Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1 Month?! No way!

I cannot believe I've already been in Australia a month now!

I've been in Melbourne a week now with the team and we've just been exploring different ministries to get ideas of stuff that we can start in Adelaide. We've done soup runs for the homeless, after school care programs for kids (most refugees), helping out on the ywam base (I've been able to lead worship several times here on base), helping with a local church and their healing services, and checking out a church plant. I'm really excited to get back to Adelaide and start scheming up how we can apply some of the stuff we've seen where we live.

Being on another base has brought a lot of contrast to Adelaide and made me see things I love and appreciate about my base and it's made it feel a lot more like home. I've only been here in Melbourne a week and I already miss Adelaide and am ready to be back. I feel like God is slowly giving those feelings I talked about missing in my last blog post; the more I press on to not be ruled by emotions but rather by truth, the more the feelings come. Even here in Melbourne, there have been so many confirmations that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. I really feel like He's just got so much up His sleeve and He's just enjoying surprising me. When you really think about it, we don't enjoy a gift as much if we already know what's under the wrapping paper.

A lot of my ministry right now is just filling in and serving where there is a need. In November there will be a kind of meeting for staff where all of us will come together and there will be the assigning of roles on the base. My major role will be with the music ministry that me and some other staff members are starting. When we finish with our outreaches, in 2 months, it will be practice, practice, practice. So like I said, until all of that I'm just doing whatever I can.

I was so ready to hit the ground running after being home in the States with not much to do, but God has made me walk at a different pace. It was frustrating at first; I was definitely feeling the weight of it, as you read from my last post, but if it wasn't for God making me slow down, I really think I'd be blind to so much right now. A Scripture the Lord gave me this morning was Psalm 123 and it just talks about looking to the Lord as a servant looks to the hand of his master. And when I thought about why a servant would be looking to his master's hand I figured that it is because the servant is waiting for his master's signal, his motion, his gesture, his direction for what to do; and this is how we are to look to the Lord.

1 month in. Do I miss my family? Of course. Do I regret my decision to come here? No, but sometimes I get that outsiders perspective and wonder how I got here and why. Am I confident that I'm where He wants me? Absolutely!

Funny story that has nothing to do with anything I've been talking about: On our way over from Adelaide to Melbourne we stopped at McDonalds and they had this breakfast sandwich thing called a "brekkie" so I ordered that but I asked for just the sandwich. The lady responds, "So you want just the roll." "Noooo" I reply, "I want the sandwich." "Yeah so you want the roll." "No" I tell her, starting to get frustrated, "I want everything that comes on the sandwich not just the roll!" Finally she gave up and just placed my order. I swear I'm not too sure Australians and I speak the same language sometimes.

Now that we got that out of the family for all your support, encouragement and prayers!!!!!! Talk to you again soon!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ya feel me?

Okay I'm going to level with you guys, be open and honest: this is hard!

The best way that I know how to describe how I'm feeling is through an analogy. So you know how in marriage, it starts out being all lovey-dovey and it's all emotions and attractions. But then the emotions start to fade and reality of your commitment sets in; you begin to see all the things that you don't like and all the things that turn you off, making it hard for you to love your spouse like you did before. You wonder what's wrong and try to think about what might have happened but then you just begin to push through and love your spouse whether you feel like it or not, whether you have emotions helping fuel your love or not; this is when true love unveils itself.
For me, I haven't been feeling the same things I felt in New Zealand; I absolutely loved that country, I was more in love with every new thing I saw and experienced; but I haven't had those feelings for Australia, if anything I'm actually afraid of most things I see here (all the spiders and all their hiding places). At the same time I'm surrounded by confirmations that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be; so I'm at an impasse, I can mope because I don't feel it or I can choose to love and serve regardless if I have the feelings to fuel it all. I know what I'm going to do but it doesn't make it easy.

I experienced a similar impasse in Thailand when we were in the red light districts and I just wanted to collapse and weep but we couldn't do that, we had to push past our feelings and emotions and do what we had come there to do.

I know that I'm exactly where God wants me and when I look ahead I get so unbelievably excited, but I still miss my family and friends...and that's ok, it doesn't mean I regret anything. The same love that made me say, "I do" to the Lord's call hasn't left, it's the thing that keeps me saying, "Yes", the thing that keeps me pushing onwards. I love the Lord and I love the life that He's called me to, I just don't feel it all the time :-)

Ya feel me?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm more than surviving

Well I just got back Friday night from 4 days of surviving in the Australian bush aka the outback. It was for this outreach prep program called, "NIKO" and I was invited to come along; I found out later that for my Certificate IV in Missions I have to do a NIKO so it worked out anyways. I'm not allowed to tell you all the details of what it was like because they want to keep the element of surprise intact, but I can tell you this: I think that God's creation is beautiful...however, I don't want it all over me. Outdoorsy, roughing it, camping stuff is just not my thing, but it was totally worth it to be able to get to know everyone here on base better.

Some exciting news is that next week I'll be leaving for an outreach to different parts of Australia. We're going to go and serve some bases that we are partnered with and also bless some different churches and organizations throughout the region. The first 2 weeks of outreach we'll be serving the YWAM base in Melbourne (one of the bases that we've partnered with to form YWAM Southlands). While we're there we'll also be serving a church; doing healing services, worship, and whatever else they might need or that we're able to do. After 2 weeks we'll come back here to Adelaide and we'll help get the DTS that starts in September get going; we'll do this for 3 weeks. Then it's back on the road again to some other parts of Australia, serving and working with different organizations that reach out to Aboriginal children in need.
I'm really excited and blessed to have the opportunity to go on this outreach! The team is comprised of staff and base leaders so I'm really looking forward to getting to know them better and getting to serve alongside them. I'm also excited for the opportunity to get to see and know more of Australia and more of YWAM in Australia.
God has really opened up the doors for me to be able to go and I'm anxious to see what He has up His sleeve.

Most of the costs for the outreach are paid for but if the Lord leads you to give toward this you can either click on the Paypal "Donate" button to your upper right or you can go to the base website and donate through that. Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated!

Also, just a quick update on the music ministry: Since we're all going to be going away on outreaches, the music ministry will become official when we return in 2 months time. This will mean writing purpose statements and lots and lots of practices to get in sync with each other as musicians. Also Pablo asked me and another staff member to pray about teaching on an upcoming track DTS where we would be leading students who are interested in music and its potential in ministry. More to come on all this soon.

Prayer Points:
-Healing (several people on the base, including myself, are sick and in need of healing before outreach)
-Provision for personal transportation here in Adelaide
-Discernment and wisdom for the base and its members
-Protection as we travel
-And anything else the Lord might reveal to you :-)

Thanks everyone! Much Love!!!