After arriving at the farm for a quick luggage drop off, we were served an incredible breakfast of an assortment of fresh tropical fruits. Students enjoyed fresh papaya, pineapple, passion fruit, and new one for all of us, sour sup. We spent the morning at the beautiful beach of Wailoaloa. the adrenaline of being in a tropical climate seemed to serve as an antidote to jet-lag. All the students were in high spirits and have been unified as a group from the get go.Read More
BJ Thompson brought the Word this week and was an inspiring man of God. I was really excited because we have the same initials. My first and middle name is Brittany Joy. It was really cool to have more of a teacher type speaker rather than just a lecturer. He would ask the students questions and required us to expand more on our answers, helping us walk through the thought process of why we believe what we believe. While taking copious notes, BJ answered these three questions in the three days he was with us. They were; “who am I? Who are we? And why are we here?” First, BJ really unpacked the meaning of the Gospel and how it is an infinite story. It is in all three tenses; past, present, and future. He explained how important it is for us to have a perspective on the Gospel that transcends for the rest of our lives. There are so many things that we as Christians do to make it seem like we have it all together, but in reality we are just putting on a face or a mask, disguising the person we really are.Read More
tarting off the day, we made the relatively short bus ride to the town ofWhitehead, where we climbed a rather long and winding pathway leading up to the breathtakingly beautiful site which the Whitehead Lighthouse overlooks. Stopping just beside the lighthouse on top of a cliff overlooking the sea on such a crystal clear day, we got to chill and relax, take a few photos, and just take in the overall beauty of our surroundings and marvel at the greatness of the Creator of such amazing sites.Read More
This small blog is about our visit to Dundrum castle. This was spot was I feel an overall favorite. This was mainly due to the fact that we didn’t have a tour and no one was watching. We were able to run around the castle, climb, jump off walls, get stuck on top of walls and much more.Read More
Here in Ireland I lead my peers on a tour today here at St. Marks church which was formerly C. S. Lewis's church. I explained the origin of the church in October of 1873 by William Butterfield. I explain the importance of the tall pillars arches and ceillings of that era. Also C.S. Lewis' s family also dedicated a stain glass window on the right side of the church. Hadden Willson also explained to our group that Mr. Lewis used to sit in the fifth or sixth row of the church.Read More
Today we woke up and had Dr. Hadden Wilson come speak to us about C.s Lewis’s upbringing and accomplishes. He informed us of Lewis’s church and the history behind its building. We also were informed about how throughout his life he was raised Anglican Christian and after his mothers death started doubting and was tutored in schooling by an atheist and became an advocate for it.Read More
On Tuesday, everyone went to Saul Church in Down Patrick. Saul Church is reportedly the oldest ecclesiastical site in Ireland. St. Patrick built a church on the spot in the year 432. Legend has it that it was at the church where St. Patrick plucked a shamrock from the soil and explained the Holy Trinity using the three leaves.Read More
Today we went to Dublin. The planned stops were, Book of Kells, A super awesome Library, Fish and Chips, Free Time, and The National Gallery. The Book of Kells was amazing. Seeing a book that has been perfectly perserved since 800 a.d. was incredible and it was that much more incredible being that it was a book containing the four Gospels. It was truly an awesome experience.Read More
Today we went to the Ulster Museum in Belfast. As we arrive i quickly noticed the strange 1970's structure from my pictures. As i walked in i realized how big it really was. We went and heard from one of the museum directors who shared with us about the museums history, various paintings/ exhibits, and furthermore the coming together of Belfast this museum brought during the times of the Troubles.Read More
As we arrived in the City of Carrickfergus, we traveled to a Castle on the outer rim of the city. I gave my speech on the castle and we were off to investigate. One thing that I did not find in my research is the stench that would literally smack me in the face upon entering. I feel like it was due to the washed up algae along the shoreline. But the smell quickly deteriorated the farther into the castle we walked. It was amazing to walk were so many soldiers before me have walked. To see what they saw, and smell what they probably smelled.Read More
On the beautiful morning of Saturday February 9, 2013, the Link Year class boarded the bus and headed out to St. George's Market. A lot of you may be thinking why the Link Year would go to a grocery store? Well, my friends, St. George's Market is not only a grocery store, but it is also a place for, in a way, street vendors. There were many little stands selling handmade crafts.Read More
On Monday, February 11th we all had to wake up very early to hop on the bus headed to Dublin. I was very anxious to see this city that I have heard so much about. We drove through some beautiful, green country and finally pulled into the city. It was almost just as I had always pictured it, a mix of past and present streaking through the city. People were dressed in European, trendy clothing that is only seen in magazines where I am from. Pubs and fish and chip houses line the streets.Read More
Well this past Thursday we did a ton of traveling to the North Coast of Ireland! We started off with going to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge near the coast which was absolutely beautiful. You can be sure we took a lot of pictures! This destination is one of Northern Irelands top tourists attractions and I agree! After that we headed to Giants Causeway. It is an area of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It was awesome! We walked along a path taking on some high winds and some rain. Haha although it was cold, we got to enjoy more great views that we don't see everyday. The next stop was at Dunlace Castle. This castle has been a wonderful insight into life on the North Coast of Ireland a few hundred years ago. It was really cool to walk around and hear the history of the castle! Last but not least, we went to Portstewart. It was a great time for us to try the famous "fish and chips" of Ireland. Chips being fries. It was very good!! Portstewart is famous for its homemade ice cream and I'm afraid to say the ice cream place was closed once we got there! It was a bummer. Soon after that we got back on the road to head back to The Manor. After this long day of travel we were ready to get some sleep, but will remember such a great day!
