22 March 2009

nO tiMe 2 bLoG, sOrRy...


I have so many things to share, but recently I haven't got the time to seat and post on my blog...mainly because many things have been happening, and then because my computer battery is not lasting long anymore, so I have to come to this little cement cabinet, 5 minutes behind our land... it's a blessing that our neighbor lets us use it to charge our electrical stuff, but is not the most comfortable place to seat and write for long time...usually it's not a problem for me, but recently, in the end of each day I'm really tired of physical or emotional work...so, I'm taking part of my rest day to do this... it is a rest for me to remember and process things that have past...so, I'll be doing that as I share it with you...





So, after I last posted, I went on a small trip to the Islands of UK to meet some friends who are part of a network called SPEAK ... a beautiful group of friends, mainly students, activists in behalf of different justice issues, free spirits, artists, prophets, nonconformists, peacemakers, active children of God... I arrived at the end of the "dance for Justice" party on saturday night...Jo was at the door and she welcomed me in...I immediately felt at home, after a looong day journeying on buses, metros, trains and plain... but it was worth it to see some of the familiar faces I've known since my "tour" in Europe in 2005...some people were chilling out in couches, others having nice conversations, others dancing, others sleeping :-)....here in the picture is Louise, who started this network, and Mike Love giving a workshop on prayer and repentance...It was nice to see Mike, even for a short while...we had a nice conversation on economics, and "leadership" in communities, even though none of us like the word in particular :-)... He's a common friend of the Winter family , who live on the other side of the mountains in another community... he got us in touch actually...and I'm so blessed by that... I wish Mike gets around here one day...

It was nice to see Brother Tom from Scotland, get to know Hannah... Lucy was there too...they actually made a "talking circle" about the land the day before, and many people got interested... Patrice from Poland was another surprise to see, and the Dutch guys, Rik and Gerrard, who did a wonderful job with multi media and music...they are simply great!!!
It was nice to see Hannah and meet her husband Johny, and to share a bit about the land...they may come for the permaculture course, but still not sure...
It was a nice day, hanging out with friends, listening to good workshops, and simply being...
The day after it finished we had a nice "after party" hang out with those who were still around... I slept at the Speak office, had a wonderful sleep, and a rested morning in a nearby park... In the afternoon few of us went to an alternative place called "passing clouds"...amazingly decorated as you can see a bit on the picture... we shared what we're involved in at the moment in our lives, we shared songs and poems, we welcomed "strangers" in our circle, and shared a bottle of Port wine that I brought with me... a feast of friends !!! Louise suggested to take me to eat some curry down town, and of course I wouldn't refuse it... I had a bus to the airport at 11.30pm , so , me and Louise hanged out a bit more after dinner in a nice cafe we also went last time I met her in London... we had nice conversations, as always...

Next morning I was flying to Belfast to visit Emma, my best friend... she was not in such a good form...I mainly wanted to be with her, pray with her and support her... At the same time I arrived, another friend of hers also arrived from Manchester... it was perfect...Mareka, is a Dutch woman who is living in Manchester for 20 years now, knowing that that is the place God wants her to be... definitely a gentle and wise woman with a heart to pray... we had a lovely time together, sharing lives and praying for one another... isn't it beautiful to be part of the family of God ?!!!
I had a lovely time in Belfast with Emma and some of her new friends...It was nice to meet Miriam, who will also come to the permaculture course...they have been farming a piece wasted abandoned land in between buildings in the middle of Belfast, and they have lots of dreams to impact the city and hopefully challenge people to live life in a different way...even within a city context... it was nice to go out for a "pint", and listen to their dreams...

