Friday, July 31, 2009


I made it to Atlanta safe and sound!

::Sigh:: I LOVE AMERICA! I love the Robert's family! My time with Meghann and Steve has been beyond encouraging and refreshing; I don't want to leave! These girls have grown up so much! This was not enough time! It is so comfortable being in their home and living life with them. Oh, how sweet fellowship is.

Orlando-bound tomorrow!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

States bound!

I'm at Heathrow, boardinng the plane to Atlanta...see you soon!!!

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last photos

Sunday a week ago, we went to the Slocombe's with the pastors for a BBQ and to send Peter off.

This was our final farewell to Christchurch.

Monday night, the GAP girls went out for dessert! Love these ladies!

We have been talking about taking a picture like this since the day we moved in. Incredibly cheesy; oober fun!
These faces will be sorely missed!!!

Last GAP Day.

Surreal would be the word I would use to describe this "end of GAP Team" experience.

I said goodbye to people today that I've lived and worked with almost every day since meeting them a year ago...and I have no idea when the next time I'll see them will be. How strange!

The McCan girls keep asking if I'm sad...I keep saying no, but that's because it all hasn't hit me yet. I'm leaving tomorrow morning, yes, but I'm coming back. The Gappers are here for another few weeks, but won't be when I return. I have a vague idea of what next fall will look like, but am not sure what life will be like outside of my American bubble. (The McCans are American...well, Irish/, not totally out of the bubble!)

This year has been an adventure. The Gospel is more amazing to me today than it was a year ago. I understand grace better. Jesus Christ has comforted me in ways I never would've imagined, and I've learned so much about myself and the American culture.

I am grateful for this year. Thank you for joining me electronically, and for all of your countless prayers! Words cannot begin to describe my gratefulness and gratitude- I have been humbled by the emails I've gotten from so many of you asking how you can pray or informing me you have been. Your example reflects that of our Savior!

See you State-side!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Living with the Mc Can's!

My address has officially changed! This has been the easiest move of my life so far =)

Alex (one of my LIFE girls...12 years old) and Bob (dad and pastor of Christchurch) just helped me pack up my things into the car and drive to my new home! I've packed everything for the States already and just have a small carry-on for this week's clothes, and am now feeling the tremendous benefit of doing all of that packing at once. (Joy, I miss you.)

From Westwood Road in Charlottesville to Meadow Creek Drive in Orlando, back to Westwood Road, to Longwood Drive, Campello Street, Christiana Court, Windway Court, Bassaleg Road...and now to Llangorse Drive; this is the 8th move in the last 4 years; whew!

I am astonished as I think of names, faces, seasons of life, and families that these addresses bring to my mind. God has been so faithful...and He will be again. "His loving compassion, it knows no end. All I have need of, His hand will provide, He's always been faithful to me."

This is the Mc Can's in Disney this past April; totally wish I could've joined them on their trip to Orlando!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

His sovereign care.

This morning I went for probably my last walk in the "cemet'ry" across the road. Ok, maybe not last EVER, but last for this season. I had "Blessed is the One" from the Psalms CD on repeat.

What a beautiful morning with clear blue skies, what a wonderful sight as I ponder the brevity of life and wonder what legacy's these people have left on this earth. Such a sober reminder- this life is not about me or what I want. What will exist on this earth as a result of my life once I'm in the ground?

I will always hide at my Savior's side. I find my refuge in His sovereign care.

This is my favorite line of the song. I am overwhelmed as I ponder Christ's faithfulness this year. His sovereign care. As I walked the familiar paths between tombstones and over hills, I remembered sweet, sweet times of worship and prayer that I had this year in that place- people I prayed for, marriages, LIFE girls, revival, the GAP Team, my own personal life...I am astounded. He is Faithful. What a faithful God we have.

It is with joy in His faithfulness that I take the next step in my life; knowing that because of His unchanging character, past prophetic of future faithfulness.

My things are packed, and moving day is tomorrow. I'll be at the Mc Can's for 4 days next week as we do our Holiday Club (aka VBS) before saying goodbye to the remaining Gappers and flying to the States on Thursday-- see you all soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Always been faithful!

I listened to this song at least 20 times today. I'm so enjoying this truth! Enjoying His faithfulness- in each and every season.

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.

I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

GAP Team is wrapping up...

It's so hard to believe this is really real; they're going home. The GAP Team is just about over.

As we stood on stage to say our final farewell to the church this morning and tell them how they can be praying for us, I just couldn't believe that its been a year since we first stood up there telling them our names and where we came from. I remember that day well. I hardly knew anything about the people I was on stage with, had no idea really what my job was, didn't know anything about the British Culture. I introduced myself to strangers that made up Christchurch. Now, those stood next to me I know well. We take the mick out of each other's idiosyncrasy's and facial expressions, and have hundreds of memories and inside jokes. Together we've even adopted many words, phrases and expressions that belong only to the British culture. (It will be fun to go back to the States and see really how much we've picked up along the way.) And today as I looked out at the congregation, deep love for individuals and families filled my heart. Those who have loved me, prayed for me, encouraged me, given me birthday presents and rejoiced with me that I'm longer strangers, but dear friends.

