02 March 2006

Time in London...


One more trip for the month...I went to London for different reasons...To see some friends and to go to the SPEAK conference...I already said before that SPEAK in a network of young people who pray and campaign on issues of global justice and fair trade...check the web site www.speak.org.uk...
I was a bit with Michael and Paula, who I 've met in Germany some weeks ago...It was really nice of them to pick me up at the airport and letting me sleep over that night... I really like them !!! it was a pity we couldn't hang out more time, but they were working and I was at the conference...
We were together again the day before I left on a dinner party...it was fun...I cooked "Moamba", an Angolan food...Tim and Charletta, who are part of the "Christian Peacemakers Team" and live in a Menonitte Centre, a christian house community, hosted the dinner at the Centre... Michael and Paula went as well as I said, Emma and 2 other friends she invited, and Amaro and Jacqui, two friends of mine and the reason for an Angolan meal...Amaro is a good friend from Angola and I also met Jacqui there before they got married...She's Australian and they're both working in London now to raise some support to go back to Africa and get involved in children's ministries (their passion)...O.K., that was a little introduction to some of the friends I met there...
It was really nice and fun to be again with Emma, who I met last year in different parts of my trip...it's one of those friendships set up by God which I'm really thankful for...I was delighted hearing some of her stories in Israel...she was there about 4 months doing different things, like working as volunteer for a christian palestinian family, where they helped collecting olives and plant 700 more trees on the fields...(check www.tentofnations.org)...she was also in different refugee camps doing different things... but what most impacted me in all her stories was the love God has put in her heart for all those she met on the way, and the way she would speak so personally about them...palestinians, israelis, christians, muslims, jewish...the measure of Love was the same... just like God's love for all... it's so different from the news we've been hearing about Israel, the war and so... it's so easy to forget we're speaking about individual people when we're speaking about Nations and it's political situation or it's religion... I think it's when we forget that we're all God's children anyway, all descendants of Adam, that divisions and wars take place...
I also had the priviliege to meet Hanna and Hattie, Emma's friends, who opened their house for us and some others who came for the conference...We had really nice times praying for eachother, having meals together and getting to know eachother a bit...really precious girls !!!


The SPEAK Conference was great as well... a bit different for me...but really encouraging to see young christians engaged in all these global issues as "Fair Trade" , African dept and aid, Arm trade policies, etc...And they are not only speaking about it or discussing it...they are actually engaged in bringing change in Goverments, Multinational Companies and people's lives through campaigning and praying...really powerful combination...
On Monday, the day of action of the conference, around 150 young people walked down to the Parliament Square symbolically carrying the burdens of poor people from different countries of the world...
"As they lay down under their symbolic burdens in Parliament Square, 150 student campaigners from the SPEAK network sent a powerful visual message to the government. They were imitating the actions of the biblical prophet Ezekiel, who lay on his side symbolically bearing the sins of Israel for 390 days. Through their action, as a culmination of their campaigning of part of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY, SPEAK members repented for the burdens people in poorer countries suffer because of unjust trade rules, unpayable debts and insufficient aid. They later heard messages from the three main political parties about these issues, and lobbied their MPs about concerns relating to the Company Law Reform Bill that is currently going through Parliament..." Read more on the Link (press on the title of this post)...

4 comments:

marklish said...

Barbara,a czech girl from my church was there also. isnt it funny? i'm just amazed how God is using his people to demonstrate his love, the unity of the church shown there is such a powerful weapon.blessings. marketa

submorten said...

Hey Barbara! We need something like this in Norway! Like your tattoo by the way!

Abril said...

hey barbara - don't know if you remember me, but we met a few years ago at CAI conference cause I was working in Madrid. found your blog through lisboa matrix website. just wanted to comment on our small world. last year i did a mediation training with London Mennonite Center in England where I met Emma, who was also on the training (really great person!) and got to learn some about SPEAK, and also Charletta. turned out that Charletta is from same state as me and i actually was friends with her cousin in uni. have enjoyed the hospitality of the mennonite house in london a few times since spending time with Charletta and Tim.

anyway - gotta love the circles of this world!

we are headed to lisboa in a few weeks to spend some time with bordens and uhlers, so maybe see you then :)

blessings.

[ps, agree with submorten that is would be great to have something like SPEAK on iberian peninsula as well - maybe some day]

Geerard said...

Hey barbara,

Speak! I missed this year ; (
But it's great to see more EU is getting involved.