Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Changes are a-foot

Over the next two weeks several things are about to happen:

1) I am running a marathon on Sunday.
I honestly have no idea how this is going to pan out as I have never run 26 miles before and I'm pretty knackered after 18, but I am going to attempt it at any rate.

The training has been long and arduous but there have been some big benefits. I have learnt that I need time to think and just be and running is a good way to take this time to think. I have also learnt how psychological running is. My mental state has a massive impact on how I run and if that's the case with running then it must be so with most other things too. This sounds like common sense but I don't think I've seen it so clearly before.

This is also true the other way around running helps me improve my mental state. If I give my brain time to unwind while running I can cope better with stress when it comes.

This is not to say I have been a happy runner throughout my preparation, feeling the limits my body has reached, going out in the cold and the dark to run when all instincts tell you it's bonkers. That's all been hard.

That all being said I have also felt so much support. Mark has worked around my runs which is no small thing if you are out for 3 hours. He's looked after kids organised fundraising events and planned and measured routs. Friends have sponsored me, worked hard at events and backed me even though they think it's nuts. I have learnt that I am not as isolated as I have assumed myself to be.That has been gift.

2) We are getting some chickens
This is very exciting. I have really loved starting to grow stuff in the garden and keeping some chickens seems a really good next step. Gardening seems to give me some sense of rhythm and spirituality in a way that I haven't managed through prayer in the 'regular' way. After looking at a million different chicken houses I have finally found a model that will fit and in two weeks I can go collect our new pets.

3) Foster Children are arriving!!
They will arrive next Monday. This is huge and is after a years journey through the system.Two little people that will become part of our family for a time. It's exciting and also frankly scares the crap out of me. We have a pretty good family, I think. The plan was to share this and give a home and hospitality to other children. Right now though, I'm just scared.

The care of these little people will coincide with my working hours going down, so life patterns will change. The fear of this throws me back onto prayer which is no bad thing. I am excited and scared all in one go. Lets see what these new personalities bring to us.

Lots of new things then. Lets see how it all goes......

Thursday, 31 March 2011


In February we received a call from a detention centre about a young girl called Blessing. She is 16 and has been trafficked into the country. By the time the call came she had been moved to the third detention centre while her case was being handled.

I made contact with her and over the next couple of weeks she came to our groups and into our homes. The home office said she is 24 ( that way she is deportable) so she was waiting for a formal age assessment.

Over the two weeks she told me that her mum died when she was 4 and her father left her when she was 5. From then on she had been on her own until she got into prostitution. She had then been trafficked through her Madame into the UK. She was picked up at the airport by the boarder agency. Three detention centres later I met her. She was pleased to be there on the whole and was hopeful about how things would turn out. The only thing that seemed to bother her was money. She had brought in with her $700 for the traffickers. That money terrified her.

Blessing was due to come to my house for a meal on a Saturday in February. She never made it. She disappeared on the Friday night. None of her things went with her, nothing was taken from her room, except the $700. It’s likely she was picked up by the traffickers.

There have been no campaigns for Blessing, no news reports or searches. She is not that important it seems. The police also said that if they heighten concern the traffickers may kill her as she is very disposable. In the end though she would probably be killed in any case.

So we are all going on as normal. It seems you don’t have to scratch at our systems and services very hard to find that our justice is but a veneer. Thin and selective in what it covers. Our underbelly is readily exposed but we don’t really want to think about it because that would make us feel nervous.

Blessing at 16 is now either serving as a prostitute or is already dead. Apart from me and you no one seems to know anything about her.