Thursday, March 26, 2009


I got to go to the prison thursday night as a part of our prison ministry at the church/bible college here. It was such an amazing experience! I've always had a heart for people in prison...I always wanted to know what it was like inside, or to work with these people, but clearly i don't have the tough persona needed to work as a prison guard...and i can't tell you how many times i've thought about trying to get involved with an organization writing letters to inmates but I guess my fears always got in the way. So when I got here at the beginning of the semester and they said they had this prison outreach opportunity i put my name on the list before even giving myself a chance to second guess myself. And I'm so glad I did! :)

We left around 5, it's about a 45 minute to an hour drive to the prison. It was kind of exciting to get out of York and to see a little of the country side. Except that apparently I get really car sick these days...I was literally green when we got to the prison and I was soo happy to get out of the car! We had to go through a security scanner, and had to leave everything except our bibles in lockers. Then we got to go through the gates into the was actually a pretty decent building inside, nothing fancy, but not too shabby!

We gathered in the chapel and arranged chairs and such and then the guys from the prison came in. It's a pretty sweet thing, the guys are there by choice, but they're definitely not all christians. A few are muslim, there was a buddhist, and an awful lot of people who just don't believe in anything. So we did a little worship, Ed shared a message, and then we spent an hour or so just hanging out, talking with the guys.

I ended up talking with a guy named Wayne who just happened to be from Warrington (where Matt lives) what a small world! It was great though, I shared the Lord with him when it seemed fitting, and other than that just really spent time talking with him, encouraging him, and asking him about his life. It was sad, this guy has served 10 years already, and he feels like he's paid his dues. He was only 18 when he went in, and lets face it someone can do an awful lot of growing up between the ages of 18-28. This guy wants so bad to be out and to start fresh, he wants a family and lots of kids. It was kind of heart breaking hearing him talk about all his dreams and then hear him talk about how he feels like he's earned his freedom and forgiveness but that it just isn't enough for the people who get to make that decision. It was so hard explaining to him the freedom he can have in Christ...and that he doesn't even have to earn or prove anything to anyone in this world except to the Lord. He seemed open but he definitely wasn't really to accept Christ just yet.

I left feeling so absolutely blessed though! It was so sweet to really just be able to share the love of Christ with people who don't get to spend much time with people other than their cell mates. You could tell they definitely appreciated the company!
I wish I could go back every night...but it's just a once a month occasion...and sadly I'll only be here for one more visit! But luckily I think they've just started a very similar outreach group at home so hopefully I'll be able to keep up with it!

"I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness." Isaiah 42:7

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring has sprung!

So with the start of spring last week the flowers are blooming and the sun has been shining! Unfortunately the sun never stays long, and its not at all the hot sun i'm used to at home...but a little sunlight is nice anyway :) We've also had some pretty decent rain lately, quick showers, nothing that lasts too long but oh how i love rainstorms! I can't wait to come home to our hot hot sun, and the sweet summer storms we get...nothing tops those!

Here's the block of flats we live/learn in...mine is the the red door (4th from the left) just to the right of the blue door....

And here are the beautiful daffodils blooming all along the hillside along the wall (some of the most valuable flowers in the world i think!...there is something like a 500 pound fine for picking one off these hills because they belong to the queen, or something along those lines...)

:) Happy Spring Everyone!!

Isaiah 42:16:

And I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

telephone pictionary

So, it's a quiet week in York...almost all the students are off on outreach week. My flat is half empty and it's so amazing how quiet and pleasant it is! We miss our roommates and flatmates though...hopefully they're all off having fun, serving the Lord, and staying safe!

Anyway, the York outreach team got together a few nights ago and played a good game of telephone pictionary (I'll try to upload some pictures of the best/worst drawings at some point...) Basically it's like the game of telephone except instead of whispering a phrase in someone's ear everyone writes down a phrase and passes it one person to the right. They then draw a picture to illustrate the phrase and pass it along. The third person tries to guess the phrase, the fifth illustrates it, and you continue on rotating between drawing and writing. It is more entertaining than I can ever begin to explain...especially when you throw in a Hungarian man named Zsolti (Jo-lt-ee) with pretty entertaining broken english. It was quite possibly the funniest thing Ive ever seen....watching him try to come up with phrases (most of which were from american nursery rhymes, or just very american sayings, etc. that he has probably never heard) and to see him try to illustrate them was probably my favorite part. Oh how I will miss Zsolti!

Tuesday after working in the coffee shop all afternoon I joined the rest of the York Outreach group over at Randall and Gloria's house. The students had been helping them with some yard work all day, and after that we had an amazing dinner (some fantastic pizza they ordered, and Gloria's homemade sweet tea and chocolate chip cookies!) and finally got to watch a movie :) We settled on My Fair Lady. It was such a fun night and was nice to spend more time with Randall and Gloria. They are absolutely amazing!

Thursday we finally had a day to rest which was much needed after a long week of running around! We had a last minute drama practice and finished our night off by watching Wall absolute favorite movie! If you haven't seen it yet I strongly advise that you do!

