AIMing in the U.K.
New Life Church, Scotland
I hope everyone had a blessed holiday season and are looking forward to the great year we have ahead of us as 2015 is here!
The month of December seems to have flown by so fast. During the holiday season things really began to pick up the pace. Between Christmas parties, programs, and church activities, there's always something to be done around here.
I had the privilege of helping out in the Sunday School departments Christmas party which was a lot of fun. I absolutely love how New Life church staff and leadership takes the time and makes the effort to create events like this one that was very well done. We played lots of games, did crafts, and ate all sorts of tasty sweets and foods! I even felt like a kid again as I helped out and interacted with the children.
Although I was not in service during the Christmas Program because I was helping with the Sunday School departments Christmas party, it was reported that we had numerous visitors and an overall great turn out on that Sunday. Praise God!
Also, myself and two fellow HBC students were presented with the opportunity to reach out to a distressed lady while we were at Glasgow's City Center. Bernadette was out of money and in need of help, so we took the time to pray with her, buy her a hot drink from Starbucks on a cold winter night, buy her train ticket home and walk her to the train station. I'm thankful to have been used to show Bernadette Christ like love and compassion. This instance may seem small, but imagine if all of us stepped out and took opportunities to show Christ's love through our concern for and willingness to help those in need? This instance definitely inspired me to do more for people and give without expectations.
Harvest Bible College
The HBC class said "goodbye" to our last guest teachers for term one, Bro. and Sis. Moehlenpah, who we will miss! Saying goodbye to guest teachers is always bittersweet, but what an honor it is to be taught by such devoted and anointed pastors, missionaries, and ministers. Every single guest teacher has impacted my life in an individual and unforgettable way and I'm looking forward to meeting the many more that will be teaching us here!
Another eventful thing that happened during the holiday season was our student body Christmas Caroling fundraiser! Us students and a few others from New Life gathered together at a Starbucks shop in the West End of Glasgow and caroled for a couple of hours on two separate occasions. I played the guitar as we all sang and put our own twists on old classics like "Silent Night", "We Three Kings", and many others! I can say that we all had a lot of fun and even were given free drinks from the baristas! Score!
It's so hard to believe term one is finished and we are now taking on term two with high hopes and expectations! Just looking back and seeing the change and growth God has brought within myself and other students, and the prayers He's answered for us, I cant help but to be excited for this next term. Sure, it's going to be more difficult scholastically, but challenge brings growth.
To say the least, this Winter break was unlike any other I've ever had in my life!
To start things off, the day after term one finished, I headed over to a little town in Scotland called "Elgin", and spent the first few days of my break there. I went over with one of my roommates and we stayed at her grandparents house who also happen to be the missionaries in Elgin! On the Sunday I was there I was blessed to have had the chance to sing a special and speak at the church that Eric and Kathleen Coker pastor in Elgin, Scotland. After my stay there, I returned to Glasgow for a few days and then once again, began traveling! There are no words that could possibly do justice to how amazing it was to travel throughout South Korea and Japan! My East Asia travels began in Seoul, South Korea where I met up with my three other travel companions. We trekked throughout the city, explored our surroundings, made new friends, saw ancient castles and palaces, and of course, tried traditional Korean Food (which was more than amazing)! There is so much more that I could say about my experiences in Seoul, but the highlight for me was getting to join the congregation of a Pentecostal Korean Church on Christmas day and meet Sis. Ej Kim, personal inspiration and appointed missionary to South Korea. I felt so honored to be in the midst of such humble, kind, and welcoming saints of God! It really is so incredible to get to experience church in so many countries and I don't take for granted how blessed I've been to have these opportunities on 5 different continents.
After 5 days in South Korea, one flight took us to Japan which seemed like a whole different world compared to where we just came from! The people, style, culture, cities, foods, and surroundings were all pretty different! While I was there I visited Osaka, Kyoto, and arrived in Tokyo just in time for New Years! I had the chance to see palaces, castles, and Bamboo forests in the more traditional part of Japan (Kyoto), and experience the city life in Osaka and Tokyo. However, other than visiting a Cat Café for the first time, the experience that stands out to me the most is getting to visit Tokyo Worship Tabernacle! This is one of the many one-ness, UPCI affiliated churches in Tokyo, praise God! Pastor Datsomor, his wife, family, and saints of Tokyo Worship Tabernacle were so kind and welcoming to us foreigners! It was a privilege to be able to connect with such precious people!
Also, my group and I were able to meet up and hang out with an AIMer in Tokyo city while we were there!
Who knows, perhaps I'll go back to Asia someday. I'm definitely not opposed... Wherever the Lord leads!