Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I know it has been nearly a month since I have last posted, but perhaps that is a good sign of how I have really been settling into a busy day to day life: enjoying the work that needs to be done, loving adventurous free time with new friends, and relaxing when I need to recharge again.

In the past month...
I have had YAGM visitors and got to show them my life up here in the North-East (as well as getting them "hooked" on knitting),
Explored the historic city of Durham (including its Cathedral: aka one of the filming locations for Harry Potter),
Celebrated Bonfire Night at the local fireworks show (other wise known as the 5th of November in which Guy Fawkes failed to blow up the British Parliament),
Supported the Falcons Rugby team,
Received a bike from a friend out of the goodness of her heart,
Hosted a Pumpkin Carving Party,
Cooked a dinner for the Northumbria University, Christian Union "Mission Week,"
Kept busy preparing for the JMC Traditional Thanksgiving Meal next week,
as well as with the usual weekly small groups, church services, sunday-night sanctuaries, and my line dancing class of course :).
And to relax, I was able to sneak away with Rob and Katie to their cottage in the country-side of Northumberland!

Left: Durham Castle and Cathedral on the River 
(towers to the back left)
Right: Invitation for Thanksgiving Meal
Bottom: Pumpkin Party

The view From Rob and Katie's Cottage (reminded me of the film "The Holiday") 

A lot has happened in my three months here, and yet it seems to have flown by so quickly!
But nothing has made this span of time more apparent than church this sunday...

      Three months ago, if someone had told me that I would be playing guitar and singing in the worship band at JMC, I would have called them a fool! But sure enough, there I was this sunday, strumming away. I was surrounded by 3 very talented musicians and friends, who were supporting me and encouraging me to play with only one thing in mind...God.
     I anticipated nerves, I anticipated sweaty palms, I anticipated to forget the words or strum the wrong chords; but all I can remember is feeling God with me, knowing the others were right beside me, and hearing a familiar voice ring out above the rest of the congregation. This voice brought me such comfort and assurance that I wasn't preforming for an audience...I was joining with family in worship. This voice was "Brother" Ian, singing as if no one was listening.
     Ian is a kind, loving, selfless, and joyful man, recently referred to as the "closest thing we have to a saint." Ian is a lively spirit at the heart of both JMC and the Jesmond community itself. His welcoming personality is made palpable in his greeting each new face as "Brother" and "Sister." When I say he knows and is known by everyone one who lives and works in Jesmond, I am not exaggerating in the least. And anyone will easily tell you of his generosity and great, big hugs! Hearing Brother Ian singing out each sunday is just another nudge from God, reminding me that I have stepped into an indescribably, incredible community!!

Cheers for now!