Friday, 12 April 2013

My Team(s)

Hello again,

So I thought I'd let you guys know about what I get up to over here in far flung foreign climes!
My roles over here are as Connect Team Leader, and also currently as Production Manager. For those of you who know me from Freedom Church Hereford, you may well know that I was a part of the VIP team and also on the Baking Team. Needless to say, my roles have changed a lot in the last few months, and I've developed a load of skills I never thought I would have. Production-fizzin-Manager!!! Still making me laugh!

The exciting thing has been that as I've stepped up in those areas, I've seen God challenge my willingness to obey, to learn and to grow. I've also had my ability to lead challenged, and wow, that's a learning curve and a half! We were so blessed when we started Freedom Church Siem Reap to partner with a local team from Pastor Chhay's church. This team had been led and taught by Pastor Jan and Marleen in the 3 months leading up to the rest of us arriving, and brought such passion to the team as we started the buildup to launch. I had several great team members in the Production and Connect Teams, and began to learn to lead. And I learned a lot through that process. Other team leaders showed by example how to love the person and not see them as a project, that when we encourage and lead with love we see the most growth, and Jan shared the great principle that when something goes wrong, the responsibility lies mostly with the leader, and their communication. All of these examples from the leaders around me have challenged and encouraged to get the best from my team by wanting the best FOR them, getting vision for the individuals within my teams, and letting go when that vision means that my team is not where they need to be. So I've gone from the at very start having two teams with combined numbers of 5 volunteers, to now having a team of one. And that's been humbling. The biggest lesson from that has been that it's so much better to let go and let God take out people who He wants in other places, and then trust that He will bring the right people in and grow the teams again.

Before you all panic that no-one is on Production and no-one is being connected with, we do have the awesome Socheat who has stepped up to become the new Production Manager, and take over from me This will release me to grow the Connect Team, and invest more heavily in getting people rooted into Freedom, and release Phil more into Worship Leading, as he has been walking me through the new skills I've needed. We're currently handing over Production Managing to Socheat gradually, given that this legendary armour bearer is our key translator and during the Sunday event is busy making us English speakers make sense. As I'm currently operating as the sound and media side of production, 'managing' the team currently consists of staying focused and giving myself a good talking to if I get stressed or panicked! Obviously we're not expecting Socheat to simultaneously operate words, creatives, music, wave at the Rosana lighting guy*, talk to the venue staff backstage and translate all at the same time, so we're aiming to train up a team to take on various production roles that he can then oversee. It's a really exciting time, we're expectant for it to go to a whole new level under his leadership, and excited for the release that it will bring to other areas within the campus. What it does mean is that we need that influx of strategic people willing to Get, Own and Carry the vision and take on Production as their area. any prayers you've got on that one would be awesome! As well as Production, I need at least one person to join me on Connect, as I currently run that by myself. My vision for that team is for it to grow to at least 4 people, who can serve on alternate weeks, and for each week to be led by a local volunteer, and for me to step back and take a Co-ordinating role, and release local guys to take ownership. This is such an exciting vision for the team, and I'm excited to see it come to fruition as volunteers step up.

So as you may gather, I'm basically trying to put myself out of a job! :)
During the week, I'm just about to start working on Scriptwriting for Boomtown creatives again, a fun, and incredibly challenging task as the Freedom Movement expands and the creatives need to relate to an expanding sphere of cultures. I had a hoot writing and filming the Pirate series, and can't wait to see the finished result of the next series to be written. Around that I'm now teaching two Pilates classes a week, with varying levels of attendance and am aiming to put some more practice in to both my Pilates and also my vocals so that some of the team can make the most of opportunities to perform gigs locally too.  I've also got an exciting opportunity to work on a secret project! ooh! Intriguing! You may hear more about that in the future, but for now, I better get back to actually working on it, otherwise it won't happen at all!

I hope this feeds your imagination a little, excited you to know what we're up to and gives you some prayer fodder too!
With heaps of love, and a hope you kept up with the race from subject to subject and thought to thought!

(and the ever-so handsome Phil!)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

In Sickness and in Health

Hope I didn't have you worried with that title!!
The search for my love of writing is on. I used to love creative writing, and could go on for reams and reams about imagined places and made up creatures. The time has definitely come to resurrect that old passion, and you my friends shall be the guinea-pigs... starting with that title, it's more creative than saying 'some of us have been a bit poorly you know'

But yes, some of us have been poorly. The joy of cheap eating out at some of the food stalls is that you tend to share your dining table with others... I had two frogs sat under my plastic chair the other day - waiting for the bugs above my head to knock themselves out on the light hanging from the roof and fall helplessly to the ground. I won't give you all the details, but it's fair enough to say that you guys should be really grateful now for food hygiene laws in Britain. They might be annoying at times, but boy, do I miss them! We've seen while we were looking round some flats and houses that a common thing in Cambodia is to have a WC coming straight off the kitchen. Again I won't elaborate further, but it's clear why a few of us have had tummy bugs at various points. Hanc especially had a really vicious bout of illness, and had to get serious treatment, so for all I joke, and 'save you from the details' we could really do with continued prayer covering the team's health. Where we currently live we don't really have many choices for what to do for food - eating out is a must because we don't have our own kitchen, and so we get in the habit of looking for some of the cheaper places to keep costs down, understandably.

The other thing is the heat - it's very easy to get dehydrated, or a bit burned, just because the climate requires so much more energy for doing normal things. Add that to the fact that we all now cycle several miles a day at least, having previously not had to, it means tiredness can set in quickly.

That said, we've seen answered prayer in return to health over each of us, but this is not an area we are happy to accept continuing attack in. We know that to be fully effective here, we need to be fit and well. We're thinking creatively about food choices, improving our fitness and getting so much better at keeping hydrated. We're upping our game on the practical side of things, and have seen God move in the Spiritual. So this is a very little blog, but a definite request to stand with us in prayers of protection and health. We know we walk in favour as children of God, and we are so excited and honoured to be a part of the change in lives we see around us. God is good and on the move. We know this nation will be changed, because what God has done in our lives, bringing freedom, purpose and new hope, He can do in all of us, regardless of nation or nationality. Stand with us team as we step out.
Thank you!

With love!