Thursday, April 7, 2011

An official goodbye....

To this bloggy blog and hello to my new blog. Discontinue reading if the glamour of me not being in England has prompted you to not listen to whatever happens next in my life. However, if you enjoy my ramblings and thoughts of nonsense, please follow my new blog:

And journey with me as I head out of the teapot and into this new tea-cup of life. Oh boy. That was a very cliche line right there. Oh well, you've been warned of my ramblings and nonsense. Hope to see you there!


Monday, March 28, 2011


I arrived on Friday. Made it 10.5 hours in the middle seat of a very large 777 airliner. I slept maybe an hour the entire time. I am not very good at resting on flights, that’s for sure. Finally, the not-very-pretty view of LAX greeted outside my window, and I landed on American soil for the first time in exactly 6 months. All I could think of once I landed was, “I wish I was back in England.”
An hour and customs/getting lost twice later, I was sitting waiting for my next not-on-time flight from LAX to Fresno. As I sat I just remembered praying, “Jesus, please help me be okay with being home, because all I want right now is to be back in England.” A 50 minute long plane ride later, I walked into the embrace of my mommy and daddy, sister and brother, who, by the way, is much taller than me know. I told them it felt like I had never left. They assured me it didn’t feel like that at all.
After a delicious dinner at Famous Daves, trying spicy BBQ that made my nose run, I got to mozey on down the Target aisles while smelling the Target smell I had missed while in England.
After they made me leave, we hopped in the car where I, having been awake for the past 27 hours, fell fast asleep.
Home looked exactly how I left it. Except with 3 feet of unwanted snow blocking my view. My new room was done and boy is it beautiful. I feel like a grown-up in my room, which is apparently what they’re trying to turn me into ;)
Being back has been so weird in so many ways. For one it feels like I’ve never left, and on the other hand, it feels like I’ve been gone for a lifetime. I’ve been adjusting to the time difference, catching up with all the people I love here so much, and continually thanking God for the blessing being at Capernwray was. I truly feel as if I know more of who I am know. It was incredible to be able to discover who I was, without my camp identifying me to others.
Capernwray was an incredible journey. I’ve learned lots, lots of things the hard way, lots of things the easy way. I’ve made friends who will last a lifetime, and stories that will never fade. Now, as I navigate the waters of my future, I’ve got a little floatation device that’s steering me in a clearer direction now than before. God is in control. He knows what he’s doing. He’s got a perfect plan. And I am so excited to see what he continues to make me.
Thanks for going on this journey with me. I’ve been so blessed by all your prayers and know they were not in vain. I may not be in England anymore, but the things I’ve learned will continue to live in my heart and guide my way as I head out in this life to become more and more a disciple of Jesus Christ.
My name is Katelyn Ann MacDonald. And I am a servant of Jesus Christ, currently and skillfully disguised as a college student.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Manchester and Bath!

Tiff and I left my beautiful home of 6 months 3 days ago, and so much has happened.
Leaving hasn’t hit me yet. I believe it will once I’m home for a few weeks. Right now I’m in the “Oh I’m only going on a break and then I’ll be back” phase. Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done before, just because these people have made as much of an impact on me in 6 months like others have done in my whole life. After a beautiful walk around the loop one last time, Tiff and I got on the bus and drove away, my castle getting smaller and smaller in the distance.
After one last apple streudel and custard from Café Edelweiss, we hopped on the train, carrying my 6 months worth of luggage.
Manchester was pretty fun. It’s a huge city and pretty exciting. The first night we just walked around and hung out around town, and then went and saw the King’s Speech, (fantastic movie by the way, make sure to go and see it sometime.) The next day, after sitting in Starbucks for a few hours, we hopped on a very crowded train and headed to Lyme Hall, also known as Mr. Darcy’s house from the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. It was lovely. However, after walking in a mile in the wrong direction, we found the right direction, and then had to walk 5 more miles, uphill, to get to it. It was lovely and very pretty. After that we were so tired, but we made ourselves go the Trafford Center, which I’m so glad we did because it’s fantastic! It’s huge and beautiful and has a dining area shaped like the Titanic. No, I’m not kidding. It was really fun. After that, we were so tired we crashed in our hostel, woke up early, and headed out to our train.
After a lovely train ride where we had 3 minutes to lug all our stuff onto a different train, we made it, to find watch as my suitcase handle fell off. Awesome. 50 pounds is not fun to lug around without a handle. I’m so glad to not live out of a suitcase soon!
Bath. Oh my word. Probably the COOLEST city I’ve ever been to. It’s the perfect mix of old English style and Italian. Everything from the buildings to the shops to the view, it’s incredible. We’ve just spent all day marveling and walking around enjoying the sunshine and the beauty that this city is full of. If there’s one place in England I could see myself living, it’s in Bath. So watch out mom, I may just have to move back here one day ;)
Now we’ve just been hanging out in Starbucks and MickyD’s, getting free internet and relaxing since everything closed at 6 here. It’s been so great to travel with Tiffany because we’re both so laid back and love to just enjoy being in another country without being stressed out with having to do lots of stuff. I’ve enjoyed it.
Tomorrow we’re going to set this city on fire and visit Jane Austen’s house, roam around, look pretty, and just enjoy these times we are so blessed to have.

