Saturday, 20 May 2017


       I’ve decided to take a helpful suggestion from one of the blogs I read and no longer waste time agonizing over suitable titles for each post, (hence the date above) J As summer approaches it is likely that each post would have a title something along the lines of “a Manic Week” or “Stressful Week” etc. and you readers might get super bored, so hopefully just the date makes sense, maybe I shall return to catchy titles when things calm down in the autumn (ha ha).
So, yes, it has been a very stressful week, especially as news came that another Team Leader on whom we were counting, is now not available for the summer. Sigh. However there have also been some items of good news- like I think we may have filled the 2 vacant slots for our Ontario Teams and we are now up to 10 Team Applicants!
Also personally, I have received several signs of encouragement that have lifted me from the annual “Slough of Despond”. The first was the opportunity to attend the closing Eucharist at the Clergy and Spouses Retreat, which I catered last weekend. The Lectionary Gospel reading for last Sunday was from John Chapter 14.Everyone is pretty familiar with this passage at funerals but I had never considered it in a different context. Alex’ homily focused on the fact that Jesus tells his disciples he is “going to prepare a place for them; those “places” that he prepares are here on Earth as well as those promised in Heaven. Interestingly, Bishop Mary had also used this text the previous Thursday when she celebrated our house Eucharist and she used it to illustrate that Jesus had prepared for our new small community a special “place”. At the Sunday Eucharist Alex was encouraging the young couples who are all involved in difficult Church-planting work and used the same analogy in their context. We also sang this praise song and although I see it is 3 years old I had never run into this setting that incorporates the old Hymn “It is well with my Soul”. I’ve been humming it all week and it has brought me times of peace in the current season of stress.
Finally, on Thursday evening one of our Prayer Support group called from Malaysia and offered encouragement from the passage in Luke 24- where the women were all worrying about who would roll away the stone at Jesus’ tomb, only to find upon arriving that the Lord had already taken care of their worries.
It is fantastic when friends reach out and share words of encouragement, but I must confess to being a very fallible human being who constantly bundles up my worries, drops them at the foot of the cross and then picks them up again instead of leaving them there. AGH!!!
Well enough exegesis, today is a super special day- Jessica’s and Tyler’s Wedding!!! It is sunny and cool and I’m just about to walk to St. Matthias’ Church for the ceremony so more later on…
 The ceremony was very lovely and included a lot of beautiful music, both in the form of hymns that we all could sing as well as some great organ music, played on the church’s fantastic tracker organ. The Processional for the bride was the "Shire" theme from the Lord of the Rings, a somewhat unconventional choice but a real favourite of the couple, and sounding perfect when played on that magnificent instrument!
 Natalie and Andrew came and sat with me, which was really kind of them as I’m sure there were a lot of other young couples they could have joined, however all of them were heading on to the Brunch Reception and I was heading home, so I did not feel too guilty having them for company during the Service.

 It is a 40 minutes walk each way to St. Matthias so I had a VERY late lunch and then whiffled around the garden before the “Wil Walk’ during which I stopped at the CO-OP to pick up some ingredients for the Crossroads snack tomorrow evening.
The next two days are pretty packed with church in the morning, a CTM Board meeting in the afternoon, Crossroads in the evening and the Huyer family overnight, followed by a SYC staff meeting here at the house on Monday. Once all of that is over the plan is to turn my attention to the “Changing of the Decorations”, this time for the Pentecost/Summer Season.
So right now I intend to enjoy the sweet peace of a sunny late spring evening, with a quiet dinner on the porch. It is the lull before the storm J
Before I head off to make supper we need a recipe to close off with.
Last Monday for the Day Camp Committee Dinner we enjoyed some “Rice and Bean Bowls” and they were really tasty. Here goes!

Rice and Bean Bowls

2 cups brown basmati rice
1 ½ cups each cooked black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas
3 cups shredded red cabbage
2 ripe avocados, diced and tossed in lemon juice
1 English cucumber, thickly sliced
6 cups mixed spring greens
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 lemons, cut in wedges
½ cup Tahini
2 Tbsps. lemon juice
2 cloves finely grated garlic

Cook the brown rice just before assembling the bowls. Arrange all the other ingredients in serving bowls or on platters. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, adding several tablespoons of water to obtain the consistency of liquid honey.
For each person place a scoop of warm cooked rice in individual bowls and top with the beans and vegetables as desired. Finish with a ladle of Tahini Sauce.

Serves 4-6

Monday, 15 May 2017

Bonus Monday!

Hello friends ,
  If you read the last post you will know I had a pretty hairy weekend, I'm now briefly coming up for air before diving deeply into a to of CTM activities happening this week.
 In this short pause before the storm I'm delighted to share with you some "Sneak Peeks" from the 2017 Day Camp Program Slide Show- "On Fire!", stories from the Book of Acts.
 Anna is finishing up filming this week and has been sending me  a number of pics so I thought I would whet the appetites of Team Members and Host Communities alike by posting them for you.
Here goes!

