Monday, April 25, 2011

Starting new in Sweden

Greetings from Sweden!

I arrived here at Holsby Brunn for Bible school on April 2. I've been exploring the Swedish forest, learning new things, and making new friends. Before I arrived, I had been traveling for two weeks, discovering Europe, and enjoying the company of old and new friends. It started out in London after leaving my dear friends at Capernwray. I spent a nice two days with my friends Kate and Alaina in a penthouse on the 31st floor of a fancy hotel. We stayed there for free! (Alaina's dad has connections) Then I met up with my sister Anna for two more nights. It was so wonderful to see her again. She is by far my best friend and I trust her more than anyone else, so therefore she was a great traveling companion. We had fun in London and Anna made a point to bring me to a true English pub to try my first beer, as the drinking age in England is 18. After those two nights in London, we flew over to Aarhus, Denmark to stay with Anna's Capernwray friend, Eva, for another two nights. That was fun to see the city, walk through the picturesque old town, and learn about Danish culture. Then we flew to Leiden, the Netherlands to stay with Anna's other Capernwray friend, Rosa for three nights. I really loved Leiden. It was a beautiful small city filled with canals, bikes, pancake houses, churches, and windmills. Imagine Amsterdam, but smaller, prettier, more peaceful, full of college students, and not quite so promiscuous. I met some of Rosa's friends that live in her dorm and made some good friends. Anna and I definitely enjoyed the Netherlands immensely. Then Anna had to go home for college. I had another week left of break, so I stayed with my old Capernwray roommate, Merethe, in Norway. She lives near Oslo, but for a couple days, we went to visit our friend Anne Elisabeth in the South of Norway, which was beautiful. She pretty much lived in the middle of nowhere, right on a fjord. So that is the extent of my travels. It was great, but I must say I much prefer settling down in one place for an extended period of time. I can't believe how fast my time is flying now that I'm here. I'm trying to enjoy every bit of it.

Rosa, Anna, and me enjoying Leiden

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leaving Room for God

I just read a great message on January 25 in "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers:
"Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way... Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides."

I feel like I really needed to read this right now. I always expect God to show himself in certain ways, but I need to be open to anything. And I need to realize that He is the one in control and my life isn't always going to go the way I expect it to.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Term

I'm really glad to be back in England after an enjoyable break. Last term was wonderful, I made great friends, I settled into a nice routine and I loved my room, but now I need to accept that things will be different. I live in the castle now with two nice new roommates. I'm trying to settle into a new routine and living space all over again. I may not like change, but I'm learning to adjust. Currently, I'm lounging on my new bed wearing my new hand-knitted Norwegian socks from Anne Elisabeth :) I'm planning a lesson on the book Philippians for my New Testament discussion group. I really love that letter from Paul. It's so encouraging and uplifting. This is my favorite verse:

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, October 18, 2010

God's Awesome Presence

God is like the wind.
You can't see Him.
But you can feel Him and hear Him.

But unlike the wind, God is always with you.
He'll never stop blowing you in the right direction.
You just have to choose to fight it,
or to flow with it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arriving at the Quaintest Place on Earth

I’m in England! I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long that I can hardly believe that I’m actually here. Could it be a dream? Am I seriously going to live this far away from home for 6 months? It’s incredible. And England is incredible! The quaint countryside and the fluffy sheep always seem to be beckoning to me for a walk. I’ve met so many great people here from around the world. Everyone is so friendly and eager to meet new people. Over the past few days, I’ve been settling into my small room with my 3 roommates. We’re all 19 years old. Emily is from Spokane, WA *represent!*, Laura is from Alberta, Canada, and Merethe is from Norway! Merethe came with her friend Anne Elisabeth, so now I have two wonderful Norwegian friends. We just started our first day of lectures yesterday and we have some really good speakers. I’m really starting to get excited for the activities to come, like outreach, small groups, and trips around England. We’re going on a walk this weekend from Cumbria to Ambleside in the Lake District. Well, that’s my introduction to Capernwray. I’m trying to transition and get used to this new routine. I have been enjoying it so far, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy the rest of my time here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Only 10 more days and I'm going crazy.

I only have 10 days left in this country before I'm off to England! It's hard to believe I'll be across the ocean so soon. I can't wait, but at the same time I'm so nervous. I have so much to get ready for and people to say goodbye to. I'll miss everyone so much. But I am really glad that I have this opportunity to study abroad this year. I've actually had a recent change of plans. Earlier I had decided to go to Austria for spring school at Tauernhof. I was so excited to live in the Austrian alps. But I found out that the course would end late enough in June so that I couldn't also work at Cascades Camp for the summer, which I've always wanted to do. I had to make a tough decision, but I eventually chose to go to Sweden's spring school called Holsby Brunn. I'm really excited now to see Sweden and learn more about it. It sounds like such a wonderful country. Please pray for me as I travel and transition into a new culture and lifestyle. And please write me letters, too! I'll be in England September 25 - December 15 and January 9 - March 18. Then I'll be in Sweden April 2 - May 27. I would absolutely love to receive some letters from friends. Thanks!

Capernwray Hall
Lancashire LA6 1AG

Brunnsvägen 31
S-570 15 Holsbybrunn

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Beautiful Mission

I have been so blessed with the opportunity to serve the people of a little town named Patzicía, Guatemala. In July, I embarked on this adventure with a group of 18 well-founded Christians from my church. All of us had a heart for service and were excited to reach out to the church there, but none of us quite had an idea of the vastness of the project and the depth of the experience that would impact our own lives as well. We spent 5 days working hard on the new building for the church, la Iglesia Evangelica Centroamericana. Their congregation is so large that they don't have enough room in their current church building. We were all amazed at the great vision that the church has to create this beautiful place of worship for the whole town. They truly have God's will in mind. We were also grateful that God had rerouted our previous plans from Monterrey, Mexico to this project in Patzicía because if it wasn't for our group's interest in helping their cause, they might have stopped the construction due to a lack of funding and money for materials. In addition to serving this friendly church congregation, our mission team had a lot of great time to bond and worship the Lord together. I cherished all the relationships I was able to make, especially with Jose a youth leader from Costa Rica and a friend to everyone. He came along with us wherever we went and he was always cheering us up and making us laugh. At the end of the week, the leaders of the church treated us to a day trip to Lake Atitlan, one of the most picturesque lakes I've ever seen. They took us on a boat ride across it and paid for our meal. It was a wonderful day for fellowship surrounded by a beautiful landscape. In the end, I realized how happy all these people were despite their current situations and how they were following God's chosen path for them. They are so blessed with God's love and are determined to spread it throughout the world. I love these people of Patzicía.
The church we were helping to build

The view from above the sanctuary
We enjoyed each other's company during breaks
Jose became an important member of our team.
Everyone loves him and his wife.
On our day trip to Lake Atitlan