Africa News – Pre trip


Hi there.

Scott Paget here, just wanted to share the stuff below with you…

In December 2005 I got an e–mail telling me I had won a competition. The Competition run by Greenbelt Arts Festival in partnership with CMS, (Church Missionary Society) was to take part on the blog set up on the Greenbelt website, (the blog is to reflect the festivals values and ethos all year round.) The competition was to write three 200-word pieces on three issues, Art, Justice and Faith. I had entered, I thought I had done all right; I didn’t think I would win.

I did!

The prize was a trip to Africa for a week or something the do some work or something. I had glanced over the information when I entered but not really thought about it. It is slightly bigger than that.The purpose of this E-mail is give you information about the trip, what I will be doing, How you can keep up to date with us and to ask you to pray for us.

The trip
The trip is a part of the CMS Encounter programme. This programme is an opportunity for Young People (yes, I still qualify) to go to another part of the world and encounter a culture, which is alien. Once there the team do whatever we are asked to do by the local people. But it is set up to be all about relationships – “with God, with local Christians and with your fellow team members.”

Team
I am going out as part of an 8-member team. 5 females, 3 males. We have had two get together weekends and went over a lot of stuff about culture and how we will need to help each other in a foreign culture. The team is Jim and Ruth S (leaders), Alice, Cat, Jenn, Ruth W, Matt and Myself. You can see a picture of us all here.

What are we doing
I leave on Wednesday the 26th July from Heathrow, then fly to Tanzania Via Ethiopia. You can download a word file with a rough schedule for what we are doing out there in the right-hand column. In particular we are plastering a church for 3 days. We are also seeing the work of Andy and Suzie Hart who are mission partners with CMS in Tanzania. I am particularly curious about the Project that turns elephant dung into Christmas Cards. Anyway the rough outline of our time there is for all to see.

What I am doing
A part of winning the Competition, when I come back I will be writing a piece for the DIFD (Department for International Development) Developments Magagzine, on the topics of Trade Justice and Poverty – based on what I see and stories I hear in Tanzania. This will require a lot of reflection, thought and wisdom in order to do the piece justice. I am also contributing at the Greenbelt Festival in a couple of ways this year.

What to Pray for
Well everything really. (You think of it, pray for it.) But specifically, I guess for the Team as we travel from a Western existence to a world that will jar can contrast with our own quite severely. To have unity and strength, in order to support and care for each other in a new situation would be helpful.

For my family I leave behind. Helen and Jacob will also have an experience while I am away. Thank God for how good Helen is with Jacob, but that over an extended period of time strength patience and support would be there for my family.

For me, I don’t really know how I will cope. I think I should be okay but I am prepared for so much to think about that I miss something vital. Pray for clarity of thought, swisdom when thinking about things, and an ability to take it all in. Something about Elisha’s servant comes to mind.

Keeping in Contact
I can get emails while in Scotland if you wish to reach out through the virtual interactive superhighway thingy. In Tanzania I have been advised their will be 2-3 hours electricity a day so e-mailing/blogging may be out of the question. I won’t have a mobile phone so text is also out. The team are aiming to send an e-mail update to people once a week if possible. It will be published at the Team Tanzania Blog. Comments can be left here for the team generally or specific members.

I will also try and get these on my blog somehow!

I am really excited about going to Africa. I suppose I never thought I would have to opportunity to travel there, and to have to opportunity to do this and then possibly contribute to the government’s attitude/ actions directly is a massive opportunity.

Thanks,

Scott Paget