28 Sept 2011

Gangster ways

I'm sorry I'm pretty terrible at writing here consistently. At the moment this is because I have no internet at home...something that I'm hoping to change pretty quick. 

Anyway I thought this would be a good time to catch up up on all the excitement that has gone on in my life over the last few weeks. Just going to bullet point as otherwise this post will be massive.

> I bought new "gangster" trainers. I actually had two pics of different shoes I had seen and asked some of the kids which ones they preferred....these are the ones they chose that I now own.

It's crazy how just having cool shoes does change how the young people relate to you...and I wouldn't necessarily say it's all a good thing. Like I don't ever want to change who I am to fit in, or conform to what is "cool", but then I do want to make real effort to connect with the young people I am working with. It is interesting that most of the kids I work with will be lucky to get a new pair of shoes this year...some of them wear shoes that literally have and continue to fall apart. Poverty isn't just in Africa.

> I made some friends! YAY! Its been so cool to actually have made some friends who live here and who I can hang out with. Luckily I have quite a few people I already know who aren't too far away but just through those friends I have been able to make new ones and feel a lot more settled here. It's so hard to move to a new place and not have deep friendships around...I'm trying to work on that pronto.

> I got a team! So my job in XLP is to lead a team of gap year/degree students in practical youth work. I have 2 degree students who have just started a degree in Theology and Youth Ministry they study 2 days a week and then work with me the rest of the time. I then have 3 other gap yearers who study 1 day a week with XLP and then are with me for the rest of the week. So my team consists of 4 girls and 1 guy (poor dude) and age spans from 18-22. We are all totally different, have different gifts, personalities and methods, but we are praying that God would bind us together as an effective and holy team. We really want to see God move this year.

> I got business cards - possibly the most exciting thing

I feel so ridiculously official now. 

> I went to the Dentist....for the first time since leaving school. Yes 5 years on and my teeth are still fine...yay. Although they did this horrible scrapy thing where they get everything out from between your teeth and it wasn't nice. My teeth has felt pretty sensitive ever since. It's ok though -I've got some Listerine to fight away the plague.

I've been really challenged over the past week to love the place I live. I mean I am here indefinitely and if I am going to be speaking with young people about respecting where they live and getting involved, so I need to love this place first. 

Question - What do you love about where you live?


  1. We watched a DVD last week at homegroup about a pastor who started loads of youth work in his community. I was struck by his words when he was explaining how he really didn't like where God had sent him, but then someone said to him 'if you don't love where you are, you're useless for God in that area'. That struck me as it's something I need to hear and remember as we settle in here. (although I think God can use you even if you're not willing??? Not sure.)

    Can't believe you have business cards...senior youth worker!! Sounds so official!

    Rach xx (it won't let me sign in for some reason)

  2. Love your business cards! I really love Southampton. I love the parks, and the people and the cafes. But I also love the noise, and the dirt and the grime. I often go for walks to places with good views across the city and pray for it.

  3. AAAAAAA NAOMI ALLEN!!! Hhahahah wooo i am so glad... and I love your gangsta shoes and i love you and i really really do love you and I'm so excited to get to read about your life and thak you rachel maynard for introducing me to this blog!!!!! aaaaa :] hahahah LOVE YOU!!! xxx

  4. Oh and what I love about where I live is that geordies are so down to earth and talk to everybody and have crazy accents that are wonderful. And I love the little community that i live in where all sorts of people are and there are so many cultures and people talk to each other and the food is great and there's a guy down the road who puts a little table and chair out on the pavement and asks the time every time you walk past. :] xx

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