Monday, September 24, 2007
Lot's of intrepid young adults with great stories. At my breakfast table the other day Ashleigh was telling us what it was like to be a young white girl in Trench Town in Jamaica, Kingston's roughest suburb. And then Bec was telling us about being a young white girl based in Beijing. A whole other set of challenges!
There were Ghanaians, Jamaicans, Sri Lankans, Poms, Albanians, Canadians, Germans... all reporting on how this Aussie style of mission was working in their countries. And the work in Australia as well.
During the last intensives, my diploma class got all excited by an idea to set up a global network in the next three years to bring advent pageants to primary school children in every country that Fusion is involved in. We were ambitious and decided that in 8 years time we wanted 75% of the children in all the Fusion countries to have the opportunity to do an advent pageant, and thus learn the Christmas story.
Yep, that's a lot of kids...
It's a daunting project, but the people at this Conference decided to adopt this as the first global project for Fusion International.
Can your local primary school get on board? Let me know, its part of my class's plan to take over the world by 2015. More on this soon...
Oh, and in other news, the family I was living with in Brisbane have bought a unit which they are keen to rent out to Grego and me. It looks really nice, and is only a Kilometre from the office. Really good, and we'll be able to move in in a week or so after we get back to Brissy!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
The weather too is nice, well, except for the record August rainfalls of last week. Very much of it happened for several days, but the water supplies here are still well below where they should be.
This time last week I was at a beach at Bluff Point which is near Yeppoon, which is near Rockhampton, which is on the edge of the tropics. Off the coast, the tourist resort of Great Keppel Island was visible. I was there wearing cardboard armour and having flour fights with a nice bunch of kids as the tide came in. The Daytrips such as this one at Rocky is a chance for kids contacted at schools to have a safe, fun day of adventure and see Christian values role-modelled. The rain that was with us for most of the 650km or so drive up on Friday finally caught up with us as the bus was taking the tired but happy kids home at the end of the day.
This time next Saturday will be the South East Queensland day trip, we are going cable skiing!
About a week after that I'll be back in Tassie, seeing if the southern spring is much different to the one here. As a pointer, the last daytrip in Tassie was a snow trip!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
If you're the praying kind, I know your prayers will be appreciated.
We need a two bed place in the region of Woodridge, and it must be CHEAP! The Aussie Government is very kindly providing me with funds for study, just not many of them! And poor ol' Greg is not even getting that! On top of that there are plans afoot to go to China next year (and I'd like to go back to Germany too, but we'll see).This is a bit of an experiment in living by faith and seeing how the birds of the air are fed and the lilies of the field are clothed and finding out if that applies to us too!
Still, it's all an adventure, and I know we'll be looked after. Just how will be the interesting part!
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Deep in the Sea,
Where the Vicious Fishes swim...
...there once was a fish.
On a stick...
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, a little project to make use of the technologies at work - Computer-aided design and Laser cutting capabilities.
But when he was done, what did I have? Well, yes, Fish. On a stick. With a mouse-trap powered jaw and a fully articulated body that flapped around in fishy sort of way.
But of what use is that? Once, I took him to church along with a Gold Fish (called Rod Davies) in a plastic bag. I showed the kids. " Here is a fish I made. And here is a fish made by God..." We are all created in the image of God, so I think that makes us like little creators too! Just not quite as good at it...
Now it looks like Fish-on-a-stick has found a purpose in life! He is in training to go to the Olympics in Beijing! How cool would that be for a little Aussie fish?
Watch this space!
PS. Rod Davies is actually a very talented singer-songwriter. He seems to be a closely guarded secret, well, from radio airplay at least. Captain Midnight will be playing him soon, I hope. The sister of the guy I borrowed the gold fish off had a bit of a thing for Rod back in the day!
Monday, July 30, 2007
yes. All done. I now have a Certificate iv in Youth and Community Work (Christian).
