Wonderful Ukrainians

It is amazing how in the short space of a week it is possible to feel so much love, hope and
affection for people that you have never met before.  I met many great people during this past week at the YMCA Youth Unify camp in Poland and was most deeply moved through the immense privilege of getting to know an amazing group of people from YMCA Ukraine – specifically Kiev, Lutsk, Odessa and Kharkiv.  They really ambushed me with their friendship and encouragement.  I wish to use this blog post for two simple reasons:

  1. To honour their faithfulness to their nation, the YMCA and, most importantly, to God.  They work tirelessly in their home towns sacrificing time, money and man
    y other things to serve young people.  Their hunger to understand and know Christ is inspiring.  Love and humility just pours out of them.
  2. To call you to pray for the nation of Ukraine which remains in the midst of such violence and a heartbreaking war.  This video shows four of the volunteers from YMCA Ukraine sing a haunting prayer for the peace of their nation. You may wish to use the song as a tool to lead you into praying for the peace of Ukraine.

It’s Half-Term!

I’m really looking forward to this week – just got back from an inspiring and, dare I say it, life changing weekend in Germany and Poland with the YMCA and now it’s just me and Anya at home together for the whole of half-term!

It’s going to be a great week, I have one or two ideas for what to do but I thought I’d ask Anya what she wanted to do.  Bless her, her answer was, “You know when we go to the cash and carry….can I ride on top of the trolley!?”  I’m really proud of her that she is satisfied with such simple pleasures.

We’re off to go and get an extra ingredient for baking now and I will do my best to give her a wonderful, memorable week.  I really believe that some of the best gifts we can give our kids are shared memories together.  They can be simple, silly times together but I think they are worth so much more than expensive presents.

We’re also both looking forward to having the luxury of time so that we can do some Bible study and praying together.  Such a privilege to be a dad and I really don’t want to take it for granted.

Where is Montenegro?

Where is Montenegro people ask?

The answer of course is that Montenegro is at the top of England’s group!  I must say I am extremely proud of Montenegro, I love that country so much!

I think a draw was probably a fair result but it was clearly a more useful point for Montenegro than England.  The difference between the actual result and a win for England was the same as the difference in the passion between the two teams.

Group H

  1. Montenegro   14pts
  2. England   12pts
  3. Poland   8pts
  4. Ukraine   8pts
  5. Moldova   4pts
  6. San Marino   0pts

There is only one nation in the world who has played England at least three times and never lost…..any ideas!?  Not bad for a country whose population is less than the number of registered footballers in England!

I’m not sure how long the video below will stay on YouTube but if you want to relieve some of the passion from last night click below:

 

Walkout at Iran leader’s speech

The reaction of the delegates in this clip makes me ashamed to be Western.

I have been dismayed that the UN anti-racism conference is getting such flack from Western diplomats.  Before Iranian leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took to the stage today the conference had already been boycotted by the US, Israel, New Zeaand, Canda, Poland, Australia, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands because the conference had likened Zionism to racism.  And soon into the contoversial Middle East statesman’s speech the French delegate walked out to cheers from the pro-Israeli contingent in the audience because Ahmadinejad referred to the Israeli government as racist.

I struggle to understand how anybody could begin to argue against claims that both Zionism and the Israeli government are racist.  The ideal of Zionism and the state of Israel are attempting to wipe the Palestinian nation from the face of the earth.  You can’t get more racist than that.  And the attitude of the Western leaders makes me sick as it infers there is no hope of dialogue let alone peace.  Perhaps we need a big shift in the world order so that Western leaders have less power to spoil things for everybody else.