Dear Emmaus Friends.
Hello & welcome to my first attempt at producing a Newsletter for Emmaus.
My name is Terry Green & I am new to the post of Communications officer. I have no formal training in preparing this type of thing but have done this type of thing for various charities for many years.
As for my Emmaus connections; I am from the SE district, I attended SE walk16 as a pilgrim & SE17 as a servant, hopefully I will also be a servant on SE19 (Se18 being a men’s walk in March this year)
If you would like to send in any entries for future Newsletters I will attempt to make the next one more interesting. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything you feel might be of interest to the community.
De Colores! Terry Green – Communications
I do not know what information is normally put in these Newsletters so I will continue with any information I have gathered from meetings etc. that I have attended.
So first of all a list of board members & Regional representatives
Our Board Members:
|Lay Director||Melanie Dickerson|
|Spiritual Director||Rev Andy Warren|
|International Agape Coordinator||Pat Basson|
|Communications Officer||Terry Green|
Community Representatives to the Board:
|East Midlands||Nikki Coles|
|North East||Not currently active|
|North West||Not currently active|
|South Central||Not currently active|
|South East||Eddie Vincent|
|South West||Lesley Richardson|
|Training Officer||Pete Richardson Richard Crispin|
All these details are on the website, although at present there is not much more information there!! I will hopefully arrange for all the separate regions to be putting their own information on the Website in the future to keep it up to date more easily. This is still something on my “To do” list and it will take some rapid training for me as it is an aspect of “Communications” that I am not familiar with at present, but do not fear I am quick to pick up knowledge with good helpers which I have been promised.
Now we come to items from the various communities and members who I have had contact with so far.
I will start with the South East District as that is my area, I belong to the Kent travellers reunion group which is hosted by Eddie & Richard Vincent.
From the South East District
Nicola Vidamour sent this topical item:
This year our churches in East Ham did posada – a Spanish word meaning lodging or shelter – is an old Mexican tradition where people, dressed as Mary and Joseph travel from house to house asking for a room for the night and telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Modern day Posada uses nativity figures of Mary and Joseph who travel from place to place. This gives each host the chance to use their imaginations and think about how they would welcome Mary and Joseph into their home and how they can make room for Jesus in their lives.
We bought some Fairtrade cloth dolls to represent Mary and Joseph. In order to reflect the multi-cultural make-up of our congregations, Mary is black and Joseph is Asian! During Advent they (and their donkey!) stayed with members of our congregation. In their travel bag, there was a children’s story book (The Night of Las Posadas); a Posada board game (downloadable from www.churcharmy.org) and a journal in which people were invited to write down or draw or put photographs of what they did with Mary and Joseph (and the donkey!) Every Sunday Mary and Joseph (and the donkey!) would come back to church so that, during the service we could hear.
A SMILE COSTS NOTHING
We have recently returned from The Gambia – a second visit this year as the accommodation was free! We miss, most of all, their smiling faces. They have little, but of course the sun shines all the time. They have now become our friends as we have been going out there once or twice a year since 2002. Jenny, our daughter, hadn`t been out there since our first visit and she joined us for part of the time. She was entranced by the country and the people (as we are). She loved going out in the taxi and seeing all the colourful people, smiling, and the sights and sounds on the streets. Not to forget to mention, the wonderful Atlantic coastline and two visits to our favourite beach, Paradise Beach. She was shown the fishing boats and the catch they had made that day. Because we go so often we tend to take all these sights for granted.
We were fortunate to have raised over £1100 this year through the generosity of our friends. We were able to introduce Jenny to Kumba, who is twenty two, and will start her final year at University next year. We were able to pay the £600 for this. She was telling us that she had done an internship this year and hoped to work in finance or come to England when she has finished her course. Perhaps we will be able to pay for another friend`s daughter, Saina, to go through university then. If Kumba hadn`t done this she would probably have had a number of children by now.
Jargel, her father, has been promoted to Deputy Operations Manager, at the Beach Club. As always, he looked after us and did little acts of kindness. As indeed did others – we were presented with bananas, mangoes and prawns! When we left we gave him all our leftover food. He said his family only have a feast like that when we leave them food.
Richard met up with Baks and Amie, our friends for whom we bought a taxi. Amie was heavily pregnant, their fifth. Amie had a little girl two days after our return and we have spoken to both of them on the phone. The Africell mobile phone network is very cheap and most people have a mobile. They really need one as they have to travel very long distances often on foot. They think we are going out for the Baptism in February but this won`t be possible. The Muslim Baptisms are quite an event!
We have been supporting Fakebba and his family throughout the summer. He started back to work at a restaurant up the road from where we stay, in November. Every time he spied us walking past he appeared and gave us great hugs and smiles! He has fourteen to support so we hope to continue to help them.
Sam, who is the only one Jenny remembered from 2002. He used to be Entertainments’ Manager at the Beach Club. He has suffered ill health off and on for a number of years and is head of his family. He is only in his late thirties and sadly had suffered a stroke earlier this year. He is on the mend and we were able to help him. It was lovely to hear his voice on the phone.