I could hardly hold in my tears as I reflected on God's faithfulness over the last year. He has been so faithful to me; so good to me. So kind. I know Him more sweetly now than I did when I first landed in London. Praise His Name- and thank you for your prayers.

Emotionally, I'm all over the place! Sad, excited, expectant, amazed, humbled. The end of a year, the start of another...and a trip back home in-between to see those closest to my heart...just to leave again. Sad to be packing up the GAP Girls house...thrilled to be moving in with the Mc Can's. Treasuring the few days left of this season...full of excitement for what's ahead.

At this time next Sunday, I will be moving my things into the Mc Can's. Two weeks from today, (Lord willing) I will be worshipping and praising my Savior with my church family State-side, Metro Life...probably bawling my eyes out.

Ah, isn't the Gospel so amazing?! Isn't the local church a tremendous gift?!

Jesus Christ, the sinner's friend. His life, death and resurrection is the most transforming Truth there is... let's get out there and tell some people about Him!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Germans aren't reading my journal.

This morning, I called the E-tap hotel in Germany and explained I was from the group in Wales who left yesterday morning.

The owner's English is quite good (though he says he only knows a little), but I wasn't sure if he knew the word, "journal" so I explained its a book that I write in.

His response? "Yes, we have. We do not read." I started cracking up! I love that he wanted to assure me my thoughts were not being exposed to the entire E-tap staff over the last 24 hours!

Hopefully, it will be in the mail in the next few days. Thanks for praying.

I walked into town today for probably one of the last times. Memory lane, it was. It's a beautiful day in Wales today and my awareness of God's mercy and His sweet nearness are at an increased level. I received another Starbucks gift card from my amazing parents in the mail when I got home yesterday, so got a vanilla frap with a shot of espresso, and opened my study Bible to Ps. 116.

I commend it to you.

Verse 7 says, "Return, O my soul, to Your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you."

I love this verse. It's like, I get this picture of my heart once resting, suddenly "waking up" in the middle of the night to make sure everything's ok...and then this is what is said to me.

"Soul, go back to resting. Don't strive. Don't try to figure things out. Rest! God has dealt BOUNTIFULLY with you! Look at His blessings all around! He is caring for you. He is awake. He watches. No evil will be allowed to befall your tent."

In Ps. 37 it says, "He will act." Those three words have brought tremendous comfort and hope over the last year. He has, He is, and He will. Acting is what HE does. He acts on my behalf. Me? I'm supposed to rest in Him.

Oh, what a scandalous gospel this is!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back on British Land.

Today was a first: I've never traveled through 6 countries in one day before!

Yesterday we left Hamburg and spent 11 hours driving the 4 hour drive to our hotel. =)

This morning, we left Germany at 5:30am (Kat and I didn't have an alarm and SPRINTED out of our hotel room to the car this morning! Whoops!) and we just arrived at home. 5:30 in Germany was 4:30, like 14 hours of travel today. Really wasn't bad at all, actually. Our bus drivers are HEROES! (And an hour and a half of that time was on the Ferry.)

I just realized I left my journal at the hotel- please pray I'll be able to get it back. Or that, if I don't, someone would read it and get saved- seeing that if God forgives me, surely He can forgive them!

What a great trip of building relationally with those in Germany...but also with those on our team as well. The Uni students and teens alike. I got to know people a lot better!

Being "home" so whets my appetite for going home to the States in just over two weeks! Familiar roads, faces, life, and routine.

I plan to move the majority of my things into the Mc Cans in the next week or so while simultaneously packing for Atlanta, Orlando, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and possibly New Jersey. Oh I can't WAIT!!!

Love you all so much- thanks for your prayers for Germany and keeping in touch. Pictures hopefully to come when I can get some more space on my laptop!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ic nix doich. Sprrrist du anglish?

Right, so that is the phonetic spelling for, "I'm not German. Do you speak English?"

Went canoeing today! Felt like forever. I was in a canoe with Kat and one of our new friends, Anna. (She's the first one I met when we got here- we've spent a lot of time together.) We were one of the last to leave, but when we made it to "the end" there was NO ONE there. We stood around confused for a good five minutes until the next group came around the corner. It then, started to pour. We had no idea where the rest of the group was, or where they could've ran up to a restaurant and hid under shelter.

Eventually the leaders at the end came and we swapped canoes around because a few of the girls (myself included) were utterly freezing and not looking to go farther away from warmth and dry clothes. Two people canoes are WAY easier to steer than three people canoes!

Becky, my new boat mate, and I were (in the guys' opinion) taking forever, so she hopped in their boat, Peter got in the back of mine, and it felt like we all FLEW back to "home base." (yay for boys!) Must've been a good mile or so. Made me think of canoe breakfasts at Lake Champion. (Thinking of you, Joy, and missing you!)

We came back freezing, wet, and tired. What a fun day.

Taige, Toms, and Rhys managed to get lost for several hours. That was an experience. They are found now. Alive and well. Yay.

