Over the summer of 2017 our family had the awesome opportunity to go on a outreach trip to England. We went for 2 weeks. Right before our family trip Austin had the opportunity to go for two weeks before us with his youth group. Spending an entire month in the England area. You can read about his adventures here.
It was a dream to all go as a family. The dream began to grow more and more in February of 2017 with the kids dance studio offered the trip up to people who were interested. Knowing the cost would be around $8,000.00 and the time would go fast we knew that if God wanted us there He would make a way. And that He did!
Here are many of the pictures from our trip. The purpose of our trip was to go to two different locations in England and teach dance, perform dance, and reach out to the people around us. You won’t see many dance pictures from the different camps we did to protect the identities of the children that participated. Many of the Children were in foster homes.
Our flights went really well. We had a short flight to the east coast where we had some down time to grab food, practice some of the dances, run off some energy, and have our group time of devotions and highs and lows for our days. I will say this a lot but one of my favorite parts of the trip. A great time to see how others were doing and getting to pray over each other.
Our first stop was in London. We were able to spend a short time in this very busy city. Grabbing our first taste of fish and chips from a neat pub and checking out some of the sites.
We road a bus to YWAM Harpenden, where we would have the opportunity to stay for our first part of our trip.
Here we let the four kids that had been in England for two weeks already catch up on some much needed rest. We began teaching some dance camps, we were able to help with food prep for each of our meals, and some of the guys in our group had the opportunity to do some work around the facilities that was needed.
Each day two to three people would help prep for each meal, and then two or three people would clean up from each meal. It was a time to help and meet whoever else was in the kitchen with you! The food was served with love by the full time chef there. It was a great way to serve YWAM, the people there and our group.
Harpenden was a sweet area. Beautiful landscape. YWAM there is located on what use to be a orphanage. There was a lot of history to the area, a beautiful apple orchard, and some great areas you could walk in and see more of the area.
So much of England had beautiful flowers and gardens. The amazing brick work, beautiful doors – many were beautiful vibrant colors. Wonderful architecture of bridges and walk ways. None of the windows had screens. You could just open the windows and enjoy the pleasant air as it came in.
One of my favorite things about Harpenden was getting to talk with them many people that are currently living there. We were able to speak with people from all over the world. Learn about what they are doing there, what their hopes and dreams for the future were and how we could pray for them right there.
There was an amazing and super cute coffee shop at Harpenden. Here you could hang out with good company, and enjoy some delicious drinks! One of my favorite conversations happened here. It was with an older English lady who loved Jesus so much. She was a huge encouragement and so full of life and joy!
Another great thing that happened in Harpenden is after the dance classes were complete many times the kids had some down time. Sometimes you could find them all playing a game tougher and most times you could find them out with some of the young kids that lived there, jumping on trampolines together, playing with them or taking some time to adventure around the apple orchard and rest of the campus.
Most of our days in Harpenden had rain at some point in the day, but we were blessed with some sunshine too!
After Harpenden we began our long ride to the Cornwall area. Getting to experience and see the England countryside was amazing and such a blessing in our trip.
Our trip through the beautiful country sides of England was uneventful and adventurous all at the same time. We made it into our stop late in the evening. We had a bit of trouble finding dinner that night but our amazing leader Eric made it happen and provided for the group that night.
Our accommodations for the rest of our time at the festival were these adorable tents! They were really very nice. Plus I can cross sleeping in a circus tent off my bucket list.
Something that I am so thankful for about this trip. Is our leaders Eric and Melissa gave everyone the opportunity to go on “outings”. We all got to go several times! These outings generally happened in the morning before dance camps began or in the evenings after dinner time. These outings gave us the opportunity to see some really cool places around where we were. We were able to learn more about the area and really appreciate the history and beauty of where we were. I am so thankful for these times. They were an extra special element to our trip.
A couple of our outings were to some of the local beaches. The drive to these beaches were always memorable for many reasons. The country roads in England are very narrow. Generally the mini van we were riding in would gently touch the sides of the walls of the roads we were on. You would meet oncoming traffic and one of you would have to back up to an small opening in the road were would each careful then go around the other.
One time on one of our adventures a driver many cars in front of us couldn’t figure out how to navigate around the oncoming cars. A wonderful local man many cars back coming towards us go out of his car, and began directing each car to pull out, pull in this area and start letting the other cars go. It took a bit and I am sure the locals watching got a kick out of it but after a while he had everyone free and moving again. Another fun time about these car rides is getting to hear the conversations of the kids. Talking about their days, their classes they had taught, the people they had met, things they were missing about home and so on. We also had many signing adventures. There was a lot of laughter, stories and more.
Here are some pictures of some of the beaches we went to. One was called XXXXXX and the other one was XXXXX.
During our beach excursions we had the opportunity to swim (brr) or explore the areas. The beaches we went to were beautiful. Some of them looked like pictures out of magazines!
Exploring Castles – We went to Tintagel Castle, set high on Cornwall’s rugged north coast. Linked with the legend of King Arthur.
If I ever get the opportunity to go back to England I would love to visit more castles. The uniqueness of them, the history, the beauty!
We walked many steps these days. But each one was worth it. Seeing the top, hiking the hill sides, watching the waves hit the rocks, exploring the caves, walking all the stairs up or down. It was beautiful and breath taking!
One of our evening excursions after dinner was a sunset hike. It came with a view of a gorgeous lighthouse, very strong winds but the memory of the sunset over the ocean with nothing taking your view away was fantastic!
During our time at Creation Fest we had the opportunity in the evenings to see performances of different artists. Some more known then others. We had the opportunity to listen to some of the speakers that were there. Lastly, we had lost of opportunity to perform our dances that we had prepared for this trip!
As we began our journey back to London we got to go to one last super cool place.
St Michael’s Mount is a small tidal island in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The island is a civil parish and is linked to the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water.
We were able to enjoy a Sunday morning service here, explore the island, ride a boat out to it and walk the causeway back as the tide had lowered.
A few pictures the end our journey.
Niko got into our bags when we had left to go get groceries after getting home, and ate every bar of chocolate we had bought to bring home to friends and family. His tummy wasn’t overly happy with his choices and we weren’t either.
The second picture is a cute little bowl of sugar at one of the coffee shops we stopped at. I loved the cubes. Felt so proper.
The third picture is a memory of our days at Creation Fest. Plastic forks.
The fourth picture was of some goodies we brought back. Some delicious biscuits!
The fifth picture was of Ryan and I on our last flight home. Tired, happy, thankful.
The last picture is of us flying over Greenland. It was a treat to be able to see Greenland. The stewards on the flight said it was a unique experience because normally it is too cloudy to see.
We hope you enjoyed out short tour of our time in England! We have many more pictures so if you would ever like to see them all let us know. We are so thankful and blessed by each one of you that gave to our trip financially, purchased items we were selling, prayed for us, encouraged us. Thank you. This was a dream come true for our family to be able to serve others together. We are thankful and hope there are more of these opportunities for us in our future.
Many blessings to you all!
To see the video of us performing our dance in England at the many different places we went go here.