Sunday, November 30, 2008

this too shall pass...

So the major event of the week...Because of my love of shoes I got my handbag stolen..well not quite but I was trying on shoes and my handbag did get stolen..much to my dismay...
There I was in Chatham just minding my own business, taking myself out for a day of window shopping alone (which takes a bit of effort to start with..) and I spot a shoe shop....I walk in..this is normal...I look at some shoes..this is normal..I notice an enticing rack of sale boots..Still normal..I ummed and aahed for AGES deciding whether I was going to try them on and then temptaion gave in..very normal..I found myself slipping off my shoes and putting on these boots which were amazingly £10...But to do this one must put a handbag down..a normal thing to do...I did put it just beside where I was sitting..I honestly stood up, walked to the mirror which was a metre away, taking my eye off my bag, and examined the boots..I look back..and my bag has gone..This is where the story loses normality..This is when i began to panic..I still replay in my mind looking up and seeing a lady walk out with a what I thought was black bag, but thinking back it was probably just the silhouette of mine..The only thing that stopped me from runing out of the shop, onto the sidewalk and tackling anyone in the vicinity of the store with a handbag was the fact I was still wearing the shops shoes..And a vision of being tackled by security guards and shop assistants kept me back..
What followed this was me, what I thought calmly but looking back it was probably slightly hysterical, telling the shop assistant my bag had been nicked..and then a search for a security guard began..and then myriads of advice on cancelling my credit cards (which was the least of my worries seeing as I'm a poor volunteer)...So the police were notified..But I would expect that my bag will never be seen again..I have had to say goodbye to my mp3 player, camera, phone, at least £40, my nz drivers license, my gym membership (not such a hard thing to let go of lol), and my travelex card (which yes, is now cancelled) and my house keys..SO UNBELIEVABLY GUTTED..especcially because half the stuff wont be of any use or value to them...

But it was also just my luck that Martha and Luke, my host parents, were away this not only had I lost my keys but there was no one to let me in the house...A few scenarios ran through my head, many involving me kicking the door in or trying to climb through a 2nd story window before I remembered the neighbour has a spare key..boy was I praying that he was home..and he was..Thank Goodness..So my mum recieved a call at 1am NZ time from a very upset me...Its such a weird feeling...

Moral of the story: putting your bag down is a bad idea anywhere let alone in Chatham... but being a naive young foreigner I was no wiser...

But this too shall pass

Thursday, November 20, 2008

what else to do when sleep wont come?!

Answer: write a blog.
So at the moment sleep just wont come to me..I have tried I swear..But it just seems to be avoiding may be the copious number of cups of tea I managed to fit into one day, which I need to learn does not go well just before bed..I have developed a very strong liking for this hot drink that, if you had of asked me 4 months ago whether I would have enjoyed it, I would have sharply replied 'no. Why would I?'..I have come so far from my first experience with tea at Starbucks many months ago where my dear friend Georgie convinced me I would like it and proceeded to buy me a cup that i swear was at least a litre of the hot stuff..I managed to finish it, never mind the complaining that could be heard each mouthful I took...oh if he could see me now..He would be so proud..!! I've decided I'm going to start a tea-revival when I get back to new zealand..start a whole new era of tea drinkers..and that will be the great contribution to society that will have come out of my gap year doing volunteer youthwork in England..haha

Oh dear me... I do hope, and know, that what will come out of this 8 months will be far greater than that..I dont know how or what is going to happen..or what God will do or not do..But I know that this will be the start of many amazing things..I have since had a realisation that is this time in England is not about what I can get out of it, about what God can give me, about what I can do or achieve, about how I will get 'fed' or about how much I can grow..But it is simply about how much I can give and it may be that just that I have been put here simply to serve and learn from serving, that this is my number one and I really need to devote my all to it...whether I gain something from this time, which I am sure God will show me, will just be an added bonus..whether I will see nothing visible happen or whether I will see miracles I know that God will and is using me for exactly what he wants..I am where he wants me to be..and I need to put my effort and heart into it because these are kids and things that God has a heart for..
It is all good saying that it is what I can give, but in everything there is a little selfish human desire to get something out of it aswell..and I know God is showing me new things and new ways of thinking that I will take home with me..
It's so weird because I've been here nearly 3 months...and so much has happened..But Im so looking forward to the next 5 months..because so much can happen..and I know God can do so much in that time...
so as much as I will bring the revival of tea with me back home I know I will bring so many experiences and stuff aswell...

