Part 1 of my European Adventure began in 2010. I was only 12 when my dad took me to on my first mission trip. Our church helped host a festival in Europe each year, called the Sozo Festival, and in 2010 they happened to be in England. It was located at an old farm named Redhill, near Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick in the serene countryside. My job included helping at registration, working with the kids in Children's School of Worship, and helping at the coffee shop and evening cafe. I learned British currency, spoke to people from all different nations, and worked on perfecting my English accent (6-year-old Abby thought it was hilarious and not at all accurate).
The festival only lasted a few days, so our time in England lasted about a week. And, of course, who wouldn't go sightseeing while they're over there? We got to visit Shakespeare's home and Warwick Castle. Then, we got to visit my dad's uncle in France. The cheapest way to get from England to France was to take the Tube from London to Paris. So I got to see the big cities as well!
Randall Morgan, who helped lead the team, told my father at the time that this trip would instill in me a love of the nations for the rest of my life. He was right! I loved looking around the table and seeing the different nations represented. I loved trying new food like bangers and mash and French Nutella crepes (the lamb--not so much). As much fun as London and Paris were, they were too touristy. I preferred walking through the cobblestone streets of Nantes, France, getting fresh baguettes and splashing in the Atlantic ocean on the rocky beaches. I liked sitting on the quiet hill underneath the giant white cross at Redhill, which overlooked the neighboring farms and the town of Snitterfield (yes, that's what it was really called).
My dad nicknamed the trip our European Adventure. I liked it, but it always seemed to suggest it had ended. But I didn't want it to end! For the last six years, I've yearned to go back to Europe. I didn't even care if I couldn't get to England or France specifically. I just wanted to go back. And now I am! European Adventure Part 2 starts January 9th when my mother and I fly from Nashville to Vienna. We get to spend a day and a half there, a day or so in Budapest, and then take a train to Vinnitsa! It's finally starting to feel more real now; I'm getting excited!!
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and contributing towards this trip. Just to remind you that our comedy night show, Maybelle and Dixie, is coming up THIS FRIDAY at 6:30. I hope to see you all there!