Christmas Travels

Bonjour! Hola! Hello!

Well, here I am again, back at Capernwray. I feel as if I have SO MUCH to tell all of you! So I hope I’ll do an adequate job of telling you all about my Christmas break, my awesome and God-crazy traveling experience, and my time back at Capernwray. Get ready for a long blog post…

Winter break started the 16th of December, but my friends (Emilee, Ashley, and Brittany) and I didn’t start traveling until the 17th. In case you didn’t know this about me, I can get anxious about uncertainty (I think this runs in the Widmer side of my family or something…), so the two weeks leading up to Christmas break, I didn’t even want to travel. We had bought our plane tickets and booked our hotels, but I was so nervous about traveling that I thought staying at Capernwray and working for three weeks would be so much better than going to Paris, Barcelona, and Mallorca. Now to be clear, I wasn’t nervous about the fact that I was getting on a building on it’s side and being thrown from one place to another; it was the little things that made me nervous, like, “Is my suitcase going to be too heavy?” (I was really, REALLY freaking out about this for some reason) and “How are four girls going to get from the airport to the train, then from the train station to our hotel in Paris at 8:30 at night, when none of us know any French?” I learned something early on in my travels: I tend to limit God and His faithfulness, thinking He is not big enough to take care of me. We learned, as a group, to commit everyday over to the Lord, to His protection, and to trust in Him as we traveled.

Our first stop: Paris! For all of you who are thinking of going to Paris, a word of advice: DON’T go in the winter. It was so incredibly freezing, but I tried to put that out of my mind as much as possible so I could enjoy the city. Funny story from Paris…we flew in around 8:00pm, and as we were going through security (keep in mind I was already freaking out about how we were going to get to the hotel from there…) the security guard checks my passport, looks at me and says, “Have you ever seen the movie ‘Taken’?” I reply, “Yes,” and he says, “Good.” For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a girl who, basically, goes to Paris and gets kidnapped. So after that nice comment from the security guard, I was asking myself, “What the heck are we doing?!” However, I was reminded that God wouldn’t have brought us safely to Paris just to abandon us, so we prayed all the more that God would give us direction as we got into the city, and of course He did! The first day we started at the Louvre, walked along the river to Notre Dame, took a metro to the Eiffel Tower, and then ended the day at the Louvre, where we got to see the Mona Lisa. The second day we saw Moulin Rouge (don’t worry, we didn’t go in), the Arc de Triumph and just hung around the city. Paris is so beautiful at night, and it was so much fun to see the city all lit up!

From Paris we took a sleeper train to Barcelona, and as soon as we arrived, we immediately liked it better than Paris for one main reason: it was SO much warmer!! But the culture was so different too. We hadn’t even been in Barcelona for a whole day and we felt safer for some reason. The first day we were there, we just walked about the city, down to the ports and walked along the water, which was absolutely amazing! The second day we met up with some other girls from Capernwray, Raquel (who is from Barcelona) and Racheal. While we were with them we went to La Sangria de Familia (uhh I think that’s what it’s called), a famous Cathedral designed by Gaudi, and Parc Guel that is decorated with artwork also done by Gaudi. In Parc Guel, we walked to the top of this hill and saw the whole landscape of Barcelona, which was so incredible! Afterwards we walked along the water again, had café con leche, and called it a day! I think I would’ve loved to stay in Barcelona for a few more days, because it’s the type of city you can walk around in for hours and feel completely relaxed…hopefully I can go back someday!

From Barcelona, we got on a plane at 6am (waay too early) and flew from there to Mallorca! Traveling that day was like living in a daze, and we were so exhausted by the time we got to Marc and Krystn’s (my cousins), that we slept almost the whole day. But let me tell ya, after going almost 4 months without seeing anyone from my family, it was a breath of fresh air to see them; luckily, I also got to spend Christmas with them. When you are away from home at Christmastime and in a warm, tropical place, it really doesn’t feel like Christmas, so the majority of the day felt like just another day. However, Christmas evening I got the most spectacular gift: my amazing big brother Ryan made a Christmas video for me with all my relatives and family sending me Christmas messages! I was so touched (I started bawling IMMEDIATELY) and it made me so thankful to have the best family in the WHOLE wide world! If you want to watch it, you can go to www.fergusonfilms.com/christmasforemily. Anyways, Mallorca was absolutely beautiful, and it’s so cool to say that I’ve been to an island in the Mediterranean! We did a lot of relaxing, shopping, eating AMAZING food made by Krystn, and sight seeing while in Mallorca. I would say my favorite day was either going to the beach or riding the Christmas train with Orland. I had such a great time spending time with my little cousins Orland and Noelia (and Krystn and Marc too!), but pretty soon the time came for me to go and for my Christmas break adventures to end…

