Sunday 31 August 2008

es vedra

i went with the last team to Es Vedra. It's really beautiful. The rock is apparently the 3rd most magnetic place on the planet and there are lots of myths surrounding it. The cove below is called Atlantis and is also quite famous but you gotta climb down the cliff to get to it!We went to see the view from one of the remaining watchtowers (there used to be ones on every high point around the island). It was good to be up high. The new blog title photo is from there. I like standing on the edge of high places. it's a bit of an addiction. i know other people hate to watch! :-)

Thursday 28 August 2008

jars of clay (continued)

i like it when things (that you've been thinking about) tie together. just read this tonight in "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw:

"Yahweh continues to be careful to choose the weakest, most unlikely characters to be the heroes of the liberation story, lest we be tempted to think we did it ourselves, with our own power or might or ingenuity. It is clear that God was the one fighting for these people [the Israelites] whom no one else would fight for. God can use the sea to swallow up armies, and God can use music worship and dance to topple the walls of fortified cities like Jericho". (page47).

shipwrecked sunrise

shipwrecked is a party on a boat, mainly attended by workers, which leaves at 6:30 am from San Antonio and goes along the coast until about 10:30am. so... dancing on deck to a DJ and live saxophonist trying to balance on the plastic chairs as the sunrises. sweet.

here are the lyrics of the tune playing on the film clip... powerful...

Give me release Witness me, I am outside

Give me peace

Heaven holds a sense of wonder

And I wanted to believe that I'd get caught up when the rage in me subsides

Passion chokes the flower until she cries no more

Possessing all the beauty hungry still for more

Heaven holds a sense of wonder

And I wanted to believe that I'd get caught up

When the rage in me subsides

In this white wave

I am sinking

In this silence

In this white wave ... in this silence ...I believe I can't help this longing

...comfort me I can't hold it all in ...if you won't let me ...

Heaven holds a sense of wonder

And I wanted to believe that I'd get caught up

When the rage in me subsides

In this white waveI am sinking

In this silence

In this white wave this silence I believe I have seen you this white wave you are silent

You are breathing in this white wave ...I am free

('Silence' - Delerium)

Wednesday 27 August 2008

jars of clay and words

"For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us"

it's ok to be weak. because it's what's inside me that is of value. it does not come from me. this is a relief. it's ok to be broken. the light can then escape through the cracks.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, Gideon... they all had doubts. doubted their ability to do what God asked of them. before they would step out they had to be reminded of who the One who spoke to them was, and therefore of their true identity as one rooted in Him.
Jeremiah: "i do not know how to speak, i am only a child"

God: "do not say 'i am only a child'. you must go to everyone i send you to and say whatever i command you. Do not be afraid of them for I am with you and will rescue You... Now, i have put words in your mouth"

...which got me thinking about words. (again!). and how important they are. and while the way we live makes a massive statement about what is inside us - in terms of our beliefs, our worldview, our priorities, etc - it is really only words that can give that picture depth and shape. James says the tongue is like a rudder, steering the whole ship. words build up and words destroy. can have a massive effect on the way a person views us, themselves, life, God... we all have a responsibility for what comes out our mouth. proverbs say a wise man is of few words. i don't want to treat my words lightly. so, God, give me the words.

Sunday 24 August 2008

24-7 goes wild

sometimes you just have to dance

and everything feels a whole lot better.

i danced the most i have in ages today - about 10 hours in total. at the biggest worker's party of the year - "SHIT 08" - which raised money for Caritas and was held in the old zoo and was fancy dress. people were really creative with their outfits... will put photos up tomorrow.

i went as a pirate. i really enjoyed dancing with my wooden sword.

it was pretty surreal from a sober, drug free point of view... i can't imagine what it would have been like for everyone else, who definitely weren't in the same state of mind. according to loads of people's signs and/or body paint, ketamine is deemed the cool thing to do. why why why? IT IS VERY NOT COOL.

afterwards we went to the back room at Eden for the after party (we'd started early afternoon). i danced the way i've always wanted to, but never seem to have the right space/shoes/music/confidence/company... like putting my whole body into it, jumping around, trying out stuff i learnt from breaking at uni last year. LOVE IT. feel tired and satisfied now. yey.

