Category Archives: Travel

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.

A Late and Long Update

“Sometimes you’ll have to go back to where God last spoke to you.”

 

 The last few weeks have been absolutely crazy. We’ve been back on campus in Townsville for three weeks. During those three weeks we’ve had lectures on Missions, Spiritual Warfare, and then specific training about to run and put together programs while on outreach. 

 

For the most part it’s been great, just like the rest of this amazing and crazy adventure. However, just recently I started having family put on my mind. Through circumstances of other people in my team, and my own. And a few things that God was speaking to me were things about trust, family relationships, and even more trust. 

 

 For a few weeks now, trusting God has been a real struggle. To be quite honest, I was scared to be vulnerable with him again after Lordship Week. So I didn’t trust him, at least not the way I was trusting him. So when I got a few messages from my mom about some family situations back home; I wanted to leave. I had a good reason to. I knew that YWAM would always be here and I would always be able to come back to complete my DTS. And I started questioning whether or not this DTS was something I needed to finish. Did I need this certificate to take away everything I learned? Technically no, but it would’ve nice to have. Through this, Becky, my one-on-one staff (the person we meet with weekly) talked with me about this for a long time. I talked to Abby, another girl who is here on staff. And then I talked to Rhoda, who simply reminded me that I might have to backtrack and remember what God last told me to do and to think about whether or not I trust God with my family. 

 

 So, as much as I might want to leave right now, or in the future; I’m not going to. In order to keep going the way that God told me to go, I need to stay and trust that he is working with the spiritual health and the bodies health with people back home in Minnesota. 

 

 Anywho, I’m about to begin the secong outreach with this amazing group of people. During our week in Cairns, Australia, we all became so close. The group of us really began to feel like a family, and I’m so excited to experience the next stretch with them! Although I don’t feel very excited at all right now because of circumstances back home, I know it will be an amazing growing experience. 

 

 This next outreach is seven weeks, and honestly the Youth Adventures team is super spoiled with locations.  

 

 For the first 2 weeks, our team will be going to Palm Island! While we are there we will be working with the churches there, possibly some home churches, and continuing to build on the relationships that YWAM has began to develop with people there through youth mission trips they take there. 

 

 Then for the following week, we will be back in Townsville and staying on base (other outreaches will not be back on base until the seven weeks is over). While on base, we will be spending the school days at a Christian school here in Townsville where we’ve been told we’ll have a lot of opportunity to speak into kids about their identity and value. 

 

 Then for the final 4 weeks of outreach, we will be flying to Papua New Guinea! We aren’t entirely sure what it will look like there for us yet, but we are suspecting a lot of school and church work. 

 

 On a completely unrelated note. Besides the emotional stress about stuff going on back home;  I have Strep Throat! After being on Penicillin for a few days, I went back to the clinic and after a long wait in the waiting room I got out on Amoxicillin for five days. 

Prayer points:

  • Good Health both here and at home. 
  • Clarity and peace of mind. 
  • An easy time with these antibiotics. 
  • And excitement for this outreach. 

Outreach Started!

I’m just going to apologize right now for not posting any real updates recently. It been a long couple weeks for me and it’s been insanely busy lately! 
Lordship week was crazy and amazing all at the sametime. The entire week we talked about what it meant to really hand things over to God and not pick them back up. It was a huge week, for many more reasons, but in all honesty I would much rather wait to go into detail about it in a later post! 
So moving on from Lordship Week, after that week I wasn’t really looking forward to the next week of lectures; but it ended up being in the top five easily! We talked about Evangelism for the entire week, and to be honest the whole concept of Evangelism has seemed scary to me. It seemed like a lot of work, and uncomfortable. But the speaker took the pressure off with two statements. 

“Evangelism isn’t a job or an act, it’s a lifestyle. If you love Jesus, it happens automatically.”

If they reject what you have to say, it’s not you who’s being rejected. It’s Jesus and the good news. But it planted a seed.”

Hearing that took the load off for sure. It was a relief to hear evangelism put into words so simple. Also, on the last day of the week, we got to welcome in a new Medical Ship! 
Anyway, as a lot of you know, Australia was just hit by Cyclone Debbie not that long ago. When it was still a few days away from the coast, it was predicted that the eye of the storm would go right through Townsville. And the YWAM base there is one of the safest buildings to be in during a storm like that. So our plan was to prepare everything and then just stay indoors. Because of that, our first outreach was delayed a few days until the following Wednesday. Then on Wednesday the Youth Adventures team (my team) left Townsville and went north to Cairns. So now here we are, in Cairns and volunteering with Youth Week by going around and interacting with kids and asking them how they feel involved with council and how they would like to see things change in their communities. So far it’s been great, and there has been amazing growth with our team. 

No Matter how much we Argue, God wins. 

It’s crazy to think that I’ve already been here for five, going on six weeks. It’s even crazier to experience and see the growth not only in me but my brothers and sisters around me. I’m so glad I get to call these people friends and family. I’ve learned just as much from them as I have from the various speakers in lectures. 

 So many exciting things are happening, not only for me but for the entire Townsville Campus! YWAM Townsville does a ton with PNG, and just since I have been here, there has been a new partnership with PNG and Townsville; a direct flight from PNG to and from Townsville! That’s huge for Townsville considering they have such a small airport and don’t do international flights! Along with that, a new medical ship may be on its way! Medical Ships Australia has a few ships there already now (a new one just joined already), and now another new ship is being considered! Thirdly, Norway wants to get envolved with the Medical Ship Ministries! To say the least, a ton of amazing stuff is happening here, I’m stoked for it all! 