Now I am back at Capernwray and honestly, I am so excited to be back! I have a new room in the CASTLE and new roommates and God has totally brought new friendships into my life. I am still playing netball (I finally have pictures, even though they aren’t very good) and still have many assignments, but probably the most exciting thing about this new term is something called 10-day outreach. The whole school splits into different groups and we go for 10 days to different places in England and work with local churches in the area…what’s even more exciting is that I was chosen to be the leader of my 10-day outreach team! We are going to Chelmsford, which is in Essex…I am excited for the challenge and to see how God grows me through yet another experience, but extremely nervous at the same time. I pray that God will be able to use my team and me in great ways during those 10 days, and if you could keep us in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it! As soon as I find out more information about what exactly we’ll be doing I’ll let you all know!

As I think back on my first term at Capernwray, I can’t be anything but thankful for all the hard times God put me through, because through it all He has drawn me closer to Him. Now that I am starting my second term and loving it, I am thankful that I get to look back on Capernwray once it’s all said and done and think of it as an amazing experience. I still have my bad days, but now I have learned that my first priority is always Christ and striving to become more like Him.

Once again, I am so sorry it’s taken me SO long to get this posted! I’m not sure how many more I’ll post before my time here is over, but in case I don’t get around to it, I thank you so much for all your prayers and I can’t wait to see you all in the spring. Love you and miss you!

Romans 8:37-39—“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither the present not the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

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Merry Christmas, Here’s to Many More…

December 12, 2010

First of all, let me just say I am SO sorry for taking so long to post something new…don’t worry, I’m still alive and well! My mind has just been in other places lately, like where I’m traveling over Christmas (Paris, Barcelona, and Mallorca to be exact!), and not where it should be, like on homework and packing…but we’re all feeling the anticipation of leaving here at Capernwray! As I sit here on my bunk bed while listening to my Christmas music and eating my peppernuts (thanks mom and Gram!), I think about all God has taught me these last 2 months, 2 weeks and 4 days, and I can’t help but be grateful for being here. I know for a fact that if I had spent that time at home, I wouldn’t be where I am at now in my relationship with the Lord, and it’s so exciting and encouraging to think about! However, this time of year has proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Before I left for Caperwray, I figured there would be no better way to spend Christmas than traveling through Europe. I mean, this is the chance of a lifetime, and as my mom so kindly keeps reminding me, this is probably the only time I’ll be in Europe (but I really hope not!) So with that in mind, I should be soaking up every moment I get to spend here. But I cannot get over this overwhelming longing to just be home. I miss my family tremendously…being away from them has made me realized just how incredibly blessed I am to have such a loving and supporting family. I miss my friends, whom I love and miss more than they could ever know, and I miss Faith Bible Church (AND Faith Bible Church worship!!), and the amazing love I receive from my church family…and I miss CHARLIE!! I could keep going on and on of course, but those are the main things. It was during one of these times of missing home when God showed me something that I’ve always known, but has never truly made an impact on me until this year. It’s one of the names Jesus was given through the prophecy of Isaiah—the name Emmanuel, which means God with us. I have just been so encouraged thinking about how God came to be with us through His son Jesus, and how through His Holy Spirit living in me, I can feel God’s love for me—so even though I can’t feel the love and warmth from home this Christmas, it’s great to know I have a love that will never leave me, no matter where I go. I won’t be having an “Old Fashioned Christmas” like the Carpenters would, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of Europe, and my wonderful cousins Krystn, Marc, Orland, and Noelia, who are so graciously opening their home to my three friends and me. Please pray for us as we travel—for our safety, but most importantly that we would learn to be patient when things don’t go our way, and we would keep Christ as our #1 focus when we travel and for His will to be done above anything else. I hope and pray that we will be able to glorify Him during our three-week break! As far as being at Capernwray goes, I can safely say it’s a time of my life I will never forget! There have been bad days and good days (of course), but all in all I know it’s exactly where God wants me to be, and that gives me the greatest comfort of all. I am excited to get away for a while, but also just as excited to see what the next 2 months, 1 week, and 3 days has in store for me! To everyone who is reading this, I wish you the merriest of Christmases! I hope and pray that you will be able to feel and experience God’s love in ways you haven’t been able to before as you think about the wonderful gift He has given to us through His Son, Jesus! I love you and miss you all! Merry Christmas, here’s to many more…

