GEM Internship: By The Numbers

1 GBP = 1.53 USD – exchange rate at arrival
22 – Donors
12,700 – dollars raised to make this possible
4 – Countries (US, UK, Wales, Scotland)
22 – Towns/Cities
10 – Days in London
4 – Bags (two check, two carry on)
2 – times ill
13 – Americans at Church in the Community
1 – “Football” Matches attended
3 – Loud Chihuahuas (ie Hodson girls)
14 – Sundays at CitC
4 – times Preached
3 – Churches preached at
5 – Bucket List items crossed off
119 – Days in the Field
1 GBP = 1.52 USD – exchange rate at departure

England Photo Blog

I am back home from 4 months on mission in the Black Country in the Midlands of England. But instead of writing a blog about my time, you can check out my newsletter and subscribe if you would like. Instead, I’ll post a photo blog.

You know what they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

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Why I Like Doctor Who

IMG_3520I’m no Whovian fanatic by any stretch of the imagination. But I do enjoy a good episode of Doctor Who every once in a while. Sure it’s not the biggest budgeted Sci-Fi show. Or the most realistic. Or even the best written. But there is something about that show.

I mention all this because on one of my adventures around London with the other GEM interns, we were able to find the TARDIS. Really it was just an old Police Call Box, but Doctor Who has changed that view in culture. It was fun to see it, of course I made the obligatory “It’s bigger on the inside” joke and then tried to pull the door open yelling for the Doctor to take me on an adventure.

Despite the fact that I’m not a super Whovian (like some people I know), there are some things about it that really speaks to me. There really is something special about the show. It’s the attitude and mentality of the Doctor. He shows us that there can be so much more to life, all we got to do is chase after it yelling “Allon-sy!” Or when things are scary, we should ignore that fear and jump right in yelling “Geronimo!” And then see and experience things that just make us say, “Fantastic!”

The world is giant place, waiting for you to experience it. Every place has something special to offer the world.

Number 122

Travel-suitcase_(1)Number 126 on my bucket list is to “Live out of one bag for an extended time”

Okay, so technically I’ve been living out of three bags. But the point of putting that particular thing on the bucket list was to challenge myself to live with less. It was to help me with my ongoing journey to being more minimalist (which I know I’ll never truly achieve). But at least for these four months during my mission I was able to live with less stuff.

Sure I have a storage unit back in the States full of stuff, but really those are just furnishings that are needed to live on your own. Furniture, cookware, flatware, some books, etc.

But I think the main thing I took away from this is realizing that all that other stuff is just excess, things we don’t need. The American dream says we need to get more, More, MORE!! But Jesus tells us, “I am enough.” And you know what? This period of living with less has helped me realized, I don’t need this stuff, and Jesus is enough.

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Leicester City

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Bucket List #34 Done!!

What a beautiful site! What a beautiful game! Even though I didn’t get to see my boys in blue, I’ve always wanted to experience a football match on this side of the pond. Like watching a high school football game outside of Texas, it’s just not the same.

We had front row seats, which were right on ground level. I got to go with a good group to celebrate Andy, my supervisor’s, birthday! Although West Brom lost, it was still a great match and a great experience!

Number 10

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Done!!! What an experience. On Monday and Tuesday I got to travel to Scotland with my supervisor, Andy, as he was going on a pastoral visit to some missionaries located in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Also had the opportunity to go to Loch Lomond, the gateway to the highlands. A beautiful place, though due to weather I was unable to see all of its beauty.

During this trip I also was able to visit Edinburgh Castle (pictured below) and part of the Royal Mile. It was only for a few minutes and I didn’t have time to go inside, but even still it was a great experience to see. I was with a member of the Lifeshape Foundation and she said something that really stuck with me: “There is something special about exploring your roots.”

I absolutely agree. That is actually the main reason Scotland is on my bucket list. There are so many beautiful places in the world which I would love to see and visit. But there has always been something has has drawn me to Scotland, and that has to be it. My ancestry, my history. Finding out a little about the culture and location where your family came from even if it’s several generations back.

Even though I’ve been there and I’ve crossed that off my bucket list, I know that I will be returning to Scotland again to see its beauty and experience its culture sometime in the future.

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Getting Adjusted

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I’ve been here for 20 days now and getting adjusted hasn’t been too difficult. Having experience being in England before, I didn’t expect the culture shock to effected me that much, and it really hasn’t. However, there are some little things that I’ve needed to get adjusted to.

For example:
The internet at the church and flat is not always 100% reliable. When it works, it works perfectly and there is no issues. But there are few hours here and there and almost entire days that it seems to decide to just stop working. Which would be frustrating no matter where I was.

But because of that I’ve been finding myself consuming less visual and digital media. Most of the movies I own are on the cloud, and where I’m from in the States where we have great internet all the time there is no problem with that. But here, I have to download a movie on my hard drive to make sure I can watch it all the way through.

It’s honestly no big deal, but it’s just something that I have found I’ve needed to get readjusted. But, the interesting thing is instead of consuming all that media visually I am reading, journaling, writing, and listening to music more. I really didn’t realize how much TV, movies, and internet videos I watch. Even with my phone I realize how little I use it to actually connect with other people.

I wouldn’t say that there is any withdraw, but I have definitely found that those types of media are my go to when I am bored or idle.

Luckily, I already have seen a silver lining in all this as now another reason I am excited about this is that I will be able to use these 4 months as an exercise in simplicity, which is something that I have wanted to move more towards. I’m looking forward to the idea of living with less.

Less TV
Less movies
Less You tube
Less Facebook
Less distractions

Instead now I have time for things that are more important.

Time with God
Being introspective
Slowing down the pace of life
Learning
Connecting with People
Silence