Thursday, March 1, 2012

UK Winter 2012: My Leap of Faith in England...

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I will never forget this day.  It was my first - ever trip to England. I arrived in London at 9am but my main destination was Humberside to visit my 13-year old nephew Kenneth. I have NOT SEEN him for four (4) years, his last visit was when he was 9 years old. had hoped for a  happy reunion with him now that he is a teen-ager. Never did it occur to me that this trip from London to Humberside, England will test and strengthen my FAITH! 

"...FAITH is not to have a perfect knowledge of things;
therefore if ye have faith ye HOPE 
for things
which are NOT SEEN
, which are true." (Alma 32:21, Book of Mormon). 
 
Whenever I travel solo to unfamiliar places, I carry with me the concept of HOPE and my FAITH. But this solo trip in England was a bit daunting. I was traveling to unknown destination, at night, without a cellphone. My only solace are my pounds (not the "weight" but UK currency), credit card & debit card (which my bf made sure I have), contact details of my host Steve & Juris, my netbook and a sense of adventure! Also I have a Couch Surfing host/friend Cath to accompany me to Kingscross Tube station in London to buy  train ticket bound for "Barnetby".
    "Now  FAITH is the substance of things HOPEfor,                                                           the evidence of things NOT SEEN(Hebrews 11:1, Holy Bible)
Kingscross.3:00pm. The lowest ticket for Barnetby was a super off-peak Return Ticket costing 82.50 pounds (Php 5,609.00), which for a 3 1/2 -hour train ride was not cheap in my vocab. The off-peak ticks are available only on weekends (so I was lucky!) since a regular economy ticket is more than 200 pounds (Php 10,000 plus). With the sure ticks, Cath and I did some sightseeing around London. 


Kingscross. 6:45pm. Back alone (since I gave Cath away to her date!  lol). I checked Barnetby on the screen, there was none. The guy at ticket counter said I should get on the Leeds-bound train departing at 7:05pm, then transfer to another train in Doncaster. That was no sweat, I thought.



Kingscross. 7:05pm.The train was long and has several sections, I counted maybe five sections to be "first class" seats and two more sections with reserved seating. I had to walk all the way down to get to the "economy" sections. Inside the train, I was filled with excitement. Wow, it has a wifi and a place to put my laptop! I turned the laptop on and sent my host a message - "arriving around 10:30pm". 


Doncaster. 8:20pm. I inquired which platform to take the train to Barnetby. The guy said, there wasn't any train service to my destination, but there is a bus. He pointed the direction fo the "bus" stop. I saw a Bus Interchange and checked the screen for departures. No Barnetby. I then went from platforms A-1 to A-24 and then B-1 to B12 looking for the bus, but to no avail. So I went back to the train platform and asked the same staff. I was told that I should look for Clayton and not Barnetby. I headed back, still hopeful I could find my ride.



Bus Interchange.9:20pm. I looked for Clayton at the screen, there was none. The bus schedule posted on the wall, however, indicated that Clayton bus departs from platform C-7 which is in another building. I hurriedly went there and found it a bit creepy since no one was there. When I got at C-7, I noticed that the monitor didn't show any bus departure. But there was brochure containing time schedule of Bus No. 203 to Clayton. To my chagrin, it says "No service on Sunday"! I was dumbfounded. MHOPE started to be displaced by despair

 went back to the A and B sections and searched for Clayton was again. As tears started to drop, my begging for help became more fervent. I knew I needed to have FAITH that Heavenly Father was mindful of my situation and will send help.I felt a sense of peace, a feeling of assurance that things would work out. Then an idea came  - to go back to the train waiting room and take the train back to London.

Doncaster Train Platform. 10:20pm. There were 5 people in the waiting room, but except for one, they seem to have no phone that I could borrow to inform family I weren't coming. About 10 minutes later, I saw two policemen. I immediately went to them for help, but found they were arresting someone so it wasn't a good timing. A guy, however, noticed me and offered to help.I told him of my predicament. He looked at the train monitor screen and he said that there was a bus leaving in 2 minutes from the parking lot outside of the train station (and not at the Bus Interchange). Apparently, the bus was a special service since the Barnetby tracks was being repaired.

I ran as fast as I could and made it to the Barnetby bus. There were two buses and I chose the one leaving firs and arriving in Barnetby at 12:05am. There were ten (10) passengers, but  eight (8) got off  at the first stop and only me and another female were left. I prayed that I get off first since it would scare me if I were last. But, yes, I remembered that to fear is not FAITH!



Midnight. The driver announced it was Barnetby. It was very dark, in the middle of nowhere and no people in sight. Worse, it was freezing cold! I felt so alone with nowhere and no one to turn to for help. I started to cry and managed to flag the two cars for help. I remembered that Heavenly Father is just a prayer away.I talked to Him and plead to touch the heart of the driver of the next vehicle that would passed by. I saw a beacon of light in a dark moment. I felt peace.


