Monday, October 11, 2010

Indian Summer

It's an unusual season in Belfast. Apparently, winter generally sets in at the beginning of October. Well, we are 11 days into October, and it's still sunny, warm, and feels like a Belfast summer.
Woohoo!
Supposedly this means it's going to be a harsh winter.
But for now, I am just soaking up as much Vitamin D as possible. :)

This past week was absolutely wonderful; probably one of the best weeks in Northern Ireland so far.
It started off with my delivery of Healthy Food for All meals to residents of EBM's shelter (Hosford House) and then to ex-residents of Hosford House. The driver who I go with is a middle aged Belfast man (with a pony tail!) who thankfully lived in Australia for 10 years - thus I can understand what he is saying most of the time. It's quite an interesting ride as I get to chat with a "local" about such topics as the political situation at hand, driving in Belfast, etc.
p.s. I am so glad I don't have to drive in Belfast... I am ready to return to the land of the automatics. (One of the ministers at EBM actually drives an automatic, but it has the potential to be driven like a manual. Lol.)
Anyway, after the great delivery on Monday, my Tuesday was even better.
After staff prayers, I was taken out for coffee to McKees (http://www.mckeesproduce.com/) which is a country store East of Belfast in County Down. The pastor emeritus of EBm (as I like to refer to him haha) and I had a wonderful conversation, which was topped off by him lending me more books to read!!! :)
This is truly turning into my sabbatical year.
Wednesday was highlighted by a wonderful Kids GAP (mums & tots) morning, great lunch with some of the EBM staff in the cafe, and getting to lead Friendship Circle. Friendship Circle is generally one of the highlights of my week, but it was an extra treat as I got the opportunity to speak to them about myself, the YAV program, and what I am doing here.
Thursday was highlighted by another eventful Scripture Union at a local primary school and then dinner with a member of EBM's congregation.
Friday I helped out with a drop-in at a local secondary school (lunch time, we provide a place for the students to hang out. theoretically it's a time to talk about God, but as this was the first session of the year, about 130 girls came by during the 25 minute period... so it was more chaos than conversation). Then it was Friday Fusion! I had a team of p1-p3 children (about 4 to 6 year olds), and we traveled around to different stations to collect points. It was quite fantastic - blind taste tasting, memory of objects on a table, dropping a dried pea into a water bottle (mine went in the first time I tried!!! skillz.), and then some various running games in the gym area.
Team Tigers (roar!) won in the running games section!
Haha, the kids in my group were such a joy to work with; what a fun Friday Fusion. (And it was a more moderate number in attendance - we had about 60 kids there.)
Saturday was highlighted by the group of YAVs getting together to play football during the afternoon. It was most excellent!!! (Thank you W&M IM sports for giving me basic soccer skills that I never developed as a child.)
Anyway, the week was topped off with a FANTASTIC Sunday!
I got to open Sunday School with about 10 minutes of music. That was awesome. No other way to put it. :)
Then, met up with my form 1 through form 3 small group again. (Since there is not a secondary group meeting at this point, and there is a group of girls age 11-13 who are quite active, I have been starting to organize various fellowship times.) While only three of the girls could make it, we had a wonderful devotional time and then picked up some lunch. Truly quality over quantity. And the evening was topped off by playing keyboard for the evening service.

What I am still struggling with the most: the slight, slight, slight difference in music. Which is larger than one might expect. (It would be easier if the music was totally different - then I wouldn't be expected to know any of it.)
The PC(USA) blue hymnal is organized beautifully: hymns are grouped according to time in the church calendar/theme, and it has a great index for scripture themes.
The hymnal that EBM uses is simply in alphabetical order.
I was asked to pick out two additional hymns last night for the service... I spent half the time just opening to a random page in the hopes that I would recognize the hymn/the lyrics would fit with the theme, haha.
Basically, I was put out of my comfort zone - pick music from this book that you have never really sung out of before. I have never had a problem in the past picking out hymns - with the blue hymnal, give me five minutes, and I can give you a long list of appropriate hymns from which to choose two hymns from.
It is definitely a challenge!

Anyway, the sun is up. Another week has begun. Much love to all.
In grace and peace. :)

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