Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Thank you!

I'm a worrier. A complete stresser and will freak out at the smallest thing. So this move that is now in less than a month (ARGH!) is a big deal. But God has once again confirmed my being there, which is just so utterly fantastic that it blows my mind.

I joined the Manchester University CU page to ask a couple of questions and the first to reply was a good friend of one of the girls that I went on mission to Peru with a few years ago. The mission that changed my heart, inspired my career choice and moved me to the city! She's going to meet me when I arrive. What an absolute blessing.

God, I love you. I am completely head over heals in love with you. Thank you!

Wait! I think I may have left something behind.

oh you watch me stready, you
watch me with such a quiet sincerity
and you hold me heavy, you
hold me like I was born to be held
and the Iight comes in here, yeah
morning my dear, and the restlessness of arms
and we lie here longing now
words were ours that will never be harm
'cause you are dear to me
yeah you are dear

but if this goes wrong again, oh heaven forbid
if this was how it was meant to fall, no
if this goes wrong again
will you pretend that you know, steady as the morning and just go
and just go
and just go

I made you breakfast, oh
soldiers to guard and keep you company
and I'm going away again
the faces and falsities of new friends
yeah there's fires here to burn, and
timbers left to learn in this young heart
and honey please don't think I don't miss you, no
don't think I don't think of you when we're apart
because I do dear, I do
yeah I do dear

but if this goes wrong again, oh heaven forbid
if this was how it was meant to fall, no
if this goes wrong again
will you pretend that you know, steady as the morning and just go
and just go
and just go

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Today is gonna be the day....

...that the 4 week countdown starts to the big move to the big M.

 You can stay posted here of all the happenings in my Mancunian adventures, as well as little prayer updates. 

I'm so excited but absolutely terrified about the move! 

But amidst the turbulent mix of emotions, the one thing that is constant, is knowing that this new city is where God wants me to be this year and  that He'll be coming with me. 

During my most recent visit, I came across this verse in Acts...

"For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." (Acts 18:10)

How reassuring to remember that God isn't just in Aberdeen, or City Church, or with my Christian friends. He is everywhere. And remarkable to think that I have brothers and sisters in Manchester. Cheesy? Yeah, a bit. Incredible? Absolutely!

He's not going to put any of us in a place where He will not be able to support us.

He will challenge us, but never abandon us.

He will stretch us, but never harm us.

He will keep us, and never let us go.

God is good all the time: and all the time, God is good.

Maybe, You're gonna be the one that saves me.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Living below the line - Day 1

I've just finished day one of the Living Below the Line Challenge (see For 5 days, I'm living off £5 to buy food to reflect the people around the world who have to live off £1 or less every day of their lives.

I went to the supermarket yesterday to grab my shopping. My basket had...

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Tea
  • Pesto
  • Soya milk
  • Cereal
  • Bananas
Total: £4.71

I'm only allowed to eat what I have bought and not anything that I may already have in the cupboard. And no food donations can be accepted because they had to be bought, all be it by someone else. So it really is strict. 

I'm telling you, it has not been an easy day. Knowing that I'm not allowed to spend money on food, and that I have a day of uni ahead of me was really difficult. Especially because my usual afternoon coffee was off limits! 
But my tiredness and lack of energy is surely nothing in comparison to what millions of people living in the poorest countries in the world have to go through every single day. And I only have myself to feed, not a family with 5 or 6 mouths...

I decided to do this challenge 1) as soon as I saw it and 2) because of the Tearfund "Just People?" poverty course with youth group at church. Tomorrow I do the talk on how God feels about poverty and injustice, and that the bible has so much to say on the subject. I felt really challenged that I would be standing in front of the kids telling them about the terrible injustice and poverty in the world when I have never experienced it for myself. So Living Below the Line, although I'm not doing the fundraising aspect of it, is my way of experiencing the hardship that I'll be speaking about ad trying to connect with those that suffer through it. 

It's incredibly tough, and it's only day 1. I keep telling myself that it's only temporary and that it will be over soon. But what absolutely shatters my heart and moves me to the very core is the thinking what goes through the minds of the poor? Do they hold on to the hope that it is a temporary thing, that they will eat soon or that one day there will be enough food to feed the whole family; or maybe that the children could go to school instead of having to work to earn money to survive?

What ridiculously comfortable lives we lead.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Blessed to be a Blessing

We filled our first box of jumpers for Project Te Amo yesterday and it filled by only 2/15 of the knitter's contributions! Cannot wait to see how many boxes we manage to fill...Thank you God for Your amazing provision of wool and needles on our side, and for helping provide for the kiddies over in Lima. I love how He sees needs that need filled and uses His people to meet them. Even the least skilled or qualified :)

Here are some pics of the knitting that the wonderful Julie took yesterday in our church's garden.
(Copyright of Button Blue Photography)

Jumpers, jumpers, jumpers!

Myself and some finished products. So may colours! Each one handmade with love.

