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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!

Day 1 in Australia

First of all, the trip of actually getting here was crazy. It had its ups and downs; but it turns out that if you bring the flight attendants candy and give it to them as you get on, they’ll give you almost anything and give you the special treatment. It works great and honestly all of the flights were way more enjoyable.

Our first flight was from Colorado to LA. That flight was fine, nothing really extraordinary happened during that flight. It was extremely short, and we landed early enough to have plenty of time to make it across LAX from the Domestic part to the International part.
During that flight, we actually saw a girl from our DTS but weren’t sure if it was her until we finally made it past customs in Brisbane.
We met up with her during baggage claim, and we found out we were on the same flight to Townsville as she was. The only problem was that the line for security to get out of the International part of the airport was long, the bus ride to the Domestic part was long, and the line for baggage drop off and security was even longer. And we only had 30 minutes roughly to get to our last flight. Luckily we found a flight attendant who was able to rush us through the baggage drop off and brought us to the front of security. Then from there we had to figure out where our gate was since it didn’t have it on our boarding pass. When we finally found out, we had to sprint across the whole airport basically until we got to our flight and made it just in time before the last call.

That flight ended up being one of the best to be honest. We had a great time being able to sit next to each other and get to know each other since it wasn’t crowded on the plane at all. We met up with some of the staff right after we got off, and a handful of others in our DTS. Then from there we loaded up and left for our base, as well as seeing the beach that is only a 15 minute walk from our base.

Now, tomorrow we start our first official day of the course. So much has already happened, and so much more is to come! I can’t wait!

My First Test

I know I said I probably wouldn’t update that often, but my next update will cover a few days and it will be hard enough to fit everything into it!
Alright, so I should start by saying that I am so appreciative of Zandreya and her family! They’ve been extremely welcoming, and it has been a blast getting to know all of them and Zandreya before we start our YWAM adventure!
But like many people in our DTS has posted on Facebook about; the Devil is coming for us because we are about to do great things in Australia and grow in ways we won’t expect. Multiple people from the DTS have posted about something going off track. Whether it’s health, finances, Visa problems, and that sort of thing.
Well for me, it seems that I got stuck with Altitude Sickness (or Mountain Sickness). Since Colorado is so much higher than Minnesota;


So, it’s not hard to see why I would get sick. Headache, shortness of breath, nusea, and extreme fatigue. Usually, I’ll be honest, when I get sick, I get crabby. Extremely crabby. And I easily could have woken up and decided I was going to be in a bad mood.
But there’s no reason for me to do that. There is so much ahead of me, and knowing that I would have made my short time in Colorado somewhat miserable; I decided to make the most of it and look forward to what God has in store for me.