YouthWorkFactory participants in front of The Vierslag
This summer has been exciting, exhausting, and everything in between. 
I made connections with so many wonderful people. I have begun the formation of a leadership team for the Antwerp Bridgebuilders Club. I met with local educators about coming into a school to facilitate a culture club.

I spent a fabulous week helping Antwerp International Protestant Church with their Vacation Bible School. What a wonderful and diverse group of people they are and it was such a blessing to work with them and to think they could become my home church for my year with Atlantic Bridge.

My last week here I was part of the Youth Work Factory. It was an eye-opening experience and I am still taking it all in. We had a fantastic week filled with new friendships, old connections, and cultural sharing. Together we laughed, cried, prayed, ate, and barely slept. I could not have asked for a better introduction to my year of service.
We had leaders from 10 different countries come together for a training on how to create cross-cultural exchange for young people.  I was able to connect  with some wonderful people who have been involved with Atlantic Bridge for years, and gain insight into what my year is going to look like. I learned more about other cultures this week than I did in 17 years of formal education. And I made friendships that I am excited to continue in the coming months. We will all be coming together again next summer for the International Youth Festival.  I can't wait! 

To finish out my time here I spent some time at the Grey Cat (Grijze Kat in Flemish) discussing plans for the coming year and their involvement with the Antwerp Bridgebuilders club.  Pictured you can see me sharing a final drink with Jo  Dries, a leader and facilitator at the Grey Cat. 
For now, it's time for me to return home until October.  There is fundraising to be done and loved ones to hug. But I am so looking forward to the year ahead of me.