The Lamb of God Community   

A Community of Disciples on Mission in New Zealand

 

 

REFLECTIONS - Monthly reflections by Roger Foley - Senior Co-ordinator - Lamb of God

 

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

 

September 2007

REFLECTION- A totally unexpected blessing!

Jeremiah 31 [3,4a] ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt …’

Since the sudden and unexpected deaths of our children some years ago, Veronica and I have needed to face the daunting reality that God has His timing and His plan and there is really nothing we can do except journey the path of yielding all to Him. At times that has not been easy. However there are times of special blessing and we have just received an unexpected, and most welcome, ‘blessing from the past’.

Apparently some years after Danny’s death, and just months before Glen, Louise and Steve died in a road accident, a mother arrived at the Lamb of God and started to connect with our Christchurch Branch. She had four children, including a little baby, and none were baptized. Apparently she asked Veronica and I to be God-parents to the baby and the next youngest, and we said yes. It was apparently a lovely service at the local Catholic Parish. Shortly after this the family moved away from Christchurch. BUT within months the stress and trauma of the road accident, as well as many other things, completely erased all memory of this event and my being a God-father to the baby and her little sister. Until fifteen years later!

Then two lovely young girls started to connect with our Encounter Jesus Youth group in Blenheim and they attended Summer Oasis 2007, and came again this year. This stirred recall in Veronica and eventually she told me who they were. But I could recall nothing and although I had greeted and talked with the girls at Oasis, I had no idea they knew who I was, but I have since found out they did! Since Summer Oasis we have visited Blenheim and the girls have shown us a photograph of me, holding the baby, at the baptism. I must say I was moved and at first felt a deep sense of sadness for these ‘lost years’. But, the Lord had in mind something pretty special. Both girls are registered on our Youth Mission Team to Fiji later this month- and yes, Veronica and I are supervising the youth team! I am determined to try to make this a ‘special time’ for the girls as we discover together ‘something of what was lost, but is now found’.

Roger Foley: Senior Coordinator

 

 

August 2007 

REFLECTION- ‘Rural and Urban Lamb of God’

Okay, I am in trouble already because yes I know that Nelson is a ‘smaller city’ but in running a fairly large leadership training conference there, it does have a sort of ‘rural Lamb of God feel’. And that I really love & appreciate.

The largest branch in the national community is about twenty five to thirty times bigger than our Nelson Branch; it has big screens, owns projectors and computers, uses large auditoriums, and has many skilled music teams, a cluster, and much more.

But there is also something really special the Lord is doing in our smaller centres across the land. This ‘odd’ mix makes us who we are called to be by the Lord- ‘one people, multi-locational, with one cheque book’. Nelson worked hard, they had a venue to set up, electronics to hire and install, airport pick-ups to attend, many people to accommodate and feed- and did it all well.

But it didn’t finish there. The Saturday evening ‘wind down’ was superbly organized and a first for many watching the All Blacks play South Africa with a choice of two lounges, two big screens, at least five choices of ales and wine, plus pizza and food seemingly coming in an endless stream. Well done Nelson in putting on an excellent PTI (Pastoral Training Institute) taught by Bruce Yocum for over eighty leaders from seven Lamb of God branches, plus our friends from the Light of Christ.

But- there was even more! I am well used to the Christchurch Branch hosting a hundred or so youth in the cluster every January these past nearly twenty years. Great as it is, when they have all gone home we sort of ‘sigh with relief’ at a job well done but we are tired and wonder ‘how can we ever do this again next year’. But you guys were on the ‘phone next day and asking, ‘Please, may we host it again next year ………….?’

Veronica and I are grateful to the Lord that we are called to be a part of such a Christian Community, the Lamb of God.

Roger Foley: Senior Coordinator

 

  July 2007

REFLECTION- ‘I never thought it would be like this ---’

I am still in the Acts of the Apostles and I am currently studying passages concerning Paul’s difficulties and trials from the point that Agabus the prophet took Paul’s belt, tied his hands and declared ‘The Holy Spirit says- in this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and hand him over to the Gentiles’, and Paul’s calm response ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready …….’

The weeping came from those he loved and it was breaking his heart, not the trials and testing he knew lay ahead in his journey with God.

That has me thinking on how am I going? Am I ready? If I am to be honest I need to say I have often asked in my silent prayer- ‘How much more can I take, when will testing and trial end? Are you there?’ We have had a number of stressful times in our journey, especially the loss of four children and a daughter in law all in a seven to eight year period. That had a lasting effect on me in what I often refer to as the ‘wiping of data from the hard drive in my head’. Many events, some important to friends, family and community, are simply a vague haze or completely forgotten. Some have assured it was God’s way of protecting me from losing my mind during those years of stress. Maybe yes, or maybe no.

Veronica and I have just been overseas and during that time received notices to say two long standing community members had died, and four other families had parents pass to the Lord. Since arriving home we are now also standing with two other families caring for mothers close to the end of this earthly journey, and a wife and son caring for a loved husband and father. All three are suffering advanced cancer. We seem surrounded by grieving and heartache. But we need to understand that God is present in all of these circumstances.

I have two things to share from our own family experience of ‘walking through the valley of the shadow …’

We should NOT simply do nothing, feeling awkward in what to say or do. We need to be ‘with’ our brothers and sisters, making time to pray, send a note, leave a small gift, and visit if appropriate. However we should not offer what we think is profound Biblical or other insight. There is no need, just be there. And secondly, as Paul said ‘I am ready …’ let us all prepare ourselves for whatever lies ahead in our own journey so that we can say the same.

Roger Foley: Senior Coordinator

‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die

 

June 2007

REFLECTION- ‘Travel: Walk-lag, boat-lag and jet-lag…….’

My Scripture reading and study is currently in the Acts of the Apostles. When I became a committed Christian, a local pastor friend encouraged me to start reading the Bible every day and he recommended I start with the Gospel according to Mark, and then go to the Acts of the Apostles. Today I am re-reading Paul’s second missionary journey.

What a man, what a constitution and what determination! I wonder if he ever suffered any form of walk-lag, horse-lag or maybe boat-lag! I doubt it very much, he was tough!

I have travelled a great deal this past month but I am sorry to report that a good deal of my focus was trying to deal with my regular ‘affliction’ of jet-lag! Stage one was a thirty five hour trip - Christchurch, Sydney, Singapore, London then Manchester to take Veronica to visit her mother who is unwell. Four days later, and still dealing with the eleven hour time shift, I was away again on a thirteen hour sector to London then Miami. Overnight Miami and then the final two hour sector to the Sword of the Spirit meetings in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Nine days later and still suffering the now sixteen hour time shift, I was back - Santo Domingo to Miami to London to Manchester. The Miami to London sector was interesting in that the aircraft was parked away from the gate access at Heathrow. Ten minutes later armed police boarded, passed my seat towards the back, and took a passenger off. After that we were allowed to the gate to disembark. No explanation was given. And yes, I missed my Manchester connection!

I was there to represent Lamb of God at four sets of The Sword of the Spirit meetings in Santo Domingo. Robert Van Doorn was also to have attended but his mother [Mia] was called to the Lord just prior to Robert’s departure. I attended the Christ the King Association council, next day the Sword of the Spirit Assembly, and day three the Association of Ecumenical Communities Assembly. The final four days of meetings expanded to two hundred and seventy leaders for the International Coordinators Meeting. It is very clear the Sword of the Spirit is moving ahead ‘on all fronts’. Praise be to the Lord.

Roger Foley: Senior Coordinator

 


Copyright © 1996 Lamb of God Community. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 25, 2008.