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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Sometimes, life is just good

And it’s usually people who make it that way. It’s hard to imagine life without people, and I’m not sure I want to either! I really need time on my own to rest and recharge, but the reason that I want to rest and recharge is so that I can be a fully functioning human being around others again.

This is something that I’ve been learning about and getting better at over the past, I don’t know, 10 years? I still don’t love people to the best of my ability all the time. And sometimes, “to the best of my ability” isn’t very much. Which is why I was glad that this week was about evangelism. Often we think about evangelism as this scary thing that involves preaching on the street, trying to tell people things they don’t want to hear, and generally being annoying. But this week we learned how to make evangelism genuinely about good news. We learned that evangelism is about loving people and listening to them, asking questions and sharing our stories. We learned that it can be fun to tell people that they matter to God and how Jesus lived and died to make all the broken parts of life and the world whole.

So even though it’s still a little bit scary to start conversations with people (because you don’t know how they’re going to react!) it’s become more of a joyous adventure than a dreaded chore. Hopefully that will continue to grow, because I truly believe that telling people about the hope that God offers is one of the best ways that I can love them.

So, about the photographs. Thursday nights, my colleague’s family comes over to dinner. It’s a loud, crazy, boisterous, and fun evening each week, and I love it! Their youngest daughter, who is four, has been using my camera to take photographs more and more often, and this week, I taught her how to use my remote. Some of the photos are hers, some are mine.  Hope you enjoy them!

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