We are here safely friends, after an eventful journey. Everything was fine until our arrival at the clapham junction of the airways, Istanbul. The weather was more akin to Manchester, and the torential rain seemed to throw the airport into chaos. Having arrived at our gate (212 if I remember correctly) we were then told to relocate to another (303 if I am not mistaken), before the same genlemen raised his hand to propose a trip the other end of the airport (gate 400 and something, I don't remember now - it is all very blury). We did eventually take off an hour and half late, leaving our welcoming commitee standing expectectantly in Odessa for the same length of time.Those of you who know Istanbul airport will know we succeeded in getting our stepometer quota for the month. Praise God it didn't dampen anyone's spirits for 3 reasons. 1) We met a lovely guy who was travelling around europe sharing the good news of a new start in Jesus Christ. I was able to exchange details with our new friend with the promise to pray and keep in touch. Through happenstance in God's timing we had our own little Sunday service outside gate 400 and whatever. 2) John Davenport and Emlyn kept us supplied with confectionary which balanced / complemented the cheese (6 different ways) diet we had recieved from turkish airlines, and 3) the smiles of our welcoming comittee made up for every inch of Istanbul airport we have explored (a number of times).
Here are 5 things we are praising God for today.
1) We have been thrown out of our normal rooms. This is a good thing... Transition house has made significant progress in our absense, both in building work and function. There are some new guests fully enjoying living on the second floor, and so we have been relocated to another part now in use for the first time. Praise God this place feels more like a big community every time we arrive.
2) The work which has been done in our absense is top notch. 3 Ukrainian gentlemen have worked solidly over the last month transforming the basement dining area from less than a shell of a room to a beautuful and trendy place to be. The floor tiling continues today, but this is a picture of what it generally looks like. You will see that the spacers are still in situ in the beautiful parkay type floor.
4.) WE ARE ON TRACK TO FINISH THE BASEMENT, COMPLETE THE BUILD and APPLY FOR A LISENCE BY THE END OF THE YEAR. This is nothing short of staggering considering the extra phases we added to the project.
5) ROB HARRIS brought his new toy for us to play with... a lazer ... which not only gives off a pretty disco effect but saves us hours on marking out new walls and ceiling profiles from a blank canvas. This is the main reason we have had a great start and much progress on our first Monday. Not the best photo but hopefully you can see the clever red line which has transformed our lives.
Emlyn is back in situ with his favourite angle grinder...
This is the "special" grinder that has an "on-off" switch which is
more erratic than Boris Johnson's hairstyle.
We have a great team system in play already, 1 team working on walls in the main back corridor and 1 on the ceiling in the large recreation room. Our Ukranian friends continue to work like trojan's creating tilling which makes even Rob's laser look wobbly.
We have started this morning as we mean to go on...
We woke after a sleep which searched for quality knowing that quantity wasn't an option, (our meal last night of fully stocked Pizza was prepared for us to kick off after midnight - and it was a little rude to travel so far and then retire to bed). We started at 6 uk time with bible study and prayer. It is a great thing when blokes do this together, and you couldn't get a more blokey book of the bible than Joshua. He's a guy with responisbilities bigger than he can handle, but as he trusts a God immensely bigger than his understanding, he discovers that he is walking into the inheritance and priveleges God has already won for him. We are doing the same, our God is doing amazing stuff, and we have the privilege of walking the journey in his massive, good, and worldwide plans. For your prayers, kind wishes and practical support we are deeply grateful. This idea of a transition house was a "crazy big" plan, but it was Gods' plan and so it is nearly there. He finishes everything he starts. Tomorrow we raid the trade stores for new tools, please pray that accelerates the work even quicker from hereon in. We could also ideally do with some running water tomorrow as we havn't had it for the majority of today. From a happy bunch of smelly blokes, much love and appreciation, speak soon, BLOGSKI!