Thursday, May 17, 2007

back in bris

i'm back in bristol after three weeks in ukraine. it was a good trip with the via team, and teams from bristol vineyard, hull vineyard, and vineyard community church, maryland.

mark's posted a bunch of pics on bubbleshare, and i'll try and update my flickr account at some point (although these will just be duplicates of the bubbleshare ones by and large).

the trip was really varied in terms of what we (via) got up to: helping at a training/equipping conference, visiting orphanages, and helping local churches.

one outstanding feature of the trip was that we often knew next to nothing about what we were to do the next day - as a result it felt rather cobbled-together and patchy in terms of 'activity' and 'effectiveness'. however, the more i reflect on this, the more i see how this forced me to abandon my expected outcomes (which were usually based on measurable productivity and progress!). instead, i was then free to examine each moment for what was really going on - often the real action was relationship-focussed, either within the team or with friends we'd just met. this valuable investment of time and energy might have fallen by the wayside had we been able to create, and stick to, a rigid agenda ahead of time (and inevitably outside of the actual context).

this is recognised with hindsight, and it sounds much easier than it was to live through: i was frustrated and felt pretty useless as an 'organiser' for most of the time.