A Rat in the Kitchen

Okay by popular demand I will write this in paragraphs.  I’m sorry to all who have had to struggle reading my other ‘little’ blogs.  You can thank Lonnie and David for all the helpful suggestions.

 

So on Sunday I had planned on trying to use Skype to talk with my family while they had family dinner (Of course I would be eating my supper as well!!! haha then techinically I wouldn’t have missed our family dinner) The sad part is I counted the hours wrong, I mean 5 hours..its not that hard to figure out, but I was still one hour off.  So when I had planned to try it, they would still have been either at church or not there.  I talked with mom though.   I was quite scatterbrained that day.   So when I possibly could have connected with everyone on Skype I was taking a 40 minute trip to Southwell with Richard and Sean to talk about a course we are offering called EQ to a youth gathering at a church.  EQ basically helps equip teens who want to really reach their friends and talk about Jesus and not feel intimidated by it.

 

On Monday I had quite the full day!  At 7:30 am I headed off to Billborough with Rich and met up with Chantelle and Sidione to do an assembly at the school there.  Rich did a great job speaking and my English accent was quite posh haha!  After we went into Nottingham and met up with everyone and had team meeting till about 12:30ish.  Came home, had about an hour rest.  Headed off to Pure Sports where teens can come and play the wii, playstation, pool, soccer, basketball, etc.   That was fun, I totally landed a half court shot, to which after I did that one of the boys felt it was necessary to accomplish the same feat to which he failed.  haha 😀 Maybe we’ll work on that next week too!  After Pure Sports I went over to the youth center called Boundary Road.  I had a great time with the teens,  the girls seemed more open to talk to me, (of course not all of the same bunch was there from last week)…and then I played hockey with the boys and the other leader…to which I preceeded to hurt one of the boy’s finger by hitting him accidentally with the hockey stick.  My friend Kyle said maybe I should just stick with playing 2 square.   haha!!!! 

 

Tuesday was another interesting day.  Rich and I went into Chillwell early to meet with the music teacher I would be helping out and trying to figure out a day that I could come in and work.  After all that happened and we got a general day worked out, we headed to the office and I worked on creating posters for the lunch club and afterschool club.  That was fun, I enjoyed doing that…though it took me ages I would choose something and then completely end up doing something different.   I’ve been designated the coffee maker,  I bought some lovely coffee and it’s not instant, I just can’t seem to drink instant anymore.   So basically EQ started up that afternoon, and it seems to be a boy year,  a lot of boys are doing this course.  We did some get to know you games, talked about what is evanglism, had them ask tough questions and then what kind of answer we would give that type of thing.  It was a good evening I thought.

 

Then there was today!  Which was genius!  I loved it so much.  So basically I was at the Chillwell School all day helping out in the music department.  I worked with two lads on the violin, got to hear the songs they are writing for events they are playing at,  helped out one of them with the harmony to his piece.  Then we watched the beginning of “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” and watched to see how the piece uses the different instruments to point out the good, the bad, the ugly.  That was really ineresting, and then he had them play the piece on different instruments.  In the afternoon I helped out with the year 8 students to which they were learning the basic chords to the song “There’s a Rat in the Kitchen” by Bob Marley.  It was great that I have had at least a wee bit of background in the piano, because I was able to help them out with this and figuring out the chords.  I had a blast though, it was great fun.  

 

So that’s my mid-week update.  I hope it was easier to read!!!  Love you all!