Seeing as London is just a stones throw away I'm able to catch a train and go there for the day..which is actually so this place that Ive only ever thought about visiting, one of the most well known cities in the world, and I can just pop up there on my weekends off..Which is exactly what I did last weekend..My dear friend Kirsty and I frolicked (it makes it sound like we pranced) around London with nothing planned and little to was so amazing because we just walked around, caught up, looked around shops and did whatever we wanted to without getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of London..Just a word of warning to tourists: If someone in London smacks into you or swiftly pushes past you in the street and doesnt turn around and say sorry, dont worry, its just the way the big city goes..dont feel you have to chase them down the street or hold it against them...Its funny because even though ive been there a few times im still not used to it..everytime i bump into someone i turn around and say 'oops sorry'..Maybe if I stay here long enough and become a real Londoner I will learn to be a little more callous, rugby tackling them in the street haha see how they like But I have to admit i still am one of those tourists that stops in the middle of the hustle and bustle to check where I'm going, proceeding to hold up the and inconvenience the large amount of people walking behind me haha sorry.
On this day I also met a homeless lady at the underground station who smiled at me and which i can honestly say was THE MOST beautiful thing I have ever experienced...truly I will never forget her face..It was one of those things that you just feel so priviledged to have been in that moment...

The other day in the office it was too funny (yes Dave, TOO funny)...I was being quizzed on phrases that are used on the television program 'Neighbours' and asked whether we use them in New Zealand..Although I point out that this show is AUSTRALIAN I still feel there is some sort of link in everyones brain between these two countries..This is slightly how the conversation went..
'what about 'see you this arvo' you use that?'
'no thats just crass shortening afternoon to arvo'
'what about 'throw some shrimps on the barbie!'
'what about calling people drongoes?'
'What is a drongo?!'
'oh they use it on neighbours sometimes' lol
This conversation provided a distraction from work that was meant to be done and also provided me,and dave and ben, with a large amount of laughter..and now the word drongo has become a part of our conversation..usually accompanied by a really bad australian the joys of being foreign..I have been wondering recently how Im going to manage when I go back to new zealand and no longer have an going to actually have to think of amusing and witty ways to grab peoples attention instead of relying on my nationality haha

Oh last night I went to a church up the road and did a bible study with a group of 'wrinklies' in a group of 7 elderly..It was so lovely..They faff about so soon as i arrived and sat down i was asked to move by one of the old ladies (Edna) because that chair was closest to the piano and it only makes sense for her to hav that chair because she plays the piano for the hymns...she then proceeded to complain that her chair was too high...and managed to walk the room testing out different chairs before deciding on one that was the right height haha But they were all so lovely..and as they talked and shared it was so amazing to think that they had once been young and experienced different things..and how much things must have changed since they were young..i have to admit i had to chuckle when they used 'the youth of today.....' as a sentence starter...too classic haha it really was such a diferent but cool experience..

According to the weather forecast it's going to snow on Sunday...I hope thats true...everyone said it will be sleet..but im sure it will be good snow haha
This weekend doesnt hold much in store for me..a bit of Christmas on Sunday..and whatever else pops up..

miss all of you at home x

Monday, November 10, 2008

my how time flys..

This month has just been pretty much like normal...and every time i think of writing a blog..I put it off coz I just cant even begin to remember what Ive been doing the last few weeks without some serious brain stretch..and in my old age that is getting pretty much But this has left me with the dilemma that even as Im writing this blog I just dont even know what is going to be in it..this should be interesting..

Everyone here assumes that we dont have guy fawkes in New Zealand..its a bit mad really and truly hilarious when you see the shocked looks on their faces when I say we celebrate it every year...Oh my word maybe God called me over here just to educate the English on the ways of New Zealand..Ive already smashed the conclusion that Maori still live in huts, that we eat kiwis, and now that we dont celebrate guy they have much to learn..
Last Saturday though I went to the most amazing fire works display I have ever seen...except it wasnt like a public one it was one in someones backyard..Martha and Luke took me along to The Whittakers (a lovely family from church) and told me to expect an amazing fireworks display..i thought how amazing could a home fireworks display be...silly silly me...I swear it was like 20 minutes long of non stop massive fireworks..some that were so bright you had to close your eyes (a bit pointless i must admit but impressive nevertheless lol)...after that sparklers seemed a little over rated haha But there were like heaps of people from church there and HEAPS of little kids..haha i walked into the living room when i arrived and it was over run with kids under the age of 14..too funny coz the boys were just being boys..and yelling 'bundle' to which they jump on top of someone and then everyone else piles on top..haha they nearly got me too until tom was like 'nah shes a bit too new to do that too' lol it was a classic good night..