Tonight half of us are headed to a water park, and the other half are staying at the church, to watch a film and eat loads of desserts. We have apple pie, swirly bread, chocolate croissants, brownies, chocolate cake...and blueberry muffins. I'll definitely need a new German friend to be a translator in the kitchen with me- all the directions are in German!

Tomorrow is a day in Berlin!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Update from Hamburg

What a wonderful several days we've had. Church on Sunday was excellent! It was all in German, but we had a translator...and they sing a lot of Sovereign Grace songs- in German!What an incredible glimpse of heaven. Every tribe, language, and nation worshipping the same God altogether. Forever.

Our itinerary has changed daily. Several times a day, actually! The weather keeps us on our toes! Yesterday we went to the beach and I had my first German beer. I just love the beach. Anywhere. So looking forward to my time in the States!

Today was another trip into Hamburg that ended in conversations about Bible reading over bad iced coffee at a restaurant. =) I was struck as one of the guys mentioned that "Bible reading" as we know it...hasn't actually been around that long. For thousands of years people didn't have personal Bibles. They would "feed" off of the message from Sunday...with no notes. This puts "communing with God" in a new perspective! And increases my gratefulness for the availability of precious Truth at my fingertips every day! In no way should this minimize the time we spend in the Word, but maybe cast a new light on what "meditating on [His] precepts" looks like. Possibly giving new meaning to "pray continually."

We are tired. All of us. Americans, English, Welsh, Australian and German alike. Shattered. Tomorrow morning we have "off" and Lewis (our leader and a pastoral intern at Christchurch next year) will send us off on our own in a mall or something to read, study, journal, spend time with the LORD...whatever. I can't WAIT. I've stolen several walks and snuck away a few times already, but I'm eager to have some extended time alone with God.

From several I've talked to, it seems like God has been narrowing in on some specific areas of sanctification on this trip; for me, it's many opportunities to TRUST GOD with what next year and beyond looks like. I'm needing faith for future grace in any and all circumstances. Eyes that are set on today and its own trouble as well as a heart that laughs at the time to come.

I am so weak.

Thank you for your prayers!!! Wish you all were here!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day in Hamburg!

(I'm on a German computer and the keyboard is different...sorry if there's typos!)

We arrived at Arche Church safely! Peter, Jack Slocombe, and Matt Lloyd and I played cards practially all day on the bus yesterday- I went nil in Spades for the first time and that was definitely a memory.

Today we were meant to go to the beach 2 hours away...but the weather forecast called for storms. So instead, we swapped todays itinerary with our day in Hamburg next week. We had our very own German tour guides- our new friends!

I can't wait to show you pictures of what we saw, but mostly of the sweet faces that have already become dear to me in just one day! The language barrier hasn't been too difficult with most conversations, but there are a few that end with nodds and smiles.

We have a youth meeting tonight, and church early in the morning. Time already feels like its flying so fast! I still can't believe I'm in Germany.

Love to all!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Arriving in German-town

Yesterday we met at Christchurch and headed off on our trip!

Unfortunately, one of the buses had some trouble and it looked like we were all turning around (after over an hour headed to Dover, England) to go back to Christchurch to re-evaluate traveling plans.

Thankfully, the LORD had other plans, and I'm not sure exactly HOW, but the other bus was able to be towed, all the passengers transported, and we met them at a Baptist church in Dover to stay overnight. One of the student's grandparents served us sausages, chips, and beans at like midnight (they were so sweet)- and his grandfather is the pastor of the church we slept in. (SO grateful for my home group and the air mattress and sleeping bag they've provided me with!)

This morning we awoke at 5am (after going to bed after 1) to head onto the ferry. The second bus got fixed and took a later ferry and are currently still on their way to join us. (Praise the LORD!)

We docked in France, drove through Belgium, Holland, and are now in Germany at an E-tap Hotel! It is so nice and I can't believe how clean it is and how wonderful it is to be out of a sticky, non-air-conditioned bus trying to catch some zzz's against the window. (By the way, Mommy and Daddy, my body pillow is my favorite birthday present EVER.)

We just ate at an Italian restaurant (yes, in Germany) and are CRASHING for the night. We get to have a lie in tomorrow before making the rest of our way to Arche Church- about four hours from here.

I continue to repeat to myself, "You're in France. You're in Belgium. You're in Germany." This is so unbelievable! I am taken back by God's kindness. I never expected to be all these places in my lifetime- let alone in my early twenties. It brings me joy to know that each border we cross...the Gospel remains the same; rejoice!!!

Each night I'm declaring with the Psalmist that I PRAISE God for His faithfulness...and each morning, for His steadfast love. They are lavish! And rich! And not only undeserved, but ill-deserved. Oh, "the precious blood of Jesus Christ REDEEMS!"

I had a wonderful time reading in 1 Peter today= please pray I would be able to make time every morning to be in the Word. My soul needs it...and when I'm "out of routine"...its so easy to get out of whack.

Love you all!

Oh, and Tall Tree: advertisement in Germany has officially begun for you. Thanks for the t-shirt! =)