Friday, October 2, 2009
Greece. falcon camp. goodbyes with friends and family in England. flying home and the crazy mix of emotions that comes with it all.
trying to figure my life out. realising i just have to wait it out. getting a job. numerous catch ups with friends. trying to figure out whether i can just fit right back into my old life at home or whether i got to change it up somehow.
and through it all God has been so faithful even when I've been lousy as..My great missing pangs of England still come and go. and I hope one day I'm taken back there. But for now I realise I just have to take each day as it comes. and live in the here and now. and realise that no matter whether i like my average clothing store job or not God provided it for me with a reason...even if it is just to make some money..or meet a certain group of people..
and Ive totally been really challenged by that bit in the bible that says whatever you work at you should work as hard as if you were serving the Lord...even if I am just selling clothes..
And due to all this new-ness Ive got a new blog..
which will be updated ever now and again. so feel free to check it out.
Monday, August 31, 2009
If there's a presentation in your country or town seriously go check it out.
We are totally called to help human kind and we can do our part to end world poverty..so much easier and less impossible than we think.
The number of people who are living in extreme poverty has HALVED since 2000.
Man how amazing would it be if we were the generation to completely eradicate it?!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The first hour of the first day we all were arriving into London on different trains and after the confusion of a London guy not understanding my accent when asking what train i needed to catch, I was in West London ready to meet everyone..oh my word hugs all round and just a general buzz of chatter. Then games (classic) and an amazing talk by Gavin Calver whose the new director of National YFC..Then to our hotel where we would be staying. This was a sight and after getting over how bright yellow the bathroom was and wondering what was crusted on the pillows, we were off out to dinner at PIZZA HUT (yeah they have them here too)..was so good just to sit and chat to the girls that I missed so much and totally have experienced what was going on this year.
Next day, day two, was a scavenger hunt day in London. So much fun. It took us to Buck palace, Leicester square, embankment..and all over the place. And funnily enough I was the NZ tourguide, expert on London haha Navigating the underground and whatnot. SO FUN.
And the evening was just ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL. movie moment. We all took a cruise on the river thames at night..4 hours of dinner, dancing, drinks and watching the lights of London by water..so beautiful..and so surreal. There was just this moment of me dancing on the deck of the boat surrounded by loads of amazing friends whilst going past the big ben and houses of parliament all lit up, where I thought 'Oh my word this is amazing' and couldnt get over that I had actually done this and God has brought me on such an adventure to ENGLAND. was so amazing (this word is being used alot but there is no other word to describe it).
And then goodbye the next day. I didnt realise how sad this would make me. and i totally admit to crying. Theres some people Ive met who seriously I have no other word for it but have a 'God bond' with. Just one of those friendships where no matter how long since weve talked it all just is so natural when we see each other again. and so hard to let it go and think i dont know when im gunna see them again. oh dear. Me just walking through the tube station bawling..awful.
But it has been such a nice few days. Love them all.
Another thing that Ive been really challenged with lately aswell is the idea of just letting go of the young people I work with (because I love them so immensly) and just trusting that God will get through to them, and that he'll bring someone along to love them and care for them just as he brought me along, even after Ive left..and Im just having to hold onto that trust, because Im finding it so hard leaving..so hard. We had Mcdonalds with some of the girls I LOVE tonight..and it was just so cool just hanging and chatting and generally sharing life. I m going to miss them so much. ah well. I know God has my best interests at heart, so no matter how hard it is leaving I know God has something so amazing for me in the future.
Also struggling with this thought of what the worlds idea of success is and whether that will be the plan for my life. Money, education, a stable job. And Im wondering whether this is what God wants me to live like. Or whether hes got another plan that totally goes against the worlds idea of success. Which would be amazing. But I dont know how i would cope with peoples thoughts. trust and faith i think. We'll see when this arises. I know it will be an ADVENTURE though.
One of my friends said to me today out of the blue 'Im so excited to see where God takes you next year' and I honestly could say me too. Literally scary but so exciting.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Today I went to the seaside with some people from a home group at church. They are all so lovely and it was amazing them just inviting me and including me as part of them!!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Next week is a bit of a crazy week..The first 3 days Im away in London on what YFC like to call End of Year Bash..now as aggressive as this sounds, dont worry I wont be coming back covered in bruises and bumps, but is merely a way of getting all the volunteers together and celebrating what we've done and seen God do over the year..and have a big party..LONDON BABY! One of my all time favourite english places also and with Tuesday all dedicated to exploring im well up for it. And seeing all the faces I miss will be amazing. Tuesday night we're gunna have a big party with a Westend theatre theme..but at the same time formal?! hmm yeah i didnt get that one either..and so ive been fretting really bad about what I can go as..Being foreign I have little knowledge of the westend and what it entails..so google was a huge help. Thank goodness. Sister act?! That is all im going to say. And maybe that i found out that my host mum somehow has a nuns headress thing...these two go perfectly into the westend theme. I might be having a very 'holy' tuesday evening haha I have no time to find anything else at all!! haha I hear other peoples costumes are brilliant too..
Then Wednesday evening I come home..Thursday straight back into work where that evening we're taking some of the girls to London to see a theatre production of Wicked..which will be amazing (tick two things off my 'must do before i leave' box)..and I just cannot wait.
Then Friday we have normal work..then our end of year team meal..everything is getting so scarily ending..I think i may be a mess of tears by the end of it..oh dear.
But I think maybe, as much as I love it here and as much as Ive bonded with some of the young people andd team here and will always love them and keep in touch, I think Gods totally preparing me to come home..like slowly and surely making me look forward to seeing everyone and being back in my home country. Thankyou God but I know he's gunna have to do a whole lot of work when Im back home to stop me being a mess and missing here.
This weekend holds a bundle of excitement in store for me. Tomorrow Im going to the seaside with some lovely people from church. Then Sunday getting up so early and hitting London for Camden markets. I cannot wait. Photos will be taken.
Monday, July 6, 2009
So I am now living in a house that has people in it..Finally after 10 days, my host family came home on Thursday night..oh the joy of not waking up and hearing the cat and convincing myself that there is someone trying to break into the house..I'm liking it..However the 3 year old making a lot of noise does start to wear thin..haha However we are tight at the minute after me having taken him on an adventure on Saturday so that Martha could sort things out for her party..
I took him into Chatham and after being distracted by a pet shop and a toy shop (for 40 minutes) and having him asking if I could buy numerous toys I hopped us both onto the bus to come back to Gillingham..the WRONG bus..so instead of taking us to Gillingham it took us out of Gillingham..And theres me having to sheepishly ask the driver if he could take us back..oh dear. It took a little bit longer than we first expected..but we got home in the end. And it was an exciting adventure.
Saturday night was Marthas 30th birthday party..Underground theme..so everyone had to dress up as one of the London underground stops..I was so impressed with how much effort was put into this..People came dressed up as tennis players for Wimbledon, Bakers for Baker st, Liverpool supporters as Liverpool street, Arsenal player as Arsenal, Barbie and Ken as Barbican, Festival dancers as Notting Hill, 70's style as Waterloo..and then there was me..with my whistle around my neck for Tooting..oh my word..it was hilarious. And a good night had by all.
And Sunday was a dream. We went to Jamie Olivers restaurant in London, Fifteen. It was AMAZING. The food was perfect and the interior was so nice..It was literally so good. AMAZING. I am so lucky to live with the family I do otherwise I wouldnt be able to do half the things I am doing..
And today was another day off. I slept until lunchtime. then mooched about. watched telly. and tonight Im goign round to Daves and we're gunna watch the inbetweeners..the most hilarious british program ever..LOVE IT. I'm very excited.
And I have set this Sunday as the day I will do Camden markets and all the other markets in hopes of being immersed in the amazing culture and atmosphere..and maybe finding a few lovely cheap vintage pieces. I would love that.
And a week until End of Year Bash. Man this year has sped.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
These things I am looking forward to:
End of Year Bash. which is for all the YFC volunteers in London. 3 days of livin' the dream in the capital city. Hopefully we'll do some exploring, culture, and just general hanging out with nice people. There's a themed night one of the nights..Westend..and weve got to dress formal..might need to save my pennies and go shopping for something nice.
Camden Market. I haven't scheduled it in but it IS GOING TO happen. I cannot leave England having not done possibly the coolest thing in Britain. So many vintage stalls, up and coming fashion designers and loads of culture and different ethnicities. AMAZING. i must put it in my diary soon. MUST.
Westend Theatre Trip. Hopefully we'll be taking some of our girlies from drop in to a westend theatre production of 'Wicked' in a theatre in London just outside Victoria Staion. I hope we can do it. I really want to see a show and I know the girls would love it.
The huge Number of Drop ins that are stretched before me. I do 4 a week in the evenings and LOVE every one of them. The older kids are truly something else and I love them so much. I'm going to make the most of it while I can.
My long weekend. This starts tomorrow and I have no idea how I'm going to spend it. Im thinking maybe London. Or Camden. I dont know but I want to use the small number of pennies I have to go and do something exciting.
My host mums birthday. Which is this Saturday. She's turning 30 and is having a themed party 'Underground theme' so you have to go dressed up creatively as one of the names of the London Underground. I'm still undecided as to what Im going to go as. Olympia maybe? And make a toga out of a sheet. Then Sunday we're going to have lunch at a posh restaurant in London near London Bridge. Ooh La La it should be nice.
Greece. Me and Bee are going to a Greek Island called Corfu on July the 27th. Even though our flight is ridiculously early it will be amazing. 7 days of sun and sea and culture. I cannot wait.
Alpha away weekend. We're doing youth alpha at the moment with some of the kids from our evening drop ins and I love it. They're a bunch of rascals and are so noisy but God is totally working on them. So we're gunna do an away day where we just have fun with them, play games and do some intense sessions on what Jesus has done for them. It will be epic.
This is what my July holds. and I know it will hold so much more aswell. Amazing. Cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.
Monday, June 29, 2009
And I'm taking full advantage of having baths at 1 in the morning and tidying my room and the house at crazy times..No need to be quiet because no one is home apart from me. The silence is weird though. No 3 year old alfie tearing around the house begging me to play with him or making me watch silly kids television programs (which secretly are quite entertaining). Its been nice being home alone just chilling and doing whatever the heck I want but it will be nice having a populated house again on Thursday...And Ive totally scored in the cooking department..literally have only cooked for myself less than half the nights that theyve been away..oh my! Ive been invited round to peoples for dinner and everything..amazing what pity does for people lol
Today has been such a wonderful day..Like really nice..First of all the weather was amazing!! like so hot..(sorry to all you new zealanders who are having the coldest winter in all records)..
