Sunday, 23 October 2011

Beach Days

The Beach here is beautiful. It might be one of my favorite places to be. EVER.
Look carefully, and you'll see a dolphin jumping in one of the photos. What a moment!!!

DTS Photo

This is my Beautiful DTS. These are the individuals who are changing my life in huge ways. These are people who will change the world.

Beautiful Things

In the last few days, I've realized just how much I love this place. Down at Newcastle beach, there is a break wall that you can walk along. I took that walk for the first time on Friday night with a few of my new friends, and just enjoyed listening to the waves and got to know my mates a little better.

I went for coffee on Saturday night on Darby Street with my friends Nate, Ben, Julena, and another Ben. I had the best Soy Chai Latte of my life! The coffee/ beach culture here is so rich, and so casual and inviting. It combines all of my favorite things, so I feel right at home. after that, I stayed up really late with a bunch of people to go to the "meteor shower". While the meteors never showed up, the experience was beautiful. We all lay on the benches around the field near the house, and just talked under the stars.

The girls from my DTS all went for coffee together last night, and I had... the SECOND best soy chai latte of my life. :) We all bonded, which I think is so important. In the time that I have been here, my friend Becca has become someone I can talk about anything with, and just joke around with too! She's the best!

I really, really love it here. I'm having an amazing time.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Created Word

To look at a painting without having any understanding of the painter takes away from the meaning of the artwork. I mean, the painting might be beautifil, but it is the painter's story that allows the full experience. In the same way, God's creation declares the story of our Lord. It tells us of His creativity, of His generosity, of His ABUNDANT LOVE for us. He has painted for us a world purposed for our enjoyment. He has canvased a picture of His plan for our lives, of His promise to His people, and of His love.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Youth Street!!

Youth Street is this epic vision that YWAM Newcastle has for local (and not so local) young people. YS consists of an afternoon program that meets young people where they are at. The "crew" is divided up into different teams: Skate, Skoot, Sports, Dance, and Surf. We split up into our teams on crew and leaders and spend a few hours on saturday afternoons out and around Newcastle, doing what the crew love and having a great time. I have the privilege of hanging with one of the YS sports teams for my time on DTS, and I'm stoked about it. The crew are so awesome and so enthusiastic.

This past Saturday, we played beach cricket!! We had a great time with that, but since there were so many of us, our game didn't last too long. We ended up just cruising along on the beach, picking up shells, skipping rocks and getting to know each other. I had such a good time. 

The day wraps up at Lewis House, where all the teams come together for dinner and for Youth Street Live.  YS Live is a service for youth that includes worship, a talk, prayer and all that good stuff. 

Saturdays have already become my favourite day of the week here, because  of Youth Street. This ministry is so simple and so effective.. YS is growing so fast, and so strong, and it's really making a difference in the lives of so many of the crew. 

Only six days to go 'til the next one...

Outreach Planning

Hello Everyone!

So I know you are all really wanting more info on what we have planned for the outreach phase of our lecture, and I'm really sorry it has taken me this long to update you!

My school will be splitting into two teams for outreach. One team will travel first to Latvia and then to Russia, and the second will be travelling to Cambodia. Both of the teams will be focusing on un-reached people groups and people at-risk.

I am proud to say that I will be on the Cambodia outreach team with 7 other students, with the fabulously hilarious Jeremy as our leader. We will spend the first part of our outreach phase in Cambodia's capital city working with an orphanage there, and running a program for children at risk. We may even get the chance to teach english! Then, we will go out to a smaller city, where we will be volunteering our time at a hospice, and helping out with a few community development projects. I am really looking forward to our trip, because I have the opportunity to do some things in the world that will contribute to real change. We will get to share God's love by taking it to those who otherwise may never have chance to know it. We will get to demonstrate God's character by humbling ourselves and serving others.

The total cost of this trip will be around 3400 AUD. (1 AUD = 1 CAD). I currently have about 1000 AUD, so I still need to raise about 2400 dollars. If you feel called to give towards my trip please send me an email and we can figure out the best way for you to do that. Even if it's just $5, every donation will help!

If you would like to support me in prayer on this, I'd love to hear from you, because this is going to be equally important.  I want to set up a solid prayer network for my team, for Cambodia, for our outreach plans, and for our missions, and if each person who reads this prays consistently for  an aspect of this mission, I can't imagine a more solid foundation for a hugely impacting, life-changing trip. Again, fire me an email ( and I'll give you a prayer topic!! :)

I will keep updating you on our plans as we get to know more of the details!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Kangaroos, Koalas, and Compassion.

Hello Everyone!

I'm safe and sound, and completely loving my time here in Australia!! Yes, the weather is warmish, and getting warmer by the day.

At first, I was a little hesitant about a few things, but they all looked heaps brighter after I had the chance to eat, sleep, and get to know a few people.

Life here at Lewis House in Newcastle is super busy, and so time is already flying by. I can hardly believe that I have been here for just over a week, but at the same time i feel like I have been here forever.The people here are so genuine and so kind that they almost instantly felt like family. My roommates are three super sweet girls that I'm getting along with great. We share a teeny little bedroom with two bunks, but it isn't as difficult as it might sound. Our regular days are filled with a variety of things that are all focused in their own way on serving one another, and serving God. I get up at about 6, have my first cup of tea for the day, and have my quiet time in the pretty sunny dining room. At first, I really struggled to settle into it, but I'm growing to treasure this half hour in which I really just start my day off right. At 8 o'clock, we have Tidy Time when everyone on base has a job that contributes to keeping the house clean. Then we have our lectures, which are all around so interesting. We have heard from some great speakers already, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weeks' topics like crazy! This week is "Father Heart of God" week, but I'll post more on that soon. Our evenings vary from free time to more lectures to little outreaches.

My DTS is doing a few local outreaches during our lecture phase. Today, we went on a prayer walk near a brothel in Mayfield (the suburb we live in), praying for the women who work there, and just praying for the situation of brothels as a whole. (FYI Prostitution is completely legal in Australia, and while the law states that women must be 18 to work in the sex trade, a blind eye is turned on the younger women who get involved with it.) We are also spending some of our evenings working in a local soup kitchen and hanging out with elderly people in the home across the street.

Finally, this past weekend was Base Retreat, and everyone from YWAM Newcastle went camping at a beautiful place called Rosewood. It was.... LEGENDARY. I have never felt so dirty as I did by the time we got back, but we all got so close in just one weekend, and I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

I am beginning to see God move in ways that I NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE. I am realizing that I am in the business of changing lives, and I am loving it. He is so good, and so in love with His World and His Children and with Me.

I love you all, and I miss you so much.
For you Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving!