Saturday, August 11, 2007

O'r Eisteddfod yn Gogledd Cymru - From the Eisteddfod in North Wales

Shwmae Frinddiau,

I am able to access my Blogger account for the first time since being here at the fiirst time since being here in thee UK. The WiFi internet access is desperately slow here on Maes B at the Welsh National Eisteddfod, but perhaps I can get a few words out before I disappear into a kinder, gentler medeival existence once again.

Here's what we have done since being in the UK as of August 3rd:

First we traveled from Gatwick Airport in south London to South Oxfordshire, an area recently in the news for being among the flooding which has occurred in the UK. The Lammas Games were being set up. The Games is a gathering of Druids organized by the Druid Network. We offered to interpret dreams for people for free, and we arrived with no resources to host our space on the event. But help arrived. Our dear friend Stephen Nicholson brought tents to sleep in, chairs, and a table for our set up. We then built our own table from rough hewn logs on the property of Brazier's Park. We then helped set up the stage for the event. The stage was to host a competition for the Spear of Lugh. This would be held for the year by the Druidic Bard.

We did not have many takers for Dream Interpretation during the Saturday of the event, but the few we had were profitable and helpful to people. We did however hold many discussions, and were asked many questions about our faith. People who were raised Christian, but have since embraced alternative spiritualities such as Druidism, and Witchcraft came to ask us questions. They wondered why we were there, sometimes even wondering how we could be there, but after some time we thankful for our presence, and admitted to still admiring (even loving Jesus) although rejecting the Church. We will be continuining to keep in contact with these people in the future. Later that day I competed in the bardic competition. I did not expect to even be considered among the possible winners, because I am not a Druid, but some of the people considered me a crowd favoriet with my song Cum Tacent Clamant, and its Latin chant whicch I taught the crowd.

Later that night we sat raound the fire and swapped tales, and songs, and poetry which Pagans are often known to do, and once again discussions of our faith, and stories of our life in Jesus became the order of the evening. I am so thankful for a team of people who are able mix with a Pagan crowd and feel confortable being themselves, and sharing their life in a manner which is simple, gentle, more like Jesus, and less like the expectations of typical evangelistic campaigning. Kudos to Carlos, Josh, Mizumi, Elizabeth, and Kevin. Each person has their own tales to tell about this event.

On the third day we arrived at Y Gorlan at the Welsh National Eisteddfod late at night. Since then we have been supporting the team of evangelical Christians who run the food service tent on the Youth Field (Maes B), which is an all Welsh Speaking week long concert series. We have been preparing, and serving food at a drunken youth event for the week now. The food tent (Y Gorlan - meaning The sheepfold) is a 24 hour service, and so we are keeping strange hours to help out. I have been working from midnight to 4am, which is the rush hour strangely. No one on this trip has ever seen such drunkenness with so many people all at once, and most of them under age. I warned them that this would be what the Maes B was like, but they were still surprised. It is surrealistic to find this in the middle of an otherwise squeaky clean event which the Welsh National Eisteddfod is, but relationships are developing, and we are able to help those who speak Welsh to do more serve food, but to share their faith with others. The opportunity to reach people here is great, and as of yet relatively untapped, and I hope for great thigns in coming years. I would like to return for next year's event which will be in Caerdydd (Cardiff, South Wales).


Anonymous said...

What a bummer. No spear of lugh? :)oh well.

You guys will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Random Thought: Today I learned that "mud" meens speechless in welsh. Yes I know, I'm weird.

Pastor Phil said...

Spear - yeah that would be cool, but it might not travel well on Zoom Airlines.

Adam Gonnerman said...

Great update, Phil! You're doing what I and many others could never pull off authentically...and seem to be having fun doing it. Keep us posted!

Pastor Phil said...

Yes, we did have a blast, and that is the key to making it work.

Bill Lollar said...

Hi, Phil. If you come to Cardiff for next year's Eisteddfod, please look us up. As cross-cultural missionaries (from the states), we are learning how to live missionally in a place where alcohol/drug abuse, teen pregnancy, antisocial behavior are just some of the many symptoms of people who feel that they have no future and nothing to live for. We're primary working in small home-based groups and a lot of one-on-one discipling: out of the box for the most part.


Bill Lollar
The Thin Edge of the Wedge