7/17 – (11A)Up until this point, traveling to England has been an adventure that I’ve played over and over again in my mind. Now, reality has begun to set in….no cell phone, limited luggage due to airline fees, and not knowing a soul that I’m about to travel alongside. To be honest, the only thing on my mind right now is surviving base camp. The details of camp are a mystery, but the idea is spiritual preparation, cross-cultural training, and team-building. I know enough from friends who have traveled with my mission organization to know that the days ahead will be mentally challenging.
(1P) After a brief commissioning service with my parents, we said our goodbyes, and then we were all whisked away on a bus trip to an unknown location.
(10P) I am now in my room unpacking….I’m lucky! Some of the other youth “mysteriously” lost their luggage on the trip to base camp. This is just one component of a plan designed to prepare us for anything that could possibly happen while traveling overseas. We had one tiny bowl of what seemed like inedible food for our group of nine, and I had my passport pick-pocketed while going through an intense mock airline customs check. I’m dreading what might happen next, while the mission organization staff actually seems to get a kick out of this whole base camp thing.
7/19-I’m beginning to cope and actually appreciate a “few” things at base camp. I’ve bonded with some of the people in my group through bible studies and team building activities. Tomorrow, we fly to London. I’m excited to see God’s work in a whole different area. I’m so glad I stayed. There were times these past two days here that I just wanted to leave due to homesickness and the mental challenges.
7/20-I’m in London now, and loving it. After a 14 hour trip, we arrived at London-Heathrow Airport this morning. We met our missionary leaders and did sight-seeing at all the famous places including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, etc. I’m excited about the upcoming week!
7/21-I got introduced to the area where my group will be doing most of our work! It is a beautiful neighborhood and has a cozy feel. We had a bible study and met a few locals. Today was exhausting!
7/22- I am beginning to think I have this “tube thing” down! London is known world-wide for its complex subway. Americans slide around when the tube abruptly takes off and stops, while the locals stare at us as if we are crazy!
7/23-I Got to play soccer with some local teenagers today! I had lots of fun, even though soccer is not my sport. One of the guys in my group even got to share his testimony with them. So cool!
7/25- I had such a busy day yesterday, and didn’t even get to write! Yesterday, I met another Texan here! Small World!
7/26- Today was our last day! We shopped today, and I bought lots of souvenirs. I was able to share my testimony with a girl working at a local store. We plan to become Facebook friends!
I have mixed emotions! Don’t want to leave because I’ll miss the city so much. But, I really do miss the tiny town of Clifton and my family.
7/27- We are on our way home. We’re flying over the Atlantic now and soon, I’ll be back home. This has been the best experience of my life. I have gained an awareness of God’s work outside of my own little world back home.
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