Sunday, July 30, 2006

England Trip - part 3

Well, my England adventure is wrapping up. Our group will be flying home tomorrow afternoon.

Michelle, Kasey & I got to tour the staterooms at Buckingham Palace (due to the royal family being on holiday); plus, there was a special display of the the Queen's dresses. 7 decades worth of some of her most elegent evening gowns. It was quite a site to see!
Unfortunately, we could not take pictures of the inside of the palace. = ( ...But, here are a few pics of the outside.

When we finally got through the 1/2 mile walk through the palace garden, we decided to visit the Harrod's store and grab a bit to eat. Oh, my goodness! Harrod's is huge! It makes the Galleria Mall look like a street side kiosk. It has 6 floors; it covers an entire city block, and it contains every store you could possibly imagine and then some. We finally tracked an employee down who gave us a map, and finally we found our destination, Mo's Diner (ie. the cheapest resturant we could find, apparently very hard to come by in Harrod's). BTW, have I mentioned that Dr. Pepper is very hard to find in England. ASDA (Walmart equilivent) is one of the few places that carries it, and get this, on the back of the can, they refer to it as "a sparkling fruit beverage." oy vey...

After lunch, we did go back to our hotel for a little nap, but now we are out and about again. We stopped by the British Museum and got to see the Rosetta Stone

. Very cool piece of rock! I know that the picture is a little blurry, but there is actually writting on the stone. On the top is hieroglyphics, in the middle is Demotic (a form of Arabic), and on the bottom is Greek. Scholars were able to use the Greek inscription on this stone as the key to decipher hieroglyphics. To find out more, click the link above.

We spent the rest of the day just walking around London taking in the sites. We just finished having dinner at a little hole-in-the-wall Italian resturant (yummy food!) and once the sun begins to set, we'll head over to Westminster Abby and then on to Big Ben. We've been told that they look really pretty at night. I will make sure to post pics when I get back to the states.

Well, gotta run. Hope you are all having a great Sunday... hope you all were able to make it to ABF & Big church! (You know who you are...) Love ya'll!

Grace and peace.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

England Trip - part 2


I can hardly believe how fast this week has gone by. It's almost 10pm on Thursday, and tomorrow morning is our last day at Holiday Club (HC). Here's the group photo (why they decided to take the group picture on Crazy Hair day is beyond me???) Though, we will have a final HC farewell tomorrow evening for the parents and kids. There'll be snacks, entertainment (skits) from the week, and a chance for the parents to see what all the kids have been doing. Unfortunately, not all of the kids are able to come back for the evening get-together, but it'll be fun nonetheless.

Today was 'inside-out' day, so some of the kids came with either their clothes inside out or backwards. They are just precious and so enthusiastic! During 'game time', the HC game didn't go over very well, so we played their favorite game, duck-duck-goose. Michelle and Kasey were observing, but I felt inclined to join the kiddos in their head-tapping madness. (Yes, that's me in the mush-pot...) I also got a lovely grass-stain on my capris and a big-ole bruise on my shin as a parting gift. That soon got old for them, so I introduced freeze-tag. I have never seen the boys so excited about a game. They loved it, and I was exhausted! But I had a lot of fun though.

I also have to say that I have been quite impressed with the quality of the Bible story scripts. They have been hilarious! The story of Jonah script has been my favorite by far. I'll have to post a little bit of the script later on so you'll know what I'm talking about.

We met up with John Wills for dinner tonight and ate at a small Italian restuarant. It was fun checking up with him and hearing all about the youth and what they've been up to with the NE1 conference. Camping, apparently, has been an interesting experience. 14 showers for 1000 youth. They've already run out of water twice, and they have to shut off the showers at midnight cause it needs at least 6 hours to recharge the water pumps. John said that on average they've been getting about 5 hours of sleep at night and they all ususally wake up around 3 or 4 in the morning cause their bodies are trying to readjust to the time difference. Fortunately, that's only happened a few times.

Well, gotta get some sleep! See you all in a few days. We'll be heading to London on Saturday. = )

Monday, July 24, 2006

England Trip - part 1

Well, we finally made it across the pond.
The weather has been gorgeous here, unlike the rather warm TX weather we have been having. 11 weeks of triple digit heat. Yuck! It's mostly been in the 70's during the day and has gotten down in the high 50's at night. It reminds me a lot of Colorado. So beautiful! Everything is all lush and green. There was a shower here on Sunday night, and I was just praying that God would send it over to TX. We so desperately need it.

