The Rest is Still Unwritten…

stories of hope, colour, life and question marks

Mumbai memories… November 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — judehill @ 7:37 am
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Taj hotel

Taj hotel

Sometimes I think when you try to link images you see with reality there’s always a disconnect.  And I’ve been feeling that so strongly as I watch footage of the Mumbai massacre – the city’s 9’11 – as it’s being dubbed…

Just over a month ago those images of the Taj Mahel Hotel were real-life images for me.  A group of us were doing some travelling in India, we spent time in Mumbai and dandered past the impressive landmark countless times on the way from our hotel to the city centre.  On one of the days we couldn’t resist a look inside the opulent building and even treated ourselves to drinks there.  I remember feeling slightly uneasy because you’re sitting in these swanky surroundings, in this plush building, and yet just outside is another world where poverty is often very visible among the heat, noise and craziness of the city.

I keep comparing my holiday photos to the burning images of the Taj hotel and I keep picturing the daily chaos of life that usually goes on in the area surrounding it.  The Indian Gate – a key landmark in Mumbai – is just opposite the hotel and it’s always teeming with people.  I just can’t image the confusing scenes that must have broken out in the wake of this week’s horrific attacks.

They’re saying Mumbai is like a ghost-town, which must be so surreal for its people who are so accustomed to its bustle, colour and vitality, but who are haunted now by images of terror.

 

A shift… November 19, 2008

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‘Rumbling are more felt than heard and certainly never seen.  They come to you through the soles of your feet into the depth of your soul.  Only then do they open the eyes of your heart.  They speak of a shift that is about to take place.’

(Erwin McManus)

They were just four kids who’d come to a church service.  He was just a guy who was searching for something and who’d wandered in off the street.  But to me these people represent a shift that is happening, a change that is coming to pass.

I love watching these kids swig from their drink cartoons, munch their way through hideously coloured sweets and laugh out loud during the service.  I love seeing them dig deep in their pockets and call the guy back who’s collecting the offering because they’ve found 10p.  I love the way they come in and be themselves.  I love that one of them fixed the powerpoint.  I love that another of them called out to two older ladies as they left to wish them a good week.  I love the way they’re making this Church their own.

They were just four kids who’d come to a church service.  He was just a guy who was searching for something and who’d wandered in off the street.  But together they represent the seed from which a new concept of Church will grow in their area.

 

Changes November 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — judehill @ 5:33 pm
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So I’ve been totally pathetic at keeping anywhere up to date in the blog world…and it’s strange because my whole life has kinda shifted since I last wrote!

My time in India was full of so many amazing experiences.  I’m really drawn to the fact that it is such a colourful country where the unexpected nearly always interrupts your daily plans.  It made me realise how ordered we can be about things back home – and how spontaneity is such a cool gift.  We stayed in quite a few stunning places which threw up plenty of blissful moments – where you were sipping your pineapple juice while overlooking palm-tree lined beaches and sparkling ocean views.  In contrast to that then was the travelling  – the crowded overnight trains where you woke up to the sound of babies screaming and people all around you, the sweat-inducing journeys where you were bumped to death in the back of a taxi.  But it took all those experiences to make the trip so memorable.

Back home then but not a return to normality for me.  In the last couple of weeks I’ve started a new workplace and moved up to Woodvale – it’s been both exciting and very strange.  I think both shifts have been harder than I expected and especially in the last week I’ve really struggled to find myself in both new situations.  I’ve had my doubts and fears and tears.  And yet I see all this newness totally as a God thing but I guess no-one said it was going to be easy.  Think I’m starting to turn a corner with the house – especially when you get familiar faces at the door – and am starting to feel a few connections form in work.

So Im really glad to have made it to the weekend and am so excited about going to hear The Swell Season tonight with Rick and Sarah.  Aside from listening to the lovely Mr Hansard it’ll be cool to spend time with my little bro and soon to be new sister – who have created their own piece of amazing news this week!!

 

India October 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — judehill @ 5:04 am

Am writing this post from Hebron School high up in the mountains of southern India…Having an awesome trip so far – so much to take in – my head is at near bursting points with sights, sounds and crazy experiences.