Monday, March 14, 2011

This is what it's about

Just to say a massive thanks for the students, the amount of tears yesterday said so much about the results of the week, amazing how God is at work in healing and restoration. The students were a real blessing in so many ways, the week was challenging for both us and them, but has man an enormous impact on the village. Hope the students aren’t to tired as they worked hard all week. So to God be the glory! (email from our Church leader)

This is what our 10 days were about. Planting seeds that are thirsty for growth in Jesus. I believe through Jesus’ strong hand guiding us, we have done this. It was an incredible 10 days, and this was just such a blessing to hear after a long and tiring week.

Today, marks 3 more days until Capernwray is officially over. I keep looking back at the calendar to figure out where the months have gone. There’s no way I just spent 6 months in a castle in England. That is ridiculous! It’s gone by so fast. NASCAR/Spaceship/Road-Runner fast. I can’t believe it. I’ve learned so much, I’ve figured out more and more of who I am, I’ve made life-long friends who know me and get me. I’ve figured out my faith outside of the Camp that for 10 years defined who I am, in a good way of course, but it was fantastic to grow and show my character to people who had no idea who I was.

There’s been spiritual highs and spiritual lows. Ups and downs. Sideways and slantways. But God has held steady and constant through it all, and through the trials and good times, has grown and molded me more and more into His servant, and I can’t wait to get back and show that to the world.
Tomorrow, I start packing. Wednesday, we have a banquet. Thursday we clean our rooms and get back our deposits. Thursday night Tiffany comes and visits. And on Friday, a new adventure begins. I’m sad to leave these incredible people who’ve blessed me and helped shape me into who I am, but I know it’s not the end. Jesus will bring us back together again. (A reunion in a roommate’s beach house in Mexico perhaps? ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Yeah I's Thursday-Sunday

Sorry, I forgot to write the rest of it. :P
Thursday we went into a non-Christian school and taught about telling lies and the consequences of them. These kids were a lot different from the ones on Tuesday. They didn’t engage, they didn’t pay attention, and they didn’t really care that we were there. However, there was one little boy who was really into so that was good. Keep them in your prayers, and that Caton will continue to be able to go into that school and share Jesus with them. I also got to do a “sketch” where I poured an entire tube of toothpaste over a plate and then got really messy…that was exciting.
Thursday afternoon we continued odd-jobbing, Carita and I painted the rest of the youth center, other’s litter-picked, and other’s painted a village toilet..da da daaa!
Thursday night we continued ALF club where we showed the rest of Excusez Mwa. It was great, the kids loved it! After that we went to a thing called “Chapter 2” where we hung out with 14-16 year olds and shared our testimonies and just hung out. However, there was only 3 of them, but we had a blast!