Here's a snapshot of the craziness that was the youth and us at DFW. Anyway, our flight from DFW to Chicago was uneventful, but when we got to Chicago our plane was delayed almost an hour due to rain/stormy conditions. Yet again, I was saying, 'Ok, Lord, anytime you want to send that stuff towards TX would be fine by me.' When we did finally get on the plane, Kasey and I were greeted with a nice suprise. When Michelle first arrived at DFW, she discovered that all 3 of us were scattered all over the plane, so when Kasey & I checked in our luggage, she asked if Kasey & my seats could be together. All 3 of us couldn't sit together, but she at least thought that we could sit together. The lady at the counter said that wouldn't be a problem. So, we get on our plane to England and Kasey & I discovered a wonderful suprise. We had gotten the seats that the flight attendants use when their flights are over 8 hours. But since our flight was only 7 hrs & 45 mins, they got sold. Yippee!! Similar to 1st class seats, they almost fully reclined and had leg-rests. = ) Poor Michelle, she got stuck smack-dab in the middle of the rowdy youth. We owe her big time.

We arrived in Manchester, and then proceeded to load up all 150 youth (we were joined by 2 other church youth groups) onto buses. The lack of air conditioning on the bus was not the most pleasant ride I'd ever taken, but we eventually arrived at the University of Durham and were happily greeted by Barbara (Thornaby's church secretary) and Collin, her husband. We dined with the youth at the university mess hall and then left to head toward our host family. We're staying with Paul and Maxine Wright. They are the sweetest people! Gracious and hospitable, and to say that Maxine is a good cook would be a serious understatement. Especially the desserts she prepares; they look like something out of a recipe book. Almost too pretty to eat.

Thornaby Baptist now has a full-time pastor, David Whitehall. We got to go to the service on Sunday morning and he was great. He has a great sense of humor, very warm and welcoming. His wife Mandy is precious! Michelle and I got to sing 'I Stand Amazed' acapella for them during the worship time, and afterwards we went over to Jean's (Paul's mom's) house for Sunday dinner (aka lunch) and had a great time of fellowship.

Holiday Club (aka VBS) started this morning, and was big hit! Though not as polished as we would have liked, but the kids seemed to get a kick out of it. The theme is the circus; so 2 of the helpers (Mandy [who's also one of the co-leaders for my group, 'The Strongmen'] included) were dressed up as clowns.

The Strongmen

(from left to right: Andrew, Michael, Mandy, Jennifer, Kirsty, me, Chelsea, Kerri, Amy, Jaime, & Jaime)

Kasey, Michelle, & I were responsible for the games, the Bible story, theme illustration, theme song, & Bible verse. It has been so much fun playing with the kids and seeing how much they have grown up. The last time I saw a bunch of them was back in 2003. Fortunately, most of them have only grown taller, and still have their adorable baby faces.

Unfortunately, our host family has very limited (pay as you go) internet access, so I won't be able to update the blog frequently, but I will when I get a chance. Must sign off now, relax, and get some sleep (it's 9:28 pm here). Good night, and God bless!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Wow... hard to believe that the big departure day has arrived.
I will be heading off to England in the early afternoon tomorrow.
I am so excited and nervous at the same time. I don't feel 100% perpared to go, but I guess God does that sometimes just to make sure that we are having to lean completely on Him and not trusting in our own abilities and strength.

If you want to know what the weather's like where I'll be on the "other side of the pond," click here!

Prayer requests:
o Please pray that God would show Himself in a powerful way in England.
o Pray that God would use Michelle, Kasey, and me as instruments of His grace, mercy, and love as we minister to the kids at the Holiday Club (aka VBS), to the adults who'll be helping out, and to anyone else whom God places in our paths.
o Pray for our protection, and that we will know our authority over satan. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
o Pray for our physical and spiritual vitality, and that we will not negect to continually praise God for His provisions and blessings.
o Pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare the hearts of the people we meet, so that we might have the privilege of seeing souls come to faith in Jesus Christ!

Thank you so much for your prayers!
I love you all and I will see you all in Aug.

Grace and Peace,
Wendy <><

p.s. I'm not sure if I'll have email access over there, but if I do, I will either shoot you all an email or put a post on the blog. If not, then I'll definitely fill you all in when I get back. Blessings!