We played football down at the cage in a community with some of the kids that come to our drop ins and live there...and seeing as Dave (our resident football fanatic) was out of action due to a sore shoulder I was encouraged to step up and make my football skills known..or not..theres me with all these young people who play football every day of their lives..All I could do was run after them and occasionally put the odd elbow in to let me get the ball..haha And then there was the issue of me being goalie..let me just tell you a quick story from the last time i was a goalie in football back at school..I literally stood there and cried until half time in goal coz I didnt want to do it..and that was in year 13..oh the shame.. so today I braved my fear and had footballs hurtling at me at all kinds of speed.. literally I have purple bruises all over my legs from using my body to get in the way of the goal..and my knee is seriously got a dent in it..oh my word. But it was so fun and so good to be doing something that the kids love and making an effort.
Then round to Dave and Lauries for dinner..while Dave cooked, me and Laurie did a clubland workout video (after we jibbed off going to the gym coz it was too hot)..This was hilarious..all manner of tight outfits on the video and gyrating to trance music..too funny and we just collapsed in giggles on the floor..I dont know how much toning it did for us..haha And I got introduced to the UK series 'the inbetweeners'..seriously amazing..just so cringy about these kids who are trying to become popular in a high school and its just so funny and awkard in so many places..amazing..the only setback is the swearing and one guy who is literally just so full of hormones and goes after anything that walks haha check it out. funny.
Today has just been lovely. work. friends. football. love it.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
These next weeks are going to be amazing I know it.
Yesterday I had such a wonderful day. I took an amazing young girl I work with for lunch. Mcdonalds it just had to be. Then mooched around the chops in Chatham for a bit.
And then for James Morrison with Kirstie, Ruby and Cheryl. We took the train to canterbury and after a few delays we cued up outside the cricket grounds where it was being held. It was such a nice day. Rainy at times but that was just an excuse for hilarious green ponchos. And the support acts were amazing!! A band called Vagabond played (who I'd walked past earlier on the way to the portaloo and decided they must be in a band coz they looked way too cool) and just made me want to dance. And a girl from australia who had the largest amount of style ive ever seen. Look 'em up on myspace or something. AMAZING. James Morrison played loads of songs and was epic. PERFECT. and the sun even made an appearance. haha
This week holds just the normal for me. But I'm going to try and make the most of each day.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I got to say prayers with him the other night and he taught me a lesson on how to pray. He used the word 'bum' and 'smelly bottom' alot and waved his hands around in some kind of dance move action when he said the word amen. Too cute.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Today has been so lovely though..Helped with a group of young people at my church called 'Pathfinders' (loving the cheesy Christian name)..By helping I don't mean having to do anything that actually involves me putting effort in..The definition of helping in this context involves me sitting on a comfortable chair and generally chatting to the well behaved polite Christian kids and occasionally having to contribute to useful conversation that is happening with the other leaders..haha it's quite nice.
Then I left early (just another definition of how hard I work on this haha) and went for lunch with my host family and marthas stepmum, dad and sister in this quaint little town. The drive there was beautiful. Through little lanes and roads with trees making an archway over them, old houses with fields..oh was such a change from the scenery of Gillingham. And the place we went for lunch (apart from the fact we had to wait like an hour for our food) was so cute..It's a place called Cafe Rouge and its a dinky french restaurant with amazing food and music that makes you feel like youre in paris somewhere..LOVELY..Although its always awkward trying to order things off the menu that are blatantly french..It usually starts with me making a really poor attempt (usually in a low voice so noone can hear what an ass I sound like) at pronouncing the french word then ends with me just stabbing my finger at the menu so the waiter can see what I am ordering..awkward. But such a nice place.
Followed by a trip to Martha's dads house which is the converted stables of an old manor house..which is HUGE..like literally the manor house is on the same property and is literally like an old english manor but so beautiful..so beautiful. Strawberries and cream (very english) and then the drive back home through the amazing countryside. PERFECT.
Such a lovely day and I am SO blessed to have a host family that just include me in their outings and make me feel so at home. yes thankyou.
Another thing I want to do before I come home that I need to add to my list is take a day trip to France. My host family have said we need to book a date in July for us all to go to the French coast..Oh my word I am so blessed. SO FLIPPIN' BLESSED.
Oh and exciting news. My host mum, Martha is pregnant..YAY. so cool. But on Tuesday theyre going away on holiday to cornwall, on the seaside, for like 1o days..so I will have to fend for myself. we'll see how that goes. Miss Independant.
This weekend has been lovely.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
MY achievement of the day however is I have been to the GYM..yes I know..the GYM..It is a rather foreign place for me to be..but today I decided it was necessary and seeing as I didnt have anything better to do it was perfect..maybe if more often I didnt have anything to do I would find myself a wee bit skinnier having gone to the gym a bit more..i guess we will never know.
It's just so weird though because my gym is a unisex gym..so there's all these guys 'pumping iron' and being all hard while little old me is red faced and sweaty trying my hardest to lift like 5kg..oh my word.
Yesterday was a rather interesting day. Claire (our support person from head office) came down to do my end of year interview..END OF YEAR?! I'm freaking out about having to finish my year here..everything will be okay though I know God has a plan for me and whether its in New Zealand or somewhere else he'll reveal it to me. hopefully soon. I'm just gunna chill for quite awhile when I get home..take up a few hobbies..get back into photography, maybe start sewing...read alot..and just relax.
THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I COME HOME:
- Go and visit the stonehenge in Salisbury. until I got here I always thought the stonehenge was in Ireland..who knew it was actually in England?!
- Camden Markets. all things markety, cultural and vintage in Camden. I cannot wait to go and spend the day parousing through all the market stalls and then continue onto other markets and vintage shops throughout the day...
- Having another day out in London with friends being shown the exciting and little secret places that are cool.
