenched airport watching people scooping the water out. Feeling really frustrated. Somewhere inside of me a real sense of arrogance has arisen. “This isn’t good enough” “I expect more than this” “If only they would…

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs EVERYWHERE. Would someone please put my dad on a plane and get him over here?? It’s funny how you can go from feeling like you’re some experienced traveller who can “handle Africa” one moment, to feeling like a 6 year old girl in need of her daddy because she got bitten by…