Sunday, February 13, 2005

final hours....

It's less than 16 hours til I'm out of America and honestly I can't wait to get home, but I've had such a great time here, today we slept in and made cookies then watched some movies so it's been relaxing, but I'm really tired... just been trying to sort out all my packing before I go to bed and so on.

I have a few final requests for prayer:

  • Safety in travel and lack of confusion of lostness round airports.
  • The ability to sleep a bit on the plane.
  • Getting back into a Norn Irn way of life again, as well as study.
  • For Mel as she works out her plans for returning to Northern Ireland to continue ministry.
  • For First Presbyterian church in Nashville, that they will continue to shine Gods light in the many ways that they do and that the kids will continue to be nurtured in the ministry there.
  • And finally for me, as I seek God's will in the next part of my life and learn his will for jobs and studies andministry and so on.
Thanks again guys for your loyalty in readin this, I have really appreciated the people who have followed my journey here and have been faithful prayerfully and financially because it is you who makes it the great journey it has been, so thank you.
God Bless,

Saturday, February 12, 2005

3 states in 5 minutes...

The past couple of days, Mel and I have been out and about for most of the day. Thursday was spent around Moline seeing John Deere, where her mum works.... where we were also showcased to all her co-workers so i was back again tellin people about Ireland and so on.

After that we ran a few errands and visited the places where she works(Fireworks and Sedlak's Studio), then later on went into Iowa to see Iowa 80, the worlds biggest lorry stop which was pretty big and we had fun lookin round the shop and so on. Then we went to meet up with Mel's friend Gwen and have dinner with her, then went to see Gwen playin Volleyball. Gwen was disgusted with Mel when she discovered I hadn't been taken to Whiteys to get ice cream so i was taken there and told to ask for samples of loads of the flavours... was sooo good, ended up getting a sugar cone with white chocolate raspberry and choc chip cookie dough, very tasty.

Today, we woke up early and went to Dickeyville in Wisconsin and went to visit the grotto then came back through Iowa and into Illinois again in the space of 5 minutes to head to Galena for the afternoon to have lunch in a place called Fried Green Tomatoes which was just amazin, then walked round the town and looked in all the little shops and had fun. While we were there we also visited an Irish Cottage where we found..... drumroll please..... Tayto Crisps!!!!! and Cadbury made in the UK!!!!! Was like gold dust, just beautiful. Arrived home today feeling really sleepy and plannin on headin to bed shortly, but we'll see what happens.

Tomorrow, we'll be making cookies, maybe going to fireworks to paint pottery and then in the evening maybe watch a movie with some of the kids from her church. The next day I'll be heading home, which I think I'm ready for but wish i'd have a day or two off to get used to a sleep pattern again before startin back into my course instead of jumpin right in, but it'll be an interesting experiment.

Well ciao for now :oD

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

lazy days

I'm feelin well chilled out and stuff now, but definately missin Nashville and all the stuff I would be doin if I was still there. They had the Pancake Supper last night to raise money for mission teams which I'm sorry I missed but it was great to be a part of organising it and so on.

Yesterday however I spent the day trying to see if I could meet up with holly and Natalie, two girls who went to Belfast Bible College last term but are now back at their own college (Moody Bible Institute) in Chicago, but it didn't work out unfortunately, but it was cool to see round their campus anyway.

The rest of the day Mel and I went to the Art Institute and then onto the Museum of Science and Industry and saw the Body Worlds exhibit, which i was real excited about... weirdo that i am, plus Mel enjoyed hearin me waffle on about what all I'd learnt in University and so on.

After all that excitment we got in her car and came to her house near Moline and had dinner with her Mum and Dad and then just hung out for a while and went to bed..... today's much the same.... so it's going great and I'm appreciating the break between the placement and next term.

Well for now I'm gonna go watch the Superbowl, which mel taped on Sunday but it'll be good :oD
C ya soon

Monday, February 07, 2005

bye nashville, hello chicago

Hi, well here i am in chicago, the windy city. I'm currently posting from the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue. I arrived safely last night and Mel and I have been having loads of fun already, but I'll tell you about that shortly.

The weekend however was fun; First Club went so well, there were so many kids there all sayin goodbye and i was a good sport about being made to wear a green t shirt saying "Ireland" across the front and wearing a big green hat with a clover on it. The hosting with Caldwell went really well and we did the Irish "dancing" thing again, I also had to perform in a skit where i had to chase people round the hall who had stolen the box of lucky charms, eventually when it was finished Caldwell asked why do people do that, i then stood in the middle of the hall and said "they're always after me lucky charms" and again they all laughed cos that's the advert slogan. The tsunami powerpoint i was working on all week went down real well and got so excited about all the fundraising events the church will have over the next few weeks.

Was a great morning though, but had so many people coming up to me and thanking me for all my hard work even though I'd never met them before or anything, but it's good to know that it's all appreciated. Spent the afternoon tying up loose ends like getting my photos transferred to someone's hard drive so they can use them for things in church, meeting up with Mark Schultz and lookin at his cute wee baby blue cottage heehee. Then hung out with the Raines' again for a bit, had my final Nashville meal at a drive in fast food place (Sonic) and just said goodbye to a few people. Then they all went to the different Superbowl parties and Mark DeVries (the guy I came out to work for) drove me back to the airport with lots of outsiders opinion questions, so it was a good way to think through the last 6 weeks and so on.

Now though, I'm in Chicago with my good chum Mel, we are staying in Tremont Hotel just off Michigan Avenue and had a long lie in this morning.... well overdue. Then came out to the city to look round the shops and i was so pleased to find H&M, it's been a great day but still much more to do so I'll talk to you guys again soon.
God Bless

Saturday, February 05, 2005

final day....

