Posted by: Rowland | September 20, 2007

UK reflections

I’m back in Barbados after 6 weeks in the UK. The UK was a bit of a culture shock when you don’t see it for years at a time. Barbados may be near the top (so I’ve heard) of the developing nations list but there is still a very noticeable gap with the so-called developed world. Everything in the UK just seems so much neater and tidier for a start! And then there are just so many white people to adjust to! This time we noticed all the plasma/LCD TV screens and the mobile phones with satellite navigation etc. Materially many more things are just taken for granted even since our last visit. Entering a Tesco or Sainsbury large store was overwhelming – so much choice.

But we survived and it was great to see family and friends again and to link into a variety of church situations – traditional, modern, experimental – and to tune in to the work of the Spirit in them all. Most wanted an update on what we are doing and strangely this proved very emotional for me: some key topics brought me to tears and rendered me speechless for a while. It appears increasingly obvious that we are carrying both a hope and a burden for a major spiritual development in the Caribbean and frankly I was surprised by the involuntary emotional expression, not being one to ever collapse to the floor when prayed for. I’m usually much more in control and rational in my approach!

I’ll probably develop more on these hopes and concerns as I reflect on the trip. A first thought is that 6 weeks away was in some ways like a fast from the Caribbean. Arthur Wallis in ‘God’s Chosen fast’ recorded the diary of a fast of which the highlight was a remarkable vision two days after the fast was broken. It’s a standing joke with us that whenever I have fasted for a period of time the heavens usually seem like brass (to me), but Vicki, without the fasting, will normally afterwards receive some wonderful insight! Ah, well, such is life. This time after our return a copy of ‘Catch The Fire’ magazine was waiting for me with some fascinating thoughts expressed about the nature of church in a digital/computer age: just the sort of thing I was feeling after in my thinking and just the encouragement I needed to pursue some related matters here. Thank you, Lord.

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