After graduation, I had about three hours off before getting involved in the Poatina Artists retreat. I spent a couple of days helping to make large puppets for use in festivals, with an eye at the Beijing Olympics. Before that had even finished I begun learning the stuff I needed to go on for the Diploma. This was more days in class, and any spare time making puppets, including a larger version of my 'fish-on-a-stick'.
Then came the week-long Foundations Course - How to Live With God, With Others and With Yourself. Very good course, well worth doing, its twice a year in Poatina and people come from right across Australia, and also the world (though not so many of them...). An extra 200+ people in the village and then we finished it with an open day. That was a festival where another 429 people (I know, I counted them) came to our remote
little village and appeared to have a really nice day in the winter sun.
No rest, because straight after Foundations week, we started Diploma 'intensives' - classes from 9am til 9pm for two weeks.
This is why I haven't done much blogging in the last 6 weeks.
Now I am in Melbourne, having some holiday time, before I move up to Brisbane to do my placement in the Fusion centre there.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Probably should be doing assignments, but I thought I'd better update the blog. Yeah, yeah, procrastination... and actually, the fleetingness of time was apparent too me when I took this photo, the Earth rapidly revolving beneath my feet. I got up the other morning and saw this fantastic pre-dawn red sky out my window. by the time I had grabbed my camera, the sun had already popped up onto the Horizon. By the time I got my shoes on and got to the back fence, it had already cleared the said horizon. By the time the sun does this another 22 times, I need to have all my assignments done. Can I do it?
Life, it's a race against the sun. 'The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older...' That's what Pink Floyd would say. The Psalmist. however is a tad more positive. 'But I trust in you, O Lord... My times are in your hands.' Psalm 31:14,15
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Lately we have been studying books like 'Small is Beautiful' and 'Pedagogy of the Oppressed' and looking at how God sees injustice in the world as he spoke through the Old Testament prophets. Jesus himself announced his ministry on Earth by quoting Isaiah 4:18,19;
God's Spirit is on me;
he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, "This is God's year to act!"
There has also been the anniversary of the illegalization of the slave trade in England; we've studied some of the great reformers, Lord Shaftsbury, Wilberforce, Wesley, Luther, Booth; yet still the world is full of injustice, the rich nations oppress the poor, powerless people are still trafficked in their thousands in the modern day slave trade, third world workers are exploited, young girls forced into prostitution, major corporations more often than not are concerned with the profit margin over and above the welfare of their workers. To be truly Christian, we must align ourselves with the poor and carry on Christ's mission to the oppressed. But what can one person one do?
Awareness of the issues is a start, knowledge is powerful. Frustration is better than apathy…
It's time to go to the archives. Here's a poem I wrote long time ago:
The squeak of his boots as he shoots for his goals,
Brings payment for his fame in the game,
He gained the world when he leased his soles;
Twenty million dollars for his Name.
The tingling ring of the register drawer;
Takes her two hundred dollars from her view,
'...But to wear a pair like Jordan wore'
Said her son 'is the cool thing to do...'
Sewing Machines stutter on the sweat shop floor
Where the boots are produced at a price.
Sixty hours a week at eighty cents an hour
Barely covers the cost of his rice.
The African mourns the death of his daughter
But drought, dust and war leave naught to eat,
No land, no home, no hope, no water,
No boots! He's thankful he has feet.
The squeak of the boots, the register's ring;
The sewing machines click clackity.
The rich man, the poor, who mourn, who sing?
To the din
Monday, May 07, 2007
On the way back from Uluru, we stopped one day for lunch in Port Augusta, in a nice park in the centre of the town. I could see from where we parked the bus the old Salvo hall, just further up the street. I used to live in the house right next door to that! My parents were the Salvo officers in Port Augusta when I was about 4. A fair while back now...