- Go to somewhere sunny in europe. Me and Bee are hopefully booking our holiday to Greece next week sometime so I'm hoping the tickets are still there. I want some Mediteranian culture and sun.
- Go on the London eye at night. I would love to look out over London with all the lights and the thames and tower bridge..oh i must do it.
- Go to see a Westend show in London. I must do this. Everyone keeps telling me I need to but I havent gotten around to it. I will sort it out.
- Host a New Zealand themed night at drop in. Im thinking pavlovas, the national anthem, kiwifruit carving, flags strung up everywhere and me just in stubbies and a rugby top. Perfect. Any other ideas?
- Take some of the girls from drop in to a west end show in london. They all so want to go but they just dont really have the money or will maybe never get to see one otherwise. I hope it works out.
So many things to do, so little time. I'm praying that it will all come together and I can do all these things. yes please.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
BUT there was me in my room earlier stuffing everything into my suitcase..trying to get a rough idea of how much over weight my bag will be on the 16th of August at Gatwick airport..and how I will explain to the lady at the desk that i cant take anymore luggage out..because I dont want to..I hope she understands..
Ive already given a load of clothes away to some of the young girls I work with to try and lighten the load..But its still like 10kg over..oh dear..and that's without my underwear and things in the bag (which are quite important I would say) and if I don't buy one more thing until I leave..
I need to find a cheap removal company that will sail my stuff across the sea without much charge. I am praying for this.
Also I'm getting so excited. Before I leave I want to sort out a few projects with the kids. We've got a wall out the back of drop in that was graffitied on ages ago..and I want the kids to do some kind of amazing artwork over it so it makes it look nice..Although the flip side is that the paint will just get all over everyone..me just coming back to new zealand stained neon green from an unfortunate graffiti accident lol And we're gunna put photos and artwork on the walls of drop in so it doesnt look so dull...It may sound sad that I'm getting excited. But this place needs to be nice for these kids.
Also and this is the icing on the virtual cake..I'm gunna do a New Zealand drop in one night before i leave. This will be everything New Zealand. I am bringing NZ to Gillingham for one night only.
Im thinking the national anthem playing..maybe skip the feature of 'once were warriors'..but have NZ food and drink..and carving new zealand things out of kiwifruits..and loads of other things. Any ideas from you New Zealand kids for this?! I want to make it cool. yes?
Lets just put a few things straight for those of you who have been following this from day one..In an earlier post I claim that because I have a gym membership I will look like a supermodel when I get back..Let me just put a disclaimer with that : will only work if I actually went to the gym..So for all of you who were waiting for some kind of Kate Moss look alike to arrive at the airport in my place I'm afraid this won't happen.
Also I did earlier state that I will get better at football as I am in a country that's main sport is football...disclaimer: that would be only if I had a natural talent for it. which I dont. So don't go joining me up to play for the NZ team just yet.
I also stated that I have my tea with milk and one sugar. I no longer take sugar. Now this is important information if when I get home you want to invite me around for a drink.
Also no matter how long I've been here for I can't get over the fact that all the shops are ENORMOUS..seriously no matter what you want to buy (unless you go to Gillingham High street which has a 97p store, a 99p store and a few other equally rundown shops) you have to walk through a myriad of things you dont want to buy to get it..The clothes shops literally are enough to get lost in..so overwhelming..you go into buy one thing..you come out with something completely different because its such a confusing experience..but would be an amazing experience if I actually got paid. haha not bitter at all.
Which leads me to my next point. I have been promoted. Not an ordinary promotion where you get lifted up into a position that truly has advantages. But a GYFC promotion where I no longer am a volunteer but am now considered to be a STAFF member. Yeah get me. STAFF.
What does this mean for me you ask? It means I still don't get paid, I still do exactly the same thing, EXCEPT (heres the big one) I have to come into work an hour earlier on a Friday morning for STAFF meeting..hahahah But I do like to think I'm held in higher esteem in my colleagues (lol) minds...haha
Also another big change..The other volunteer that was based in Gillingham has had to finish his year early..so we are a team member down..which is why we've been so crazy busy the last few weeks..but thats okay..the new staff member will surely be able to take things on lol
Anything else I want to leave you with? Oh yeah I'm trying to figure out how to bring all my luggage home. Not only did my mum send over a whole bunch of stuff that didnt fit in my suitcase when I first came over. But I have also somehow accumulated loads of stuff in the 10 months Ive been here. And Ive looked into shipping it home and its gunna cost at least £130 ..which could basically buy me everything I would send home and more when I got home..So for the past few nights Ive been trying to cull my wardrobe and many other bits that I want to come home..and trying to decide what the best way to do this is..sell on ebay? give away? or just strap it to someones back and get them to swim it over? Sheesh. who knew?!
Oh and I got to tell the boy who nicked that phone in drop in last year about Jesus last night and no matter what he does he'll still be loved. AMAZING. So God. Thankyou. He just stood outside all night with the cutest puppy that he is planning on training to be a weapon. So I just cuddled it and told it not to let him turn it mean hahaha hopefully it will remember that.
And on the 27th of June. I am going to see James Morrison perform live in Canterbury. I am so excited. I am so blessed to have been able to do things like this while Ive been over here.
