favorites of london...

backwards again....sorry!

7 of us went to see chicago on broadway on our last night in england. it was excellent!

the view from inside the london eye...a huge ferris wheel in london

the tower of london...an old castle where they kept prisoners for years

group picture in the london eye. this is how big each section of the ferris wheel was. you could fit like 20-30 people in each cart.

this is the memorial at the tower of london where henry viii had two of his wives beheaded. crazy!

we watched every part of the changing of the guards ceremony

getting ready for a FULL day of a bus tour...

the first night in london, don took several of us around to look at monuments at night. they were all so much more beautiful at night. this is albert's memorial.

big ben and parliament at night on the thames river

big ben was my favorite thing!

mark in front of westminster abbey

we ate at the texas embassy catina...it represented the embassy that texas had in london when we were our own country! and they had good fajitas! :)

josh in front of buckingham palace. we got to tour the palace because the queen was at her summer home. it was incredible!

the gardens at buckingham palace

josh and i in front of a statue of eros at picadilly circus

london was unbelievable. i hope we get to go back some day!

durham and roseberry topping...

roseberry topping...our friends tried to convince us all day to climb this "hill" with them...so we did! when we got there....after getting lost...they realized that they had never climbed this one. they had it confused with an easier "hill." i definitely consider this a small mountain! :)

roseberry topping from the road...once we found it
the path down...three of us got lost...this was NOT the path you are supposed to take down! :)

view from the top...gorgeous!

josh pretending to rule the kingdom i guess

the path up...much more climber friendly!

pastor mark in durham...we got stickers for climbing the 300 stair tower to the top of the cathedral. josh changed his sticker to say "i tried to climb..." funny!
view from the top of durham cathedral
john climbing the tower...i was proud of him!
josh climbing the tower...it got really narrow!

jordan...a fellow texas who interned for headland baptist all summer

these phone boths were everywhere in england!

will post london pics later tonight....almost done!

hartlepool pics...

these are backwards of course, because that's what blogger does...and i'm too lazy to fix it this time! :)

our last picture in hartlepool...at the train station. all of the signs were special for the tall ships festival.

our entire group...we worked in 3 different groups while in hartlepool, so we didn't get to see all of these faces most of the week. it was good to be together again.

some of our english friends...seeing us off at the station

my group for quiz night: "too big to lose!" we thought if we had lots of team members we would win, but we lost terribly. quiz nights are really popular there and they are just fun nights of trivia games with prizes. super neat idea!

pastor mark kissing a bobbie

john working at westview baptist. we had a team here all week working on their yard and painting the building. the yard was so overgrown and neighbors had dumped trash in it. seriously, under the brush we found rusty tools, a mattress, syringes, etc. ick!

the ships were beautiful!

chloe...a did her nails at the nail bar...it was kind of like we would do face painting here. the little girls loved it!

every morning we walked the streets and beaches picking up litter

headland baptist church

josh and i saw a baby seal on the beach walking from our host home to the church!

josh and i at the festival on sunday

our friends on the top of roseberry topping! it was a long hike...

group picture at durham

josh and don barbequed for the texas night

now i will post some pics from durham and then london!

long awaited...

well, of course we are back from the UK and have been for like a week and a half, but i was too overwhelmed to post right away. #1 because i have like 1000 pictures to try to narrow down. #2 because it took me a solid week to get back on the right sleep schedule! :)

we had a blast! we spent most of our time in hartlepool, england. there was a HUGE festival there this year called the tall ships festival. huge wooden mast ships sailed in a race that ended in the small town of hartlepool. the ships were from all countries, and hundreds of thousands of people came to watch them! it was awesome!

the group i was in helped a small church called headland baptist church. we met the most amazing people at this church. they were small in number but big in spirit and truly taught our group of 10 so much about prayer and seeking God whole-heartedly. for the most part, we helped them run a cafe during the festival. this was a place where visitors could stop in and go to the restroom, eat, drink tea/coffee, get their nails painted :), shop, and other stuff. we spent a lot of time just talking to people and welcoming them into the church. we also did a lot of street walking. we went through the streets of hartlepool and invited people to the cafe. if they were from the town and probably wouldn't be stopping by, we invited them to the african childrens choir concert that is this week! we also did video interviews in the festival, asking people big questions, like "do you believe in God?", "where do you think people go when they die?", "what do you think God is like?", etc. it was SUPER sad! about 95% of people we talked to did not believe in God or religion and had no desire to learn more. sadly, they are about 2 generations ahead of us in this realm...so the USA is right on their heels. church had become so much about songs, and organs, and chants, and stuff, that the new generations had no idea why they even really went to church, so they just stopped going, and stopped taking their children. Now the church is dead...literally. There are "churches" everywhere, dating back to the 900's, 1200's, etc. but the church family is small and unconcerned with reaching others. this is mainly in the church of england and roman catholic church. they have mostly become museums of old buildings to bring the town money. so sad!

anyways! one day we went and helped mark harrison's group. they were doing HARD labor at a church down the road. they cleaned up their yard which was BAD...i can't even begin to describe it!

in the evenings, we had a barbeque one night, a "bring-and-share" (potluck) one night, and a quiz night one night. we invited the community to these events as well. they were all fun!

our host homes took us to durham on our last day in hartlepool to see an awesome old cathedral. it was beautiful. then josh and i went with some of our new english friends to climb a small mountain called roseberry topping. so pretty!

our last two days were in london. we got to sight see and just hang out as a big group and share all of our stories. london was beautiful and i took lots of pics! the trip was AMAZING and God showed me so much. i learned to get over my fears of talking to people about Christ and i realized the importance of telling others about Him, before its too late. i am so thankful for this trip and for the wonderful people that i met and got to know better.

pictures on the next post...


Prayer and discipleship conference

I'm sitting here in the church listening to Dr. T.W. Hunt talking about the trinity. It is so exciting to listen to someone with such Biblical knowledge. I can learn so much from him! And to know that he prays for Josh and I every day by name...what a blessing!

The conference started yesterday. This is the busiest time of my year, but it is so exciting. To see people come together from all over the country to learn more about God...it's amazing. I am super excited about all of the speakers.

Today I will go to the following sessions by Dr. Richard Ross:
Linking teenagers and senior adults in transforming prayer relationships
Creating a prayer-saturated student ministry.

I pray that i will learn a lot about how to teach my middle school girls about prayer and guide them to develop prayer/mentor relationships with wise people at our church. Exciting stuff!

I will try to post again tomorrow, but in case I can't...we leave Thursday for the UK!!!

Check out our prayer and discipleship conference and make plans to come next year. You will be blessed!