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Long Eaton Green

So sad day I had witten this all out but my knee must have hit the wireless connection port out a wee bit, so I lost all.  I will try to remember what it was that I wrote about.  You may be wondering at the title, well Long Eaton Green is the stop I get off at the bus stop.  I’m getting quite good at taking the bus, it’s quite fun really.  I had to do a couple of explores this week, taking different buses and routes to get to certain destinations.  It was great fun.  I talked with mom last night and she was concerned that I may be unhappy in England just the feeling she got from reading my last post.  I want to reassure everyone that I’m quite happy and content with where I am at.  The only reason I wrote about Job (which is definately not the happiest book of the Bible) is because that is what I am reading at the moment, and it really gets me thinking how I will react to certain situations and areas of my life that will be thrown at me, and that I will be throw into.  It’s one thing saying how you will react towards something, but it’s another thing actually experiencing it and doing completely the opposite reaction.  I have finished my first week at NYFC (nottingham youth for christ)  it was quite fun but also relaxed, just because my schedule wasn’t quite smoothed out yet.  On Monday we had our first team meeting, and then later that night Emily (yfc worker) and I went to a youth center and helped out,  which was quite interesting.   Some of the girls were kind of territorial and just had a wee bit of a “who are you and what are you doing here.” attitude towards us.   Hopefully over time the teens will come to trust and feel at home with both of us as we continue to work with them.  Thursday night Emily and I also worked with the Girl’s Brigade which was so chuffin fun!  We worked the kitchen, and did the cooking lesson which we’ll be doing a lot of now!!  So that means we’ll be in charge of picking out the desserts we get to bake with the girls.  woot woot!!  I also love the kitchen because we can have more one on one time with the girls, and it’s quite a relaxed atmosphere.  Probably the funnest and funniest part of the week was what happened on Wednesday when I got to practice my pick-locking skills.   Of course those skills failed me.  The office had a little safe that stored the petty change, but someone lost the key to it and it’s been sitting there for a year and a half unopened.  So after I gave up the picklocking Rich and I decided to get a screwdriver and hammer and basically we demolished any hope of ever using that safe again. haha!!    What my schedule looks like in the coming weeks is that I’ll be working in two schools, one school I’ll be helping out in the music department, and the other school I’ll be doing mentoring, teacher aide work,  helping girls that have fallen out with friends and trying to help patch up those relationships or resolving the problems, and then doing a lunch club and afterschool club.  Also I’ll be helping out at the youth center, doing Pure sports, and the Girl’s Brigrade.  So yes I have a feeling this year will be quite the experience.  Though there is one unfortunate thing in all of this, and that thing is actually a person who is named Richard (my director).  I just don’t know if I’ll be able to get along with him at all, his humour is just attrocious.  hahahaha!!!!  Just kidding,  I know he’ll be reading this eventually so I needed to get in some ribbing.   He’s pretty cool, I really enjoy everyone that is on the team: Richard, Emily, Chantelle, Sidione, Sean, and I.  It will be definately a great year, and I can’t wait to see what God will do!  I’ll put up some links to my pictures that I put up on my facebook picture..so you all can check them out.  🙂  Today Sean and I went into Nottingham and we shopped, window shopped, had some milkshakes, and watched a street performer juggle a chainsaw, a machete, and a handgrenade all in one.  Needless to say there was a big explosion.  Just kidding again!   We had fun, and I made a quote that day in describing the weather  “Yeah we experience both extremes of weather, hot winters and cold summers…wait..”  I was laughing so hard when I realized I had said that.   It’s been decided that I’ll be staying at Margarets for a wee bit longer then expected,  which is great for me!!!  I absolutely love her!  Rich is still interviewing potential hosts though.  Sad day.  But I know that God has a plan, and if it means moving then alright, who am I to mess up his plans aye? 

 