This first bunch are all for the Day 1 story "Alight " all about the coming of the Holy Spirit:-

And now for some clips from Day 2- "Walking and Leaping"- the story of Peter and John healing the lame man at the Beautiful Gate:-

I can hardly wait for Days 3-5!
  Have a great week, see you back here on Saturday 😊

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Mid May Days

Part 1-Friday Morning 
Another week is flying by and as I begin this post I’m sitting in the familiar surroundings of the kitchen @ Isaiah 40. This time I’m here doing some advance cooking for a Clergy and Spouses Retreat Weekend that I was asked to cater by the President of Isaiah 40.
The first meal will be dinner tonight, and then there are three meals tomorrow and 2 on Sunday. Fortunately it is only for 10 people but there are several with food allergies so the preparations have been a bit tricky.
  Actually I’ve been here practically every day this week since Jessica and I have also been doing a lot of work on Team Supplies. That job is almost completed and a good thing too because her wedding day is fast approaching J
 Last evening our little House Church community held its first Pot Trust Supper and Eucharist. Bishop Mary had generously volunteered to be the Celebrant for this inaugural event, which we are hoping to institute on a monthly basis. She even brought her guitar and I think the three children present particularly enjoyed having music.
The Program Manuals were also printed this week, although we still need to put some of them into duo-tang folders, before they can be added to the Supply bags. The Travelling Team Members all bring proper binders with them, as they need something that will stand up to the rigours of 6-weeks use but each Team carries extra Manuals for the use of local helpers in the different communities. 
So much time has been spent this week combing lists of names and sending out emails asking for help in recruiting Team Members. The stress level around here is rising daily as we are still very short of candidates. It is so difficult to know what to do as we also still need to fill in a few gaps on our schedule but if the Team situation does not improve soon then comes the serious consideration of having to cancel some of our Camps.
There are only 6 weeks left now before the start of training and the task seems so daunting. I try to stay optimistic and trust in the Lord’s provision. Every year we face these sorts of challenges but each time the magnitude of the problem seems greater. Asking young people to give 6 weeks of their summer as volunteers in mission is a big request and the pool of potential applicants has decreased, as churches get smaller. I have been reaching my “net” to other countries, trying contacts in the UK and USA but as yet no replies have come through. I’m not sure exactly who reads this Blog, although there are approx. 150 hits per week. If anyone out there is interested in applying for Team, or knows someone who might be, please leave a comment or go to the “Team Members” tab at the top of this page and download a 2017 Team Application. We have a committee meeting coming up on Monday and I would be overjoyed to have some good news to report that evening J
Well it is now lunchtime on Friday and the Coconut Crème Caramel is ready to take out of the oven so I’m going to pause and will be back later…

Part 2-Saturday Morning
  Breakfast has been served and enjoyed and I’ve just popped home to whiffle around the garden (it is SUNNY again!) and to wait for Alexander who is coming to pick up the beverage supplies and the crafts I’ve prepared for tonight’s CTM Fundraiser. Once he has come I shall be off again to pick up a few groceries and then back to the centre to do lunch prep.
 While chopping fruits yesterday afternoon I had a phone call from the Mum of a potential Team Member although the girl in question is not of age to lead a Team I know she would make a fine addition as a Member so shall be praying that, God willing, she makes a decision to join us!......

Part 3-Saturday Afternoon
  So with lunch served and dinner prep on the way we had better wrap up this very disjointed post.
 Let’s have a recipe. I have made Melon with Dukkah twice now it is totally my favourite thing to do with a nice ripe cantaloupe!

Melon with Dukkah

2 (small to medium) ripe cantaloupes
1 can full fat coconut milk (chilled for 24hours and unshaken)
1/3 cup hazelnuts
2 tsps. honey
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Edible flower petals (optional)

Cut a thin slice off each end of the melons and then cut them crosswise in half and scoop out the seeds. Place each half in a shallow bowl.
In a small food processor or spice grinder grind together the hazelnuts seeds and salt, set aside.
Open the can of coconut milk and carefully remove the solid cream portion from the top. Place it in a small bowl with the honey and vanilla and whisk until fluffy.
Divide the whipped coconut between the melon bowls and top each with a handful of berries. Sprinkle with dukkah and garnish with flower petals if desired.

Serve for breakfast or lunch with some muffins or coffee cake. Yum!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Crafts Day!!

Hello Everyone, As promised this is a special post in which we are showcasing the 2017 Day Camp Crafts
The samples fall into three categories- Scrambler Devotions, Scrambler Afternoon Program (SAP)
and Creative Connection

Here are the photos, with explanatory captions. We hope they will help you as you collect supplies and generally prepare for  the "On Fire!" Program. There were two crafts for which we had not yet collect supplies- Sand Candles and Juice Can Stilts, I'll be adding those photos over the next couple of weeks!

First a few photos of the crafter crew...

Scrambler Morning Devotions Activities

Scrambler Morning Devotions and SAP

SAP- Making Faces, and Party Hat

Scrambler  Devotions Day 3 -Story Board and SAP Day 2- The Beautiful Gate

SAP- Potato Printing, Tangrams, Letter Shapes

SAP- Day 3 Milk Carton Boats

SAP Day 5 - Suitcase Collage

Creative Connection-Windsock

Creative Connection- Shekere, Rain Stick, Friendship Bracelets

Creative Connection- Friendship Bracelets

SAP- Paper Chains