South of England
The best gifts in life are often the most unexpected…
And I don’t mean just materialistic gifts but also spiritual ones, especially gifts from God, given unexpectedly. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this here but I'm a Christian. I accepted Jesus Christ about 3 years ago and recently I went through a very difficult time. Even though it was hard to keep the faith, God surprised me with so many amazing gifts. And one of them was this whole trip to England, where I visited my friend and we spent a couple of days together, saw beautiful places, witnessed breathtaking sunsets and just enjoyed life! I felt so blessed and grateful I could see another part of our beautiful world. It all has started with a beautiful sunrise I saw during my flight. For the next two hours I was stuck to my window and kept watching the epic pink sunlight shining through the clouds, with a smile on my lips and tears in my eyes.
South of England is amazing. Green fields, fresh air, rays of sunlight shining through the trees, a wild sea and huge cliffs. When I close my eyes and think of those places again, these words come to my mind - magical, charming, special, graceful, meaningful, precious, goosebumps…So here are some photos from all the places we’ve been to - Eastbourne, Beachy Head, Seven Sisters, Rye and Ashburnham.
My friend Kaja now stays in Ashburnham, a magical place with a great atmosphere, where you can go for Christian retreats. I asked her if she could write something about this place and maybe it will inspire you to go there for a holiday or some retreat for yourself.
Ashburnham is a very special place. It is special for people who live here as well as for visitors who are coming just for a retreat. Ashburnham is a Christian retreat centre - that means that we hope that everybody who will spend some time here will personally meet our Lord and get to know Him closer. And who are we? We’re community of about 100 people. This community is build by permanent staff mostly from UK and volunteers from all over the world. So I have (as a foreigner from the Czech Republic) friends for example from South Korea, Brazil, Madagascar, Kazachstan and all Europian countries. It’s very nice to live in this community even it is sometimes quite hard (there are people around you all the time, and also it is very hard to saying goodbye to your friends when their time is over). So we as this community are living in Ashburnham. Volunteers aren’t receiving salary but just pocket money. I could say that it has some main reasons. First one is because we are getting our accommodation and food in exchange for our work. And the second one is because we didn’t come here for money but especially to serve God and people around us. It’s very nice to go to work with feeling that you are doing something for His Kingdom. Even if you are just cutting cucumbers, changing bed sheets or dealing with phone calls.
There is also another one special thing about Ashburnham. And that’s nature. Ashburnham owns 220 acres of land around the area. That land is compound by forests, lakes and fields. Ashburnham is taking care of that untouched beauty as well as of our Earth. We are trying to recycle everything. From waste we are doing our own compost which we are reusing in our gardens for growing vegetables etc. Ashburnham appreciates nature as something extraordinary. Something what God gave us and we have to take care of it. Through all this we can see God and His own beauty.