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Fried Brain

Alright so here’s what’s been happening these past couple weeks.   So we had quite the intense time of training.  I absolutely loved the theology sessions on the Old Testament and Jesus.  It’s amazing how that really opened my eyes and gave me a fresh perspective of the Bible, it really helped rekindle a passion to read it.   When I first arrived in Birmingham I felt God telling me that I needed to read Job, and I must say that is one of the most challenging books I’ve read.  I love how he says “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”   Job lost so much in a matter of minutes but yet he did not curse God , he recognized and proclaimed that yes God gives and He takes, but he will still PRAISE God in the midst of devastation.  Which makes me come to ask if a similar matter would come to me,  will I be like Job?  I pray fervantly that I will, that I will praise God in my darkest days and in those desert times of my life.   Throughout this time as I was praying in our sessions, and just listening to God and reflecting on the past. I realized how the many times God had provided, or had been there and I never saw it a the time.   Throughout the two weeks I just felt God telling me “Erin I am with you, my heartbreaks with you, I’m joyful when you are joyful, and I will always carry you when you can’t walk.”  That was my loud and resounding message I got through this whole time.  I look at it and I know it’s true and I am so thankful for my God, for my Father, and for the protection, provision, and love He shows me each and every day.   Alright so now on to the update of these past two weeks.  The last I wrote we departed to the head office in Halesowen where we had practical training for 3 days during that we stayed at the Travelodge and Holiday Inn respectively.  Many stories just about those two areas.  We had a bowling night (lost majorly but everyone knows I need one game to warm up) , went out to Lloyd’ Pub, which was great.  So that Sunday we traveled to Nottingham on coach (big bus), and arrived at the Nottingham University to which we were assigned our dorm rooms, amazingly enough we all got our own rooms.  Twas nice to have a wee bit of privacy after sharing for the past week.  So we started up training, each day we had a different Theology lesson in the morning, and then another session in the afternoon.   Quite intense…3 hours each…brain fried once done.  It was hilarious to listen to everyone, learn new words (remind me to say ibuprofen when I come home…though it’s only the way my friend Tom says it..no one else does it)  Each day was like this…breakfast, devotional,session, break, session, lunch, session, break, session, tea.  During our breaks and after lunch and tea we would play a game of 2 square (double toss, 2 quad) and ll of us got really good at playing by the end of the two weeks.  It really is amazing how bruised up you can get from playing that game.   I also took advantage of the gym the first week, and then the second week I was so exhausted I didn’t do anything.  whoops…but oh well I’m not beating myself up about it.  On our day off a bunch of us went into Nottingham and shopped at the centre…HUGE!  I bought a day planner, a sketch pad, and an erasor.   What a lovely shopping list. haha   We had nights where we would watch movies, and I got to watch Anchorman (I know..so Christian-like), Juno (loved it!), Hot Fuzz (Absolutely loved it!),  Step Up 2 (liked it), Freedom Writers (OF COURSE LOVE)…and some other movies.  It rained every day, and feels like fall weather in Ohio.   We also had Celebration services, which were awesome!!!  I got to play at the first one in which we went through one song and then everyone streamed in and basically just played through the worship set without a normal practice.  It went so well though.  All of our speakers were amazing.  All of our celebration services were so wonderful, the last one at the church I especially enjoyed.  Mark Ritchie spoke and he pointed out the story of Peter walking on the water.  He made an interesting point which resounds loudly in my heart whenever I think of it.   He said a lot of preachers, speakers speak about how Peter lost faith when he was walking on the water, that he lost his focus on Jesus simply just staying on that point.   But the fact is, no one else got out of that boat and walked on water.  Peter took a risk and he stepped out in faith and actually walked on water, and yeah he started to sink but Jesus was there and saved him..and in that moment Peter touched Jesus that no others had been able to do.  I want to be that, I want to be like Peter and step out, step out of the boat and be bold in my walk with God.  If I fail, if I make a mistake I will realize it, grow, and continue to keep walking.  That’s my goal.  I don’t want to stay in the boat anymore.  On another night we had a disco night, to which we had a dance…and we made a lot of memories that night.  So hilarious..even though I can’t dance I still busted out really awful moves on the dance floor.  Michael Jackson would be jealous..okay maybe not really.   I do have a new nickname…Candy.  Matt gave me it..because he thinks it is a pretty name and he could never remember my real name.   At first it reminded me of what a stripper’s name would be, but I’ve grown accustomed to it, and now will really miss hearing him say “Goodmorning Candy”.   As I said before 2 square is our official game, and we actually had a tournament.   It turned into a game of Team Toss, in which there were two official teams composed of 4 (two player teams),  and basically we battled till there were no teams left.  The end result was the losing team had to serve the winning breakfast, luckily I was on the winning team. haha  It was flippin intense though,  some of the ref calls were complete rubbish, and a couple of players almost got thrown out of the game.  yeah it was brilliant.  On our last day together we talked about our testimonies, learned how to cut it down into two sentences and then had a celebration service which was wonderful!  A BBQ dinner, and then karaoke night!  I sang i will surivive..but alas I didn’t surivive the final cut..Jacob totally won that round!  He was flippin genius with the song he sang!  Though I give props to Matt for all the songs he sang,  so hilarious.  I loved it.  We took a butt load of pictures together, traded numbers and reassured each other of visits and commissioning, and all the retreats we would see each other at.  This morning we all said goodbye to each other, and I’m already feeling the absence of each and everyone of my friends.  I’m staying with a lovely lady named Margaret, who i believe is in her mid-70’s has facebook and is just so wonderful.   I already love her,  she reminds me of grandma a lot, and she has a little dog named Teddy who is such a doll (of course I probably shouldn’t describe Teddy like that since he is a boy) .  I’ll only be staying here for 2 weeks, until richard finds me a permanent placement…he said there has been offers, but all of them have been farther away from where I’ll be mainly working, and he didn’t want me to travel so far.  Tomorrow i’ll be going to a church with a girl named Emily, where she’ll be introducing me to people, and I’ll be having lunch with Richard and his family.  Monday starts the routine, i get to see the YFC office which Emily lovingly calls the dungeon, and we’ll be having a team meeting.  woot woot!!!!  My partner in ‘crime’ (again, maybe I shouldn’t use that word….but oh well)  is Sean, he’s from Scotland and he’s a really cool guy.  there are times where I’m listening to what he says and then just look at him and say “WHAT??”   So rude..but I just start laughing, becuase I just don’t know what he is saying sometimes.   I found that a lot these past weeks with a couple of people but I finally adjusted to the accent and could understand them clearly and understand some of their slang.   My friend Stuart (Ireland) would say if I remember correctly “What up you?”, correct me if I’m wrong guys, and the first time I heard it I was baffled…but now I know it is “what’s up.”  The other thing is they constantly ask “Are you alright?” and I had to get use to that instead of “How are you?”   So that is my update for now.   Shout out to my Jr High peeps and Sr High peeps!!  Miss you guys!

 

Here are two links from my friend Anna who video taped two songs from the concert I did with my friends.  Enjoy!!!  Thanks again Anna.  🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48o83E10pu8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnJDyoS7tss