First box full of love <3

Love to you all you knitters.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Te Amo....Peru

I've been extremely blessed with the support that I have received in kick starting a new international outreach to Peruvian street children, called Project Te Amo. 

One of my keen knitters and wonderful supporters is Kemi from church. I was interviewed  last week for her blog where I got to share more about the project. Here it is!

Kemi. What is the goal of Te Amo?

Alison. Project Te Amo is an international outreach which specialises in knitting jumpers for street children in Lima, Peru. It is a practical way of reaching out to those children who never or very rarely hear the words “te amo (I love you)”.
Kemi. What gave you the idea?

Alison. I was inspired by what someone told me at a conference for Latin Link, the charity that Te Amo supports. A lady told me: “you might be the only Jesus that these people will ever meet”.
Something clicked inside of me then…about just how true that statement was and I felt as though I was to start something to help children living on the streets of Lima, Peru. 
  I would consider myself as a person who cares in a practical way, so I knew that I wanted to help out the street children by doing something that they can really benefit from.
   When I was little, my grandmother regularly knitted me and my siblings jumpers for Christmas or Birthdays. My brother, sister and I loved to receive these gifts because our granny had taken so much time and care into making each one of them to fit up exactly, we had different colours reflecting our personalities, and it was her special way of saying “I love you”. This inspired me to start-up an outreach to children who very rarely, or never hear those words, “te amo”…I love you. I like to think that Te Amo is a way of showing the street children of Lima that there are people out there that love them dearly even though they cannot see us or will perhaps never meet us. Just like Jesus.

Left to right : Kathleen and I with two finished products!
KemiI know you are a student, how much time are you able to commit to it? Who works with you?
Alison. As a final year student, my timetable is quite hectic! As part of the worship and youth work teams I also find myself busy during the evenings with assessment deadlines creeping up behind me…! But I have been very blessed in that I have a large support network of people helping me. Especially Kathleen from church. She really is my Wonder Woman! As a novice knitter I really am unable to advise with patterns, or needles or wool, but Kath takes charge of that part.  We have about 15 volunteers knitting for us which is amazing! Project Te Amo is certainly not a “one woman show”, I am extremely grateful for the dedication of all who are involved.
Kemi. Have you ever visited Peru? What was it like?
 Alison. I visited Peru on short-term mission with Latin Link back in 2008. This was post-earthquake and we worked near the town of Pisco, just a few hours south of the capital, Lima. I was part of a team of 10 who helped construct a mother and child centre; ran church services and children’s work. As a town planning student, I loved the building project especially learning how to build a construction which would withstand another earthquake. It was a very humbling experience because even though the people we worked with had lost family, friends and their church in the quake, they were always so thankful and joyful.
emi. What does it feel like to be able to provide this gift to those kids?
Alison. Providing the simple gift of a jumper stirs up so many feelings! It breaks my heart that children suffer in this way, but it also fires and slightly angers me that this is the case. Honestly, I wish that there was more that I could do, I just want to give each of them the biggest hug and tell them that it’ll all be ok.  But the thought of them wearing the little jumpers gives me peace that these vulnerable children will experience love.
Kemi. How long has Te Amo existed? Where do you see Te Amo going in the next few years?
Alison. Project Te Amo has only been going since February but I hope that it will continue as a form of outreach at City Church. We hope to expand to other parts ofPeru, for example the mountain children in Cusco as well as other countries in South America. Next stop, the World!
Kemi. How can folks get involved? Do they need any special skills?
Alison. Anyone can get involved from novice knitters to those who could do it standing on their heads with their eyes closed! Any willing volunteers can get in touch with myself, Kathleen or James Gregory. Kathleen or myself will set you up with a very simple pattern as well as wool and needles if you need. We have just been donated a whole load of wool and need more keen knitters to pick up those needles! If you really can’t/won’t knit but would like to help out, we will be sending the jumpers out this summer and would be extremely grateful for donations towards postage!
Kemi. What is your one wish for those kids?
Alison. Above all else, I wish the children to be safe. Safe from having to sleep alone in dark alleys; safe from crime; safe from drug addictions; safe from fear.
Kemi. Do you believe your kindness will change their lives? How?
Alison. Almost all of the children living rough have been forced in some way or another to abandon their homes with parents, brothers and sisters and fend for themselves. Most of them have lost their childhoods by becoming glue sniffers, beggars, prostitutes…and now associate adults with pain and fear. I hope that Te Amo will remind them that there are people in the world that see them and want to show that they care. I may never know the impact that the jumpers will have on the lives of the children that will wear them, but I would like to think that they will believe the message that will be stitched to the collar of each one…te amo.


Kemi's knitting is coming on well!

Thank you to all who have taken part in knitting, donating or in prayer. Your support means everything! If you would like to get involved, please just let me know!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

1.21 Giggawatts!?

The Future.


Scary words right there.

But I can rest in the peace that God has already written it.

God has already seen it.

And God has already secured it.

Lord, my future is Your hands.

And I can't think of a better place for them to be.