After few days it was time to get back to the land, and keep on the work I was doing with the prayer shelter... but I knew that "going back" was not only about working...was mainly about being with those God has brought to this place at this time...
while I was in Belfast I got an e.mail from Ton, who was a bit disturbed with some things that were going on... It was not a surprise for me, as I was already feeling that could happen... I was wondering why this kind of things come up every time I go away... it makes me sad, and makes me question what might be the reason... we had a "talking circle" the day after I arrived, and I expressed my sadness to everyone... I had 2 thoughts : each person need to realize who they are in the community and which are their individual roles...for me, the strength of a community is when each individual live up to who they are...people need to realize that they need to play their role in order for the community to function (As Paul speaks in Ephesians 4), and the absence of one part cannot disturb so much the function of the whole... I know I have an "overseeing" role, and I'm also aware we are in a very pioneering stage of laying foundations, but all other roles are as important as this...it's not about positions, but about functions... that's how I see a body or a family functioning well...
The other thought I had was that some people might have a problem with the role I have here...maybe they are the ones seeing it as a position, which they have problems to deal with... and this is a great problem... because I have experienced how it led people to gossip and faction among us...people afraid to come and speak with me, people speaking in my back ,etc... it might be my problem as well, but then I don't understand why I would be a problem for some, but not for all...Hmmm, anyway...I'm still processing about all this... still learning...and there's so much to learn...
We spent the whole morning in our "talking circle" cuz I wanted to hear from each one what happened when I was away... And mainly it was all because of bad theology being "preached" at the morning prayers by one person only (basically there was no time for nothing else)... besides, that there was misjudgments and false accusations that needed to be cleared out... people got hurt and there was a need for forgiveness... the first step was made during that morning, but more needed to be made the following days...
All this became a bit exhausting... but needed...
These was all around a new couple who came... they sincerely want to follow Christ, but he spent the last year in the "12 tribes" community in France, and that's where his theology comes from... it's mainly legalistic and judgemental (in our point of view)... portraiting an image of a strict and judgemental God and little of the Loving, Graceful, Merciful God we know...
I usually don't like to judge people's opinions on God and the way they follow their faith, but saying that ONLY in the "12 tribes" there is salvation, is a bit too much of a obvious heresy...
he himself was quicked out of the "12 tribes", because he was in love with his girlfriend, and too busy in his mind with that...so, in his belief, he's not saved as well, because he's "out" of the "12 tribes"...
One of the main problems for division and faction among the body of Christ, it's when we start to think we are the only ones knowing the truth... our human nature tends to think that "we got it all", "now we know the right way", etc... and I hate it... this happens with most church denominations, movements, with most religions...I believe there must be many good things in the "12 tribes" communities, and they must have started with good motivations ( I guess it was to call out the church to be the church)... but when pride comes in and doors are opened for deceptions such as the one mentioned, and that's when it becomes dangerous, and I would dare to say "heretic" ... they lose the vision of the kingdom of God, they separate themselves from the rest of the Body, thinking they are better than others (they stop having the space to speak to the rest of the body as they intent to, and they don't give space to be confronted as well)...they make the same mistake as the jewish made, seeing themselves as the "chosen ones", missing the point of it all... to be a blessing to all peoples, and not to be better than others...and this is not the problem with jewish only, it's the problem of human kind... it's our problem if we let pride take control...
But there were many other things that didn't quite sounded like the God of Love we know... like believing that the holocoust was just God's curse on the jews for killing Jesus...that we should obey human authorities even if they are against God (like killing others in wars, like obeying Hitler to kill jewish people, etc...)...
Most of the "preachings" were totally out of context... too much speaking and not much willing to listen other opinions...and this is what has been leading many christians throughout the history to support slavery, racism, wars, homofobia, anti-semitism, gender inequality, etc...
And against all this, we are to stand for as followers of Jesus, the friend of the poor, the opressed, the ones who suffer all sorts of unjustice in this world... Jesus, who proclaimed freedom for all, who offers eternal life as a gift to all those who believe, the one who justifies ALL before God, the one who claims no accusation against us... This is The Jesus I want to follow... The One who accepts us the way we are, and daily transforms us in who we will become...
Anyway, we learned a lot during these days, even though it was exhausting...we learned about the way of forgiveness...we learned about unconditional love... we learned about confronting the truth with Love... and most of all, we learned about God's sovereignty... it's not up to us to judge... only God sees the heart...
we do love this couple, and we know their hearts are sincere... that is what makes us sad with all this... they will leave us next tuesday... not because we told them to leave (I believe all those who are here are brought by God for a reason, so it's not up to us to invite anyone to leave...we just need to trust God), but her grandma died some days ago, and she wants to go and be with her sister...
Be praying for them... May they see the Light as they seek The Light...
Darek , our friend from Czech Republic also left last monday... here he is helping me with the prayer shelter... it was so nice to have him with us... he's such a nice guy... he was really sorry he had to go...he almost cried when me and Jared took him to the bus station... But he wants to come back for the winter... he has a tea tent, and during the summer he goes around to many festivals with a "mobile community", another group of nonconformists called "GodArchy" ...they have reggae music, nice tea, coffe and other products fairly traded, and they also challenge people in issues of Justice and living a different life style not conformed to the world we live in... a convoy of "john the baptists" calling out people to "repent", which literally means "change your way of thinking" and live out differently...
And here's Shiloh... isn't she cute ?!! And she knows it :-) ... we started to call her "scar face", cuz she's always falling and getting scars...poor one... she's in that stage... she's lovelly... she's the daughter of another lovely young couple, Chris and Amelie, who came from California to travel a bit and get a different perspective on their lifestyle... it was too much for them having Chris always working and not having much time for Amelie and baby Shiloh... Amelie was telling me how this few weeks since they have been here seem longer than the 1st year of Shiloh, when time seemed to fly away... They are such nice people, with such nice hearts...and it's wonderful to have a baby around... they want to travel some more before going back to the US, and they are praying about what kind of life will they have back there... they would love to have a piece of land and live in community, but that is really expensive in California...anyway, they are praying, and I'm sure God will lead them...
Amelie with Shiloh on her back, Stephi (on Nono's back ) who's also visiting again from Germany, and Dane...they all went shopping veggetables with the donkeys...it's always fun !!!
Here is Dane trying to make Zebrita move :-)... by the way, Line gave out Zebrita to a man in Fundao who has more horses and one donkey... so, now we're left with Nonolito !!!
Back to the prayer shelter...that's pretty much what I've been working on these days... I wanted to put the dirt on top before the permaculture course starts...it's not done yet, but at least the wind will not blow off the roof cover...
I still need to make this kind of edge all the way around... I only made it in the front so far...
It looks like a giant mushroom !!! eh, eh :-)
Jared helped me a lot, digging out the dirt from the floor and throughing it on the roof...
Ah!!! and here's our new car...a mitsubitshi pick up L200, from 1991... another blessing... it's perfect for the work we need to do here...Edna and Paulo (my sister and brother in law) lent me 3.500E to buy it this week, and I made the insurance for a year for 223E from the donations I received from some of you... the guy who made the insurance knew this car from the other owner and asked me how much I paid for it... when I said the price, he told me that it was a very good deal, cuz this cars hardly have problems, and this one has not so many kilometers... it was from a hardware store who needed to have less expenses...they bought it knew and never had big problems with it... I felt at peace, and I'm really glad with it...Now we can get many building material we will need for this year... it's gonna be a building year :-)...
I need to pay my sister back as soon as possible, and I also got some friends who would be willing to lent us some money for a year...
SO, if you would like to send some donations to pay it back, it would be much appreciated... let me know...

