The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
Maridith Lewellyn is serving in the United Kingdom. Lewellyn names her faith homes as First Presbyterian Church (Kingsford, Michigan) and Roseville Lutheran Church.
Spring is in the air. The trees are sprouting budding leaves, the grass is a luminous green dotted with seas of purple flowers and brilliant yellow daffodils, and, for the first time since November, I have seen blue skies and sunshine for a week straight! Never in my life have I experienced Springtime in March, as I have become much accustomed to the snowy, blustery Midwest weather. With the comings of Spring, it also brings us the reminder of change, new life, and new growth. Springtime is gently nuzzling its reminder that this year of service abroad in England has also brought about change and new growth in my own life. Living abroad, I have learned to understand and appreciate a completely different culture, and surprisingly, although English, a very different language. God knew what He was doing when he called me into this adventure, and has humbled me by teaching me the meaning of patience. He has also given me an overwhelming amount of compassion for my new community I now consider ‘home.’ This year, I have learned to become more confident in my own abilities, and have been given the opportunity to take some serious time to deepen my relationship with God.
I have already spent more time here than what is left of my YAGM year, and it has gone by quickly! These past six months, I have been living in Sutton Coldfield – a small city located just north of Birmingham, England. I have been placed at Sutton Coldfield Baptist Church (SCBC) as the Mission and Outreach Intern, and most of my time is spent organizing and attending all of the outreach events that are held within the church and surrounding community. These events include monthly informal church sessions at a local coffee shop, and a Monday evening dedicated to praying for our church Missionary partners. Weekly events include free tea and coffee Tuesday’s open to the public, Wednesday evening church courses dedicated to teaching people about Christianity and the Baptist core values, and Friday afternoon lunches served to anyone looking for a hot meal and a safe, friendly atmosphere. However, the best part of being the Mission Intern is that I get to meet new faces, listen to inspiring stories, and journey with my new friends through life and faith. I also drink way too much coffee, but such is life as an intern!
If you would like to read more about my experiences here in England, my blog is available. Feel free to browse through blog posts, or catch up on small snap-shots in my bi-monthly newsletters. The website is www.MaridithLewellyn.wordpress.com.
The ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission has called six young adults from the Saint Paul Area Synod to serve a year abroad in a variety of countries, doing congregational ministry, human rights work, development projects, healthcare, education, and youth work. More about YAGM can be found at www.elca.org/yagm.