5 // 2014

Summertime in London-town

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Ayana Witherspoon, an English Literature student from Pepperdine University in Malibu, reflects
on her month spent in London, interning at Youthwork HQ.

My time here in London has been pretty amazing and I’m really sad that I’m leaving in a week. My top three favourite things while here: Hillsong, my internship, and SHOPPING (shopping has probably been my favourite but I can’t place that before church or Youthwork, it just doesn’t feel right). All of these of course encompass the two loves of my life: Jesus and fashion. Attending Hillsong London Church has been such a surreal experience. I have a lot of Hillsong songs on my iPod and have seen their concert videos and it was amazing to be in front of the group just worshipping my heart out. I came to London with a really hurtful experience from my past that definitely still needed healing and the worship aspect of Hillsong has really helped me in that area.

So London has been a great time of healing and growing closer to the Lord for me. It’s amazing because I don’t have my Bible here with me but I have the app on my iPhone and I brought three daily devotionals over: Jesus Calling, Dear Jesus and The Daily Bread (I highly recommend getting all of them!) and the Lord has spoken to me every day through these; he always knows what place my thoughts and heart are in and has something to lift me up and remind me that his love never fails.

My internship has been a great spiritual experience at well. God has really shown himself to me here at Youthwork through the people and the content of the magazine. The people are so wonderful and kind; I can tell that the presence of God is in this place and even though I hate getting up early to come, I love the environment that I enter when I get here. Also, I LOVE that they have a prayer room. It may seem like whatever but there have been two days so far where things from my past have been really heavy on my heart and I just needed to go in there and cry and have time with God ‐ so that’s been wonderful. On top of a great environment, the work they’ve given me has been really substantial, they’ve given me articles and small pieces to edit, contribute to, and sometimes even write and that is exactly what I’ve been looking for in an internship. Also, the content that I work on has been really enlightening and inspiring. I wish I could move to London and work permanently for Youthwork; it’s been an amazing place to be.

Last but certainly not least: shopping. I have shopped my life savings away while here in the UK. I came, I saw, I conquered… every Zara in central London. The prices are ridiculous but they have so many things that the stores in America don’t; now I see why everyone is so fabulously dressed here. I’ll actually be heading to the post office today to send a box of clothes home because I don’t want to pay an arm and leg for baggage charges at the airport. I currently have $1.19 in my checking account and will be begging my parents for more money when we Skype tonight. I’m living the life! So yeah I’ve really enjoyed my time here in London and I have one weekend left to get some last minute things done, I’m thinking: Borough Market, Abbey Road, Hillsong one more time, the Tower of London, and – of course – one last round of shopping.

Ayana Witherspoon is currently studying English Literature and Professional Writing at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She graduates next year and hopes to enter into magazine publishing and become an editor of a Christian or fashion magazine (because they're so interchangeable...!).