There's a group of 8 people coming from Germany with Simone, who was with us in the beginning...so, I might post about it next week...
And the permaculture course starts next saturday... it's gonna be great...let me know if you still wanna come... we can still have more 3 people to attend the course...

O.k, I'm off now... it was a delight to share all this with you, and process for myself all that has been hapening around me...
Much Love

PEACE

Enjoy a good REST

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Olá Barbara!

Grande texto: estavas inspirada ;-)

É bom saber que estás bem e que tudo está no bom caminho. Deus vos abençoe a todos grandemente no curso de permacultura.

Mário Baleizão

Luz said...

Baba,

God is so funny! Here I am enjoying a restful sunday, still in Mazatlan. And I have all this toughts and emotions... It's really hard to be away from "home" for so long! and I have been really emotional about it (I'm cryaing now :)... I miss you, I miss my family and friends, the land.
And also reflecting how can I live what I believe and how can I share it with others... and God reminded me of SPEAK network :)

So when I was reading your post, I didn't felt so lonely. You are a great friend and you encourage me so much! About the community, I trust that God will make it more mature. You are taking care of the "baby" but soon, it will not be a baby anymore. Keep trusting!

much love from mexico

thecrazygermandude said...

hey baba,

its nice to read whats going on at this lovely place.it makes me glad,to see,that you are going forward..whatever happens on your lifes jouney.

be blessed,my sister!

please greet and hug ton,carly,line and Mr J. from me.(did he found his box in the ex-eucalyptusforest? :c) )

luv ya all

motmot

Anonymous said...

Toda a paz do mundo para vocês.

Gostaria de vos fazer uma visita.

Será que posso.

Admiro a vossa forma de vida.

Neno 13/4/oo9

Baba said...

Ola Neno,
entra em contacto conosco para saber quando vens...tens os contactos em www.mount-of-oaks.blogspot.com

PAZ
Barbara

peregrino said...

May God bless you...
Fui monge de uma abadia em França da Trapa..neste momento encontro-me em Portugal para fundar uma pequena comunidade na zona sul...
só agora dei por este pedaço de deserto que tanta falta me faz.. deixo apenas um beijo na vossa alma, e oro para que seja sempre um pedaço de Deus esse lugar...risos... um dia, tentarei ir aí visitar-vos... ir.victor

Baba said...

Uau Victor, gostava de manter o contacto e saber mais desse sonho que tens no coracao...
onde estas no sul ?
Que a Paz reine no teu coracao.
Barbara