This morning came early, but the Link Year staff and the Lakeside Manor continued their excellence and grandeur. The staff woke us ladies and gents from our slumber bright and early. So the students could enjoy one last morning of class with Billy Stevenson.Billy Stevenson is the University International Studies Director at John Brown University whom has poured into the Link Year student’s for this short time period. Stevenson has an remarkable testimony, you could further question your students on his story.After hearing his testimony and a few other life stories he talked to us student about Ireland’s economy. In which, they have three major industries in their economy; agriculture, ship making and linen which is closely followed by tourism.
Today we focused on St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick is credited with almost singlehandedly bringing the country of Ireland to Christ. Captured by Irish slave traders and brought to Ireland he worked as a sheepherder where the solitude strengthened his faith (he says in his confession that he prayed more than 100 times a day). One day during his prayer he feels the urge from God to run away, so without any sort of plan or help he runs to a port city, finds a ship, and gets home. Once he Gets home he doesn't forget the faith that got him through slavery instead he becomes an ordained priest. But Patrick has not forgotten Ireland and throughout his schooling he feels a calling to return to the pagan nation. So he spends the rest of his life serving the people of Ireland and nearly converts the entire island.
Yesterday was all about Mr. St Patrick himself. The day started off with a lesson from Billy Stevenson, he gave us a brief history lesson on what St Patrick's life was all about. After class we headed out to Saul Church, the dirt church St Patrick established in Ireland. It is gorgeous! It's placed right in the middle of beautiful Irish countryside. I was in awe. We went in and a sang a few worship songs, that was my favorite part! It was incredible to be able to worship in the first church in Ireland, but even more incredible that we are worshipping the exact same God as they did thousands of years ago! After the church we headed to St Patrick Centre, and Downpatrick Cathedral. At these places we saw the gravesite of St Patrick, and had the chance to walk through his life of ministry in the St Patrick Centre! I have never studied St Patrick before, so I really enjoyed getting the whole rundown of who he was and what his life was all about! (Emily Smith)Read More
Today in Ireland we had a blast. Billy Stevenson our JBU tour guide spoke to us this morning. He gave us history and gave his testimony. It was hard to listen to. He has been through and seen a lot. His coming to Christ is an incredible story. We then visited the Shankill Road. It is where a lot of terrorism and fighting happened. Billy grew up around that life. It was neat to get to see the wall that separated the Shankill and Falls Roads. There was a lot of graffiti and writing on the wall. Walking around and seeing the wall and murals made it all so real.Read More
Northern Ireland is apart of the United Kingdom but that does not mean that they don’t have there own form of governing body. The Norther Ireland Assembly, the legislative body that runs Northern Ireland, meets at the capitol building known as Stormont. This is a beautiful building both on the inside and out. It is 365 feet in length and 6 stories high. Today, we got to take a tour of the building and learn a little bit about its architecture and the workings of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It was a very beneficial experience to see how another government works and gave all of our students great perspective in the world around them.Read More
oday the students began with a little bit of classroom time here at the Manor. Nasa, our campus shepherd asked them all to separate for 45 minutes, stay quiet, and write about what is going on in their heart at the time…in a poem. At first the jaws dropped and there was not a great deal of enthusiasm following this instruction. His intention was to have the students be alone with their own heart, thoughts, and a piece of paper…something that this generation does not often experience with TV, video games, etc. We all met back together in the classroom (which is here at the manor) and the students each drew numbers. Then, they each read their poem aloud. As a staff, this was one our most favorite, cherished moments here in Ireland. There was a real, raw vulnerability amongst our students that was so refreshing to experience. Some intimate details and very personal struggles were shared in the beautiful art of poetry. Tears were shed, applause was given, and the was an evident remembrance of just how beautiful this family is. Here are a few of the writings from the beautiful, quiet, rainy morning that we had here today.Read More
You may be asking yourself, “Self, why wasn’t the Link Year blog updated from Wednesday – Saturday last week?” Well, you are in luck because I have an answer. Last Wednesday started our “Free Weekend” here in Ireland. Some of our students took excursions to London or Edinburgh Scotland, while many others stayed behind at the Manor for some R&R. Those that stayed in Belfast did a lot of reading, resting, shopping, movie watching, and some serious fellowship. One night all of the girls went to see the new movie “The Vow,” and then to a highly recommended Italian restaurant called Villa Italia…the guys met us there. We had a great time!