A day in Newcastle

As of yesterday I have been in England for exactly a month! Time really flies! I couldn’t believe it when my uncle told me that. On Saturday I had the opportunity to take some of my guitar students on a “field trip” to Newcastle. Basically it was a hang out opportunity with my students. We started off the day with a guitar lesson where we rehearsed in preparation for playing in church the following day. This Sunday we played two songs for worship! We played “Lord I Need You” and “How Great is Our God.” Something that was very special about this Sunday is that the guitars played accompanied by one of my piano students named Beth. Beth was beyond stressed when it came time for the performance. She was so nervous that I was sure she would fall over and have a heart attack due to the stress, but she played with us and she did a phenomenal job. She is growing in music and in confidence through these experiences. I am so proud of her.  IMG_0329

The girls were abounding with excitement as we got on the second bus. When we arrived, we began walking around looking at the seven beautiful bridges that Newcastle has. Quickly the girls realized they would have to slow their walking pace so I could stop to take photos (Thank you Lord for giving me patient students!). After we looked at the bridges we decided to get some lunch (or dinner as they call it). The girls were very excited about eating at McDonalds so we went off in pursuit of some chicken nuggets. In Eldon Square there is a McDonalds that could easily fit several thousand chickens or two double decker buses, whichever you prefer. Literally it is a massive two story building with enough tables to fit 150 people. When I walked in I was dumbfounded by the monstrosity that was the McDonalds. When we finally ordered our food and found an empty seat I was exhausted from trying to squeeze between people and tired of getting weird looks when I said excuse me in a non-british accent. My crazy girls went wild with what they ordered. Between icecream, a milkshake, french fries, and 20 chicken nuggets I thought one of my students might turn into a living, walking McDonalds! Our lunch conversations were no different than our usual laughter filled conversations. IMG_0327

After lunch we walked around Eldon Square some more and went to a store called Primark where we chose outfits for each person to try on. When we were looking around the store I was leading the girls around and all five of them kept calling my name: “Emily, Emily, Emily, Emily!” and I turned around and said “ya’ll are calling out like little ducklings!” and from then on they all said “mom, mom, mom, mom,” (which they pronounced mum) while following me through the store. It was definitely a spectacle for the shoppers and employees in Primark. After we were all tired from trying on clothes, we went to Starbucks where some of my kids got yet another sugary drink. Honestly, I was shocked they were not passed out in a sugar coma.

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When I informed the five hyper girls it was time to head home they all deflated in sadness. None of them wanted to go home! As we were walking back to the bus they asked if they had to go home, and I replied “well I guess we could have another guitar rehearsal if you want to” and they all screamed at the top of their lungs “YES!!!” Well, thinking they were excited about music, I happily said “I am so glad ya’ll are excited about music and that you are enjoying playing the guitar” which was met with a sarcastic response from one of the girls saying “yeah… that’s why we want to do another lesson…” Well, needless to say this left me confused so I asked “What? Ya’ll don’t want a lesson?”  and all of them said simultaneously “we just want to hang out with you!” Well that melted my heart! I couldn’t believe that these sweet girls just wanted to hang out with me! How blessed I am to have such sweet students! As we boarded the bus to go back to the church, I found out how sugar crazed these girls truly were when all five of them sat in the back of the bus singing “a potato flew around my room before you came.” I told them to stop singing this because I was quite confident the other passengers of the bus did not want to hear their song, but my comments had no effect. So I sat listening to a song about potatoes. IMG_0344

We did end up having a very beneficial guitar lesson that afternoon, even with super hyper girls. Working with these girls for the past month has taught me that sometimes you achieve an unexpected goal just by being present. They are very happy to be learning music, but they just need someone who they can talk with and look up to. It is the simple conversations or song recommendations that mean the most to them. Who knew that such an impact could made by simply saying yes to God’s call? Please join me in praying for my students this week. They are extremely joyful people, but they have struggles too. Pray that they would feel the love of God this week and that the Lord will meet them where they need him. Please continue praying for me also! Pray that God will give me more opportunities to encourage them and that he will be in these simple conversations that make a huge impact in their lives. Please feel free to share my story to others who need to be encouraged! We can all take “a leap of faith” together and we can rely on each other when we need it most.

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