Friday 22 August 2008

message in a bottle

the down side

truth hovers at the edges and refuses to sink in
does not change the way this mind ticks
tock the clock rushes on and time slips away
the way i'd like to right now
be invisible
even though being invisible - that is - forgotten
is what i fear
what kicks these thoughts into gear
a train of dark depth i feel helpless to stop
until it overwhelms me
and i lie on the tracks
wishing i was unconscious so that i don't have to think
yet wishing i was not numb so that i'd feel the pain
and the relief of being alive

this sounds darker than i meant it too. don't panic! but it just came out in one of those moments.
how do u go from one week feeling encouraged and like you're in the right place and like maybe you've even grown up a little this year... to feeling so very small and weak and far from the person you'd like to be and wondering quite why you are here? but i know truth is not based on our feelings. just have to remember what the truth is and decide to believe it. easier said than done.

trip to cala bassa

Thursday 21 August 2008

strong as death

place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal over your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
it burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
song of songs 8:6-7

Monday 18 August 2008


(very early morning: 03:00 - 06:00)

bruce and michael DJ-ed at Viva in the West End. While we danced, fuelled by red bull, a now regular companion of mine.

(evening: about 20:00)

Kris got baptised in the sea. He became a christian last year here in Ibiza. It was beautiful.

Saturday 16 August 2008

a (week) day in the life

i wake up. ideally about an hour before we meet to pray at around 13:00 or 14:00 but often before due to the heat, the whining dog outside, or boys shouting in the hotel pool next door. lazy? no. bedtime is anywhere between 4:30 and 6 or 7 in the morning. we'll get to that. a cold shower and a hot coffee later we're sat around the kitchen table in Brian and Tracey's kitchen, to pray and share our thoughts for the day...and maybe dreams for the future.

Then everyone goes their separate ways. Some accompany the short-term team (who come for 2 weeks, like the 6 from northern ireland who left on friday) who do something different each afternoon: like go to Bora Bora beach club, Ibiza Town, the Salt Flats, Es Vedra - where the focus is to pray, listen, and also appreciate beautiful parts of the island. Otherwise they might clean a beach or give out oranges for free to sun-bathing tourists, the idea being to be a blessing. to give, not take away.

Meanwhile 2 or 3 people go to the 24-7 Ibiza centre which is in the centre of the West End (more on that in a sec), and is open from 16:00-20:00 monday to friday. It's a really nice spacious place aquired earlier this year with a pool table, a Wii and free internet - all for workers to come and use as they please. A lot of people working out in Ibiza over the summer struggle to earn enough money and often live in pretty cramped flats so really appreciate having somewhere to chill out. our role there is simply to welcome people, chat to people and keep the place in order.

prayer room.
There's also a prayer room which anyone is free to use. There are hundreds of prayer requests blue-tacked to the walls and private prayers tucked into glass bottles (i'll put up some photos!). there are maps and pictures on the walls and comfy chairs to sit in. it's a quiet space to get away from the madness outside and is also where we pray at night. everything hinges on prayer, so this room is very important.

we return home (to one of the two houses in which the community live - which amazingly back right onto each other!), in the car or on the small boat that takes you across San Antonio bay for 2.50 euros. We cook, eat, relax and do whatever else might need doing. My housemates share their food, take turns cooking and eat together every evening out on the patio so it's a pleasure to join them in this. And then, at 23:15 it's time to head to 'work'...

the west end.
is where the work of 24-7 ibiza is very much based. A relatively small area of San Antonio town of grid-layout streets very densely packed with pubs, bars and clubs , it is the destination of choice for thousands of tourists - predominantly british plus several italians. I guess it's a matter of opinion but i'd say it was pretty tacky and not worthy of all the sunburnt/tanned-often semi-naked young people that fill its streets. By day it is pretty chilled but by night it is, for want of a better word, pretty mental. more about it another time...

before anything happens we focus on the One that this is all about. The One who's footsteps we try to follow. The One who gives us the grace and the strength to love a place that at first glance has little that appears loveable. that's the point though, isn't it? because WE only love because we were loved first, when we ourselves seemed pretty 'unloveable'. we are not just 'good people' doing a 'good work'. believe me we'd have given up a long time ago if it we were just running on our 'own batteries' so to speak. it's all got to start with the One who is described as the Beginning and the End, Near and Far, slow to anger, abounding in Love.

after some worship, half of the group heads out onto the streets in pairs while the others remain to pray. we go for an hour then swap and repeat until around 4am. we walk the streets wearing t-shirts with the 24-7 logo on so that people now recognise us. we go, ready to do a number of things....

