Posts Tagged ‘N.Ireland’

It’s a busy wee year here in N. Ireland! And what prompted me was spotting the poster on the right: perhaps more about the Balmoral review later. For the moment see Slugger O’Toole. We’re into the so-called decade of centenaries: the First World War and especially the battle of the Somme; the Ulster Unionist opposition to Home Rule for Ireland. the Irish Republican Easter Rising… not to mention the sinking of the Titanic! How could anyone miss it? As I mentioned in my recent Who’d be a third class passenger on the Titanic?– the Titanic is even being remembered in the village of Déma in Ivory Coast!

The Titanic Bar in Déma, Ivory Coast

It really has been interesting living in Belfast as N. Ireland people have re-adjusted their thinking about the Titanic from an embarrassing disaster for the reputation of the once world famous Belfast shipyard, to… here’s something we can celebrate. Belfast shipyard built what was then the greatest ship afloat – and as the song says..

Don’t blame me and don’t blame Jimmy

She was alright when she left the Yard!

Of course with world wide interest in the Titanic, who can blame N. Ireland for building on the Titanic story to develop our tourist industry. I touched on all this in a previous blog. My Dad and I went on a very enjoyable Titanic walking tour last year, but I’m afraid all the recent activity around the opening of Titanic Belfast has been overshadowed for me by our nostalgic and very memorable trip to the Kouya New Testament dedication in Ivory Coast.

Mind you if I hadn’t gone, I would never have known that the Titanic was being commemorated in Déma in the middle of Ivory Coast far from the coast and the sea. Indeed when the Kouya team was translating the Book of Acts, there were problems finding terms for all the nautical stuff in Paul’s final journey to Rome.

My favourite is the term for anchor which back translates as “big canoe stopping metal”!

Probably the last photo ever taken of the Titanic

The story about the memorial cruise on the Balmoral retracing the route of the Titanic to mark 100 years since the ship sank – see BBC News article – featured probably the last photograph of the Titanic taken from Cobh in 1912, and has sparked my interest again. So I must go and take a dander round Titanic Quarter sometime this week… and maybe take some photos of my own.

Nice image, this


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Perhaps you’re tired of seeing this mini poster. Or perhaps the image concept intrigues you – do you see yourself in the Wordle? What part could you play in the Bible translation team with Wycliffe Bible Translators?

Well, Wycliffe and Me happened in Belfast last Saturday hosted by Saintfield Road Presbyterian Church – a big thank you to all my friends there! And it was a success!

17 participants came. Some we’ve known for years… others we’ve never met before

  • There was a Spanish & Portuguese languages student who only signed up online on the Friday afternoon and was fascinated by the linguistics and grammar slot
  • There was a farmer with an IT interest and an IT guy with a grammar interest
  • There was a mother of 4 who wants to tell others in her church about what Wycliffe does – and another lady who came all the way from Dungannon for the same reason
  • There was an accountant with a wife interested in Spanish and translation
  • There was an English student wanting to know more about our MA in Field Linguistics
  • There was someone who wants to know more about translation consulting
  • There was a PhD Translation student exploring a dissertation on Bible translation

And then there was the guy who said:

“Please keep me updated by e-mail re Wycliffe Wild Weekends!”

So where did that come from? Well, Craig from Total Mountain Adventures actually… Craig is a friend of mine who was co-leader of the very first Wycliffe Transform Team to Cameroon in 2005. Craig, a younger version, is top left! Where are the rest of you now?

Wycliffe Transform Cameroon Team 2005

We were chatting one day and we thought… what about some adventure based events with a Wycliffe input?

Like the River Bann Canoe Trail – an amazing journey from Lough Neagh to Coleraine: spending the weekend canoeing, camping and cooking together… and hearing the challenge of Bible translation

Like skiing and snowboarding at a Scottish Winter House Party… and hearing the challenge of Bible translation

Like hill walking and some via feratta (hill walking up the side of a steep mountain whilst in a harness and clipped onto a steel cable) along with some shopping and coffee time in the Lake District… and hearing the challenge of Bible translation

So yes, a good day at Wycliffe and Me – and some food for thought about new ways of promoting Wycliffe in the UK or further afield!

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I have just read my daily Bible passage with SU WordLive. Mark is so concise, dramatic, direct in his story telling…

The Calling of the First Disciples   Mark 1:14-20

14After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18At once they left their nets and followed him.

19When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

… and I’m thinking wouldn’t it be great to have someone like Mark (who had first hand experience of Jesus’ teaching and ministry and also learned lots from Peter’s experiences of how Jesus called his disciples) to be part of the Wycliffe UK recruitment team. It looks like it would be so easy.

  • Bump into an IT geek: “Hey, you, follow me and I will make you an IT support person at Horsleys Green.” And off he goes to work with Andy and Patrick – just like that!
  • Meet a Queen’s University French and linguistics student: “Hey, you, follow me and I will make you into a Wycliffe member analysing an unwritten language in Senegal.” And off she goes – just like that!
  • Introduced to an accountant and his wife with an interest in translation in a church I’d never been to before: “Hey, guys, follow me and I will make you useful in Bible translation.” And so they e-mail their resignations, join Wycliffe and head off to… wherever – just like that!