What else have i experienced since my last blog??
Oh well we had an 18+ group that i went to..well i didnt actually go to it coz it was at my house but i was there..It was for St Marks church (which is the church that theyve decided to base me in) and it was really good coz i got to drink a bit of wine, watch some more (lame) fireworks and meet heaps of new people..this seems to be a regular occurence lol

And Phil and Me went to the ladies group that prays for us..! it was too cute coz all these older ladies just asking us these questions..and then we made was amazing!! And then there are those classic ones that once you start a conversation with them you never hear the end of're still there an hour later trying to figure out how to make a polite exit haha oh the task of being a youth worker lol

this blog was written ages ago but i saved it coz i thought i had more to add..i don't haha
But I will start a fresh post in a tick.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

hmmmm..where do i begin

so i havent blogged for ages...time has really just gotten away on me and i dont really remember what ive been doing since the last blog..maybe i need to update it a little more often..hmm

At the moment i have found a spare few minutes as i am sitting in the office on a saturday waiting for a computer guy to come and check whats wrong with all the computers..then i can go home..this i s what i woke up early on my saturday morning for..and hes LATE..not impressed..

But I guess good things (such as this blog) come out of other peoples tardiness lol Last week was half term which means all the kiddies are off school and have a one week holiday..which means we had some time off good...we had monday off and then phil and I had a modular training course in Birmingham on tuesday and wednesday...But what a mission we had getting there..haha So the morning didnt start off well when i ran out of the house, paranoid we were going to miss the train, only to find that halfway down the road i didnt have the lugging all 2 days worth of my luggage plus a sleeping bag i threw myself back down the road only to find that the tickets had fallen out of my pocket and were lying on the floor of the so that was one problem solved...I walked as fast as i could, sometimes even breaking into a mad dash, to the station..only to get there 15 minutes no need for all that earlier kafuffle lol So we boarded all 4/5 of our trains well that day...just went a little bit wrong at the last station lol

We met up with some other people from yfc at the last station and boarded a train which we thought was going to the station we the last minute the conductor came into our carriage and shouted something then went back out and closed the doors..he had said that the train was not stopping but going straight to its final but we didnt hear was too funny coz we ended up going THROUGH the station we needed but ended up ages away at another

We ended up taking another train closer to the station we were meant to be at and then got picked up and taken to yfc head office..thank the Lord lol as it was getting rather frozen outside...and all i could think about is summer in

AND THEN IT we were sitting in on training listening about working with hard to reach young started just getting so excited and not being able to listen to a word he said coz i was so distracted lol
So during break time I was of course one of the first to run outside..the novelty soon wore off though as the snow melted and it got cold and wet lol but amazing all the same..

It was so good seeing everyone...and the training was really good too coz sometimes I feel a bit lost with some of these kids and how to deal with them...But it was so good to hear that God equips us for EVERY situation he puts us if we come into it as if God is in us and we are merely what he is using to get his love for them across then we should have more confidence in approaching kids and working with was so cool just to hear that and even though it was omething i already kknew there is something different about knowing it in your mind...and TRULY knowing it in your heart..
Also it totally came up again that instead of putting ourselves above the kids God calls us to love and care for these kids as they are..meeting them where they are, not judging them and then treating them as the amazingly loved kids of God that they are...

Also I'm reading an amazing book at the moment called THE have to read it if you word God shows up in so many amazing ways..its just so cool..and totally changes your views on everything...AMAZING

Yesterday I met my mentor..Her names Chris Pinner and she is so lovely..we sat in her front room for 2 hours yesterday talking, eating cake and drinking tea...perfect..we will meet more often..

I miss New Zealand and summer though..and im totally trying to work on that coz i really dont want to waste my time here by wishing I was back home...when I know this is where I am meant to be for the moment...

Tonight Im going to a massive fireworks display..which should be so exciting..

Love love xxx

and just because I have figured out how to I am going to put some pics on this blog of my London trip with Rach and lots of other random bits.. :)
it didnt work..dang