The alarm went at 7am (actually it would have done but we were both up shortly before it). We were picked up by our driver Joseph (based at TECT, the Bible College next door), with Sylvanus and Sallu and whisked off to Wellington, after a brief visit from James Davies to set us up with the internet (erratic, but thankfully present).
Wellington is a relatively new church / secondary school at the top of a long treacherous climb not far from Allen Town on the Peninsula road. I was looking forward to the walk up the hill – half an hour stroll up an impassible track surrounded by magnificent views of the river and mangroves – after the posterior numbing caused by the long journey yesterday. Joseph, however, set out to do the impossible, and drive all the way in his four-by-four. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to wondering what would happen if the car rolled! Miraculously we made it – even more impressive was the way he later drove down with seven of us in the car, four in the back and three in the front… The church had been painted since last year, and we were greeted by the children with a sketch about the importance of education and a presentation by Rev. Charles Moinina. We also received the first list of ‘constraints’ but now I’m no longer Chairman this doesn’t worry me so much!
The school at Allen Town continues to grow. A wonderful place, it always impresses me how many children it serves with its Nursery (as always white faces sets a number of toddlers crying), Primary, Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary classes. The buildings are looking tired now and are in need of some renovation. As Head of the Secondary School, Lovetta M’Bayo has done sterling work erecting temporary buildings for them to use, but I fear when the rain comes these will be next to useless.
We next headed to the Shepherds Hospice for lunch and more importantly to meet Gabriel Madiye, a Connexional man who has been trying to help with some of the ‘political’ problems we have faced recently (one of the reasons for our visit). This was to prove a most fruitful and constructive time – thank you to those who have been praying for us regarding this issue. A constructive footing for further discussions regarding our future relationship has now been put in place.
Finally we headed to Christ Church, Hastings. This is one of my homes from homes in Sierra Leone; a ‘thin place’ as the Celtic Christians would have said, where heaven and earth are close. The welcome is always relaxed and friendly and I have always left encouraged. It was especially nice to met up with Theophilus Nicol and Reuben Dove who met us there too. Reuben needs no introductions. Theophilus is a fellow minister, and fellow Liverpool fan, and now the Assistant General Superintendent.
Home by 4.15pm! Sallu stayed on for a drink and chat. It has been particularly nice to get to know him. He is a quiet man, and I haven’t really had the chance to chat in the past. It is good to at last have a personal relationship with him.
After dinner, it was on with the computer to hold stuttering Skype calls with the families and to discover who Crawley Town had drawn in the FA Cup (Man Utd. as Gordon had correctly predicted) and whether or not Torres had left Liverpool! Looks like he has, but with a number of other signings to compensate?