This is the closest I’ve ever lived to civilization. If you’ve been in the same room as me these past few months, you’ve heard me say that. It still puzzles me sometimes — everything you need is 3 minutes away or less. My home in PA is not in the middle of nowhere, but it is in the country. My alma mater (Houghton College) IS in the middle of nowhere. OMS headquarters is in a thriving suburb of Indianapolis. When I needed to go to Kroger’s for some groceries, when I needed a quick appointment at Urgent Care, when I needed a pharmacy or wondered where the mall is…they all came up as 2 or 3 minutes away.
Sometimes I miss being surrounded by trees. Today the grass was damp and I could smell the damp tree in front of my apartment. It made me think of home or Houghton, and I was excited to remember one of the things I”ll be doing while I’m in the US: visiting Houghton, as an OMS & HOPE61 rep, for New Vision Week in October.
In the middle of sirens and noisy radios and garage doors opening and closing, though, Sarah (another girl working at headquarters, with Every Community for Christ) & I discovered a creek off to the side of OMS property. I’ve seen herons, blue birds, and a possible hawk (definitely some bird of prey) flying over that path of trees. One day we took a few minutes to explore.
Saturday is my favorite day. I wake up at 8:30 or 9:00, clean a little, cook & bake, and watch TV. It’s relaxing. On the Create channel, travel & cooking shows abound — the best being Irish Food Trails . It is truly Irish, with an Irish host going to a different part of the country to reveal more of the recent Irish food revolution! Watching it makes me even more excited for the day I move to Ireland. Two weeks ago it was on fish & seafood. Last weekend it was farmer’s markets. It gives me another piece of the culture to think about & I love it.
As a result, I made soda bread. I’ve tried several recipes. They’re all similar, but this one from the food blog Edible Ireland is the best. It’s not too dense & it doesn’t leave the aftertaste of baking soda, as some recipes do. When I pulled my soda bread round out of the oven, I loved seeing the cascading hue of flour on the sheet! So cool.
Speaking of Irish-related things and people, the four delegates from Ireland who were here for training all returned to Ireland in mid-August…so I thought. On Saturday morning I was at the picnic table by the apartments when out of the apartment next door to mine comes Ciaran! Ciaran pastors a church in Co. Meath & is a an awesome guy. He had been away from his wife & four awesome kids for an entire month, and he was spending one last day in Greenwood before flying off. Ciaran showed me pictures & videos of his family & we had a great little chat before we parted ways.
Meeting the guys from Ireland was wonderful. They have been so excited about the Prayer for Ireland initiative, so willing to hear my heart for Ireland, & totally open about their country & people. I can’t wait to see them on their own soil! I look forward to learning from them.
All in all, things are going well…tomorrow hundreds of people from a local church are coming here for their missions conference & I’m helping with the kids. Woooo!