Monday, November 30, 2009

Hard times

Today it was time to say goodbye to Rachel, Jasmine and John after their fortnight's stay with us. In another week's time they'll be on their way home to Canada. Maybe this time next year we'll be on our way to Canada, to enjoy a real winter, while they are still to be had, in the Rockies.

The first of the Advent 'God on Mondays' services at Tredegarville School followed in the afternoon. Sadly numbers are dwindling. I suppose this is inevitable as families are aware that I won't be there for them until the end of the school year. I hope my successor will consider it worthwhile to continue a family service in school and bring something that's fresher, more attractive and relevant to a new generation.

When I got home, I had but a brief time to draft an order of service for a funeral this week, to prepare for a visit from a woman whose husband had dropped dead in the street outside their apartment the previous week. He was the same age as I am. This made me ponder. Life is so fragile but how can anyone ever be prepared for their own sudden demise?

In the evening the Street Carers' Representative Group met in Thornhill Community Church, and I went along to be scribe, as usual. We had quite a lot to do, reviewing the recent training evening, and planning both follow up sessions and new trainings for 2010, and discussing the matter of i/d cards for volunteers - a matter which has emerged as a priority to push us forward. On top of this we discussed the streets.

Two homeless people have died in the past month, both Eastern Europeans. There's notably an increase in the number of destitute Europeans around these days. They are different from destitute asylum seekers, who are mostly isolated individuals and vulnerable not infrequently hiding from authority. For a start, European migrants have some rights, and aren't hiding from the police (unless they're on the run for a crime committed). They associate with each other on the basis of their language and homeland and in that they have some strength to cope with hard times.

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