Barnetby. 12:20pm. A bus came, the same Barnetby bus that was parked in Doncaster. Without hesitation I signaled for help. The bus didn't stop but I knew deep inside he was the "angel" sent by a loving Heavenly Father to help me. Minutes later  the bus turned back and I found myself inside the bus with the driver calling the phone number I gave him. I thanked the 3 passengers in the bus for letting the driver stopped for me.  Finally, I was able to talk to my  family and Steve and Juris arrived at the bus stop!



Now as I reflect on this experience, I felt gratitude that God has used my travel to teach me how FAITH works. As I get into more and more difficulties, I was forced to turn to God for help and learned in practical way how I can reach my journey.  And so it is in our spiritual journeys. We need the HOPE and FAITH to reach our eternal destination.  


This is an entry for the March PTB Blog Carnival with the theme "Leap of Faith: When Travelling Changed My Life" being hosted by Reiza Dejito of  Wander-If-You-Must! For previous Blog Carnival topics please visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw.


28 comments:

  1. What a wonderful experience you had in London. I love London. It is one of my favorite places in Europe (maybe because of the shopping :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. At andun talaga yung comment na ipinamigay ako sa aking date! :D You're more than welcome to crash my couch anytime Mhe Anne! x

    ReplyDelete
  3. i love your blog post.. truly we live by faith and not by site.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you surely enjoy jumping and London as well, I should practice also doing that jump shot

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad to hear po na you enjoyed traveling :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hahaa! Lovely jumpshots! XD

    Naku, ako ata walang lakas ng loob na pumunta sa unfamiliar places na ako lang talaga. Yeah, I guess I don't have enough faith. tsk..

    Looks like you had fun in LONDON! Woot!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oooh gosh! I had goosebumps while reading the part that you were alone in nowhere in Barnetby.. You're correct, we must always believe but somehow, the devil will still try to get out the trust and our faith. I'm happy for you and I envy of your trip. Hehe! Thanks for sharing! =)

    ReplyDelete
  8. FAITH is keeping you alive po :) That's the spirit. Enjoy your travels :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yay mam Mhe-anne, haha. Tuwang tuwa akong tinitignan mga jump shots mo :D keep on jumping n_n

    ReplyDelete
  10. i like the way you present your photos

    ReplyDelete
  11. those jumpshots? great capture!!!

    i really wanted to travel Europe..maybe soon.. :D hope i really could..

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow! I hope I can go to London too someday. One of my dream countries to visit. Of course I'll bring my loved ones too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awww wonderful. Amazing experience. Would love to do the same soon!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've never been to London. It looks cold. O_o

    ReplyDelete
  15. Glory to God. This is such a great testimony of faith. I also have a similar journey the first time I came here in Thailand. This post encouraged me to write it. I will share it to you when I will have finished the article.

    ReplyDelete
  16. wow! i do hope i can travel alone but i'm really scared, sa mall pwede pa pero out of town and out of the country trips, no talaga. =0

    ReplyDelete
  17. You look so happy in your pics. You must have had a great experience when you went to London. So is the rumor true? Are the English guys hot? :D

    ReplyDelete
  18. same experienced here the first time i went Brunei. alone yet holding strong on the FAITH i felt inside and HOPE all will be alright. all these i overcome because of my family and friends' LOVE.

    ReplyDelete
  19. just bliv in urself and you can do wat you wanna do. i admire you for that. traveling alone is not that easy. but just looking at ur pics i know u really enjoy d days u spent in london. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. i really envy your travels in a good way. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've always wanted to go to London. Hay..

    ReplyDelete
  22. Such a great way to experience your trip I'm so envious

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, I commend you for such great courage and FAITH in facing that challenging situation! You were able to survive a test of faith and that is truly amazing! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story of holding on to our faith most especially when we are faced with difficulties! God bless! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. What an amazing experience and what a nice blog as well.

    ReplyDelete
  25. London was always been on my "To Travel" list even a few years back.

    I believe God always guide us on every travel we go to as he rest assured that we always reach our destination. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  26. I believe you it was your faith that works for you. But faith without work is dead. Now you've the lesson, a very terrible lesson in traveling. You're in a foreign land, foreign country, of course, you need to be organized, prepare everything you need. Prayer is always with you, anytime, anywhere, and the Heavenly Father is always looking after you. What answered your predicament is the prayer of faith.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very nice Post..., i love this blog so much

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow that's an awesome travel experience. I wish I could visit those places someday!

    ReplyDelete

Lakbayan Philippines Grade


My Lakbayan grade is A!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

Trotting The Globe

Travel Map
I've been to 660 cities in 26 countries
Mhe-Anne is an explorer that:
does their own thing
doesn't mind roughing it
lives on the edge
Travel cred: high
I rank in the top...
0.1% most cities visited - Philippines
0.1% most cities visited - Brunei Darussalam
0.1% most cities visited - Asia

Travel Philippines

Travel Philippines

Travel USA

Travel USA
New York - View from the Empire State Building

Travel Australia

Travel Australia
Opera House - Sydney