vomit van.
overdoses and generous servings of spirits leave many people worse for wear. many end up separated from their friends, left alone and vulnerable on the side of the street - a perfect victim for mugging or worse. the taxi's will not take home anyone who is deemed drunk enough to throw up so this is where we can help. the team has a people-carrier (equipped with plastic buckets!) big enough to lay someone across the back seat and fit a couple of friends. so if we see someone, (or someone who knows us sees someone) who needs taking back to their hotel or to the medical centre, that is what we will do.

talk (listen).
we also just go and chat to people, which sounds a bit random and forced but the crazy thing is it really isn't and every time we go out we end up talking to people. maybe it's the holiday vibe, the alcohol, or a result of the hundreds of people who have prayed here over the last few years. a combo i'd say. another thing is that it just seems everyone wants someone to be interested in them, to listen to them and when that happens i think it encourages people to open up. we also offer to pray for people and have cards that people can write down what they want prayer for and we will pray about it when we return to the centre. sometimes we pray with people then and there on the street. everyone has something they need, or are worried about, and nearly always appreciate the offer. we are not out "to convert", and we are not out "to sell", like pretty much everyone working in the West end - be it club entry, glo-sticks, sunglasses (or drugs...), their bodies... we want to bless and be something positive in a place where so many negative things go on. we want to celebrate the good that is there.

while we do talk to tourists, this year a lot of the people we talk to are fellow workers in Ibiza, mainly PR's for the West end clubs and bars. over the summer the people in the community and on short term teams have got to know some people pretty well, which is really cool. it's nice to feel more part of things and like there's less of a barrier, and that relationships are not all really superficial.

is when we get home. maybe after a bit more food (hungry again by then!). the time depends on whether there is a drama at the end of the night or not. one day this week we sat with 2 very drunk norwegian girls who were staying too far away for us to take them, until they sobered up enough to walk to the taxi rank in a relatively straight line! so that was a late one.

on call.
we go out on the streets monday-thursday night so friday is free. although last night i was 'on call' ... so after relatively early night (after sangria and 'flight of the conchords' -- love it!) i slept for 2 hours then was woken by a call at 4am to go into the west end in the car to pick up a girl one of the PRs had found on her own and very very drunk. unfortunately when we arrive she had disappeared so it felt a bit wasted but as we looked for her we came upon a fight that had just happened, with guy lying concussed in a pool of blood. the police soon arrived on the scene so we couldnt take the guy to the health centre but Michael managed to calm his very angry brother down and explain to his friends what would happen. the guy was OK, a glassed nose that bled a lot. the general atmosphere was a bit crazy last night, with lots of very wasted people around. we had some good conversations with people including a bouncer i hadn't talked to before and actually didn't get back (with no extra passengers) until after 6am. so kind of random but hey you can never tell what will happen. better to go than not...

the weekends are much more restful, hence having time to blog. but this is rather long and i need to chill properly before we go out to see Bruce and Michael DJ at 3am!

happy beach day

wahey it's Saturday! :-)

so we went to a beautiful beach (ses salinas) and it was good. here are some fave photos from it...

and before u think it's all a holiday, let me go write about the rest of the week!

Capoeira on the beach at Ses salinas

Wednesday 13 August 2008

"life is wonderful" (Jason Mraz)

It takes a crane to build a crane
It takes two floors to make a story
It takes an egg to make a hen
It takes a hen to make an egg
There is no end to what I'm saying

It takes a thought to make a word
And it takes some words to make an action
It takes some work to make it work
It takes some good to make it hurt
It takes some bad for satisfaction

La la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Al la la la la

It takes a night to make it dawn
And it takes a day to make you yawn brother
And it takes some old to make you young
It takes some cold to know the sun
It takes the one to have the other

And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is
It takes some fears to make you trust
It takes those tears to make it rust
It takes the dust to have it polished

Ha la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is so full of
Ah la la la la la la life is so rough
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is our love
Ah la la la la la

It takes some silence to make sound
It takes a loss before you found it
And it takes a road to go nowhere
It takes a toll to make you care
It takes a hole to make a mountain

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ha la la la la la life is wonderful
Ha la la la la la life is meaningful
Ha la la la la la life is wonderful
Ha la la la la la life it wonderful
It is so meaningfulIt is so wonderful
It is meaningful
It is wonderful
It is meaningful
It goes full circle

Full circle

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Bora Bora: a very sweaty affair

you know you're back in Ibiza when...

