Well hello. It’s been a long time since I posted anything hasn’t it! Well, it’s a new year and a new start and I feel I have a few new things to reflect on, so I thought I would try and start blogging again, more for my own benefit than anyone elses! I am not presuming that I have anything particularly profound to share, but I do feel that by writing my reflections I assist my own thought-processes, and in the midst of that there may be one or two things that help you ponder your own situations also … so let’s rock and roll!
Over the last 18 months or so I have been on a process of discernment concerning an invitation to become an elder of a group called Servants, (an elder is a kind of voluntary advisor). I have known of their commitment to live in slum communities in Asia for some time, and enjoyed a rich season when their former UK coordinator, Helen Sidebotham, helped key contributors of several UK national organisations focussed on serving and learning from urban priority areas, meet together to build friendship and share ideas. Servants’ values have always resonated with Urban Expression‘s and so when the invitation to consider becoming one of their international elders came I knew it was something I should give serious thought to.
The discernment process required a visit to one of their international teams, and a foot operation delayed this longer than I hoped, but eventually in October I went to visit one of their teams in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Living with a friend of the team in their slum community was a privilege and a deep opportunity for learning and I feel that there are several things worth reflecting on.
I have subsequently said yes to becoming an elder, and so 2015 sees me learning more about the people involved in this humble organisation and finding ways to support the volunteers who are choosing to live in some of our most densely populated areas of the world. Over half the world already lives in cities, (see an interactive map here) and in the next two decades this will rocket to three-quarters of the entire population, with slum communities exploding in size and estimates of a third of the world being in constant movement. So the Servants’ teams are ahead of the curve in many ways and there is much to learn from them. I look forward to this opportunity and will try and share some initial reflections over the coming weeks.