Monday, November 23, 2009

Every nook and cranny.

Well, Thanksgiving is on Thursday. And yes, it's quite different attempting to celebrate this holiday when you don't live in America. Especially when everyone simply knows it as the holiday in which we founded the States, and killed a ton of people. I suppose I understand why people are slightly confused that we celebrate this day. But to us Americans, it is simply a day where every single one of us wishes we were home with our family. Whatever that looks like. I will miss going around the table, and hearing what everyone is thankful for. Eating good food. Seeing all of my family together. Being with my brothers. Ya know... the whole bit. But, I do believe some of the Americans are getting together to play some American football, and eat some lukewarm turkey. Although it will be a feeble attempt to feel at home, it will indeed make me feel slightly warm inside.

I'm playing a role in the Christmas roadshow. I play a hotel receptionist with loads of attitude and a good dose of sass. It will be fun. We'll be going to six different churches in the area to perform our little bit. It will be great fun, I'm sure.

Being a member of the Social Committee here at Capernwray, I feel like I should inform you all of the recent events that have been happening here at Capernwray, as a result of me and my fellow members of the committee. We had a "Pigeon Hole Party." You see, the way we get our mail here is little cubby holes, or pigeon holes, that have one letter on them. So, we share a mailbox with everyone that shares the first letter of our surname. So the five of us on the committee decided to have each pigeon hole dress up according to a different category. (i.e. geeks, futuristic, villains, togas, caveman, super heroes, etc.) I was a zombie. So, we all came to dinner in our different outfits, we played games. And, of course, had a dance party. Or, what the kids here like to call it.... A CapernRAVE. It was a good time, for sure.

I'm almost 18. Weird.

Thank you so much for sending me mail, friends. You have no idea how wonderful it is to receive a letter. The joy i feel when i see something waiting in my pigeon hole is indescribable. So, thank you. So much.

Have I told you how much I love my roommates? I love them a lot. We are truly starting to bond up in the ole' penthouse. We are all four so different. From different parts of the world. But we just get closer and closer every day. I'm so thankful for them.

As a result of the diversity of Capernwray, there are just an incredible amount of accents. Everyone sounds so different and I love it. Even within England, they sound so different. Northern English people, and Southern English people sound totally different. It's so funny. Our lecturers have all had different crazy accents. One of Liverpool, one from South Africa, one from Russia, one from the north of England, one from the South..... And well, our lecturer this weeks LITERALLY sounds like an Ent. Yes, an Ent. From Lord of the Rings. Treebeard, to be specific. It's hilarious to hear an old tree teach you about hebrews. Ah, I can't get enough.

With the help of my incredible brother, a great book (Becoming the Answers to Our Prayers by Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Costgrove- all of you go buy it and read it...... now.), some wonderful lectures, some helpful conversations, and the Bible, have all seemed to be pointing me to the simple fact that:

Jesus is everywhere.

You can't get away from Him. What a beautiful thing. The Trinity, The Great Creator, The Son of God, and the Holy Spirit, constantly surrounding you everyday in every moment. Does that not just blow your mind? Amazing.

So, friends. Be with your family this Thanksgiving. Be thankful for diversity, for fun, for dance parties, for friends, for food, for your community, and for the consistent and incredible presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The beauty of silence.

The days here are getting faster and faster. I feel as if my mind is constantly trying to catch up with me. I am trying to process the things that are happening to me, while trying to live everyday presently, and think about the future. It's exhausting, to say that least.

I miss my family. I do. I think of them often here. I think of my brothers when I go on adventures and explore new places. I think of my mom when I am tired, or sick, or want wisdom, or a shoulder to cry on, or everything really. I think of my dad when something hilarious happens, when i'm singing, or when i embarrass myself. All of these things happen on a daily basis. Therefore, making me think of my family on a daily basis. I think being away makes you appreciate them all the more. Being somewhere they have never been, that you love. It's impossible to try and describe this place, no matter how bad you want them to know.

Last week, we had an electronic fast. No computers, no phones, no ipods, etc. It was really great. The community, it seemed, was better than ever. Yes, it was hard not to check my email, not to call my mom, and no to be able to turn ryan adams on whenever I wanted to. But man, it was what every single student here really needed. Instead of listening to music, we made it. Instead of emailing, we wrote letters. Plus, I think card games are a lost art anyway.

The reason we did this electronic fast is to prepare ourselves for our all day prayer on Thursday. Instead of lectures, we just prayed. We all went off on our own and prayed. All day long. We had some songs in the morning, some more in the afternoon, and then my friend Marika and I were asked to sing for the night service. It was really an incredible day. God asked us to come to Him in the secret. Prayer is so powerful, and this place is letting me see the reality of that for the first time in my life. It's really beautiful.

On Wednesday, My name was called during morning announcements, along with the names of nine others. We were moved to the back room, and I looked at my fellow students, greeting each other with our common confused looks. Then, my RA walked back and looked at all of us. And said: "You have all been chosen to go to Kenya for the outreach next term."

Whoa. Wait.
I am?!?

Yes, I am going to Africa. Finally. I am going to go for two weeks at the end of February/beginning of March. I feel as if God is finally letting my body follow my heart. I am just out of my mind excited that he had handed my this opportunity that I feel like I have wanting this for so long, and it's finally going to happen. Yes, there are finances to raise, shots to get, prayers to be prayed, sports to be good at, and the fact that I'm slightly terrified to settle. But all of those things will fall into place, and i am not worried about any of them. Well, maybe a little about the being good at soccer thing...

I love you all.

Go play a card game...