 Anywho, back to week six. This weeks theme is Relationships. And to say the least, I was already overwhelmed and frustrated– I really wasn’t looking forward to another “heart and spirit” week like Identity week. Let me just set the overall picture for you…

 The first two weeks were gamechanging for me. I had awesome revelations, God spoke to me in such big ways that I’ve never experienced, it was just amazing. Then along came Character and Nature of God Week

  Pretty much the only take aways I got were this;  Gods character will never contradict his nature and his nature will never contradict his character” and “Eternal VS Sequential God is all frustrating and people are really opinionated about this and I hate it but I need to be willing to hear both sides“. Let me explain that last one…


 This was something I struggled with a ton. It all really comes down to what you think and believe, the only one that really knows is God. Personally, I don’t like the idea of God kinda just going with the flow and waiting for us to follow through on our end, I like to think that God knows exactly WHERE we are going, just the journey may be a bit different; either way, that’s not the point of this blog, but if you want to talk about it just shoot me a message! 

   All of that being said, that week of lectures really sort of left me in a funk. Then week 5 was bible study, which was great. We learned different methods of bible study and I discovered that meditation/devotional is definitely me way of choice. But throughout that week, I still wasn’t clearly hearing God. 

Well I wasn’t hearing the answers that I was wanting to hear. I was asking for very specific answers and revelations, that’s what my prayers consisted of. Asking for clarity on this and that. Each time I heard the same thing; “Just rest and now that I am a present father.”


That wasn’t the answer I wanted. 
   But then on Friday, I suddenly felt like God was more silent than he had been. Over the two weeks while I was getting frustrated, I got small things here and there, but on Friday, there was nothing. On Saturday, there was nothing. On Sunday– nothing. So then Monday came along, and Relationship week started. Nothing really resonated with me in the lecture, but Monday night I was fed up with God. So I went to the prayer room after meeting with my Outreach team. And to be quite honest, I threw a spiritual tantrum. 
  I basically lectured God as if it would make a difference, as if it would convince him to tell me anything. And again, I got a answer along the same lines of just resting

“Stop and rest with me. Lean into my word and trust that I am listening.”

  Once again, I wasn’t happy with what he said. So I got angry at him again. At that moment I said that I wasn’t moving from that chair until he spoke to me in a way that was loud and clear. So I tried lecturing Him again, and this time, I swear he was yelling right back at me and matching my frustration. 

“Aren’t I enough? Do you have such little trust and faith in Me, that you can’t simply come and sit with me?”

   But right away, I started to say it was just my imagination talking. And to be completely and 100% honest and open with you, for a split second, I started to question whether or not any of this was real- whether or not God himself was real. As soon as those ideas started popping up, I knew that was spiritual warfare. The enemy was trying to spot the communication I had been waiting for. 
  Then when I started to pray out loud, I swear I don’t even really remember starting. But I said “It breaks my heart when I speak and you don’t trust it and give credit to your imagination“, the crazy part is that I had just been thinking a few minutes earlier; God, it would be A LOT easier to hear you if I could hear you with my ears and not just my heart. And then I was thinking of the right words to basically tell him that I hated that whenever I thought I heard him, I had to doubt and say it was just my imagination. 
So, after having my little tantrum for a few hours, here is what I got from it…
   1. I need to stop, and trust that God hears me when I pray and has heard all of my prayers. 

2. I need to have faith in God, and just sit with him. The relationship God wants to have with me is casual and open, and it takes two to sit and talk. One person can’t hold up two ends of the conversation. 

3. He is enough. He is worthy of everything and is the creator of everything; how is he not enough?

4. Gods heart breaks when mine breaks, and when I have my weak moments. 

5. God can get frustrated too. As much as we want to talk to him, he wants to talk to us and spend time with us even more. And it’s frustrating when we don’t want to spend quality time with him. 
And this is just the beginning of week six. 
 Some prayer points I need some covering on are:

  • Peace of mind
  • No distractions when I go to spend quality time with God to just talk
  • A Childlike faith and a open heart for this week of lectures
  • Prayer for the next step after DTS! I have a small idea of what it’ll look like, but I would still love the prayer on it. 

#mindblown

“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” Psalm 33:6

      Can we just take a moment to think about how massive God is and how enormous his entire creation is!? To help you with that, take a look at this video! It really puts things into perspective! It’s extremely long, but it is definitely worth it. 
(1) How GREAT is our God?

       Now, anyway, onto this week; I didn’t really connect much to the topic until today (Friday). We had an hour and half or so of just reconnecting time. We watched the video, and we were all completely blown away by it. Then after the video, we had a worship session that was probably the best we’ve had for awhile. 
      Multiple times I’ve had the realization that we are tiny, we are microscopic compared to the giant creation that we live in. But it really sank in today. 
      For the past week and a half roughly, I’ve honestly have had a hard time hearing Gods voice. A handful of people I have talked to have. After having so much growth in such a short amount of time, I was in a place of expecting to hear something huge again. I was honestly getting really frustrated too; so today was a huge spiritual breakthrough for me. I finally was able to hear what I’ve needed to after everything else that I’ve learned the past few weeks. 

Rest and trust me. 

      So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to trust that he’s going to lead me where I need to go and just relax; and not stress out about it anymore.