I'm Kristen and I'm living in Crawley, Sussex (hoping to return to my beloved Brighton 'n' Hove when my ME/CFS allows). I drink a lot of tea, ride a lot of buses, go in a lot of charity shops, draw, sew and knit (and attempt to crochet), take a lot of photos, spend a lot of time sleeping, read a lot of history books and follow Jesus Christ. <3
Since I've had ME/CFS I've not been able to do as much at my home church - the stuff which requires physically being there - so I've wanted to find other ways to serve. Having a lot of sofa-based time on my hands, the internet's been a Godsend (see what I did there?) and I've been able to find out how I can support fellow Christians who are being persecuted for their faith in places far from my home simply by writing them a letter (and praying for them!).
Both also send out advocacy alerts by email, as and when they need you to write to people of influence who may be able to help a particular persecuted / imprisoned Christian. That could be someone in their country's government, their country's ambassdor in your own country, or your own MP/MEP/Senator/whoever represents you to your government.
Sometimes writing a letter of support to someone who has been beaten, raped, had their home burned down, been imprisoned or whose loved one has been executed because they're a Christian can seem a pathetic gesture from someone who has complete freedom to practice their faith. But don't I believe in a God who can do big things with small offerings?
CSW says, "it lets them know that someone cares about their suffering, and it can also show governments and local authorities that people around the world are taking interest in a particular case or prisoner" (which can also result in a prisoner being treated better, even if your letter doesn't reach them personally). It really is worth doing!
Finally got round to finishing my Christmas postbox! So it will spend a few weeks on top of my wardrobe with my other Christmas decs and then reappear in December. I love postboxes, couldn't resist this pattern. If you want to make your own, it's 'Clarence the Christmas Postbox' from Jean Greenhowe's Celebration Clowns booklet, which is out of print but easy to find on eBay.
Lisa's my cousin, but she's also been a close friend. We were penpals from the ages of 12 and 10 - you know, back when folk used to write on paper, with a pen - and worked through a lot of teenage (and twenties!) angst together. Our correspondance went on for almost fifteen years, and is now meticulously archived in a series of shoeboxes kept on the tops of wardrobes in Galway City and Brighton.
Over the years she's acquired a husband, a house and a daughter, which I still can't quite get my head around... they grow up so fast, don't they? She's also a very busy wedding photographer, which I'm dead proud of.
These days we don't write letters to each other, just the occasional email or text. Sometimes one of us rings the other to note how crap we are at keeping in touch. But mainly we keep up with each other's news via my mum and her dad!
"He did the words, she did the pictures. Together they made the whole book, cover to cover. Like tennis players they battered (sic) the words and pictures back and forth between them till the game was over, the book finished. And when one was done, they began another; 37 books in 20 years. What's in the Book? celebrates the Alhberg's creative partnership and explores the wonderful books they made. Discover where they got their ideas and how they turned them into highly original books that are clever, funny and have massive appeal to both children and adults. Rub shoulders with classic characters like Burglar Bill and Mrs Wobble the Waitress. See beautiful original illustrations from favourites like Each Peach Pear Plum and Peepo. Listen to poems and rhymes. Write letters for The Jolly Postman. Share Ha Ha Bonk jokes and tell your own. Win a prize and enjoy sharing Janet and Allan's best loved books."
Burglar Bill was the first book I really loved, at about 4 years old. It's a great story and I was engrossed by the intricate detail in Janet's illustrations. Last year I bought it for my friends' daughter for her third birthday. Turns out she loves it too: "...'That's a nice tin of beans,' says Burglar Bill. 'I'll have that!'..." What's in the Book? is on until January 2007. Penguin: Janet and Allan AhlbergChildren's Poetry Archive: Allan Ahlberg (inc interview) Amazon.co.uk: Janet's Last Book