Monday, February 22, 2010

Starting to Feel Like Home

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! This will be the place to find the chronicles of my adventures doing ministry, experiencing life and seeing the sights in Australia. I will also try to provide an inside glimpse of what full-time ministry looks like, through the exciting and hard times, that is not often seen externally. So without further ado, here goes!

Since I've already been here close two weeks already, I'm going to catch you up by providing the highlights or major events!

Arrival-Wednesday Feb. 10th
After nearly 28 hours of traveling and nearly missing two connecting flights, I FINALLY arrived in Brisbane, Australia! I didn't get much sleep that day because my teammates kept me up to help me beat jet lag as soon as possible. As much as I grumbled about them doing that, I really appreciated it because it Did help me get over it more quickly. That night we took the bus to South Bank which is right next to downtown and the Brisbane river. We had our first team dinner! Fish and CHIPS! It wasn't just us though! We were accompanied by thousands of fruit bats hovering above us in the trees along with a couple Ibis birds on the ground! Google 'Ibis'! Then my teammates took me on the CityCat. Basically the CityCat is a water taxi that takes you up and down the Brisbane river, stopping at each bank of the river at different locations! After this I crashed HARD!

Impact Camp-Feb. 11th-13th
Right away the next day, I jumped straight into ministry! Awesome! Impact Camp is a retreat for all the students who will be leaders on campus, both with evangelism and discipleship. It was SUCH a great time meeting the Aussie students for the first time and getting to know them! It is so encouraging to see these Aussie students so passionate for the Lord and ready to take a leadership role to see that more students get involved with 'Student Life', our campus club, and take the initiative to share their faith with lost students. During this retreat I had the opportunity to give a devotional with something I'm very passionate about-prayer. I talked about how we shouldn't always focus on praying to God to change our circumstances but, rather, pray for the hearts of those who are in difficult times. I used Paul and his sufferings for Christ as an example. The Lord put him through many trials, pains, and sufferings but can you think of anyone in the Bible who was more passionate about knowing Christ than Paul? I can't! We go through those times in order that we may know Him MORE; what His desire for us is! I also led a one hour training session on evangelism and how to share your faith. I'm continuing to see that I have a passion for teaching and equipping young men and women to do ministry well! To sum it up, it was a Blast!

Planning/Strategy/Organization/Preparations, etc.-Feb. 15-19th
The reason the title of this small section seems very boring is because it more or less was! One of the things I struggle with, not only in ministry but in a lot of areas, is planning everything out and doing administrative type stuff. I'm an activator, which means I like to 'go get it' and get my hands and feet wet. But, planning and strategy in ministry is Crucial and I'm hoping in the Lord that I'll grow in this area. Our team put in close to 30 hours worth of meetings, planning out schedules, events, bible study and discipleship materials, team development plans, team norms, etc.

Day With the Lord-Friday Feb. 19th
Today we got to spend the whole day with the Lord! It was awesome! I went to downtown Brisbane and sat in a Gloria Jeans coffee shop sipping some espresso! I was able to spend a ton of time diving into His Word, journaling/thinking, and reading 'A Short History of Philosophy' by Robert Solomon. That evening our team went geocaching ( at Kangaroo's Point in South Bank!
Struggles: jetlag, restlessness, homesickness, no a/c, missing family and my girlfriend Liz and her family, missing friends, lack of control with transportation-I have to ride the bus everywhere, food-I can't eat what I normally like to eat back in the States.
Blessings: the opportunity to grow and trust in the Lord with my 'struggles', sweet times of prayer and reading God's Word, fellowship with my teammates, meeting the Aussie students and getting a glimpse of what ministry will look like, tim-tam slams, great coffee, skype, a place to sleep, the Holy Spirit!