H A P P Y
N E W
Y E A R !
First, a new years gift – some of 2008’s best music to listen to as you read.
Wow, this time last year we were just returning to England from our Christmas holiday in the US of A. And by the end of January we had started a 10 month long DTS with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in York, England.
The course, like everything, had its mix of highs and lows. Eight of us lived in a beautiful old Victorian house that was impossible to heat in the winter. We had memorable nights around the coal-burning fire drinking wine and discussing life and love, charming conversations with the town drunks, insightful times of prayer and teaching… Then of course there were also the “joys” Paul talks about: times you were running late and someone had lost the key to your bike lock or awkward attempts at confrontation between housemates, or our ridiculous internet fiasco.
The best & worst of the DTS was definitely living in community. Best in the sense you always had someone to talk to, get advice from, watch a film with. We got to know each other inside & out. Worst because relationships that go beyond the superficial are never easy. Especially when you multiply that by 8…. And work, live, eat, hang out and do practically everything all together all the time. Plus, did I mention I’m an obsessive neat freak?
Some of the highlights of the course were definitely our trips to Wales, Hong Kong and China. I love exploring new cultures and languages. Dan & I’s holiday in Wales was definitely a highlight of the year. As were our visits from other travellers, from both near and far. But I’ve already blogged plenty ’bout all dat.
A definite high of ’08 has been being closer to the Pizzos. Having the Stalcups oh-so-far away has been tough. (Thank goodness for free long-distance phone calls!). But it’s been great meeting up w/D&P in the Dales, or Nat in ‘Nam. But even Haddenham is a bit of a trek, and for a year now Nat’s been in Sicily. So when Matt moved to York in August we were thrilled. As Bethany would say, Matt’s my “brother from another mother.” And having the whole Pizzo clan together for Christmas was the perfect reunion (though with having no Stalcups was near tragic). As cheestastic as it sounds, it’s so incredible to now be part of 2 amazing families. Stalzzos. Picups.
IN HIS HANDS
Again and again, 2008 gave us countless examples of God’s goodness and faithfulness. First Dan miraculously got his visa to stay in the UK, and then Anna did as well in October. Or how about the awesome provision of £1 wellies at a charity shop?! Or the few precious days of sunny warm weather we enjoyed in England. Or the abundance of flumps, rainbow drops and the co-op’s fair trade dark chocolate.
So it’s with excitement and anticipation that we begin 2009. Leaving England fills me with a smorgasboard of emotions, as does thoughts of our 6 month-long journey from Mexico to Canada. But it’s good to know I’ll never journey alone.