Friday, March 28, 2008

Goals Project Graduation

The charity I volunteer for, Street League, had its 12th graduation ceremony for young men and women who have been undergoing a five-week course called the Goals Project. The clients are mainly from a jobless situation and some on parole. The course helps the students get essential skills to map out goals for their future, and reshape themselves to lead a structured life. Football is part of the undertaking apart from the classes on confidence building and kicking bad habits.
The graduation took place at the Football Association (FA) office in Soho Square, London. The guest of honour was England's legendary left-back, Sir Trevor Brooking, who is now football development officer at the FA.

It was a moving ceremony as the 19 graduates each made a speech, mostly appreciating that their course of life had changed with the goals project.
One of the graduates, Christopher Farquharson, nearly broke into tears with his mother present as he narrated how his parent had been patient with him as he struggled to gain control of his life.

The whole audience was gripped with the sincerity of the man. What a venture, what a day!
The thousands of school-leavers in Malawi, the juvenile delinquents the street loiterers would do with a similar project. I took the chance to pose with the FA
Cup, the famous trophy many professional footballers yearn to lift in England.

What grace from God!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The British Good Friday...

Three years ago I had the honour to witness the Easter season in Sweden. This time around I'm in the thick of things in the UK. Unlike in Sweden, there were signs of people going to church early in the morning in the British capital London. I even saw some two guys with a guitar covered with Christian stickers!!!
I was privileged to attend an impartation conference of renowned preacher Benny Hinn at Excel in the London docklands, east of the city.
It was an amazing day. First my alarm didnot go off, meaning I woke up late to the chagrin of my Zimbabwean classmate and friend Margaret Nyamushamba. Then we found that the shop that sells 24-hour travel cards was not open!! Determined to make the 90 minute journey to the prayers we decided to pay a little bit more by paying cash in the bus and buying the travel card later. Wow...the bus driver said his ticket machine was down and we could go for free!! Then we found that one of the busy underground train lines, Jubilee, which we intended to use was not functioning today!! Still we soldiered on using alternative routes and finally got to Excel just30 minutes before the meeting commenced.
I was impressed with the way time was observed at the conference. The only hitch was noise from planes taking off at the nearby London City, one of the five airports in the capital.

Otherwise Pastor Benny Hinn preached on ensuring financial security in the hour of need. He prophesied that the world economy would crumble in the next few years. Benny Hinn urged Christians to give to God to safeguard provision from the Master. He also said giving should be out of obedience to God and not out of emotions.
I was enthralled to watch Alvin Slaughter, the US gospel singer minister in song at the event.

It was a great and memorable Good Friday and a fitting finale to a day of extraordinary happenings.