(Photo gallery of life since returning to the UK!)
I will try to keep this quick-- no philosophising :) I know how exhausting my emails can be!!
First of all, thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for me and thinking of me and loving me from afar. You are so much more precious than you know...
This term I have a heavy workload at college, I'm afraid! There is a long list of essays and assessments coming due that I have hung here at my desk to keep up my momentum :) Eschatology, Pastoral Care, Living and Working Cross-Culturally, Personal Development, Islam, New Religious Movements, Secularism, and Judges are some of the topics I'm studying and writing about. Sometimes my mind feels full :) But so so privileged to be so. I cannot possibly express how Redcliffe has taught me to look around with open eyes. It has widened my world in and out of the classroom... and I love this college and everyone in it dearly.
Prayers: That I will stay on top of things and not be eaten up by stress and deadline pressures. That I will approach each class with a high mind and heavenly gaze and see them for the opportunities for growth that they are.
Crazy as college life is, it's about to get crazier :) I've finally finished the mandatory training for my new job in Social Care here in Gloucester (Parallel Options, which facilitates mentally ill and learning disabled adults to live on their own)-- training that had to be drawn out extensively due to studies and placement in Romania-- and I will start taking shifts this month! It is frightening, I must admit (this week in training, I spent two days learning 'Breakaway Techniques' in order to be able to breakaway from an attack without harming the client doing the attacking!!), but I feel confident God has alot to teach me through this new challenge.
I'm also starting this Monday to clean house 2 hours once a week for an old couple down the road.
Prayers: That I will relax into these new positions and be a good worker for both the sweet old couple and the less personal corporation of Parallel Options. That I will be confident and just love. It covers over a multitude of 'sins' as I fumble my way into finding my rythmn and comfortable routine in this terribly new and terribly intimidating challenge...
I hope you'll take a few moments to look through the photo slideshow for a good indication of this :)
I'm continuing to try to seize the moments and love all the life out of 'em :) We were recently on break for Easter and mid-term so I went home with my friend Amanda to her beloved little Isle of Sheppey just off the coast of Kent (the other side of the country from where I live in Gloucestershire). It was so precious to be with a family for Easter-- and a cherished sister, no less! Sheppey is a beautiful, green, vibrant, little island and I had a love affair with the coast!! We had a few days with her family, a few days working with an outreach event on the island, and then I prompty went down with Tonsillitus for a week!! That was dreadful and I wouldn't reccommend it to anybody-- but the rest of the break was marvellous :)
Amanda and I spent one of our last days of break on a day trip to London to celebrate my 21st birthday a few months early as we won't have another chance before I return to the States for the summer (she's away on placement with term). I have never enjoyed London more-- as the pictures may prove :) We simply meandered around this massive city of history and took in a West End show: 'Phantom of the Opera'-- which is one of my favourite musicals of all time and just so happens to be in it's 21st year of playing there in that beautiful elaborate West End theatre-- ever so appropriate :) It was a magical day...
Today I spent in the city of Bath-- about an hour's drive from Gloucester. A friend here at college, Polly, is from Bath and organized a little day out for a small group of us who wanted to go experience it. Her mother happens to be a tour guide so she showed us around and the sun was shining and making the traditional honey-coloured Bath stone look golden :) I've never ever seen another city like Bath in all the world. Check out the pictures-- especially if you've ever read anything by Jane Austen as she wrote Bath into most every book and lived there much of her own life!
As always, college social life-- when I can push studies aside and partake in it :)-- is a joy!! I am learning so much about family, relationships, confidence, vulnerability, love, and myself through interacting with this great big ol' world of a family I live in :)
Prayers: That I will continue to soak Him up in every varied way and be as much a blessing in all the friendships I have here as they are to me!
And Enough said!
There is forever more to say... I always mean to make it so short :)
The point is, God is good and life is forging onwards. Not to say life is easy. It's hard; it's just a fact. But I figure I'd rather it be hard in England than hard anywhere else right now :)
Updates on Romania I won't go into here but the whole thing remains heavy on my heart and my gypsy babies haunt my dreams. I would love to speak to you about them if you'd like to hear...
**Big Prayer Need/Advice Need!!!**
One final, rather large, prayer-request-slash-can-anyone-give-me-any-advice? I'm looking forward to getting back to the States this summer and spending time with my family and meeting my new baby niece-- Miss Emily Faith! But this does pose a problem in the sense that I don't have transport while I'm back from about the 15th of June to the end of August. It wouldn't make sense to take out a loan to get a car for the few months I'll be back but it makes me nervous because I will have to be working (I'll also be pleased to hear of any employers any of you might like to put me in contact with!) and... life in general in rural MN kind of demands you have a car! Do you by any chance know of anyone not using a car for the summer and who would be willing to loan it/rent it to a mission student on a sort of furlough for 2 and a half months?
PLEASE will you pray that God opens up some good job opportunities and provides a vehicle! I know these two things are nothing to Him in light of his power and provision-- and certainly other missionaries get these things worked out for them all the time, but they seem like huge obstacles to me from where I sit!!
Thank you, lovely people!! For reading this, for caring, for PRAYING!!!, and for loving :)
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
-- Anne Frank
p.s. Photo gallery of life since returning to the UK! There is NOTHING like an English springtime....
Interesting links: www.redcliffe.org -- www.faithbaptistpr.com -- www.krbc.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk