Category Archives: Missions

See Ya’ Later, Townsville!

Well, that was the most painful experience ever. The last 48 hours have been extremely bittersweet. 
On one hand, I’m genuinely heartbroken to leave YWAM Townsville. Over the last 22 weeks, I’ve not only learned more than I expected and grew more than I could have imagined. I’ve also made relationships that’ll last a lifetime. The last 22 weeks have been absolutely amazing, terrifying, and exciting all at the same time. And nobody will completely understand our adventure unless they lived it. Not even other people who have done a DTS will be able to! The family I found with YWAM Townsville has a very special place in my heart. I can’t wait to see where everyone ends up and what adventures God gives them! That’s why every goodbye ended with “See you on Facebook!” and “talk to you later!” 


On the other hand, I can’t wait to see what’s next. I can’t wait to see what happens in Cairns over the next week. Then, I can’t wait to get home! I can’t wait to see what’s in store, and I can’t wait to share this amazing adventure with everyone who has supported me throughout this crazy journey!

But I can honestly say, this isn’t the last I’ve seen of Townsville or the YWAM base there. It holds a very near and dear place in my heart, and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow and impact the city, the nation, and the world. 

Thank you to everyone who has made my stay there comfortable. You’ve each taught me things you don’t even know you did, and blessed me so much! 

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#blessed

Well, today our seven week outreach phase came to an end. The last seven weeks definitely blew all of my expectations! Seven weeks ago, I thought I would have been in a completely different position. I thought I would be with the Youth Adventures team working in Papua New Guinea. But four weeks ago, I don’t even know how it happened so seamlessly, I ended up flying to Darwin, Australia to join the Reef to Outback team. 
With Reef to Outback, over the last four weeks I was able to work with different aboriginal communities. We went to one community a handful of times during the week and we were involved in the Sunday evening service there. Then on Thursdays we were able to go to a different community and continue building relationships between them and YWAM Darwin. There we would listen to their worship music, share stories, and pray for them and they would pray for us as well. 
During this outreach, I was tested and stretched more than I thought I would be! The team was staying at the YWAM base in Darwin and honestly we had it pretty good even though the rooms were small. We had WIFI, a variety of meals every day for lunch and dinner, air conditioning, a pool, and the lagoon swimming area wasn’t far from us. We had it good. But I still found it extremely challenging at times. I got distracted easily because of the things we were lucky enough to have. So I really had to be intentional about spending time in the word and having my quiet time. 
Also, during this outreach, some things we were planning on doing fell through and couldn’t happen. So the things we were able to do, both the big things and small things were a complete blessing. And I had to really learn to see even the small things as a blessing, if it wasn’t for me, it could have been for a teammate or the community. 
We also got to do street evangilelisim. Which my time in Cairns with Youth Adventures totally got me ready for. Two others on my team and I, decided to use the time to bless the homeless community as well. On two different occasions, we bought some sandwiches and water bottles and handed them out to people. It an amazing thing being able to see someone’s eyes light up not because they are getting food or water, but also because they were being acknowledged by someone. There is still ALOT of tension between white people and the aboriginal communities in Australia, and there is a stigma around them and anyone who is homeless that they aren’t worthy of even being acknowledged or even making eye contact. So it was amazing to bless people with both some lunch and just friendly conversation and some prayer as well. 
We also had an opportunity to go out to the outback, camp for two nights, and help with a family day at a boarding school before the students left for their holiday. That had its ups and downs for sure. On the first day, I hurt my foot. And before realizing how bad it was, I continued to hike on it and now I’m still paying for it a week later. 
But today, our outreach is over and we are back in Townsville. But our outreach ended on a bang! Every Thursday we got to go to a community to meet with Auntie Helen and her husband, Uncle Albert (for elders, in the aboriginal community, they address then as aunties and uncles). And it was usually a short visit, short and sweet. But yesterday, the very last thing we were doing for outreach, Auntie Helen’s family was all there. We got to meet he son, Bill, his wife, and other family. It was such an amazing time! Worship went longer and was so much fun. A few of us got really into the dancing during worship and that broke the ice for the entire time. There was laughter and so much smiling. And after worship, everyone from the community that was there wanted prayer.
Here are our team leaders, Grace and Jason (on the ends), and in the middle is Auntie Helen and Uncle Albert. 

Here is a picture of one of our team leaders, Jason, praying with Uncle Bill. Bill made rounds for sure. 

Selfies were a huge hit with everyone there!



Honestly it was such a blessing for the day to end so well. This community definitely has my heart!

Outreach has absolutely blown my mind and has exceeded any expectations that I had. Now, we only have two weeks left of this adventure! Crazy! The next two weeks, we’ll be with our entire school of 60 people! Many of which we haven’t seen for two and a half months because they were on the medical ship! We’ll be debriefing outreach and telling stories for a week, and then the final week will be “re entry” week. The week will focus on equipping us to go home. To go back to our old environment that probably hasn’t changed much while we have all changed a TON. It’s absolutely crazy to think that I have been out of Minnesota since January! Absolutely crazy. 

After my two weeks in Townsville are over, I’ll be flying up to Cairns to see a family friend and stay with them. I’m also going to try to reconnect with a church we worked with will there during our very first bit of outreach. Then, on July 6th, I’ll be leaving in the morning and getting back to America a few hours before I even left Cairns. Crazy, I’ll gain the day I lost when I came to Australia! 

Thank you for your support! Please continue to pray for me while I’m here! Also pray for an easy transition when I come home!

So This is Happening…

First let’s backtrack a few months. At the beginning of my DTS, I didn’t feel quite right about which outreach team I was supposed to be on. I had applied with Reef to Outback as my choice, but I didn’t really feel like it was entirely right. I could see myself on the team, but I didn’t feel peaceful about it. Youth Adventures was my other option, I felt excited about that one and I felt like it would be a good fit for me. But I still wasn’t 100% sure about it. However after a few things came up, it was obvious that Youth Adventures was the right choice. 
And I grew so much already with Youth Adventures. I’ve been out of my comfort zone more than I would’ve liked already. For example on Mothers Day because of how things played out at the church we were at on Palm Island, I talked about Gods Faithfulness. On the spot. With very little preparation. And now this week, we are teaching students about our Identity in Christ at a school here in Townsville. So just know that what has happened has nothing to do with YWAM or the Youth Adventures team
For those that don’t know, the week before we left for Palm Island, everything seemed to go wrong for me. At the beginning of the week there was a family situation, then the next day there was a bigger situation with my family that came up and to be honest I was contemplating going home at that point. Then on Wednesday, I went to the medical clinic to get checked for Strep Throat when my throats started to not feel so hot. Luckily, I get step quite a bit, so I was pretty sure that was what I had. 
But I waited a few hours at the clinic to have the doctor look at my throats and say “Yup. It’s strep.” and give me Penicillin even though I told him repeatedly since I left in a few days, I would have liked to be on Amoxicillin (Amoxy) because I know for a fact I’ve never EVER had a negative side affect with it. But he didn’t listen to me. So I took Penicillin and honestly, everything went from bad to worse. I was having constant headaches, nausea, dizzy almost all the time, I was short of breath for a lot of the days and nights; and because of all that, I had a few big panic attacks because 1.) I was leaving on Saturday for Palm Island and 2.) I knew it was the Penicillin and I just couldn’t get a step ahead. 

Then came Friday, the first day I was able to make myself go to lectures while feeling like I was hit by a bus. So while I was sitting in there, feeling awful, I found out that the where the Youth Adventures team would be staying in PNG would have a higher risk of being exposed to Tuberculosis (TB). And because of that, I had to consider my options. 

  • Go to PNG and risk being exposed to that and not being able to go back to work in the states as soon because of the environment and clients I work with. 
  • Do an alternative Outreach, even switch teams. 
  • Or go home early. 

So after talking to my team leaders (shoutout to Lloyd and Becky who proved just how patient they both are), it was decided that I would do the two week outreach on Palm Island, and the one week in Townsville. Then for the final four weeks (when Youth Adventures would be going to PNG), I would be flying to Darwin, Australia to join Reef to Outback. 
After talking to a handful of people back home about this, it just felt right. A few people pointed out that all these things had been adding up the week before outreach, it hasn’t really been on my heart to go to PNG, and the fact I was originally on Reef to Outback. Once the choice was made and it was all said and done, I felt so peaceful about it. Of course I’m going to miss my amazing Youth Adventures family. But there was a reason I was so torn between the two outreach options at the beginning of the DTS. God has something in store for me and I can’t wait to see what it is! 
So this is happening! This Sunday, I’ll be leaving Townsville and going to Darwin for the next four weeks. 
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me this far! It’s been a whirlwind for people here and back home! Here are some prayer points!

  • Safe travels for me when I leave for Darwin and my Youth Adventures Family as they go off to PNG! 
  • To be giving out of an abundance! Not getting burnt out! 
  • Finances to continue to work out! Due to my flights already being booked and locked in for going to and from PNG, I had to pay for my flights to and from Darwin; it’s really put a kink in finances for my flight home for July 6th.