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Thursday, February 08, 2007

I Haven't Thought of a Clever Title for This One

Hello and happy February to you all!

Danny and I are back in England now. We've been back for almost 2 weeks and it has been full speed ahead with all our programs. On Monday we start with our new program, Project Gambia, in which we are educating and equipping a group of teenagers from a local high school for a one-week trip to The Gambia (that's a tiny little country in West Africa). We have 8 weeks to get ready for it. In fact, I don't really want to talk about it at the moment because I've just spent the whole day filling out grant applications and proposals in monotonous detail. It took the fun right out of Project Gambia. Tomorrow I'll be excited about it again, though.

Hey, it snowed like crazy today! Outside is a winter wonderland, the trees are blanketed with a coating of marshmallow, the temperature is a mild minus 2 degrees, perfect for all kinds of outdoor winter fun! Oh wait, I've been inside filling out forms, writing letters and making up projected budgets. Life is so unfair.

Speaking of life being unfair, here's a funny story. I actually wanted to tell you this right from the beginning but, well, I've always had a problem with procrastinating (in a related story - note the last blog entry was like a month ago).

So right now there is a LifeFORCE team travelling the UK. They trained in Canada and now they are doing their mission here. We set up the schedule for them, but we aren't leading the team ourselves (woo hoo). They track around the West Midlands in an eight passenger van with all their luggage, props, media and sound equipment, set and curtains all packed up in an amusing little camper from the late 70's hitched to the back. Anyway, after a week of programs in the lovely little town of Kidderminster, the team packed up the set, the sound and media equipment, the props, and all their belongings except for an overnight bag into the camper last Sunday evening as they were going to be leaving for their next destination early the next morn. They precariously arranged everything into the camper, parked it behind the church, and then proceeded to the pastor's house for tea and crumpets (because that is what you always have here in England, as we all know). A few hours passed and the team decided to return to the church to meet together before the next morning's departure. Upon their arrival to the church they were greeted with a number of firetrucks and police cars lined up and down the street. Smoke billowed from behind the church. They got out of the van. They walked down the sidewalk, around the corner of the church and found...

THE CAMPER WAS ON FIRE!!!!!!

Yeah, the whole thing and all their stuff torched! Apparently, some one (or ones) had broken into the camper, stole all the sound and media equipement and then, to add insult to injury, lit the thing up! The back windows of the church were cracked because of the heat and the firemen said that 10 more minutes and the church would have been gone too! So far, the story has made a couple of papers and the news on the radio!


Take a look at this!








What's Left:

The worst part about it is that nobody had any marshmallows on them at the time of the fire.


Donations of money, clothes, shoes, jackets, and suitcases have already started coming in and the team has handled the whole thing really, really well. In the meantime, though, there are a lot of things to sort out. Most of the teams passports did not survive the fire. They've all been cancelled now but we have had to start the process of replacing them. We also have to get a new set, new props, and new sound and media equipment. Not to mention new means of transporting it around!

On that note, I think I'll go back to filling out grant applications for Project Gambia again.

Until next time - God bless, take care, and remember: Never leave home without a bag of marshmallows.

Sincerely,
~Alycia DeLong