Well it's my final 24 hrs in Nashville, I can't believe how fast the time has gone but it's been amazing.

Right i need to clarify cos Mel has been asking questions about it and i wrote it in a hurry......
Amy Grant wasn't actually at the Bible study on Thursday morning, she told this story the previous week, this week she's out of town but the bible study still focused on the woman they're gonna help.

Friday, I decided i was feeling quite tired so i slept in for a bit, then did a few messages. After that I went to see the Parthenon with Jacquie, which is a replica of the original parthenon in Greece.... it was just so big, i was in awe at the detail in the structure.

After that I finished off the powerpoint for First Club this Sunday, only I just found out i need to change the scripture that's in it, but it should only take about 3 minutes to do all that.

Today I joined Chase and Jamie at Waffle House for breakfast and then went to the Presbyterian Women's (PWA for all the Irish Presbys) retreat day where we focused on how to rest in our hectic lives and learn how to relax our minds and focus on Scripture. It was a real fun day, we also had a break in between and walked round Traveller's Rest which is the plantation of John Overton, an old local judge who had many links with First Presbyterian as well as being a very good friend of ex President Andrew Jackson, so it was vry interesting.

Well tomorrow is First Club with the theme being "Super Irish Sunday" to celebrate me and the Superbowl all at once. I'm hosting it with Caldwell so I'm feelin a bit nervous about that cos I really don't know what I've to do yet. I'm also scared I'm either going to be really embarassed or else get teary eyed cos it'll be loads of goodbyes and stuff. (I'm such a wuss heheee).

I'd appreciate if people could pray that I get all I want to do done in the few hours I have left here cos there's still some people that I wanna have a chat with before I do leave. Also pray that my flight and stuff works out ok and that I get to Chicago for my week with Mel.

Well this is probably my last post from Nashville so I'll see y'all in Chicago ;o)


Thursday, February 03, 2005

they're after me lucky charms!

Wow, a lot's happened over the last couple of days.... lets see if i remember it all.....

I've spent most of the last 2 days on 2 computers atthe same time one to scan photos for one powerpoint, the other was to set up a different powerpoint so it's been fun. I've also to take some time soon to teach the youth directors at the church how to set up and use powerpoint.... so it's powerpoint mania here at the minute.

Tuesday I also was taken out for dinner to Houstons with the Raines', it was delicious! Fantastic grill chicken burger and cheese and totally amazing fries/chips. Was just a fun night, we told lots of riddles and jokes (blonde jokes mostly tho they did try to tell irish jokes.... i was havin none of it heehee)

After that, we went home and i played on Adam's laptop and went on MSN for the first time in weeks!!! I love that the Raines' have a wireless network :oD

Wednesday was a funny day, but a great day. I came into the Tyne House (youth work HQ) and scanned some more photos argued with powerpoint 97 for not allowing me to insert an mp3 (still haven't won that battle yet but I'll get there).

In the afternoon I visited Preston Taylor Ministries where I helped out at the after school homework club with a few 3rd grade kids (7/8 yrs old). It's in an area that would be similar to like the Shankill or whatever. So I spent a while heling some of the kids to do their homework and also read a book with them. Then they got for individual time with a teacher to read and focus on how to break up words. I'm tellin ya it's hard teaching american kids how to say shower and not teach it in a Norn Irn accent heehee. But it was a great day. In fact when i arrived there the first kid who came, walked up to me and said "what you want then?" and pulled 3 pieces of wool from his pocket, plaited a bracelet for me and tied it to my wrist. It was very sweet.

After that i arrived back at the church (after sitting in huge traffic on the I-440 and I-65 grrrrrrr) and joined the rest of church for the evening meal where i had cream corn for the first time.... was quite nice really.

Immediately after that we had our Wednesday night youth group where they had a party to celebrate me. We had an "Irish Dance Off", blindfolded some kids and made them tell us what shape marshmallow they had from a box of Lucky Charms, then they sat round and told their favourite "Ruth stories", a couple of the guys even wrote a "Ruth song", it was hilarious. They're all so sweet and had all written little messages on cards for me to take away with me... I was gettin all teary eyed and was just so overwhelmed . Was a great night and it's just makin me sadder to leave here.

To explain the title a little.... they had given me a present from the youth directors as well as all the kids signing messages onto a box of Lucky Charms, it's so cool, can't wait to put it pride of place in my room when i get hom, but i told them i wonder if customs will take them on me at the airport and they said "You should do what the leprecaun says in the advert and say 'They're after me lucky charms!' " heehee

Today so far, I woke at 5:30am, went to an early morning Bible Study for 9th grade girls (14/15 yrs old) where one of their group leaders is Amy Grant, she got a letter from a fan thanking her for her music and told Amy a bit of her life story and some of the struggles she's had, so the group decided to help her by raising money for something to help this woman, cool eh?

Then I went to an adults Bible Study Class with Jacquie. Since then I've been in the office again workin on powerpoint and actually about to take a break and go get ice cream at Sonic so I'll c you all later!!!

Loves yas!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Just wanted to add this cos it was so sweet and brightened up my day: one of the girls who was at the Sunday School class I taught a couple of days ago came to me last night and told me how much she appreciated the class and how she really learnt from it. It's really encouraging to actually hear God's used me like that.

For the rest of today I'll be sittin on this computer playin about with some photos and music and the like heheeeeeeeeee. Bring it on! :oD