If only I could have gone to Glastonbury. ah well. We can only do so much :)
The next few weeks will be so exciting.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Seriously, I love the kids I work with. They are truly amazing. The things theyve had to grow up with, put up with and figure out are way too much for any kid to handle...and sure they get in trouble with the police, tell me their birthday is in a few days so I will make them a cake and then find out its not, get angry, get annoying, lash out, smoke..But all they want is people to love them and take them for who they are..and they have taught me such a HUGE lesson in love this year..But we've seen so much change..A girl that I absolutely adore has totally softened up since shes started coming in to drop ins..Kids at the youth alpha session tonight asked us and other kids to tell their stories, tell them what God has done in our lives..and they just sat in awe and listened...God is working..and I so expect more before I go home..I cant wait to come back in a few years and see them grown up a bit..will be amazing. Oh my word the things Ive learnt. I dont know what I'm gunna do with myself when i get home.
So many things are all lined up though for before I go..YFC end of year retreat at the beginning of July..I finish work on the 26th July..Hopefully sometime in July I will have a weekend in London with some new friends..and try to get on a diet to get down to my pre-england size haha too many chips.
And before then I'm hoping to take some of the girls to a show in london..get a project going so they can spraypaint the back wall of drop in to make it look amazing..this may need censoring otherwise there may be cussing and swearing spread across the concrete...loads of end of year stuff..saying goodbye to the kids..I will cry...
Then my friend Bee and I will fly out to Corfu in Greece for a weeks holiday..ahh sun and beaches and hopefully tanning..
Then to do a camp with some of the kids..which will be interesting as some of the young people who are coming may make some trouble..and theyve been put in my dorm to look after lol
Then fly out of England on the 16th. to arrive home on the 19th.
Oh my word its going to take some time to adjust and process the crazy year.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
I mooched about South Kensington. Had a coffee and read a book. Did a bit of shopping in the extensive and large shops of Oxford Circus. Met my friend Mike and went to Covent Garden. Had another coffee and nearly got attacked by pigeons. Mooched about a bit more. Danced around a CD store to Black Eyed Peas. We then met my friend Jordan and a lovely girl called Sarah at an amazingly cute tea place on Bond street called Tea Orient. Devised a plan for the evening. Went to an amazing asian place called Wagamamas for dinner and tried my best to eat with chopsticks and talked deep about God and forgiveness. amazing. Then went to a part of the city filled with culture and drank mint tea over more hilarious conversation. Truly a day dreams are made of. So sad to have to say goodbye to it at Victoria station in the late hours of the night.
But tomorrow is work. and youth alpha. and getting to see the kids I work with. Which are all good things. Youth Alpha has been going amazingly. A guy last week that Ive been praying for heaps and that I know God has really put on my heart totally surprised us and said that God had spoken to him. Flipping heck. And we doubt God because..? totally blew me away.
The last few days have been full of pretty places. Possibly the most peaceful place Ive ever been. Saturday was a youth event at Ealesford priory which is a place that is still used for monks to live in. Just old buildings and amazingly beautiful gardens and monks sauntering about in their brown robes. perfect.
Next weekend may be a visit to Brighton. Have always wanted to go and Sarah invited me to go with her. exciting. we'll see.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I prayed and found my MP3 player which has been missing for over a month. Just because I couldnt sleep and wanted to listen to Brooke Fraser. and there it was..And I know he didnt answer it because it was the biggest deal or need in the world..but because it was important to me..and he cares about every little or big thing that we do.
My 5 day weekend has sorted out after me praying about it. I'm heading off to Nuneaton on an incredibly cheap train ticket to surprise a friend for her birthday.
I tell you prayer works. even in small cases.
Ive been praying about getting closer to these two girls that have just started coming into drop in and chatting to them..because they are difficult to talk to and dont make it easy for me..but i know i wanna get to know them a bit more.
But tonight we talked and laughed. and it was so natural. it was amazing.
I tell you prayer works.
There are so many kids that I work with that are close to my heart and I can feel amazing things are going to happen in the next few months.
Im so excited. I really am.
And I can't believe I havent even blogged about easter and going away.
I will soon I promise s you're all in the know.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Let me just paint a scene for you, theres this guy (who you can tell has no affiliation with teenagers as he expects them to sit down when he tells them to and be very quiet) and then theres about 15 crazy teenagers running around outside of drop in, one standing on the windowsill and a few refusing to be photographed..whilst the photographer is trying to get a decent photo out of it all...In the midst of this I'm trying to figure out why a girl is crying whilst she has a shouting and swearing match across the street with another girl who is threatening to smack her head in whilst another of the girls tries to mediate..The photographer is desperately trying to pull this shambles into a picture of the kids..The leaders then have to have a photo whilst the kids are running riot behind them..all of us hoping the photo is quick so that we can go and sort out whatever could be happening..This should have been an indication of the rest of the night for us.
This was pretty much the tone of the rest of the night. The girls made a few phone calls to a girl who none of the other girls like at the moment to tell her to come down to youth club where there was going to be a fight apparently, hints of going outside to take drugs, girls trying to meet the boys by going outside every 2 seconds for a cigarette break and just running upstairs to hassle the boys group, then throwing glitter everywhere..and although we tried to discourage all this it didnt seem to work..sheesh it was quite a night...
and for the past hour Ive been thinking that this was such a task and how bad for me to have to put up with this..But Ive been mulling over it..and even though they were being a pain..I really should have acted differently..and loved them..not huffed around and felt sorry for myself having to put up with it..But seriously asking God to be in the situation and shared the journey with them of talking through what was the matter...These are the kids, these are their lives..and just because they werent amazing tonight and I didnt have a fantastic time with them, doesnt mean that I can feel okay about complaining..I cant choose to love them when theyre cool and then totally have enough of them when theyre harder to deal with..It should be a 24 hour 7 days a week love and tolerance for them..