What I am thankful for…

November 23, 2010

Hello everyone!

Since Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I haven’t written any letters to anyone wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving (sorry!), I thought I would do a blog post instead!

First of all, it’s really weird living in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I have to keep reminding myself that Thanksgiving is this week, but every time I do, a little piece of me dies…as I wrote in my last blog post, I’ve realized how much I miss home, especially with the holidays coming up. However, this last weekend, after a lot of reflection on why I am here and a long talk with my parents (they did a lot of talking, I did a lot of crying), the Holy Spirit worked in my heart and showed me why I am here: I am not here because I want to be here, I am not here to be popular or to make a bunch of friends, I am not here to see the world…I am here because Christ wants me to be here, I am here because I long for a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him, so therefore I need to learn how to deny myself daily in order to make Him my #1 priority. Saying and realizing this, I have a lot to be thankful for! So I thought I would just share what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving…

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my mom and dad who love me very much, who gave me the opportunity to be here, and most importantly, who pray for me everyday. I am thankful for my brothers Ryan and Scott and my sister Alissa, who I’ve shared some amazing memories with. I love that every time I am with them, we ALWAYS laugh, and I really miss that. I am thankful for my grandparents, all my aunts, uncles, and cousins, whom I am guaranteed to have a great time with and who love Jesus…I couldn’t ask for a better family!

I am thankful for my great friends, specifically Laura and Anna. Without their love and friendship, I wouldn’t be where I am today! I am so thankful for the laughter they bring into my life…I love how our relationship has grown over the years, and that no matter where we are later on in life, we will always, always be sisters.

I am thankful for being at Capernwray. I am thankful that my clothes are getting tight, because it reminds me that I am well fed and the Lord has provided for me. I am thankful for the creaky bunk bed I sleep in every night, because it reminds me that I have a warm place to sleep and a roof over my head. I am thankful for the lonely times, because it reminds me that the Lord is my best friend who will never leave me.

I am thankful for my journey. The road hasn’t been easy getting here, and it hasn’t been easy being here, but thankfully Jesus did not promise an easy life…instead, He promises us complete peace in Him because He has overcome the world and its troubles. I am thankful for my trials and struggles from the past and here at Capernwray, and how they draw me closer and closer to my unbelievably loving Savior.

I look at these things that I am thankful for, and it overwhelms me with how much the Lord has blessed me! I can’t imagine being anywhere else at this point in my life…I am so thankful for what the Lord has been teaching me, and I look forward to what He has to teach me next!

I hope you all have an absolutely amazing Thanksgiving and are able to look at your lives and see how the Lord has blessed you. I love you and miss you all!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Oh and one more thing…I am thankful for Charlie and for the joy he brings me! I miss you baby!

(Editorial note: I added a picture of Charlie I took for Emily)

Great is Thy Faithfulness

November 15, 2010

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s taken me so long to write a blog post…school has been getting crazier and crazier every week, but fortunately I was able to take some time to myself this las weekend and hang out in Liverpool and get away and relax!

I’m pretty sure the last time I posted something was right before pray day. Pray day ended up being such an amazing day! It was such a great day to drop everything and spend time with the Lord. We prayed by ourselves for the first half of the day, and then towards the end of the day we got together with our roommates and prayed with them; I was so encouraged by just spending time with them and talking about what we were struggling with and how we can pray for each other. God also used this day just to show me how absolutely wonderful and powerful the cross is…how even though I am a wretched sinner, it is by His grace alone I am saved. This was something I desperately needed to be reminded of!

