Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wishing the Time Away??

Cafe 1901 (the cafe in our building)

4 Months.
That is the amount of time I have left in Newcastle.
There were many times earlier this year when I was worried that 8 months, or 6 months was too short a time to have here before moving back to the States. Many times when I thought about how this is really my home now and that I need to stay--of course, I know as my mother is reading this, she is most likely talking to the computer screen saying “No, no, no, missy! You are coming home!” haha. But the truth is…my mother would be right.  Although I love Newcastle, and life here is my norm, I know it is time to take a beat and head home to Colorado. JMC is looking towards a fast approaching future when Rob retires; my students have taken full ownership of their role in the congregation; the Ignite course that we run on a Wednesday night is extending into next year and expanding its influence on this city; and all three of my flatmates are moving on to new and exciting stages in their lives.

One of the JMC students on a Sunday
walk through the Dene to the petting zoo.
So, 4 months.
Ya know, in the big picture of my time here, that may seem like a short sprint, but thinking about it the other day I realized that 4 months is how long some students study abroad for during a semester at Uni (if not longer!). So really, I have plenty of time as long as I stop wishing it away!
And over the past few weeks, that is just what I have decided to do…

As if I have just arrived for my “4 month study abroad,” I have started two new volunteering opportunities in the circuit, and I can’t even begin to express how much I have been enjoying them!

I did a fun Egg Hunt for all ages at JMC
on Easter Sunday- proving you don't need
to be a child to enjoy Easter Egg Hunts...
simply being competitive will do :)
The first being a youth club on Thursday evenings at one of our circuit churches here in Newcastle. The kids are from 6-9 years old and all proper little Geordies, so needless to say it has taken me a bit of time to understand them.
It has been a while since I have done any work with kids and I forgot how much I love it! Yes they fight, and yes they scream and run through the halls; but they also draw you pictures, and give you cuddles. Even some of the young boys acknowledge and accept that you are a new leader in their own sweet way--“Oh. I know you. So you’re gonna be here every week then?...Canny.” These little bairnes really become a new highlight of my week :)

The second addition to my schedule has been working one day a week in Café 1901 (the coffee shop/café in our building). For a few years now I have wanted to try my hand at making coffee and learning latte art, and now the owners of the Café (Mandeep and Debbie) are giving me that chance and more!
I initially spoke to them about volunteering in the shop and learning some barista skills in the process. However, little did I know they would turn me into a baker as well as a business savvy barista! It has been a whirlwind experience making coffees, preparing cakes, and all the while learning the ins and out of running a small business. Mandeep and Debbie have been the most gracious leaders, and such an inspiration that they may have even convinced me to open my own tea room one day! Who knows!

Both of these coffees were supposed to be a heart...the one on the left being
my first attempt, it is safe to say I have come a long way already!

Rob was brave and tried the first cup of coffee I ever made!

As if I thought I had hit the limit for what blessing I would get from this community, once again I am blown away by where this journey is taking me.

So it is about time this Geordie wannabe heads back to the Rockies…but not before I shake things up in Newcastle for one last season :)

     Cheers for now!

(A selection of photos from our Maundy Thursday night of prayer. There was a beautiful space prepared in our sanctuary to reflect on Holy Week.)