Becca’s Take on our UK Experience (Part 1)

As I sit on my couch going through an entire box of tissues due to this icky cold I’ve caught since I landed, all the memories of this tour are being replayed in my mind like a camera roll. The UK means running into old friends and meeting a lot of new faces.

The country is gearing up for the London Olympics, and they have splashed the shop windows with Union Jacks and spontaneous souvenir shops have popped up commemorating this historic time.  On top of the Olympics, it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which in my opinion, is a bigger deal than the Olympics.  She has reigned 60 years, which is amazing to imagine.  I might as well be 8-years-old when I think about the Queen and her elegance, dignity and grace.  She is one of my heroes.

Traveling through the UK this time was a breathtaking sight.  Yes, it rained a lot, but the subsequent effect was a green manicured canvas with brightly colored flowers everywhere.  When people say a visit to the UK is like walking into a fairy tale, it’s simply true, not an exaggeration.

Bryan and I grabbed coffee in the city center of Cardiff, Wales one afternoon on our day off to shop, and outside the window was a medieval church.  Everything around it had changed drastically since those stones were laid (don’t think Starbucks existed in Robin Hood days), but the church has remained untouched.  Beauty and history everywhere.  I’ve stamped my passport in the UK over 22 times, but I am never bored with this place.

Our team were troopers.  Touring isn’t all glam and bling, daily massages, expansive buses and cappuccinos on demand.  We crammed way too much gear and luggage in a way-too-small vehicle (um, Hertz???) but we stayed in good spirits.  I think we should all get badges, personally.

Wales “the land of song” was our first stop.  We led worship for a women’s conference, heard worship songs sung in Welsh and listened to our friend and pastor Kim Trobee speak.  Despite it being a first-time event, the church was packed and the women were excited to be there.  I was once again deeply moved by the passion in their worship and eagerness to receive prayer following the message.  It was so inspiring to me!

I became familiar with the distinct Welsh accent more on this trip than others in the past.  Perhaps I just listened more.  We saw over 300 teens from youth groups in Cardiff gather for four days to transform local communities, rain or shine, in practical ways. The morning worship meetings before the kids ran off to various places were the main event in many ways.  Our friend Dai Hankey stirred us up with a powerful message (and so many Welsh slang words I can’t even count)!  We gave a boost of spiritual energy to these teens before they poured out their hearts and served the needy.  What a privilege to be part of IgniteHope 2012!  Truly an epic weekend.  Heavy downpours didn’t stop our plans and this tough and determined Welsh spirit prevailed.  As a result 150 people responded to the Gospel message!

{Stay Tuned for Part 2 from Elissa. Coming Soon.}

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