Wednesday, August 31, 2005

From London

I am still in London receiving my training at the TIme For God offices, which are connected with a hostel and church.

The weather has been great, I haven't noticed a difference from the states in that aspect. People here do drive on the left side of the road, I have seen a couple red phone booths and plenty of double decker buses!

Everyday we start and end with worship and have several meetings during the day. Today we talked about culture shock, English customs, and creating a network of support while working. The staff here encourages us with daily prayer and Biblical reflections during our time together.

Some members headed into London today but only far enough to see the London bridge because we had around 4 hours. I went with another large group to the Alexandria Palace which is the highest point in London and a short walk. I figured I needed more than a couple hours to digest London and I will come down here again.

We just finished supper and they actually have tea time here! I slept well last night and even ran a couple miles around London this morning! Until next time

Mike


Here is an e-mail that I sent out to some of my family yesterday

Let's see, I landed at Heathrow just fine around 11:00 London time and ended up having to wait 3 hours to leave the airport.? TFG was shuttling people in and out of the airport and it just so happens I was at the front of the last crew so I had a long wait.
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The flight was good, they served dinner, at 10:30 pm, but I probably slept only 1 hour so I am running a little low now.? Currently me and 50 other volunteers are at the TFG Conference Center.? It is pretty much a church, a hostel, and some office buidlings.? HOwever, I do have my own room and there are plenty of activities to do here like ping pong, a weight room, movies, musical instruments, and so on.?
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I have already met a ton of great people.? I would estimate about 15 of the 50 people here are from the United States.? One girl as close as Bolingbrookšçčllinois.? I have already met a lot of the people that will be working with me in Edinburgh.? I think I really have been blessed, one other fellow from the UK is working with me at the Bethany House and I belive we are living together in the same flat.
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I just got done eating dinner, at 12 central time!? But they feed us well, a choice of chicken, fish with potatoes or r ice, vegetable or salad, and dessert!? So don't worry family I am not going to starve.?
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Tommorow we have a small window of time to go and? take in some of the sights.? I know that 5 hours won't be enough to become fully enthralled in London but I hope to at least see some things like the palace, big ben, westminster abbey, picady cirrus... and so on.?
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Tonight we have worship and some general introductions.? Our day starts at 7:30 tommorow morning and the rest of the week is planned out with meetings and training.? I leave Friday at 12 to go up to Edinburgh.? God bless and thanks for the prayers
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Mike

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Almost time to leave!

Alright, well I am getting close to leaving and these past couple weeks have really sneaked up on me, much like I envisioned. My plane flies out on Monday night at 9:30pm and I will arrive in London at 11:30 (4:30am Central Time). My time in London is spent with the other volunteers as we get trained before we head out to our sites.

I did find out that there will be approximately 8 other volunteers working in Edinburgh. Three of them I believe I will be living with, however, that does not mean I will be working with them. This is why...the place I am working at is called the Bethany House, which is part of the Bethany Christian Trust. They have 8 different levels of care within Edinburgh. Which includes men and women's counseling centers, soup kitchens, second hand shops, drug rehab centers, and more. It is my guess that these other volunteers will be working with Bethany but perhaps not in the same area of concentration. Based on one e-mail to these volunteers it looks like a couple are from the United States, some from Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom!

If you are wondering what exactly I will be doing at the Bethany House let me tell you! My title is "Full time Assistant Project Worker (aka Full time Volunteer) What the Bethany House does is provides temporary housing for those in need of a place to stay, in essence it is a hostel. My duties will include some busy work, things like, paperwork, keeping files up to date, staff meetings, being on duty, etc... A large part of my job is to build relationships with the clients through general interactions, like informal counseling and organized Bible studies. As a volunteer I am expected to coordinate with all the other areas of the Bethany Circle (rehab center, second hand shop) in order to help the clients find permanent housing and financial support. Lastly all volunteers are expected to pick a church and become actively involved. That could mean anything from simply attending to leading worship or teaching a Sunday School class. Since the Bethany House works so closely with a number of churches I am looking forward to becoming involved in one.

My work schedule is the same every week. I work two 12 hour shifts and then get two days off. So on Mon and Tues I could work from 9am-9pm (which is always the work hours) and then I would have Wed and Thurs. off. Every four weeks I will work one week of just overnight shifts (9pm-9am).

I will be living in a flat with 3 other volunteers. I looked up our address on mapquest and it is about 1.5 miles from the Bethany House. Public transportation has been paid for thanks to a nifty bus/rail pass so I will be taking a bus, rail, or hopefully riding a bike to work everyday.

Make sure you check out my links, I have a photoalbum link up so you can see what I see and experience while in Scotland. Also if you want to know about Bethany and Time For God (the volunteer agency) then check those links out.

My mailing address is as follows:

Michael Moore
1/1 Quality Street
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
EH4 5BB

I am confident that I will have some sort of access to the Internet, not that it is of incredible concern. But I know that this and e-mail will be the best ways for me to stay in contact with many of you. I will have a phone number but I have to wait to find out what it is.

In the meantime, God Bless and take care.