Monday, June 20, 2016
Amazing! This is the only word that I have to describe my adventures of the day. I spent the final day of my journey touring the northern tip of Ireland. I imagined what life would have been like at Carricksburg Castle, braved the rope bridge at Carrick-A-Rede, and hiked the Giant’s Causeway. I started walking, but I didn’t quite know what I was walking toward. I just knew it was a suggested “must see” of Northern Ireland. After walking…and walking…and walking, I began to see the interesting rock formations, boulders, and the cliff that lead to the waters edge. It was beautiful.
As I climbed up the rocks, I was pleased that I made this trip. I took a few pictures, then made my way down to side to join the others, ready to move on to the next tourist attraction. Read More
Posted By: Nena Houston - 6/20/16 10:15 AM
Thursday, June 16, 2016
During the past few days, we have visited three schools and Stranmillis College. One purpose of our trip is to continue the relationships that were built during the last visit, as well as plan for next year’s summer trip. We will be working closely with Stranmillis College, as they support our visits within the local schools. There may even be opportunity for extended stays during the next few years. It is an exciting prospect that will be explored throughout this next school year!
Our first stop was Sullivan Upper Elementary, a school that serves a selective, high-achieving student population. We were able to visit with the principal and tour the school grounds. This school provides academic, athletic, and artistic experiences to enhance the learning of students as individuals, enabling the students to develop their skills and talents. They had a wonderful art room, 3-D printer, a small machine shop, and whole floor dedicated to music development. Also, they were in the process of updating their athletic facilities. This school is the alma mater of Rory McIlroy, one of the top golfers in the PGA. Read More
Posted By: Nena Houston - 6/16/16 11:00 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
What a privilege to worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ on Sunday morning! We attended a service at Parish of Dundela, St. Mark’s Church. This church was the home church of C. S. Lewis. His grandfather, Thomas Hamilton, was a rector of this church. We were welcomed by several of the people of the church and made to feel at home. As we were being seated, the bells began to peal! The beautiful sound of celebration. This service was a service of celebration and thanksgiving to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. It was a wonderful opportunity to be in town for this celebration. After the service, we were treated to tea and a tasty assortments of cakes and cookies.
Upon entering the building before the service began, I was in awe of the ornate architecture and colors provided by the stained glass windows, flooring, and ceiling structures; however, I had no idea that each corner, window, tile, and architectural form had a significant meaning. \We were given a tour of the church and learned about each part. One rarely looks down at the floor for important symbolism, but there were even details in the flooring at St. Mark’s. Upon entering the church, black chevron floor tiles were intentionally set at the back by the baptismal font to point to the front of the church. They were to connect the two most important sacraments, the baptism and Holy Communion. As one walked forward, the tiles changed to vibrant color at the front, pointing the way to the table of Holy Communion. Read More
Posted By: Nena Houston - 6/15/16 11:45 AM
Monday, June 13, 2016
Journey: (n) 1. the act of traveling to one place or another, peregrination; 2. a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.
We made it! Dr. Connie Matchell, Dr. Richard Ellis, and I set off from XNA on Friday, June 10, 2016, connected through Chicago O’Hare, and survived the seven hour flight to Dublin, Ireland. We landed Saturday around 8:30 a.m., but our bodies were telling us it was 2:30 a.m. However, that didn’t discourage us one bit. We hopped the bus to Belfast, and the adventure began!
Once in Belfast, we met up with Billy Stevenson, our guide for the week. We started our journey at the famous Eudora Hotel. Billy informed us that is was the most bombed hotel during the Northern Ireland conflict. It is a symbol of the strength of the people of Belfast, because it was rebuilt each time in the midst of the terroristic threats. After tea, we began a day of discovery the rich history of Belfast. In the pictures above you will see the Belfast City Hall. In front of City Hall, there is a memorial with the names of all those that perished on the Titanic (top left picture). Also, there is a monument and plaque honoring President Bill Clinton for the part he played in the peace agreement of the 1990s between the Protestants and Catholics that resulted in a “power sharing” government (top right picture). As we continued through the day, Billy pointed out many historical places, as well as places that are important to the every day workings of the wonderful people here in Belfast. The places we visited told the story of the difficulties and hardships faced by the people of Belfast and reflected their strength as a community striving to continue to grow and overcome the past. Read More
Posted By: Nena Houston - 6/13/16 12:45 PM
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Samantha McClain has dreamt of being a high school French teacher since the 8th grade. Through years of study and practice, Samantha became fluent in the language, but she still needed teacher training and certification if she wanted to share that knowledge as a high school teacher. Samantha is thankful that she chose JBU's Master's in Education program to help her get there. Read More
Posted By: Jessica Turner - 6/7/16 10:00 AM
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