Friday morning we had another Friendship Café where we drank more tea, ate more biscuits, and I had to continue to tell the old ladies, that “No, I’m not engaged, that ring is my purity rings. And no, I don’t have a boyfriend, and ok, you keep praying for me to find a husband.” It was great. That afternoon we did, yes, more litter picking. So. Much. Litter-picking. I’m pretty sure there was no litter left in that village after we were done. After that we got to head back to the church to prepare for the ladies evening. The ladies night was so fantastic! While all the moms listened about hair care and make-up, we took the little girls and painted their nails, gave them hand massages, and face masks. It was so much fun and those girls were all so cute! I really enjoyed laughing with them while putting cucumbers on their faces.
Saturday: Saturday morning we split into 2 groups. Dillon, me and Friedi did a football school while Corinne, Carita and Laura did a craft morning. We played around, froze, and had a great time telling the kids to be “Strong and Courageous” because God is always with them. It was lovely.
After that we headed to Lancaster where Peter, I told you about him earlier, the policeman, took us to the new Lancaster Police Station where we got to watch the CCTV’s, creep on people, watch a shoplifter in action, and then watch videos of drunk people at 1 am. If you want a profession in creeping, be a CCTV agent. It’ll be perfect. After that we just hung out in Starbucks as a team and relaxed. It was fabulous and so great to just hang out as a team with nothing to do. That night we had a Celidh….and we were the only young adults there. Exciting. We ate potatoes. And we danced the night away. My little host son Thomas, age 6, was my dance partner. He was the best. We rocked the dance floor.

Sunday: Last day. So sad. We put on the last church service, said what was our favorite part of the 10 days, and then I closed off with a encouragement to keep shining the light and reaching out. It was great. We had one last delicious lunch at the church, joked that if now was the time they killed us since they’ve fattened us up all week, took a few last photos, and were on our way, back to our castle for the next 10 days, until it’s time to go.

Right now marks the 7 day mark until Capernwray is officially over. My heart is sad and I’m soaking up every inch of this place. I’ve loved it here, I’ve grown so much here, and I can’t wait to bring all that back to wherever God has for me next. It’s going to be an interesting ride, and I can’t wait!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Monday: Day Off.
But not really. Their idea of a day off was a 5 mile, 4 hour hike in 50 degree weather. It was beautiful, but NOT relaxing. Especially when you’ve been fed so well for the past few days. After that we were supposed to have the rest of the day off, but it ended up that we needed to have a quick meeting about the next day…which turned out to be a 2 ½ hour meeting. Oh boy. Not much of a day off but that’s ok…we’re young. We could handle it. That night our mom, (Me and Corinne’s host mom) took us shopping to Asda (The equilevant of Wal-Mart) and Matalan’s…which was just a nice, cheap store. It was a blast. I love our host mom

Tuesday: For the morning we split up and went to two different Primary schools (Elementary). We gave an assembly talking about: Jesus, Our Best Friend. It was fun. These little guys were SO CUTE! Then, we went into year 5-6 and did a 2 hour lesson on Who Jesus Is and How Jesus Changes People’s Lives. We had them write names that make them think of Jesus on post-it notes and had them place it on a cross. It was incredible some of the things these young kids could think of. After this and a few bible stories later, we interviewed…Jesus! Or our pastor dressed in a sheet. It was fantastic! They had so many questions and I believe we truly got some of their little hearts thinking. God is incredible how he can use such young kids to teach even me when I was supposed to be teaching them. It was great.
Later that day we started “Odd Jobbing.” Corinne, Friedi, Laura and I put on our full-body paper suits and began to paint a building that was being turned into a youth center. One of the guy who’s been working with it is a policeman who doesn’t go to church named Peter. This is just the beginning of the story, you’ll see him in other days.
Tuesday night we had house-groups. I absolutely LOVED it. I can’t wait to get back to wherever it is I’ll be living and get together with other believers and just discuss things and what God is doing in our lives. It was a great way to learn other opinions, put what you believe out there, and just know you’re loved. We spoke on getting out of the boat and how we were created to be water-walkers. Even though we were the ones leading it I was so challenged by it as well. Tea and biscuits, and then sleep.