  • Bedtime is 5 or 6 am and breakfast is at 1 or 2 pm.

  • you're sweating pretty constantly

  • you hear english and italian more than you hear spanish being spoken

  • you are paying crazy amounts of money for food at the supermarket

  • everywhere you look there's an outdoor pool

  • house music can be heard at all hours of day and night

  • in one night you've already seen more flesh revealed than in the whole year

  • you've already seen a beautiful sunset

it's good to be back! :-) especially as i'm living with Bruce and Helen, two fantastic friends in a lovely house. I spent yesterday chilling, exploring a little, finding the beach and supermarket and meeting the team out here. There's a short term team of 6 people from northern ireland, the guys that live here all year round and 5 others doing what i'm doing - here from anywhere between a month to 3 months. it's good to be back in Spain, even if it is so different to the mainland... coffee, coconut yoghurts and driving on the right have already been appreciated. and it's good to hear people speaking spanish again, although don't think i'll get loads of chances to speak as our work is with mainly english people in the very touristy area of San Antonio where nearly every single building is a bar or club and drug dealers literally line the streets.

I relalise i haven't explained exactly what our 'work' is. But i will leave that for another day when i have time to describe properly and when i've got into the swing of things more. Basically it's about Jesus. and therefore LOVE.

In about an hour i'm going to Bora Bora, my fave place from last year - a daytime club on the beach. woohoooo!! :-) get them dancing shoes on....

Sunday 10 August 2008

all in a week's work....

from Devon to Basingstoke to Oxford to Derby to Oxford to London to Oxford (seeing a selection of very great friends)

and today.... TO IBIZA! for 5 weeks, working with the 24-7 prayer community there in San Antonio. Leaving soon, can't wait! I went there on a team last year so it will be great to be back. Will keep updated on here, should have internet. Three of the blogs on my bloglist are written by people living out there who i'll be working with, and they give a picture of what i'll be doing.

Saturday 9 August 2008


and this is perhaps our fear - that us in all our complexity and contradictions are TOO MUCH. too much to handle. so we try and keep a lid on much of what we are thinking and feeling. sometimes frustrated bursts escape leaving us red-faced muttering misunderstood ...trying to gather it all back in with clumsy backtracking but scattered fragments remain lying awkwardly on the floor.

or so we think.

but maybe some of them fell on open ears, a thirsty soul waiting to hear that someone else feels the way they do. maybe, just maybe, our deepness is a space for others to bathe. that it is not a case of 'too much' but 'plenty'. Plenty to share and to care and to spill over into dry places.

Friday 8 August 2008

me too

"I feel, however, how resistance is growing within me against everything "religious" - almost to an istinctive abhorrence - which is certainly not good, either. I am not of a religious nature. But I must continue to think of God and Christ. I place a lot of value on genuineness, on life, on freedom, and on mercy. It's just that I find the religious clothing so uncomfortable".

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (from 'I want to live these days with You')

Tuesday 5 August 2008


i went away for a week to north devon. a whole 'nother world. england really does have some stunning places and most people have never seen them. it was GREAT. the weather was not. but that didn't really matter.

3 days of camping (the tents didn't leak... Dad should be proud!), surfing (first time - loved it!), coffee-ing (in the campsite cafe), journal-ing, deep talking, beach-ing (woolacombe, ilfracombe, croid) walking and much laughing with 3 precious girls.

then 3 days of 3 different mattresses (much comfier than the roll mat plus the aching post-surf body!) in 3 different beautiful (and 2 of them extremely big!) houses, a brief spell at a christian music festival, more driving to different parts of devon, more AMAZING friends (people whose passion and beauty and thoughts and dreams never cease to inspire me. OK and if we're being honest make me a little jealous sometimes. jealousy is so ugly i hate it. but it often creeps in.)

and... most importantly a WEDDING of a childhood friend. a beautiful day. a privilege. can't put it all in words. here's some pictures...

first attempts at surfing: a little bit like life?

me + God + sky + sea + waves + power + overwhelmed + beauty + perseverance + pain + speed + turned upside down + going with the flow + learning to stand + failed attempts + little by little + try again + THAT FEELING + exhiliration + smiles + bruised + battered + tired + sudden calm + tired + satisfied + going deeper + waiting + brace yourself + being knocked back + looking towards the horizon + shared experience with those around you + aiming for the biggest + the best