I then went from being at a very spiritually high point after pray day to a very spiritually low point. This last week was extremely hard for me…I began to realize just how much I missed home and longed to be in a place where I was comfortable. I missed home so much in fact, that I started having dreams about leaving Capernwray, getting on an airplane, and flying home. I would then wake up in the night thinking I was home in my own bed, only to realize that I was still at Capernwray. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy being here; however, in the state my heart was in mixed with my emotions and having dreams about being home, waking up in a bunk bed that I expected to be my own bed wasn’t the best feeling. Luckily God is good, and He has brought me out of that state I was in. Honestly, I still struggle being here, especially since it’s the holidays and a lot of kids here are talking about going home and how excited they are. I am so blessed that I have family over here to spend Christmas with and I am really looking forward to it, but I know it’s not going to be the same. However, God has really shown me that it doesn’t matter where I am, who I spend Christmas with, or what my heart is going through…He is still the same. He is the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He will be the same God of generations to come. So no matter what changes in my life, I can put my hope and trust in a God who is always be with me and will never, ever change!

God really showed his goodness to me this weekend, because I had such an amazing weekend! I really had a lot of fun and it made up for the somewhat horrible week I had. The school put on a trip to Liverpool, as I mentioned earlier, and I had such an amazing time! A few friends and I went to the Beatles museum and then to the Cavern they first played at…luckily the Beatles were from Liverpool, because without them Liverpool wouldn’t be all that exciting! Then we went shopping (I FINALLY got some warmer clothes!), ate, had Starbucks (first Peppermint mocha!) and came back to Capernwray. When we got back from Liverpool, the school put on a volleyball tournament for the students, so I played on a team. Let me just say, I was totally reliving the glory days of high school, except I was actually playing and not sitting on the bench!

Well, I guess I’ll close this blog post on a “Happy Thanksgiving” note: Thank you to my family and friends back home, for all your love and support throughout the years, and for staying in contact with me while I am over here…I miss you guys so much! But all the thanks and glory goes to my amazing and wonderful Savior, who has brought me here to Capernwray. He has brought me here for a reason, even though I don’t know exactly what that reason is…but thankfully I am growing in trusting Him, in loving Him, and knowing Him better each and every day.

Lamentations 3:21-23—“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”

Miss you all

A Foggy Day in London Town

November 1, 2010

Hello Everyone!
I hope I am doing a good job of keeping this blog updated…it’s hard when you start getting into a routine, because it feels like everyday is the same and there is nothing new to write about. However, we just had our travel weekend, which is when we can choose to travel or just stay at the school and relax for the weekend. Luckily I was able to get away from the school and go to LONDON, because I was starting to get cabin fever being at Capernwray 24/7!

I am currently on the train that is taking us from London to Capernwray. I was invited to go to London by my friend Abbie, who I met at school and is from Toronto. She has family friends that live in Bishops Stortford (about 40 minutes from London) who used to run a Bed and Breakfast out of their home, so we were able to stay with them for the weekend…let me tell ya, it was a pretty sweet deal! The rooms were SO nice and it felt like a really homey place. Abbie’s friends, Keith and Gill (pronounced “Jill” not “Gill” like the fish…although many times I wanted to say, “Good morning Gill…I said Good Morning Gill…”) were so nice to let us stay in their house and it was so much fun to get to meet them! Here’s a little side story that I think is pretty funny: the first night we stayed with Keith and Gill, they were kind enough to take us out for fish and chips. It was my first fish and chips that I had had in England, so I was pretty excited about it, taking picture and what not. Well, it’ll definitely be the last fish and chips I have in England, because later that night I got sick and it all came back up! Thankfully I wasn’t sick the rest of the weekend!

Anyways, London was incredible. We spent both Saturday and Sunday there because there is just so much to see. It was actually a little overwhelming at times. There are so many shops to go to, tourist attractions, monuments, museums, ect ect, that we felt like we were running all over the place so we could see as much as we could. But it was incredible to see, for instance, Big Ben with my own eyes and think, “Peter Pan flew over this!” That was actually my first thought when I saw it! We went into a lot of cool shops (that were way too expensive!) and saw so much while we were there. I’m so happy that I got to go!

Besides seeing all the sights, I think what I am most thankful for is God’s faithfulness to me during this travel weekend. First of all, He kept both Abbie and I completely safe while we were traveling through London by ourselves. He also has given me Abbie as a great friend. As you get to know someone better, you start to see their weaknesses and inabilities, and I know Abbie saw mine this weekend; yet after this long weekend together, we are still friends and I know God will use my weakness (and Abbie’s as well) to teach us how to grow in love for one another. I am so thankful for all the friends I’ve made at school, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses them in my life!

Now I am back at Capernwray and it actually feels pretty good to be back. I like getting into a routine and feeling comfortable with it! God has really shown me a lot this past weekend though…for instance, before we left, I wasn’t doing so well in my time with the Lord. I felt as if I was saying, “Alright, this first month has been great and he’s taught me a lot, now I can take a break and I don’t really need to learn anything from him for a while.” However, from this past weekend, I realize I need to be constantly dependent upon the Lord, because I never know what life is going to throw my way! I feel like I could go on and on about how much the Lord has been teaching me, but some stuff is just too hard to write down!

This Thursday (November 4th) we’re having a prayer day where we pray all day. I am really looking forward to it, but if you would keep me in your prayers in that I wouldn’t become distracted, and I would have ears that long to hear what the Lord has to tell me and a heart that is open and willing to do whatever he commands of me. Also, they asked us if we would fast from the internet, phone, ipods, ect in the days leading up to prayer day. I really want to do this in the days leading up to it as well as a few days after, so if you would pray that I would have the diligence to actually go through with it, that would be great!

God has been so good to me while I’ve been in England, and I am looking forward to telling you all about it in person when I come home. I miss you and I hope and pray that God, in His great love for each and every one of us, is teaching you something new everyday, for as it says in Lamentations 3:23, “[His compassions] are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness!”

Love you!

Starting to feel at home…

Psalm 40:1-3—“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”

Hello everyone! It has been a while!

One of my goals here at Capernwray is to keep my blog updated as best as I can, for two reasons: #1-It’s awesome. I am so grateful towards my brother Ryan for setting it up for me because it definitely looks a lot better than what I could do (don’t worry, he didn’t put this in!), and it’s fun to see what he thinks I would like, and he totally got it right! Also, the “About” section brought me to tears (check it out if you haven’t yet…) I am so incredibly thankful for Ryan and the rest of my family, and so grateful for their love! #2-I’ve found that emailing everyone ten paragraph emails makes life just a little overwhelming, so this makes staying in contact SO much easier!! I mean don’t get me wrong, I love hearing from everyone individually, but I think this way is just easier to share what God has been and is doing in my life.

A lot has happened since my last post, and I am glad that I was able to encourage you with what I had to say…as I reread it a couple days ago, I realized that I need to go back from time to time and remember where I started at Capernwray, what kind of struggles God has helped me overcome, see where I am at today, and praise Him for this incredible journey!

I put Psalm 40 at the top of this post because it has been a huge encouragement to me lately, and God has taught me a lot through it. I was talking on the phone with my parents last week, and telling them how I’d been struggling with worry about the future. Call me crazy, but I’m already starting to worry about what’s going to happen after I leave here…I am worried I will go back to Spokane, back to a college where I don’t really know what I want to study, and in exactly the same place I was before I left. I came to Capernwray expecting God to show me what He wants me to do with my future, and for some reason I expected to be enlightened from the moment I got here. Ya, definitely not so! I mean, I’ve been here for almost a month (which is CRAZY), but I still have 5 months for God to reveal to me what he wants me to do. So my dad told me to read Psalm 40, and I am so glad that I did! Aren’t parents the best?! J The part that I love the most about this verse is when it says “I waited patiently for the LORD.” I absolutely hate waiting, but I know God is making me wait to grow me in that area of my life, because there are going to be many more instances in life where He is going to call me to wait. I have also realized that I can wait impatiently or patiently, and my prayer is that I would wait patiently for God to show me exactly what He has planned for me! Even if God’s plan for me is to return to Spokane, back to the Falls or wherever, and be in the same place I was before I left, my prayer is that my heart would be in a different place, that through being here I would learn to love wherever I am at, because God has put me there for a purpose, and that my eyes and heart would be open to seeing what that purpose is.

Ok, that was a lot to take in, but those are definitely things you could be praying about for me! But on to the more practical side of Capernwray…

Lectures have been awesome! We have had some great people come through here so far, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store! Two weeks ago a guy named Paul Keeys came and went over the whole Old Testament in just two days. He was amazing and so entertaining to listen to! Then last week a man named Robert Amos came and spoke on Hebrews. He was very entertaining to listen to as well and had a lot of great things to talk about…I’ve found it’s difficult because I listen to these lecturers and I love what they have to say, but I don’t take the time and really look through my notes and dig deep in what they’ve said, so I need to do that! This week our lecturer, Paul Allan, is speaking on Ecclesiastes and “Facing the Modern World.” The Ecclesiastes lecture is really awesome, but in his other lecture it’s a lot of history and philosophy and it’s all going right over my head! But he’s Scottish, so he’s really fun to listen to! Other than that, we’ve had the principal, Rob Whitaker, as a lecturer and some of the other staff have done lectures as well. I’ve found that it’s so nice to go to school and actually appreciate what I’m learning! Also, assignments have been pretty easy so far. I’m not too worried about them, but it seems like there are a lot, and I forget about them easily! We are currently reading through the Old Testament (I’m in Numbers) and reading a book “Alive in Christ” which we have to write a paper on.

I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the netball team here at Capernwray, and I have had a blast so far (netball is a combination between ultimate Frisbee and Basketball, in case you didn’t know)! There are different positions (center, wing attack, wing defense, goal keeper, goal attack, goal shooter, and goal defense, I think) and these different positions can only go on certain places on the court. It’s kind of complicated at first, but after playing it awhile you get the hang of it! It’s like basketball in the fact that you shoot the ball, but like ultimate Frisbee in that once you get the ball you can’t move, you have to pass. I play wing defense, and I’m not all that great, but it has definitely been an awesome and fun learning experience! If you want to know more about it, I would suggest looking it up on YouTube, and I will try to take some pictures soon!

Other than that, I’m not really sure what else there is to tell you…the food is better than I expected, but I miss my mom’s home cooking, and come Thanksgiving I am REALLY going to miss my slice of pumpkin pie! My plans for Christmas still aren’t set in stone, but I know I will get it figured out soon! God is definitely working in my heart, constantly convicting me of things I need to work on, and I know there are definitely areas in my life that I hope to grow in significantly this year.

Thanks for all your prayers! If there’s anything specific you want to know about, just send me an email and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP J

I love you and miss you all so much, but I pray that you will see God’s blessings everyday, for they are new every morning…Great is His faithfulness!

Love, Emily Kate

 

Wait.. I’m Where?

Joshua 1:9—“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

HELLO EVERYONE!!!! Guess what?! I have now been in England for almost exactly ONE WEEK, even though it’s already felt like a couple months! Although I put October 1st at the top this, the post date will most likely be different since I don’t always have the Internet here, but I thought I would let you know exactly how I was feeling on October 1st, 2010…

Let me just start out by saying…GOD IS AMAZING [in case you didn’t know ;)]. I love the fact that even though I have only been here for a week, I can already say in full confidence that in any and every situation, “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS” (Lamentations 3:22). God has already proven his faithfulness many times to me on this journey…for starters, I made it to England safely, and I was able to sleep almost the whole way from Atlanta to Manchester, so you know what that means…absolutely ZERO jet lag! I can hardly believe it, but I have slept every night since I’ve been here without waking up! It has been amazing! I also found my way around the airport easily, made it to the train station, and bought myself a train ticket to Carnforth (with help from some students I met along the way). I found that it was a LOT easier to communicate with people here than when I was in Russia this summer…thank the Lord I decided to go to bible school in England!!

I have also been able to see God prove his faithfulness to me by not giving me what I want, and for making this transition a lot harder than I expected. To be completely honest with all of you, I thought I would waltz into bible school and make friends within the first few days and people would just want to be my best friend…I mean, who DOESN’T want to be my friend, right? However, after the second or third night I realized this was not the case…I thought I had made a huge mistake by coming to England. I loved everything about this place, but making friends proved to be more difficult than I thought.