The house is no longer there... But sitting in the park, we found a Warcry, the Salvo magazine. And in it was an article about Christian Radio Broadcasting in Australia! About half a column on that story was about a woman called Sarah McIllwraith, a program director at a Christian radio station in Adelaide, who had trained in radio here in Poatina with Fusion. We wondered if this was a sister of our class-mate Julia, who hadn't come to Uluru with us (but I had borrowed her plastic plates for the trip). It turned out it was! Cool!
A further small coincidence. My friend Fiona, who is currently doing a doctorate in theology (at a much bigger bible school that the one I am at now) and has also worked on radio - some of it was as a producer for ABC radio in Horsham (a much bigger radio station than Heart fm where I work!), also lived in Port Augusta as a pre-schooler, when HER parents were officers in Port Augusta. hmmm
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Sweet Home in the Outback
Bus wheels keep on turning
See red dirt everywhere
We’re far from home
To meet some fine folk such as you
Sweet home in the Outback
The Southern Cross is in our sights
We’re a bunch of Tassie Pilgrims
Big Red Rock we’re comin’ to you!
We went to Tandanya
Learnt about the didgeridoo
Aboriginals call it Yiriki
We hope you learnt something new
We stayed in caves in Coober Pedy
Had a look around the town
Sang some songs and we got tired
Way before the sun went down
We have faced some persecution
10 Million flies are in our face
As pilgrims we should love our enemies
We’ll make exceptions in this case
We’ll soon be off home back to Tassie
Goodbye heat wave, hello thermals
With all your faces in our memories
We will bare the winter cold
We have gone to the rock
Now we’ve got crusty undies
And a pair of smelly socks
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
They are fine words, worthy of a statesman. But didn't they apply back on Sept 11, 2001 also?
Wow, how would the 'War on Terror' have gone if we had applied this to it? If America had bombed Afghanistan with a billion dollars worth of food, or better still, intelligent sensitive aid? And Iraq? It would be hard to drum up support to attack people who are being overwhelmingly nice to you? What family would allow their sons to be suicide bombers to destroy the people who are making your life so much better? Many of those boys come from desperate poverty and do it partly to stop these American devils, but also because their families are taken care of.
I don't know. I'm rambling a bit here... Probably George W is correct in all he does. But am I alone in thinking that there is a sort of disconnect between this quote and events in the Middle East? No easy answers, but who ever said 'Love your Enemies' was the easy path to take?
How would the world be if we took that seriously?
Friday, April 06, 2007
Around two thousand years ago there lived a man.
He lived in an obscure backwater of the
and never ventured out of that region.
For three years he walked from town to town with a small group of friends,
an itinerant story teller.
He held no formal position of civic, religious or military authority,
or even owned property beyond the clothing he wore.
He was executed with common criminals, and laid to rest in a borrowed tomb.
And yet, the implications of this life and death are still felt today.
When Jesus was buried, his followers were a dispirited lot. One of them had even hung himself when he realized that betraying him into the hands of the authorities would not result in glorious revolution against the Romans, but a cruel, shameful death. Their world had caved in. The One they thought would bring about God’s Kingdom on Earth was dead.
Could it be then that this small group of ordinary people could pull off the greatest hoax in history by stealing the body of Jesus from the tomb, and proclaiming him alive?
Firstly the disciples would have to come up with the story – Myth making of epic proportions – that Jesus had risen from the dead, and the redemptive outcomes of that in God’s great scheme of things. They had virtually one day of mourning to come up with a huge, subtle and sophisticated theology – and this from the minds of a bunch of rough, thick-headed fishermen and other un-learned working men!
Next they needed to steal the body. If Jesus’ body was not hidden away, the authorities only had to produce it to prove that the disciples were lying. To steal the body, this group of ordinary guys, who two days earlier were too afraid to even witness the crucifixion, would need to take on a contingent of heavily armed Roman troops who were guarding the tomb. And if that occurred, all
And then, they would need to stick to this story, no matter what. How could they get away with this, telling this story in the very time and place that it happened unless it was true? There would’ve been plenty of witnesses to confirm or deny what had happened, a fraud would’ve quickly been exposed. Apart from a certain amount of fame, there would be no gain for them in proclaiming a risen Jesus. What selfish advantage could be gained from such a story? Virtually all of the disciples would die martyrs deaths maintaining the truth of the resurrection right to the end. Who knowingly would die for a lie?
