Bradford, Day 22

I had an absolutely wonderful day today. I went to Haworth today with the intention of spending some time alone with God and taking a nice walk into the moors near the Bronte house. I got to do that and God surprised me by having different plans for my time than I did, which was really good. In the evening I went to the youth group meeting for the church I’ve been attending here. I really enjoy the students:-)!

I’ll have to post some pictures, but at the moment I’m too tired. Tomorrow if I can get on the internet. I’ll be traveling to London tomorrow.

Bradford, Days 20 & 21

Bradford, Days 20 & 21

Hi Friends,

I hope everyone is well!

Yesterday, I volunteered to help out in a shop which does some neat work with youth here in the city. I washed dishes, met the youth, and even got to make an “authentic” American hamburger for a customer (authentic because of the American making it… not the burger). It’s fun to be a novelty every now and again:-).

Making the “authentic” burger.

After leaving the shop I went to Leeds with a friend and had a nice time seeing the neighboring city.

Me in Leeds.

Today I went to a conference about community organization for leaders in this Bradford. The speaker was an American clergyman, and it was a bizarre situation to be the only other American in the room. I found myself identifying more with my British colleagues than with the presenter. I think it’s really valuable to get out of one’s culture to gain perspective on things like our attitudes about ourselves and our role in the world, our political bias, and things along those lines.

After the conference, I got back to the house around 5! This has been unheard of — I had the first “down” night since the team arrived 11 days ago. It was fun to have tea (supper) with the family and then just spend the evening getting prepared for the next few days and catching up with a few people online.

Bradford, Day 19

Bradford, Day 19

Today was the team’s last day here, and we spent most of the Day in York. Bethan and I drove up this morning in an attempt (which worked) to beat the crowds, and then met the team there for church. After the service we had a nice lunch, did some sight-seeing and then came back to Bradford for a church service bringing multiple local congregations together. It is really exciting to see the intentional unity in the Body of Christ here in this place.

This evening was the final debrief with our hosts. It was wonderful to have a great team, and so sad to see such a fun group go in our different directions. I am thankful that I get to stay here a few more days!!!

Here are some pics of York:

Bradford, Day 18

Bradford, Day 18

Hi Everyone,

This morning we worked with some local churches in the center of town. Then Tim and Bethan (my hosts), their daughter and another friend took me up into the Dales for a picnic and a visit to Malham. It is a really unique area because there is a former limestone waterfall which, because of the porous nature of the rocks, has had the water seep through rather than coming over the top anymore.

Then tonight we had a lovely BBQ at the Carlton’s house. Fun to get to be back there for a night!

Here are some pictures from the day:

Bradford, Day 17

Today our main activity was to spend time at a local mosque. It was a really good experience. We were given the opportunity to meet the Imam and were invited to observe the mid-afternoon prayer. Then we talked with some of the leaders and learned more about Islam whilst building some interesting relationships!

I hope everyone at home is very well!

Bradford, Day 16

Today was really, really crazy! We were at the school again this morning, and several of the girls surprised me with cards and little gifts when they saw me again. It was so surprising and really really sweet.

After the school, we had a meeting with some local Muslim leaders. It was a really insightful discussion about the teachings of Islam as they relate to terrorism and other challenging issues.

Then we did some training for the work we’ll be doing for Healing on the Streets on Saturday.

Directly following that Ben and I (a British friend) went out to follow up with people about the Jesus DVD project, which we have been helping a local church with. Families in the neighborhood have been offered the DVD and if they wanted to follow up with someone we are going around to do that. We ended our time at one of the little girls from school’s house, and had a great conversation with her mom and aunt. They were really so kind and warm!

Following that project, we went to the pastor of one of the churches’ house for a Jamaican dinner. It was really nice and we had a wonderful time laughing with the family.

I am looking forward to sleep and am just really thankful for these great experiences!