I dont think There's any pointONLY loving people and being nice to people that just do the same for you coz it doesnt put you out at all ..There's a huge point and amount of character in loving the kids that dont always treat you amazingly and can stretch you to your limits..forgeting what theyve done and get on with it..even though this is harder..because this is what Jesus did..Jesus loves these kids..He thinks theyre amazing..and I should too...and if Im going to work with them..I need to understand this and make it part of who I am...not just on the good nights.
but boy can it be hard sometimes..a journey I am on that is forever up and down.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
But Jason Mraz was amazing. just as I imagined the show to be. PERFECT.
Over my easter break I went to Swindon to visit my friend Bee. We went to Bath, a town where the Roman influence in England was, which means they still have Roman Baths (hence the name..lol) We went to the fashion museum and the Roman Baths..both of which had these amazingly hilarious walkie talkie tour guide things (credit crunch staff cuts?) that you were meant to hang round your neck and listen to what it was saying about each thing..However interesting the information was, it was just too funny looking around the tourist attractions and seeing all these people walking round with these walkie talkies strung round their necks and listening really hard...And the bonus was we got in half price to all the attractions..and got a half price lunch..which was so God..coz I really didnt have much money to take me through the trip and I was thinking this is going to get me nowhere..
Bee just so happened to be looking on the internet..and found half price tickets to these Bath attractions..which was so amazing..coz otherwise I would never have been able to see what I saw..which really made me realise that God cares about the little things..like my trip to Bath..Bath is beautiful.
While I was in Swindon with Bee we also went to the park and played rounders with some of her friends..was so child like but so amazing..and im going to try and bring this sport to new zealand..lol Theres me just trying to swing and hit the ball with the bat..and failing miserably..HILARIOUS..
And in the mix of these things was also a lot of just relaxing. re generating. and appreciating the time away. And going to Bee's nieces birthday party in London. was so cute..all these little kids running around stealing presents off the present pile, eating way too much food, playing party games. It was amazing. I think parties should still be like that. haha
The week after I got home from Swindon I was back to work..well I say work but this week was literally the least work-like week Ive ever had..even since Wunderland, where i just sat at the desk on facebook and occasionally served someone who came into the shop.
The kids we work with were all on school holidays, so apart from not being able to go into town without bumping into one of these little ones, we had some outings they could sign up for to keep them from boredom. I think I was more excited about this than anyone else. We got to go to the london zoo!! I pretty much leapt for joy. This trip consisted of us keeping the kids occupied on the train by playing a game that they love, much to the dismay of some of the passengers. It is called the 'to save the world' game and is very childish yet highly amusing.
It goes a little like this
kid: 'To save the world would you rather eat a smelly sock or a toenail?'
Then as the trip goes on it usually needs taming down. I have to say i think the kids enjoyed it more than the other passengers. All in good fun.
Apart from the fact it was raining and most of the animals were in hiding in their houses, and we missed the penguin feeding because we failed to read the signs, it was amazing! Apparently the biggest zoo in Europe..so i hear. And any zoo trip wouldnt be complete with the 'original' quips of pointing at monkeys and saying 'hey look theres you' classic kids. just classic.
And on the trip back on the train me and one of the kids, Daisy (who is a real sweetheart), sat next to this overly talkative man who had just been interviewed to be on deal or no deal. So we played cards with him in hopes that when he did go on deal or no deal and won big he would remember how nice we were and maybe split the money or donate it to a good cause. haha.
Work but definitely not work at the same time.
We also did a sleepover for some of the kids. which involved very little sleep. and us making them pancakes in the morning. classic.
And that was how my life over easter went.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Tonight I am going to London Town (yes the 3rd time in 2 weeks) to go and see Jason Mraz live at the Hammersmith apollo...and I'm so excited...It should be amazing..In approximately 2 hours I will be walking down to the train station to meet Simon, Sarah and Rosie and off we will go..to an evening of bliss..music to my ears...I CAN'T WAIT..! Hopefully it will be everything that I ever dreamed. Although I'm not entirely confident about the company..as I don't know many of the people I am going with..Hopefully the common ground of our love for Jason Mraz will spur along the friendship..and if not we will just sing the songs loudly together and everything will be okay..so looking forward to it.
Also stretched before me is an entire 10 days holiday..which is EXACTLY what I need..some time to sleep, think and do whatever the heck I want. What I want to do however I don't know yet. I have so many options that I just dont know what to do with myself..and I dont want to plan loads and then be worn out by the end. So I have simply planned a few things with a few lovely people and will be relaxed and satisfied with that. Until Tuesday I am free to do as I wish..walk the high street of Gillingham, perhaps start a much needed exercise regime, maybe do some baking, or walk the streets looking for kids to hangout with (this is only if I miss not working haha).
TUESDAY will be the day that I'm thinking of going to visit my friend Kirsty in Reading. Kirsty has just finished up her 8 months of YFC work in Swindon so I wanna hangout with her coz she wont be at any other YFC things. She has probably my favourite English accent and is very creative. I am looking forward to seeing her.
TUESDAY NIGHT I will make my way on the train to Swindon..where I will meet the lovely Bee..and we will go on day trips to places near Swindon (as the only attraction in Swindon is a 5 part roundabout) such as Bath and the seaside which will be amazing!! Everyone is telling me how beautiful Bath is..and I cant wait to see it. Then Saturday we will hit up London (AGAIN) and will go to Camden Markets..This will be brilliant!! Apparently its just markets with loads of different knik nak stalls and budding clothing designers and vintage things..I am going to be in my element..
