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...