Mumbai was our first stop-off (after traumas with missing bags and a missed flight!) It’s an amazing place – arranged around a coastline – and from a distance could almost pass for an American city.  But then on closer inspection everything changes.  Crazy traffic, people everywhere, delipidated buildings, colourful markets, glaring poverty, flashy wealth.  To walk around the city is to experience its in-your-face nature with its distinctive and sometimes oppressive smells while all the time stall-holders vye for your attention. 

One story that stands out was a little girl who pursued me up up the street, weaving through the crowds with me for about five minutes, tapping me on the hand, asking me carefully primed questions, looking for money.  It was pretty obvious she’d been trained to do that.  In the end she pointed to my water bottle and I gave her that.  But it gutted me to think that this is her life and that as a child she faces countless rejections every singe day as she pounds a pavement tagging on to passing strangers.

AFter Mumbai we moved on to Hebron to see Louise after completing the most breathtaking but hairy journey high into the mountains.  Up here it’s a different world – a bit of an oasis where we’ve reacquainted ourselves with rain!

Feeling pretty drained today – I guess there’s just been so much to take in and it’s all been pretty non-stop.  But I am loving the adventures along the way.  Tomorrow we move on to face a couple of mega train journeys before we end up in Goa. 

More updates and stories to come when i get home….

 

It’s time… September 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — judehill @ 9:48 pm

So tomorrow I walk away from my job for the last time…it’s a very strange feeling…

I’m totally ready to do it and know it’s the right thing but it’s the people who make this hard.  I’ve met alot of really amazing, fun and interesting people through my work and it will gut me to leave them.  While I’ve obviously had my frustrations with work, I’ve also had the coolest experiences and some of the best banter there. 

But it’s definitely time to go…and many of my work friends have left a real legacy in my life which I can carry with me.

And then on Saturday – im off to India!!!

 

My prodigal song September 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — judehill @ 8:13 pm

Five years ago when I was in the Philippines I went into a random music store and bought a random CD.  I’d never heard of the group or listened to any of their material – but something that day made me pick up their album.

The group are called ‘Stephen Speaks’, the album is ‘No More Doubt’, and there is this one track on it which affects me to my very soul.  Do you know when you get a song that just sums stuff up for you? Well this is that song for me. 

So I lost track of the CD…hadn’t heard the song in years and then this week I got handed a copy of it by a friend.  I guess it’s cool when you can look back and know how far you’ve been brought – and this song showed me that.  And it’s like it has now grown with me to become even more an expression of my story.  I can’t fully explain it and I don’t want it to even make sense fully to me – but as I get ready for new stuff happening in my life it just feels like my song. 

***

“What’ll She Look Like”what’ll she look like when she opens her eyes
and sees what she wants to see
instead of this cold mirror’s lies
and all the pieces complete
she says with a sign
“I think I’m ready…”
what’ll she sound like when she opens her mouth
and all the phrases sound right
as they fall out
and she says “yes” and she’s not
scared of the sound
she says she’s ready
will she be soft will she be strong
will she be ready to be wrong
will she move too fast or wait too long
will she look me in the eyes
what’ll it feel like when she opens her heart
and finds that there just might be
a small missing part
and whether with or without me
she has to start getting ready
what’ll she look like when she opens her eyes
will she see just what I see
will it be a surprise
to see that she hasn’t changed,
her eyes are just a little wider now
and she’s getting ready…

 

 

A rainbow of emotions and it’s only Tuesday… September 10, 2008

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Expectant…excited…confused…encouraged…scared…pumped…freaked out…inspired…blown away…doubting…dreaming…

Just a tiny fraction of some of the emotions which have been circuiting my body and mind in the last week.

So I handed in my notice – totally a God thing.  So I’ve agreed to move up to Woodvale – totally a God thing.  Now I’m standing post-decisions looking out on a new vista which is both really beautiful yet really unsettling.

I hate that fear is even there…but I love love love the new angle to life God’s given me…and the exciting new views ahead.  Just totally praying I have the faith to go do this.

But above all else I am totally learning that Jesus is the dream-giver and the One who then brings little seeds of dreams to Life. I love that!  And when I re-read through old journals and see how He is bringing stuff to pass in my life I am beyond humbled. 

 It makes me wonder what dreams of His are out there for friends of ours, communities we’re a part of and nations we live in – how can we help see them come to Life?