This is my easter break sorted. And I'm looking forward to all of it...! Right, now Im going to figure out what to wear tonight (which may take a while) haha
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Hillsong church was EPIC..like actually so big that I nearly got lost trying to find my way to the toilet..and so many people EVERYWHERE..so overwhelming..but good at the same time...It's like a church that have thousands who go every week, 4 services every Sunday to accomodate the people who want to go, hire out a theatre for the venue, and spend hours every Sunday setting up the lights and getting ready for the day. Truly a mission. It was such an experience though coz I had heard so much about it from different people..and it was cool to be able to come and see for myself what a MEGA church like this was like..very big, very pretty people on stage, and free tea..not bad at all..I dont think i could have it as my home church..like a weekly one..But was good to see what goes on haha It was an interesting experience and one that definitely has given me some things to think about..So funny though coz all 4 of the people that came up to talk were Australian..so weird being in London and having this totally different accent up the front..me just cringing in the front hoping that my accent isnt quite like that lol
And then navigating our way to the tube station that would get us to the rowing race...
Apparently this rowing race is actually quite a big deal and started in 1844 (i didnt even know they had rowing boats back then?!) lol and so was a perfect thing for a tourist like me to attend..We saw the beginning..the boats setting off and all the rowers straining hard out trying to win..apparently its a VERY big deal if either team wins..and then we went to the pub to watch the finish of the race on tv..And Oxford won..which apparently (according to the Oxford fan standing next to me) always happens..and that it hasnt been a proper competition for a few years lol oh dear. It was an event for the prestigious though..all the posh Londoners, Oxford people and Cambridge people all in one place in their tweed jackets and crisp shirts and ties..And then theres me and Dan in our jeans ..was classic..We even tried to get into one of the rowing clubs..it was so obvious we hadnt been invited..but was classic. Even more classic when a boat went past everyone standing beside the Thames..and the waves washed up over the pavement sending everyone fleeing from the tide..was a bit funny...Then we just wandered around London..was such a nice day!! And on the same train home as me was 2 guys dressed as mustard bottles..hahaha nozzles on their heads and everything..was so funny coz they casually hopped out at Bromley south station and waddled across the platform..me just imagining them meeting a massive hot dog outside lol only in London huh.
It was such a busy weekend though coz the day before I had trained from Gillingham to Birmingham and then back again all on the Saturday!! 8 hours travelling on a train..with no book..and no mp3 player..awful..But I took one of our part time volunteers up to head office for a day where people who want to do what I'm doing this year can find out about stuff and get interviewed..Was quite funny talking to the parents of the kids and answering all their questions about what im doing and where I am..and then answering peoples questions about NZ..lol always the NZ questions.
That was my weekend..
And next week I am off for Easter..a whole week and a half stretched before me free..Im not sure what Im going to do yet..I feel as if I need to go away because I need to see the country..not sure where I wanna go though!! ah well. This coming Saturday I am in London again to see JASON MRAZ perform at the Hammersmith Apollo with some friends from church..I am so looking forward to it. love him. That is all my plans for now. I will update as my adventure progresses.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Just quickly for the record its been really sunny here the past few days..Ive been able to rid of a few layers..I have hope that spring is on the way..
TRAINING IN BIRMINGHAM.
Man this happened ages ago..It must have been the end of february I think..I ventured my own way up on the train to YFC head office in Birmingham to a Proclamation Evanglism 2 day training thing (of which I didnt really understand what proclamation evangalism was..) and wondered whether a 4 hour train journey one day there and a 4 hour return journey back to Gillingham was really worth it..especcially with my lack of ability to make myself stress less about missing trains and walking to other stations..yadayadayada..ANYWAY..let me just tell you it was amazing!! A guy who works for YFC but who is originally from Australia took it..and apart from the occasional jibe at NZ and the only new zealander in the room..it was really good..! It basically just went over the need to go out into the community and what mission was and how we could better do it and things like that.. and was an opportunity to catch up with the other volunteers which is the closest thing Ive had to a social occasion in ages..Let me just say over here my social life really isn't at its peak..haha Gillingham is not really known for people my own age lol
I have decided I LOVE GREENWICH..! It is such a beautiful place, so full of culture and prettiness..I was so happy that my friend Ellie suggested that her parents took us on a day trip there because I'd never been..and all I knew was that I had learnt in maths that that was the place where time was invented (Greenwich mean time)..So with this knowledge under my belt off I went..and what I found was far more interesting than anything I had ever heard in maths..First of all I think it was the first day that I had actually felt the sun since we had been in Rome..Second of all we started off in Greenwich park...Its such a nice park with squirrels running everywhere and people rollerblading..and just so fresh and open spaced (which there's not alot of in England)..We strolled through the park and up to the top of the hill there which gives the most amazing outlook over the River Thames and all of London..So pretty!! And this is where a funny man in an olden day costume grabbed our attention and began to tell us all about Greenwich mean time and the Meridian line..which was a bit of a laugh..and then THE MARKETS..oh the joys of the markets..this is where the culture begins..wee little shops, bustling vintage markets, antique kind of stores, vintage shops, shops selling amazing different bits and bobs..cultural markets selling amazing food from different countries..we spent ages strolling round the markets and shops..I definitely want to do it again!! It was such a good day...such a treat and so relaxing. Just what I needed.
BLACKLION COMMUNITY EVENT
This was so amazing..Basically the church that I am with over here do an event every year where they serve the community and put on a massive free event for anyone and everyone. This year they hired out a community leisure centre with gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, kids rooms and crafts and all sorts and anyone could just come in for free and just use all these things..It was so cool..so many people turned up and we were able to serve them and get to know heaps of different people...give out cake and tea...let the kids go wild on the bouncy castles..and heaps of the kids from drop in came with their families! It was so cool just to be part of something bigger..and to meet all the people that we must walk past everyday and not even notice..was amazing and gave heaps of people the chance to serve.