But perhaps Jesus didn’t die on the cross. Maybe he was unconscious and revived in the cool of the tomb?
There are a few problems with this theory. When Roman Soldiers execute people, they are extremely efficient, nobody survives a crucifixion. There were strict procedures in place; in fact bungled crucifixions resulted in the would-be executors being executed themselves. Jesus’ legs were not broken to hasten his death because he was already dead on the cross. John, an eyewitness, wrote in his Gospel that when the soldier put his spear through Jesus’ side, blood and water flowed out. Forensic experts would attest that this is a sure sign of death, total lung collapse, asphyxiation, the blood breaking down into its constituent parts.
If by some miracle Jesus had survived and was laid unconscious in the tomb, and revived, this badly beaten, seriously injured man had to singled-handedly move the huge stone in front of the tomb entrance and overpower a contingent of Roman Guards, who would be in deadly trouble for letting a dead man escape.
And when Jesus did re-unite with his followers, they were convinced that he was gloriously resurrected and not someone in need of intensive care. He was able to convince ‘Doubting’ Thomas (my Lord and my God) and his own disbelieving brother James that something miraculous had happened.
Jesus’ life and death are the most recorded events of the Ancient era; there is no doubt that they actually happened. And the circumstances surrounding his resurrection make it’s happening far more likely than it not happening. The evidence adds plausibility to his claims of being the son of God. It’s worth thinking about.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Families came to pass an hour and stayed all afternoon, and a lovely friendly atmosphere was created, a corner of the Kingdom of Heaven. I spent most of the day helping kids (and the odd brave adult) try out stilts and geeter boards - when three or four people strap their feet to a pair of boards and try to walk in step. Harder than it looks!
There was water balloon Volleyball, and some new statues were installed in the park for the day; the one pictured above would be Winston. Usually he is in storage in Poatina, but we dust him off and take him out occasionally. He enjoys the sunshine, but not the pigeons...
I also took part in a wheelbarrow race with a local school principal pushing me. Unfortunately he pushed faster than my hands could go, and I ended up with a teeth full of grass as we crashed out right at the start.
Be that as it may, a good start to the Easter period, and people left with a little bit of the story of Easter to think about in the coming week.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I hope I will get to be re-united with my nice warm sleeping bag in Melbourne on the way through, those central Australian desert nights can get a tad chilly...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
hear the art heart hearthearthearthearth earth earth eartheartheartheart hear the art....
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Well, it IS a bit of a drive to a supermarket, and mail doesn't seem to find it's way here. The road doesn't even go through the town, you have to take a turn-off. The streets are safe for young people to walk on, or ride their scooters. Some of them here even ride unicycles to school...
Just in the last week they have put speed bumps all around the town, not so much to slow the traffic down, as to give the unicyclists more of a challenge! I'm a bit worried about the lack of street sense of the younger children when they leave the bubble. They've never really had to worry about watching for traffic as they play on the road.
One thing that sets Poatina apart is the 'Book of Norms'. It's a bit like Leviticus, but with less animal sacrifice. By following the guidelines set out therein, it makes this level of community life possible. Some of the norms take a little getting used to, but by setting up clear boundaries, everyone knows where they stand, and the vulnerable are protected. It's an interesting paradox that people are more free when they know where the boundaries are.
By the way, if you click on the pictures, you can see them at a bigger size, if you want!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Anyway, it's about a three minute walk out of the village from my place. It can be a bit tricky crossing the cattle grid in the dark, but it's a place people like to stroll to. On a clear night, outside of city limits the stars are spectacular!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Freda is from Ghana, and today marks 50 years since their Independence from British rule, the first sub-Saharan nation to do so. She said nothing on air, the microphones didn't pick up her snoring either.