We've been working on some drama's which we performed this weekend in Town. Friday morning we performed in one of the squares at the center of town. It was a little out of my comfort zone, but it was fun nonetheless. They went out again this morning to a different square in town and performed them again but I ended up staying back to rest because I'd woken up in the middle of the night with quite a killer migraine headache and was still recovering from that! I'll try to get some pictures of the dramas at some point as well, I just have to figure out whose cameras they were using :)

Last night we got together and had an acoustic night at the coffee shop. It was a lot of fun. Mostly just students and staff showed up...we only had a few outside visitors but that was our fault as we really didn't do any advertising ahead of time! It was good fun though! My roommate played a few songs on the guitar (I even played along with my xylophone on one!) Randall, one of my teachers played some of his songs and a few worship songs as well as a few other students who got up there. It was a lot of fun, and just a nice relaxing night.

Overall I'd say Outreach Week was a success! The rest of the teams start coming home tomorrow I believe...can't wait to have them all home! I'm sure I'll be jealous of all their stories and pictures of all the places they've been and all the things they saw...but sometimes we just have to be the one's left behind!

Friday, March 13, 2009

the highlight of my week

I finally got out for a little more exploring this week and this time i didn't go alone so i wouldn't get lost :)

My roommate Tricia took me for a walk along a section of the river i had never been to and it was the most beautiful walk. After walking along our side of the river for a ways we crossed over Millennium Bridge (which is kinda big deal here although i'm not exactly sure what it is famous for other than looking cool) and continued walking along the path on the other side of the river...and the river path leads straight into sheep fields and you are allowed to just walk freely through these fields. It was so amazing. And oh so beautiful! I've missed having an escape in nature here...i've just felt really trapped in this flat and in this little section of the's so nice to have the option to venture out away from all the cars and the buildings and just hang out with God in nature.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I just realized i've really been slacking in updating my blog lately...and to be honest i really can't be bothered with writing much right now...sorry! But I'll try to share a few highlights from the past few weeks.

Being here has been quite an experience. I'm getting used to living in this crazy house...which is odd to say! There are still times when I just wish i could get away from the noise and have my own private personal space for a while...but overall it's been okay. My roommates are all pretty silly girls...we mostly just see eachother at night before bed and randomly throughout the day in classes and such but we haven't spent a whole lot of time just hanging out together. so this week we decided to have a little room date and i cooked mac and cheese and rach cooked fish sticks and some breaded chicken. We ate our little dinner and just hung out in the room for an hour or two playing music, sharing stories and laughing far too much. It was definitely good bonding time.

Last week was a really rough week for me. I was really upset and just felt really broken. To the point where I really was getting frustrated at God. I've been blessed with a huge heart and it's great, i love loving people and wouldn't want to be any other way...but because i care so much about everyone, even people i've just met i get hurt a lot. People just aren't as genuine and sincere as I'd like to believe they are. I guess last week a lot of things from my past were coming back and I was just realizing how broken my heart has been...and how much i've been hurt the past few years. It was really frustrating for me and i just didn't understand why God would give me this gift and then let it hurt me so bad. I just felt like it was so unfair that God hadn't protected me from some of the pain. I know my calling in life is to love people, and share God's love with them...and i was terrified of getting to a point where i just got sick of it and decided to toss that gift and that calling aside.

But then this week came along, and i got a lot of encouragement from friends at home, and here in england. And my goodness this week has just been the complete opposite of last. God has been revealing himself to me in so many ways it's just blown me away. He's opened so many doors i never even knew esixted. And He's shown me that last week when i was hurting and was busy complaining and getting frustrated with the Lord he was there the whole time working in me and around me. It just blows me away sometimes how faithful God is...even when we least deserve it! I'd really been asking God to teach me to follow him, and teach me to guard my heart...and that was exactly what he was doing through letting me hurt.

It was amazing cuz in women's D this week Nancy was teaching us on "How to Follow God" but she wanted it broken down in baby steps because so often people just say, follow god and you'll be alright. but many of us (ME ME ME!) don't really know how to go about following God. And as she taugh I just saw point after point falling in place with what i had been going through last week and where i'm at now...of course I still have so far to come in learning what it means to follow the Lord, but I have faith that he's there walking with me, teaching me as I go. How good is our God?! just blows me away the things he's doing in me and my heart, and the things i see him doing in my friends at home, and the other students here.

God is soo good :)

anyway, moving mom mailed me my rice paper, brushes and ink this week so i can get back to painting! I've missed it, and i'm so glad to have something to keep myself busy with. When I'm not in classes I feel pretty trapped inside sometimes. I miss my car, and being able to go for long walks by the river or hiking badger mountain. I guess i just miss washington...oh what i would do to be in the mountains right now!!!

Other than that things haven't been too exciting, i've just been busy trying to catch up from the few days I missed when I was really sick. I think I'm finally all caught up which is nice to know! Now if only I could kick the sick! It's been almost three weeks now and i'm still not over this cold!

my new best friend....guitar, the Vietnamese bamboo just got here yesterday...and incase you can't tell by my expression here I'm soooo excited to learn to play it!

my favorite little spot to sit and write, draw, and sometimes just think: