It's been awhile since my last update; many apologies. But as I am settling in more, my days are quite full. Work is continuing to go really well. As I get to know East Belfast Mission, both the congregation and mission side, I am liking the people more and more. As I think I have mentioned before, this year is turning into my sabbatical year. During these two months, I have been encouraged to explore my faith, to be able to expound on and support my beliefs, all the while being nurtured and positively challenged to grow.
The best way to explain it is to give you a list of some of the books that I have read so far/ am currently reading:
- The Divine Conspiracy (Dallas Willard)
- eat this bread (sara miles)
- The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
- A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
- Grace, Order, Openness, and Diversity (Ian Bradley)
And those are just a selection from the ever growing list of books that I am being lent. It's delightful. :)
Some highlights from the past week and a half include:
- this week's mum's and tot's meeting: it was picture day! So the children were dressed to the nines and utterly adorable. Each week the kids continue to open up to me just a little bit more. This week one of the younger girls was quite fascinated with me. She would look at me across the room, smile, and run towards me - and I would scoop her up into my arms. It was adorable. A group picture was taken, so I will hopefully get a copy of it.
- I have continued to lead Friendship Circle; what a wonderful life I am leading here. This past Wednesday, we had a mini-hymn sing. I spoke for a short while about the tradition and meaning of music during worship. We then sang through the church calendar - began with an Advent hymn, continued with a Christmas hymn, and continued all the way through to a Thanksgiving hymn. I think everyone had a great time. (Plus, a new set of tea cups had just been purchased for the group; set quite a positive tone for the meeting!)
- We climbed Cave Hill this past Saturday, which was FANTASTIC.
Here are a few pictures:
We have our first retreat coming up in a week and a half; the Norn YAV contingent will be heading to Donegal to spend some time decompressing as a group away from Belfast. (I am very excited!)
I made chicken curry [onions, green peppers, tomatoes, chicken, rice, and tikka marsala curry sauce purchased from the local grocer] for the first time tonight, and it turned out fantastically. :) I will be eating leftovers for a few days, but I am not at all sad about this.
Much love from Northern Ireland! In peace and grace.