But then I’ve always said that our role is to facilitate the people to whom God is speaking and so we need to be in tune with what the Holy Spirit is doing… and be patient… and let God work.

But wouldn’t it be nice to just walk up to someone and say, “Hey, join Wycliffe!”

Lord, send the people you want along to Wycliffe and Me at Saintfield Road Presbyterian Church, Belfast on Saturday 25 February 2012.

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So there they were all dressed up! What were they waiting for?

The Kimyal people of West Papua were waiting for the New Testament in their language to arrive – and arrive it did last year.

And what am I waiting for? I’m waiting for Wycliffe:Live in N. Ireland in a few weeks time. We will feature the video of this event and then take a look at what is needed for a language group to get the Scriptures in their language for the first time.

350 million people speaking over 2,000 languages are stilling waiting for the first words of Scripture in their heart languages!

If you are in N. Ireland and near Coleraine or Moira – and let’s be honest, anywhere in N. Ireland is near one or both of these towns – please come and join us.

Find out more at our Wycliffe UK website

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Eddie Arthur, Director Wycliffe UK, speaking at Bangor Worldwide 2011

Yesterday evening, I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention in Northern Ireland. To be honest, I’ve never been to anything quite like it before; worldwide is a week long event with meetings in the morning and evening all concentrating on the theme of world mission. What is surprising is that it attracts large crowds and, unusually for missionary events, there is a good smattering of young people. All in all, it was a great event.

So wrote Eddie Arthur in his blog Kouya Chronicle on 24 August after his first visit to Bangor.

Eddie spoke clearly and convincingly as he tackled the question – What use is a Bible to someone who is starving? The subject on Tuesday night was Standing Up for God’s Word. Eddie began by saying that he wanted to talk about how we need to regain a sense of the importance of God’s Word in world mission.

Watch Eddie’s talk below or go to the Bangor Worldwide Vimeo site…

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/28097630″>Eddie Arthur – Wycliffe Bible Translators</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/bangorworldwide”>Bangor Worldwide</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

… or go to the Bangor Worldwide website for a choice of audio. video and powerpoint! The Bangor Worldwide site makes all the main speakers’ talks available quickly and free. Unfortunately there are other Christian conferences within N. Ireland who charge for downloads…

Eddie had come to Bangor the day after flying home from Togo and then had to return to England the next day. I stood in for him on Wednesday morning at the Worldwide prayer meeting where I presented prayer points based on Eddie’s talk and on our Wycliffe UK needs and challenges. I must say that this is a powerful prayer meeting attended by many faithful and knowledgeable Christians who have world mission very much on their hearts. I was very encouraged. I also received many positive comments about Eddie’s talk on the previous evening.

The Bible: the Story everybody needs

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I met a man in a chip shop on Sunday evening who told me he hadn’t eaten all day because he couldn’t tear himself away from the TV watching Darren Clarke winning the Open Championship.

Darren Clarke Open Champion 2011

Rory McIlroy US Open Champion 2011

Graeme McDowell US Open Champion 2010

The N. Ireland press and media has understandably been very excited  about the tremendous success of N. Irish golfers in the past year or so! Today’s Belfast Telegraph is just one of these…

The thing is, though, where Ulster golf is concerned at present, we are starting to think that just about anything is possible. That’s how the magnificent efforts of Darren, Rory and G-Mac have made us feel.

In the last six majors, three times the winner has come from our wee country. That’s a 50% success rate. Unbelievable! To put that remarkable achievement in perspective 1.75 million people live in Northern Ireland amongst a world population approaching SEVEN BILLION.

Golf, unlike many sports, is a truly global game, so each time you tee up at the majors you are taking on the best that this planet can offer. Talk about beating the odds.

US Open winner Rory McIlroy got it right when he declared after Darren Clarke’s famous Open victory that Northern Ireland was the golfing capital of the world.

We have Darren, Rory and Graeme McDowell, who claimed the US Open last year, to thank for that. Previously the only Ulster major champion was the late, great Fred Daly, who ruled supreme at The Open in 1947.

Graeme, Rory and Darren have done us proud and I hope they will continue to do so!

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… and just in time for the NI Assembly Elections!

Peter Lynas, a former barrister, political researcher and theology graduate of Regent College in Vancouver has recently joined us here at Evangelical Alliance NI as the new national director and will be combining this role with his position as operations director at Causeway Coast Vineyard. Peter previously worked for the Relationships Foundation, a public policy think tank in Cambridge, and led the faith@work programme at Belfast Bible College. He brings with him a great passion for uniting Christians in mission, especially in the workplace and speaking into government, society and the media. Peter commented on his appointment, “The Evangelical Alliance is about evangelical unity, not for its own sake, but to point people to God. Similarly, working in advocacy is not about protecting our Christian sub-culture. Rather it’s about wanting to transform society. That’s why I am excited to be joining the team in Northern Ireland.”

For more information on Peter click on the EA website here

This short video from Peter, standing on the one mile long approach to Stormont where our N. Ireland Assembly meets, has some thoughtful comments as we Nornirners go to vote next Thursday.

Nice one, Peter!

[Peter will be continuing EANI’s role of helping MAP – the Mission Agencies Partnership in N. Ireland and I look forward to working with him.]

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