Back in the UK and back in Liverpool. It all seems a little unreal - the next 7 days sees an end of my time with UCCF and a long line of goodbye to friends and family in the UK.
The holiday in Germany went well but it was inevitably really sad saying goodbye. Email, telephones and all of the acutrements of modern living help to make contact much easier than for previous generations (and it seems like it is becoming all the more easy with each day (google just launched a beta messenger type programme called google talk and it looks like it will be great, once it gets past the beta stage). For all of ease of communication in many ways it makes the distance all the more apparent: time, distance separate but so do priorites and the gospel. We're not moving to New Zealand for a better life (indicators are that we've just had the most financially prosperous period that we might ever have in our lives!) but because of the gospel. For those who don't share those priorities it is all the more hard to explain exactly why we are going... Please pray with us that we will continue to know God's grace and joy as we share the hope of going to NZ for the gospel even with those who do not share the joy!
Posted by Andy Shudall on 8/26/2005 03:09:00 am
Biberach in Baden Wuertemberg, Germany, where we are staying at the moment.
One month tomorrow, we’ll head to Manchester airport, bid our last tearful farewell and finally get on the plane which will take us on the first leg of the journey to New Zealand. It seems both a huge time away and in comparison to the journey of the last nine months, just a short hop. I’m sure that it will seem both far off and near at hand for the next few weeks.
We’re currently in Germany and I’ve had yet another accidental slip up in German that turned the air blue and resulted in laughter – but unfortunately an incident I won’t report here, as I don’t want to re-classified as an adult blog!
People have often asked me what life in Germany is like and to be honest, I don’t have a clue – I’ve only ever been on holiday here (apart from one weekend conference that I spoke at!). Not doing any work, surrounded by comfort and family, enjoying good food and wine (and all of this in an affluent society) it is all too tempting to be seduced by materialism – to think that this is what life should be all about. As I type, it is the height of summer, my in-laws are preparing another calorie-rich dinner and Ines and the kids are playing a game together: who would want to leave this? Who’d want to choose hard work and the stress and tensions that come with it? Me! I would. This is great (was especially great in the Thermal Swimming pool yesterday – doing nothing, just chilling – well being slowly cooked actually!) but it is not the substance of real life.
Of course this is real and rest is not a negative thing at all – but it would be meaningless without the context of service and the contrast of work. This, in many ways, is the quiet pause before the outbreak of activity – so although I wouldn’t want to live in this mode of life, I’m trying to treasure it for all that it offers: even if that means increasing my waist size!
The other encouraging thing of the week is that we’ve had two offers on our house in Leicester, one was forty thousand pounds below the asking price (which limited the encouragement somewhat!) but on Monday a couple offered the asking price and we are much relieved. They need to sell theirs before they buy ours but we have, in principle, sold the house! Praise God!
Posted by Andy Shudall on 8/12/2005 04:30:00 am