William Mackenzie of CFP took the photo below of myself and Dagmara, who is a Polish lecturer who translated The Dawkins Letters into Polish which will be published later this year. She was so enthusiastic and I hope will now translate Magnificent Obsession. I cannot describe how humbling and encouraging it is to have your work translated into another language and culture. I was not sure it would work but Dagmara says that it is ideal for Poland, especially young people and she has even given it to a couple of her students.
One of the big things about ELF is the food – it seems almost the same for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a huge variety. Today I was faced amongst a myriad of other choices with beetroot soup or horseradish soup or goose soup. Never having had the latter – I went for it. It was as delicious as the caviar with cream cheese or tuna in jelly with vegetables. Most of my meals are spent mentoring people – which is a great way to get to know people in different contexts. Today for example I had a lovely conversation with a fine young pastor from Lithuania.
Another big feature of ELF are the American volunteers. They give of their time sacrificially, are almost always cheerful and without them ELF would not work – at least in its current form. They genuinely have a servant heart. Although sometimes the cultural awareness leaves a wee bit to be desired. I loved the lady who asked me today about whether I worked for UNICEF – I guess she did not recognise one of the most recognisable symbols in the world, the Barcelona shirt!
I wore the aforementioned shirt to my seminar on persuasive evangelism, just to provoke Tom Courtney unto to love and good works. I enjoyed the seminar, especially meeting Michael Ots afterwards and other like minded ‘evangelists’. I also enjoyed having a disagreement/discussion with the seminar facilitator about the nature of atheism in France – it certainly livened things up!
I had to miss the next session because Christian Today had asked me to write a piece on Charles Kennedy. I did because I felt a real sorrow at this death – and our paths crossed in the earlier part of our lives. I could so easily have gone the route he went. You can read the article here – http://www.christiantoday.com/article/charles.kennedy.tribute.so.much.potential.so.much.good.and.yet.so.much.wasted/55211.htm
And then something quite strange happened. We were in the midst of a meeting with some funders who had helped provide funding for our media work and they were asking how it worked. As we were discussing I received a message from a journalist with a very interesting and intriguing proposal. I’m not sure where this might lead but all I can say just now, is watch this space!
In the evening I had two stimulating and encouraging conversations, first with Ruth Naomi Floyd and then with Lyndsay Brown. Two very different people with two very different ministries and yet both part of the glorious tapestry that the Lord is weaving for His Bride.