Explore!

As a team, one of the things we’re trying to do this year is get out a bit more and explore the beautiful and interesting places in our back yard. This week, we went to Nant Mill near Wrexham, and walked to Minera. It was the perfect day for me!

First of all, we don’t have enough space in our car to fit everyone, so I got to go by bus with two other people. Normally, this wouldn’t be so wonderful of a thing, but this time around, I didn’t know how to get where we were going. I love adventures where I don’t know the way (entirely). We managed to find the rest of the group at our starting point at Nant Mill without any problem though, thankfully.

Once we got to Nant Mill, there was no plan. (Hooray!) I love it when there aren’t any plans. We decided to walk where most people hadn’t been before. (We had taken them to Nant Mill for the team building day, but they had walked through the Plas Power Woods.) There was lots of stopping for photographs, laughter and conversation as we walked along. When we got to a field that had some cows, we decided to pray for England and Wales and for reconciliation and blessing for both nations.

And then we decided to walk all the way to Minera! There were sheep and cows and a horse along the way, and we had fun exploring the old lead mine. Sadly, the information centre isn’t open, and hasn’t been open for a long time, as far as I could tell. There were cobwebs growing on the door handles.

When we got back to the Nant Mill car park, we decided to go for coffee in Coedpoeth because we had some extra time. Again, due to lack of space in the car, three of us walked up to the village. Along the way, we took a detour through an odd-looking door…we found fields and a partridge! We also saw rainbows, and we ate some delicious apples that we found fallen off of someone’s tree.

It’s just so good to enjoy the small surprises that lie along the way!

 

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A House Full of Women

This post has been on the back burner in my mind for about two weeks now. I wanted to write this after the first week of DTS, but I had other priorities. Tonight, I finally feel like I have the space and time to blog (rather than rest)…plus, I have pictures!

Before the DTS started, I was a trifle nervous. Six women? Six?! Women?! What was it going to be like with six new ywamers joining our team and doing dts? Were they going to be catty? Was I going to be able to cope with the amount of people joining the team? How was co-leading going to work? There was so much potential for things to go poorly.

But they haven’t. Instead, things have been wonderful. The women who came are a diverse and lovely bunch. They’re first and foremost relators, staying up until eleven at night just sitting in the same room, talking and laughing. And that’s the other thing-the house is now full of laughter over stories told and silly things that happened (and silly things we’ve done). Not a day goes by without a new story being created as friendships are built and places are discovered. And best of all, people don’t leave the table immediately after a meal. The conversations continue until those on dinner clean-up move us on.

So far, we’ve had our orientation week, a lecture week about the Abrahamic Covenant and Mission, and now we’re in the midst of a week focused on outreach. I’ve gotten to teach a couple of times, which has been fun. In the orientation week I taught a session about hearing God’s voice and intercession and on Monday, I taught about decision fatigue.

Yesterday, we all went up to Dinas Bran, a nearby ruined castle. It’s a stiff walk up the hill to the castle, but so worth it for the views! When I was looking up information about the castle, I found a cool poem about it (or possible Caernarfon Castle) by Wordsworth.

THROUGH shattered galleries, ‘mid roofless halls,

Wandering with timid footsteps oft betrayed,

The Stranger sighs, nor scruples to upbraid

Old Time, though he, gentlest among the Thralls

Of Destiny, upon these wounds hath laid

His lenient touches, soft as light that falls,

From the wan Moon, upon the towers and walls,

Light deepening the profoundest sleep of shade.

Relic of Kings! Wreck of forgotten wars,

To winds abandoned and the prying stars,

Time ‘loves’ Thee! at his call the Seasons twine

Luxuriant wreaths around thy forehead hoar;

And, though past pomp no changes can restore,

A soothing recompence, his gift, is thine!

Also, Dinas Bran means something like “City of Crows” depending on who you ask. So there are lots of ravens flying around when you get to the top, and some cool crow/raven sculptures along the way up. (One of the photos is my friend and co-leader Sarah on the left and me on the right.) Also, my battery died and the spare I had brought along was dead too! Sad day.

Wonders and Miracles

Staff Photo (Bob-shopped)

A (very) photoshopped photo of our staff team this year!

The beds are made, the welcome cards written, the floors swept and the bathrooms cleaned. Tomorrow, it all starts. For the first time, even though I’ve staffed three schools before. Because each time it’s different-there’s different people who come with their own stories, their own hurts and hopes; the things we do are different-we sing different songs, work at different ministries and hear different lectures; and God wants to do something new with us in the community where we live each time.

And of course, I’m different each time too-I’ve had new experiences, met different people, read different books and had conversations that I’ve never had before. This time last year, I was worried that I was going to get bored because I was doing the same thing (in the same place!) that I had done the last year. I can say with certainty that I’m not worried about that at all this year! I have a role and responsibility that I’ve never had before (co-leading the school with my friend Sarah) we have a nearly-full house that is going to be bursting with life in a couple days. By Sunday night, six amazing young women will be here, ready and willing for whatever God has in store for them, and looking at us all with wide eyes, expecting us know what we’re doing!

But that’s the funny thing. I was explaining with Sarah to the two other staff what our hopes and dreams for outreach and the discipleship process were. As I heard my self talking, I thought, “Wow, it sounds like I actually know what I’m talking about.” And then I realized that I kinda actually do know what I’m talking about. When did that happen? I still remember the first time I really mentored someone, and how afraid I was to say (with a tiny, scared, quiet voice) “Excuse me, but I think, just maybe, possibly, what you’re thinking could be wrong. I could be wrong of course, but would you be willing to…maybe…consider it?”

Stranger things have happened. A donkey talked to Balaam and told him he was being an ass, and the disciples believed the testimony of three hysterical women one Sunday so long ago. I’m excited to see what wonders and miracles God brings about in the lives of those who will be coming to this strange place in a couple days!

Sudden inspiration

Wrexham large Wales

 

I came across this brilliant (in my opinion) advert for Next Wave’s upcoming DTS and suddenly had the image of whales swimming across my mind.  A quick search on Creative Commons and I found the right images to use. After some editing of the t-rex and the ham, everything was almost set to go.  I just needed to get the right fonts and voila! a new advertising campaign for YWAM Wales!Fullscreen capture 01092013 190727.bmp