Wednesday: This morning we put on our convict-yellow “Faith-In-Action” jackets and decided to spend 2 hours emptying the town of Caton of it’s rubbish……this was almost impossible as there was not a lot of rubbish, but we spent 2 hours doing it just the same. It was long and it got boring, but we had so many people thanking us for it and it was lovely to be able to show Jesus in such a simple way as little-picking. Corinne and I were partners as well, we had a blast making videos and picking up 4 BAGS of rubbish. Mostly full of beer bottles and, as Corinne would call them, Smoker-ette packages.
That afternoon we had a ladies meeting, where ladies from the ages of 60-97 would come and hear us speak. We each, the girls, chose a woman in the bible who was a testament of God’s faithfulness. 30 minutes later, we were finished. Whoops! It was all good though, because they still had their tea and biscuits to eat. We chatted away and enjoyed learning about their lives. For instance one lady was married at 18 and had 4 kids by age 22. One was married at 17 and had 4 kids by 23. One special little lady named Gladys Till, who was about 94 and still as feisty as ever, told us that in the morning, she wakes up and hops on a bus and goes wherever she wants and talks to people. She talks to them on the bus, at the station, in the tea shop. She could have a conversation with the telephone pole and she would have a great time. She was precious. That’s what I want to be like one day, so in love with Jesus that you just go and talk to anyone you can.

That night we had our first ALF course. We thought they were age 8-11, but, nope. Try 4-9. We showed them the Excusez Mwa videos. They loved it. However, one mom didn’t like all the sword-fighting and we had to switch things up for the next day. But the kids all loved the video and the characters and exclaiming “Excusez Mwa?!?” whenever it fit. I loved sharing the videos with them, everyone wants to come to Hume now. It’s pretty exciting. I live at the coolest place ever. There’s no doubt about that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

34 1/2 cups of tea.

Yep. In all reality it’s not that much over 10 days. But, it really is. Like I said before, these English-people are real serious about their tea. And I’m not kidding. The one thing I always knew to say was, “There’s tea and biscuits in the back.” Always.
These 10 days have been fantastic. They’ve been wearisome, they’ve been long, and they haven’t stopped, but they’ve been great, and I’ve learned a lot. We didn’t lead anyone to Christ or see any results, but we planted seeds, and now it’s in God’s hands.
Let’s start off at the beginning. I’ll give a couple days and then add more on other days, just to keep you interested.
We arrived at the friendship café where we drank, well, tea obviously, and ate biscuits while chatting with old ladies about our lives. It was a nice relaxing way to start off. If only it stayed that way…. After lunch we went visiting some of these ladies around in their homes, where we had…gasp! More tea and biscuits! That night was real easy, a nice dinner at a cute little restaurant where their “burgers” are definitely NOT burgers. Try meatloaf in burger-form. Let’s just say I’m real excited for a real, AMERICAN burger pretty soon. After long hours of chatting, visiting, sin-cake, and more tea, we left for a beautiful sleep in our favorite little farm-house.
Freezing cold. 2 hours. Outside. Football. Cold. These kids sure can show us a thing or two. Geez they are good. After getting hit in the face by a ball thanks to my teammate Dillon, we were free to leave and warm up. After lunch, right when we were beginning to gain feeling back in our hands, they told us to go outside (???) and….wash….cars? In February? With freezing cold water? Oh I’m not kidding. We had a good old English car wash with unheated water and about 50 degree weather. Oh, it got fun after awhile, but there were definitely times where I had to send up a little prayer going something like this “Jesus, please give me the strength and humility to stick my hand back in that freezing cold bucket.” After some tea and biscuits later, we were off to the Quiz night. Another very serious thing these English do. We brought our American flair and ate delicious meat pies and had a real fun time. I know, quizzes and fun do not seem to go hand in hand, but it did. So that was good.

Sunday: We did the service. It went pretty well I think, we made it to 45 minutes, which was perfect timing. 2 of my girls gave testimonies of God’s faithfulness in their lives, one of my girls prayed in German, and the boy and I sang “Surrender” by the Hank Murphy Band, which they loved. I spoke….it lasted about 5 minutes but that was all I needed. They all said they felt very encouraged by the end of it, so that was nice. After tea and biscuits, we went on a leisurely walk around the village of Caton. It was quite nice. That night we had a Youth Service, but it was more of a, all the older-church folk and a few scattered young adults. One of the teens sent messages to all his friends though so I hear we had a pretty good turn-out. It was really fun! We made them play a loud, American game and they actually liked it! We did a skit….or drama I should say. When I first said “Skit” they thought I said something else and were quite confused….you figure out what they thought I said ;) One of my girls spoke and I closed up. We had tea and biscuits and spent the rest of the night hanging out with these awesome kids, it was really fun! I really enjoyed it, and I love every opportunity I get to talk to kids and hang out with them. Especially the cute, 19 and older British ones ;)