So it was mostly the three of us chatting and playing lots of music, the Biz, Loz and Honza show. Biz was our trainer, she's done a lot of radio here, despite her youth, and Lorraine did Captain Midnight last year as part of her C4 course, as I am now. So I was the only Newbie...
Anyway, looks like I'll be on every Monday night for the next few months on 95.7 Heart FM in the midlands between 9pm and midnight. I was going to put the number for requests here, but I can't quite remember it... You will just have to put your favourite radio song in my comments, and we will see what we can do!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
As you enter Poatina, my house is one of the first you come to. This, however, means I have the furthest to travel of all my classmates as the Training centre is at the opposite end of the town. I'm up here in Poatina Heights and have to travel through the Central Business District to get to school down in the northern suburb of Poatina Links. It's next to the Golf Course. The only further suburb is the new development at Valley Vue. This walk can take in excess of five minutes! Longer, because you stop and pass the time with everyone you meet. Of course I take my lunch every day because there is just no time to get back up here to eat a sandwich, because, by the time you do, you have to turn around and head back down again. If only they would extend the lunch hour beyond 75 minutes...
We are now studying the tragic doomed love story of Hosea. Fascinating insights.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Yesterday we had a fusion Expo day where people were able to come from al over Tassie to learn how to run Community Festivals as outreach events to build connection and comunity in their areas. Mal Garvin gave one of his famous Key Note addresses, and there were stories of past successes and the chance to learn a few festival skills or explore further how to do these things or discuss issues, network, play a few games, juggle, face-paint, eat a potato or just meet people. There will be one next week in Victoria. http://www.fusion.org.au/vic/Pages/Training/expoday.html
If you have a day to spare, and are interested in ways of reaching your community, check it out.
Like to thank my English/Greek classmate Patrick for the loan of his internet connection, but his computer is bi-lingual, and much of it is in greek. Do you know the greek words for cut or paste?
Anyway, he's been quite happy lately, now that the English cricket team has started to win...
Well, back to Studying the book of James, Quiz first up tomorrow. Consider it all joy...
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Anyway, the online access place is only open for a short time each day and there are people who want to check their emails. Unfortunately I have problems with checking mine, so if you are expecting me to answer your email, I can't right now, 'cos I haven't read it... expect to get something sorted soon!
Like to get some photos here, maybe next time...
Monday, January 22, 2007
At the moment access is a bit scarce, and there's so much to say but, it's all good.
Nice town, this.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I think at the time, potbelly stoves were quite big (as in popularity, not in their physical dimensions.)
So I thought I would apply the potbelly principal to other household appliances. I looked no further than the humble refrigerator.
I though everyone could use a pot bellied fridge!
Rebelling against the notion that white goods had to be white I did my first sketch in potbelly pink. This led to the blue singlet version with the workboot feet, and a sort of eighties paint job on the body.
The more astute reader will of course realise I have these two pictures in the wrong order. The rest of you be assured there is nothing wrong with your eyes. Well, nothing that Honzablog has caused!
Following this came a more definitive Australian themed version, complete with a green and gold body with stylized kangaroos, Aussie flag, the ubiquitous blue singlet motif, and to finish it off, wearing thongs... oh, for non-Australians, read 'Flip-Flops...' (ooh that can be embarrassing!)
Of course the great thing about the potbellied fridge is all that extra storage space in the door! WOW!
I'm not sure how this feature would suit the dieter, so much more food can be stored.
Although, on the other hand, generously girthed individuals might find reaching the handle quite a challenge...
PS: for illustration Friday readers! This is your actual peice of Industrial Design concept Sketching what I did back in the eighties (when I was a mere toddler...), And it is kind of a coincidental incident that I upload this two days BEFORE the eighties topic is announced. I even mention in the original text that the design is eighties style. Not quite a Memphis fridge, but the colours would do...