Monday, October 21, 2013

Welcome to Ashleigh Grove

It has been a week since I moved into my flat (love my flatmates! -3 incredibly sweet and fun women), and I have finally composed a video tour for you...enjoy :)

     I came to Newcastle with 2 bags, a guitar and a backpack. Last weekend, I filled Rob's suzuki with all the stuff I had to move into my flat...I am not surprised.  This has been a pattern I have slowly figured out about this experience: I bring little and take away much more. More luggage, expectation and love; all of which are exceeded with each new encounter.  I know I am not the first to discover that, when it comes to God, you always receive ten fold of what you give, but it is none the less humbling. 

    I am working to create strong relationships within the church for the young professionals and students, and I gain many amazing friendships in the process. 
    I am holding lunches to bring the whole of the congregation together in fellowship, and I find I have been made a part of this amazingly loving family. 
     I have started a free dance class for the students, and have such fun dancing without inhibition. 
     I lead a student small group on monday nights, and am given time to relax and explore how my own faith is strengthening. 
     I knit with some ladies each wednesday to make a blanket for Africa, and am loved, looked after and mentored by Katie (Rob's wife), Margaret (one of the Church stewards) and the other ladies there.
     I attend a meeting, and am overwhelmed with support from those I work with.

I could go on for days about all the examples of how I have received so much in my two months here thus far, but the point I am trying to make is: as much as this blog is to tell of all that I am doing here in Newcastle, I can't help but believe that the only way to express my year is, not in the things I do, but in the things God does. Describing this journey in the ways this community and the Jesmond Methodist Church family loves. And I can tell you from a front row seat...that that love is gonna rock this city.

Cheers for now

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cliff College and Will Smith

I spent last week at Cliff College in Derbyshire with the other UK YAGMs. It was a week of great sights, great studies, and the most amazing friends bringing more laughter you would ever imagine to fit into one week.
We discussed discipleship and what it looked like in our jobs, woke up to the sound of cows relentlessly mooing at 5:30, climbed the cliffs behind the campus, were almost blown off the cliffs by the strong winds, and even got creative with a short ode to Jesus and Will Smith's Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

While waiting for our trains at the end of the week, we (Abby, another YAGM in Durham, and Harry, our YAGM "Bonus Brit" we became good friends with over the week) decided it would be fun to preform this ode to a peg-legged pigeon....

I'll leave you with some photos of the Cliff beauty.

Cheers for now!