I knew it was going to be hard from the first day. Conversations were somewhat awkward because I felt like all I was able to ask anyone was, “Hi, what’s your name? Where are you from?” and then the conversation would just die. Also, my living arrangements were not what I expected. For those of you who don’t know a lot about Capernwray, there are different sections to the school. There’s the main hall, the tower, the courtyard, and the conference hall; these are all the different places that have dorm rooms. The main hall, the tower, and the courtyard are all part of the “castle” area, while the conference hall is a totally separate building where we have lectures, and the dorm rooms are underneath the lecture hall. I had somewhat of an idea of these living arrangements before I came to Capernwray, and I had already made up in my mind that I wanted to be somewhere in the castle area, and the conference hall was NOT cool. Does anyone want to take a guess at where I was placed? Yep…the conference hall. Doesn’t God have an interesting sense of humor? To be even funnier, I was put in the outer most room of the conference hall. I’ll try to explain this as best as I can, but when you walk into one of the doors to the conference hall, there in a little tiled room that has a phone, and then another door that leads to two hallways that have dorm rooms. My room is opposite the door that leads to the two hallways, in the little tiled room, apart from the hallways, and apart (what feels like) from everyone. I have three roommates, one from Seattle area, one from Alberta, Canada, and one from Norway. Don’t get me wrong, these girls are very nice and have been awesome to get to know, but my first thought was, “These are NOT the roommates I would’ve chosen!” The first few days here were disappointing and I became so worried. I felt like everyone around me got along with their roommates right away, and some people seemed like they already had best friends here. I got so nervous (big shocker, right?) and so overwhelmed that I wouldn’t make any friends and that I would have to call home and say I’m having a terrible time but I wouldn’t come home because I’d be too ashamed and eventually when I would go home after six months, I wouldn’t have any friends from this place and the only good things I could say about my experience was that it was a beautiful area and the lectures were awesome (which they are, by the way)…

Now I’m not saying all of this to make you feel sorry for me; that’s the absolute last thing I want. I am telling you all of this to show how amazing and awesome our God is! God didn’t give me want I wanted; instead, he gave me exactly what he had planned for me, and as he has promised in Jeremiah 29:11, his plans are not to harm me, but to give me hope. I have learned how to commit each and every day here to the Lord as his day, not my own, and that his work and his love would be displayed through me. It has been such a stretching and growing experience already, so I can’t wait to see what kind of plans he holds for me in the upcoming weeks!

Each day gets easier and so does meeting and getting to know people on a more personal level. I really have had to trust in the Lord with meeting people and making friends, and that he would bring the right people into my life. *Funny story: today I was sitting at lunch with some girls that I had spent the previous hour with just hanging out. One of the girls, Ashley, I sit by in lectures, so I know her pretty well, but the other girls, Melissa and Christina, I didn’t know very well. Anyways, at lunch we were talking about places we want to see while we are here, and Melissa asks me if I’m planning on traveling over Christmas break. I told her I was, and she said, “Ok, we are traveling together. You just seem like a cool person to travel with!” So Melissa, Ashley, Christina and I are planning on traveling together right now…we’ll see if that changes in the next few months and I hope it doesn’t, but it is just amazing to me how God totally lifted that burden off my shoulders in about two seconds, and pretty much said to me, “See? I have everything under control!” I am astounded by God’s love and faithfulness everyday!!*

Living with my roommates has gotten easier as well; I have learned to appreciate them and love them, and I am thankful now that I didn’t get to choose my roommates!

On a more practical note: lectures have been awesome (I would tell you all about them, but it’s late here and I’m pretty sure you’re probably ready for me to be done rambling), I tried out for the netball team (since sports and I go so well together) but I think will be a great way to meet some more girls (if I make the team!), and tomorrow (Saturday) I am going to the Lake District and I can’t wait!

Sorry about the long post, but as you can see, so much has happened in such a short amount of time! I will try to make my next posts shorter and more concise, and hopefully I’ll be able to post another one soon so that I won’t have too much to talk about!

I hope you all are doing well! I miss you all very much!!

Cheerio!

Love always, Emily Kate

P.S. There are about 7 Emily’s here at school, so I go by Emily Kate, and it totally reminds me of my family…I love you guys!!!!