Sunday, March 29, 2009

i may as well live there.

Yes I have been to London yet again..Oh the joys of living so close to such an immense city and having a direct train line there..It was rather an impromptu and spontaneous visit to the great city on Sunday. My friend Dan who is usually in Edinburgh is down in the South for a few days..and seeing as I havent managed to take the MASSIVE coach journey up to Edinburgh just yet, London was a far closer option for there we met with a plan to go to Hillsong church in London and then go and see the rather prestigious annual rowing race with Cambridge University vs. Oxford University..and all for the cost of a train ticket..perfect for a volunteers wage!

Hillsong church was actually so big that I nearly got lost trying to find my way to the toilet..and so many people 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 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 weird being in London and having this totally different accent up the 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 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 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 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


So I have just realised three that its a ridiculously late time of night..two that I really shouldnt have tried to fake tan..and three that I havent updated my blog (like properly updated it with things that I have done) for over a month..I was looking over the 2nd to last blog about all the things I hoped to blog about soon and all those things seem like forever ago..and as the smell of fake tan wafts up from my neck of all places (where I think i may have scarily put a coat more than anywhere else I sprayed) I shall try remember the events that have happened without making this post too epic and help with this I will use subtitles (which I have been taught that in essays help to keep peoples attention..lets hope this is what happens here..yes?)
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..

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 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.

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 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 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 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..
love x

Thursday, March 19, 2009

so right.

Some people just have it SO RIGHT. Some people capture the very heart and essence of community and serving Jesus by serving people. I'm ill at the moment so have taken an afternoon off work..and have found myself browsing the internet for drop in centres and community organisations back home in New Zealand..And I am totally blown away and in awe...All I can say is that some people just have hit the nail on the head with their focus and their want to build community with ANYONE and EVERYONE who needs it..people who are in the lower parts of society..
This one organisation 'Urban Vision' ( 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' 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."
T.S Elliot

What do you think?

Monday, March 2, 2009

i have not forgotten..

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.