This is basically what it says..a retreat in the middle of our year out..lol No really though...All the volunteers who are doing a year out with YFC get 4 days off to go to Kidderminster to a holiday centre thing for a retreat..Its so cool coz you just get to chill and hangout and reflect on the first half of the year and look forward to the next half whilst getting to see all the other volunteers..This is all I thought it was..But God totally had other ideas for me..haha While we were there we had seminars and prayer meetings and creative bits and pieces we could get involved in which was cool..and a whole day focused on what we were going to be doing after we finished our gap year..and God really challenged me to think about a few different options for that..and really pray into them..I hate thinking about the future coz I totally dont know what God has in store for me..But I know that Im staying the full year with YFC..so that ends in the end of July..and then I'll be coming home on the 14th of August (I know the date seems to be getting further and further away..but I think this is the last change lol)
It was so amazing actually because literally I so wanted to stay on but I couldnt afford the extra money at all..and the head guy, Dave Newton, came over to me on the last morning of the retreat and said that YFC would sort out the finance for the last 4 months of my stay!! It was such a blessing and I'm so happy about it..I get to stay with the kids till the end of July! yus but I know by then I think I will be ready to come home..England is good for a wee while..but New Zealand just blows me away..I love my homeland..
That brings me up to date until halfway through march..hmm I might just leave it there..
except to say..that I'm going to see Jason Mraz Live in London on the 4th of April..and following that I have over a weeks holiday so im gunna find some exciting things to do in it...not quite sure yet..maybe a trip to france? or a tiki tour around england? we'll see where it takes me..
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This one organisation 'Urban Vision' (www.urbanvision.org.nz) is totally all about living in community and welcoming those who are poor or marginalised into that community...Moving into flats and places where they know there is people in need..migrants, refugees and such..and establishing a community among them where they can have their needs met and can build amazing relationships..
These people have it SO RIGHT..They describe who they are as 'those who believe Jesus call to love beyond the church walls, and join with others in pioneering expressions of love in neighbourhoods of need'..is this not what Jesus called us to do? take care of the broken, put ourselves in places so we can help those in need...did Jesus not hang out with the down and outers? those that others didnt want to be associated with or who others thought were unimportant? This is totally what Jesus wants..a missional community..misseo-dei (as I learned at one training) is going and doing in a community..and I totally believe this is the way to go whether it just be in your own community where you live and getting to know your neighbours, inviting them round for a meal or helping to fix their fence or something..Jesus called his followers to be DOING..
When I was living back home in Hamilton I didn't see much need..but I think my eyes weren't open to it..but behind every gang, every troubled teenager, every poorer community is need..and we are called as Christians to meet that need..Not because we will then be able to tell them about God in hopes of them becoming a follower..but because that is what Jesus would have wanted..he never intended people to be hungry, cold, broken, fighting..
I bet when I go home I will see where I live in such a different way..and I pray that I will be able to do something about it.
Theres another story I came across aswell.
About a guy who has devoted his time to making a community in an area of Hamilton that is known for its gang violence, graffiti and lack of money..The kids go to school hungry and there was a massive gang issue because the kids were seeking a sense of belonging and community that the actual community couldnt provide..this guy has set up a community centre that picks up the kids in the community really early so they can go and have breakfast at the centre, then get walked to school with a packed lunch..then they provide afterschool clubs and dinner clubs so the kids are able to be involved and have fun in a positive environment..This guy has seen the need for a real community and for these kids and families... and has seen the number of kids in gangs decrease and these kids know what its like to have people who care about whether they go to school hungry ..and as far as i can see he's not a christian..Man we need to step it up..we need to start seeking areas where the community needs us and fill them. I am so inspired and challenged by these people.
"What life have we if we have not a life together?
There is no life not lived in a community."
What do you think?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Waiting at the train station in Birmingham with some other volunteers.
I will blog very soon i promise.
There are so many things I would like to write about. But just dont feel I have the time.
.the saga of whether I will stay longer in England or not
.my day trip to Greenwich
.the amazing community event
.how cool my young people are
.the up coming midyear retreat in Kidderminster
.the manic week ahead of me
.how I got tickets to go and see Jason Mraz in London
.the chance to dress up like a mexican for a night
So you could say this is an advertisement or a promo, per say, for my next blog.
It will blow your mind. well not really but might be of a bit of interest.
Monday, February 9, 2009
This weekend has been a bit of a toughie for me..and it has continued to today..I dont know why..But I been feeling homesickness intensely..and it almost feels as if it would be easier if I was home in my comfort zone doing what I always used to do..But instead I'm in a foreign country which is totally not my comfort zone..and believe me most of the time it is amazing..but not when I feel like this..everything is just so much harder..and I feel God challenging me..and I just feel as though I cant take a challenge at the moment..but even though im not feeling it at the moment I am a hundred percent CERTAIN that this is where God wants me and all the things I am going through now..all the things I am feeling are just part of life..and will help me to grow..and that he is with me through it..he never gives us anything that he knows we cant deal with..and I know tomorrow or the next day I will wake up and everything will feel okay again..I know that..and while I wait for everything to feel right again I will try and restrain from eating copious amounts of chocolate to comfort myself at this moment..haha Its not the kids, or the team I work with, its just doing it in a place and in a kind of work where I am out of my comfort zone.. But then I guess it gives me more of an opportunity to press into God and just trust.