Finally back in Larnaca after a few days away from my laptop and from wifi in Northern Cyprus. We've had a busy few days.
|The Filipino dancers|
Sunday went well in Ayia Napa. It is an interesting Anglican church - mostly ex-pats and Filipino women who are domestic servants. There was quite a moving moment when Simon (the vicar) got everyone to pray for the women because of the Typhoon in the Philippines. I wasn't entirely happy with what I had prepared, but when I started speaking it seemed to flow, and Devon sang over people afterwards, which was great.
Roger, Mary and Yvette also got on well in Larnaca. The church was very full and people were very receptive.
|Mambo number 5|
After contrasting lunches (Roger, Mary and Yvette had a posh English roast, while the rest of us went to a rather random but fun church lunch at which some of the Filipino ladies danced to Mambo no.5) we met up at Simon and Pauline's house "near" Ayia Napa before travelling to the town hall for the evening with Devon. It was a strange evening - we had major problems with the keyboard, so things didn't buzz and flow as well as they could have. Devon did well though, and the feedback from the audience was good.
|Yvette and Mick at the Cultural centre|
On Monday morning we left for Famagusta in the 'occupied north' of the island, crossing a military checkpoint on the way. Unfortunately they didn't immediately let the van with all the equipment through, so most of us travelled on to the town, while Simon Holloway sorted out the visa/insurance/technical issues with the van. We took the opportunity to go and look around Salamis, which was amazing. In the afternoon we gathered at the cultural centre ready for our performance of Two Sisters, but we had to wait a very long time for the hall staff to set up the sound equipment. They wouldn't let our technician Richard touch anything, despite him knowing far more about it than them. It was a frustrating time, and ultimately meant that we only had about a 50 minute rehearsal with the choir and soloists.
|Immanuel playing... Immanuel|
The choir were amazing - there were about 25 of them, all students from Nigeria. The soloists they provided were great, particularly Immanuel who played the part of Jesus (!). We've certainly never had a choir like that before, and the performance was full of life and movement. The audience were strange - very noisy and constantly walking in and out. But apparently that is normal. After the performance we drove over an hour to Kyrenia in the north - we were absolutely shattered. Praise God that Mick was with us to do the driving.
|The Kyrenia choirmaster|
Tuesday was a lot more chilled out - we had a lazy morning exploring Kyrenia town centre, which is beautiful, and then had a good long rehearsal with the choir from 3pm. The choir couldn't be more different to the one in Famagusta - much more formal, with all of their music in posh folders. It was good to have plenty of time with them to get to know them. They took us out for dinner, and then we had a performance at 8pm. The church was packed (it only holds 100), and there was a brilliant atmosphere. We all had wonderful hosts in Kyrenia, and were amazingly well looked after.
|The church in Nicosia|
Yesterday we did a bit of sightseeing in Kyrenia and then travelled over the checkpoint in Nicosia, before going to a church in south Nicosia for an evening of worship and prayer. We took some of the evening and then handed over to them. It was a great evening - they were very charismatic, and really blessed us. It was an interesting experience - they only did 3 very simple songs in 40 minutes very loudly, but it was passionate and we were blessed. On the downside Roger managed to leave his laptop in Kyrenia. We managed to cobble together a powerpoint for the evening, but it means that on our day off today Mick and Roger will have to travel all the way back to the checkpoint in Nicosia to meet Roger's host who is bringing it.
Prayers would be appreciated for tomorrow - we have an incredibly long day in Limassol with a worship works seminar and a performance. Also, we're a bit worried that we may not have accommodation in Paphos at the weekend. Do pray that it all gets sorted out.
|The ruins at Salamis|
|The choir at Famagusta|
|In rehearsal at Famagusta|
|The Famagusta 'baddies'|
|Helen with the choir in Kyrenia|
|The Kyrenia 'baddies'|
|The Kyrenia choir in rehearsal|
|Devon, Mick and Simon at Bellapaix|
|The whole team outside the church at Kyrenia|
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