Bakary Jobe used to be the General Manager. He was off work when we visited early in the year with depression so he lost his job. Then his wife was ill for three months and there is no National Health Service. He is broke now and was demoted to Security Manager. He wept when Richard prayed with him and then again when we gave him a large amount of money.
The highlight of the Beach Club`s entertainments is their weekly quiz. Casey, is the Quizmaster, and it is more difficult trying to understand the questions than finding the answers! His pronunciation is strange but sometimes he exaggerates just to make us laugh. Jenny said it was the best quiz ever.
We come home with sadness and some amazing memories and can still see their smiling faces.
The day we came home there was a General Election. We spoke to a lot of young people about how they would vote. The President had seized power in a coup twenty two years ago. There had been peace since but they felt it would be good to have a change as he had been rather dictatorial. He severed all internet and mobile links the day of the election. The President lost and we have been checking the news and it appears that he has verbally conceded defeat but is refusing to give up power. Please pray that the country will continue to be peaceful.
De Colores Eddie
Now something from Andy Warren, the twelfth in a series of reflections on the Emmaus story
“ ….. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27
So, there we are. My last contribution came just before the Brexit vote and this time I’m writing this just before America will vote for their new President.
Both decisions had (or will have) far reaching effects. Despite all the words spoken or written, neither though have done much to encourage us to trust and ‘blindly’ follow.
Since ‘episode’ 11, my beloved Pompey have suffered defeat in the dreaded end of season playoffs and we’ve begun a new season. The highs and lows of hope and expectation all wrapped up in just a few minutes. Those early disciples walking down the road would have been feeling the same and this ‘guy’ who tagged along with them, wasn’t actually helping them get over it as they were made to bring the whole sorry saga up again.
Then, after he let them have their say. Jesus had his.
Jesus needed them to get this off their chest before he could say anything that would be heard. And that is an important message for us all to hear. Sometimes we need to stop and listen before we open our mouths.
On Emmaus after each talk we share a period of silence. That is an important break, an important opportunity just to re-live and re-think, before we charge into a discussion. A time to collect our thoughts and let the important ones stick on our minds.
Many pilgrims possibly don’t realise (until later) just how much the talk’s link together and why they are put where they are in the overall course.
Those two on the Emmaus Road where at much the same stage. They had picked odd bits up, of course they had, but they couldn’t see how it linked together or linked to where they were now.
So Jesus, bless him, gave them this amazing Bible Study as they walked along the road.
From the promise in Genesis to the restoration message of Malachi, Jesus was on a roll as he explained how the prophet’s messages all knitted together and were leading up to this very minute in their lives, leading up to him.
They knew some of it in their hearts, of course they did, but the way Jesus re-introduced these two disciples to the Biblical background of the ‘now’ was an eye-opener. I can imagine them waking with mouths open as they listened, almost punching the air as bit by bit it all seemed to come together, to become real.
And those of us who have been on team, know a little of what that is like as we have seen the change in pilgrims during those 72 hours. Things they knew becoming real.
Like the start of a puzzle, bit by bit the fuller picture appears…. and Jesus is in all the bits somewhere – in the background or now and again nearer the foreground; but he is there.
And in those two walking along, their darkness gradually turned to light
Wow! What a buzz.
And how did that affect them? Well, we’ll have a look at that next time.
In the meantime I hope that Christmas will provide you with the odd buzz now and again; that you’ll discover a bit more of the puzzle of who Jesus is and what he means to you in your life and it will leave you wanting to punch the air; and that in him you’ll find a leader well worth following and putting your trust in.
De Colores Andy Warren
Lastly News of Forthcoming walks that have been brought to my attention
SOUTH EAST MENS WALK 18
This takes place on 30th March-2nd April 2017
I have no further details at present.
EAST MIDLANDS 18 Ladies Walk
This will be taking place from 28th April to 1st May 2017, at Cliffe College, Derbyshire. I have no more information to date except that the Lay Director will be Liz Hudson, and the spiritual director will be Gill Newton. There are 6 pilgrims signed up so far with another 4 possibles to date.
EAST MIDLANDS 19 Men’s Walk
This will be at the Briars, the dates for this are 26th -29th October 2017. The spiritual director will be Leslie Newton, with David Haywood as assistant. Andrew Gadd will be Lay Director.
SOUTH EAST 19 LADIES WALK
The above will take place from 9th -12th November at The Emmaus Centre, West Wickham. Sadly, this will be our last Walk there as the Centre is closing at the end of 2017. A Lay Director will be appointed early in the New Year. Please consider coming on Team and also sponsoring Pilgrims. Just remember how much your own Walk meant to you.
Let us make this last Walk at West Wickham truly memorable (well they always are!) I hope you all have a blessed and peaceful Christmas and my very best wishes for next year.
Please pray for these and any other proposed walks that will take place in the coming year,