I’ve been MIA for the last few days mostly because I’ve been hosting a handicraft sale in the church. This was to raise money for the work of Tearfund in the Mekong Sub Region. I can’t really begin to do justice to the work they are doing there in extraordinarily difficult circumstances but I was massively touched by the story of Lin (about whom I wrote an article for a recent edition of Inspire magazine - page 21-22) and how she has gone from extreme poverty and illiteracy to graduating university and now working with fellow migrant families to improve their quality of life.
|Can you get any cuter than this?! A knitted mouse made by my very clever Mum for the sale.|
A major part of the project that Lin was educated through is local handicraft sales so that the girls being educated at the centre can send money home to support their families. And so the idea for the handicraft sale was born. Doing what they do but here in England and sending the money to fund some of the brilliant work going on with migrants in the region. The exciting news is that I have a few items left which you can view in a Facebook album on my page. Just leave me a comment on this blog or on the album if there is anything you’d like and then you can pay through my Just Giving site. *Sales pitch over!*
It’s amazing how many talents are in my extended group of friends and family and the generosity people will show at just a simple request. We raised a good amount of money but more than anything I loved that it was an opportunity to get together with friends and neighbours for a cup of tea, a natter and to achieve a shared goal. In some ways it was my last hurrah in my current neighbourhood. Summer is busy with a trip to Zambia and moving house so I’m unlikely to have time to host anything else in church.
As all the familiar faces from the congregation and neighbourhood popped in I started to feel a little choked up. Church is so like family, you see people day in day out, celebrate highs and lows and stick with each other (even if you might not always have chosen each other for company!) I’m so excited that my life is going to be about this, about community and friendship, but that also means saying goodbye to this one. Even thinking about it makes me a little teary and I’m even looking at our recently broken into flat through misty eyes exclaiming ‘Ah these poorly glazed windows and ramshackle walls, how I shall miss you!’
I went to look at our new flat this week. There is so much to be excited about (double glazing for one!). But for now I’m allowing myself a little moment of wistfulness for what I’m leaving behind. A very happy three years, a very wonderful neighbourhood, some very good friends.