Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”



Sunday, May 30, 2010

Well first off my apologies to such a length between posts but here we go. The first week and a half was quite a busy one, as we had orientation on Thursday and Friday the 20th and 21st. That was great as we got to know a little bit about Australia as a whole and then more specifically about Sydney. We got to meet Rich who is the head of Campus Outreach Australia, which is located in Brisbane. The reason for this trip is to branch out of just Brisbane to other cities such as Sydney and Armidale. So it was great to get their perspective of the nation. We also met Pastor Jim and Dan and Theresa who are the main leaders of the SOW ministry which is who we are teamed up with in Sydney. SOW stands for Student Outreach to the World. We are greatful to be teaming up with them as it gives us a chance to serve and encourage them as an already existing campus ministry as well as an in to the campuses to investigate and experience a different culture.
On the first Saturday we were here SOW had the first ever SOW Mayfair which was a big barbie to bring the 3 campuses(U of Sydney, U of New South Wales, and U of Technology Sydney) together and also a sort of welcome/introduction to the Campus Outreach CCP team. It was really great to meet so many students even though all of them are either from Asia or were born in Australia but their parents are from Asia, mainly Korean. Well we had a pretty traditional and simple Australian barbie with Sausages on bread with carmelized onions and BBQ sauce. It was simple but quite delicious. Also meeting the students and interacting with them through volleyball, soccer, or even the mingling games we played. Also there was a tug-o-war contest between the schools and a chicken fight contest. Chicken fights are different over here as they were not in the water nor on one's shoulders. You hop on one foot and try to make it to the other side without either falling on your own or being knocked off balance by someone from the other team. We were pretty wiped after that.
Sunday we went to the Church plant that Pastor Jim has started and we doubled the size with our team. Which for the time we are here makes it feel a lot more welcoming and richer as Pastor Jim feels. It was great to worship the same God and same Bible and same songs even, on the other side of the world! After church we all went out to eat and were introduced to Kebabs. Which here are kind of like a gyro except it is wrapped like a burrito. It was so delicious! Australia is kind of similar to America as far as food, there is no real label of a certain type of food like Mexican, Chinese, or Thai(which is really good here too) but there is a great mix of lots of different types. There is even Mcdonalds aka Macca's here as well as other american fast foods.
On Monday we had our first day on Campuses which my teamKyle Kehoe, Beth Graham, Haley Vernard, Rachel Bond, and myself were given the campus of New South Wales for the summer. It is a fairly modern campus with very many steps and about 45000 students. I try to not look like a tourist to the students so I havent taken any photos of the campus yet but have taken a few of the city which you can find on my Facebook page. The first day was a little overwhelming for me as I am used to a smaller student body as well as knowing most people on the campus so a bit different. Well Mondays were given to us on our own to meet do more investigation of the campus and meet students but Tuesday and Thursdays are given to being with the SOW students most of the day. On Wednesdays we are all together at UTS and the other 6 people are at U of Sydney the days my team is at UNSW. We had done a little bit of research online before going to campus so we saw that there was a Campus Bible Study on monday afternoons so we went to that and then met and talked with the staff for awhile which that is the biggest ministry on campus there. So it was great to meet them and hear all they do and offer. Everything in Sydney cost money, even if you are just going to church, Either paying a toll to drive across the bridge or taking the train or a bus. The food on campus is set up like a food court in fact thats exactly what they call it. So there are no meal plans other than meeting up with friends to go eat haha.
Well after the first week we went to Bondi Beach on Friday. When we stepped off the bus we were like little kids at Christmas as it was a massive and Beautiful beach. We didnt actually stay on the beach because there was a trail that followed along the shore as you can see from my pictures it was quite the sight! The guys got off the trail a bit and followed along on the rocks near the shore and was really fun since I really liking climbing. After going to the end and back we had dinner. It was probably the Best burger I have ever had. It was from Hurricane grill and bar on the strip by the beach. I had the Breakfast Burger which had cheese, bacon, egg, lettuce and thousand island all on top of the beef. It was great. Well then Saturday was our Sabbath Day and we all did our own thing except a few of the guys listened to Mark Driscoll's 18 points of Australian Anglican Christians. It was pretty on point from what weve heard and if you know Mark Driscoll you know he's not scared to tell it like it is! Then I rested a bit and got a good workout in and re-energized for this week.
Yesterday was a long day as well. We went to church which was on prayer and we all realized we need to be doing more of it! Then we decided to walk across the bridge to get that experience which was neat but long and tiring. That night we had to come back to North Sydney for the monthly Uchap with SOW which is like a worship service for all the SOW students from the campuses to come together. Matt White, leader of our CCP team gave the talk on being fishers of men. Matthew 4:19, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Which if you know me youve seen my Georgia Tech hats and you may have noticed the Fish hook as well. I wear it to be a daily reminder of what Jesus has called us to be. It was a great talk and very challenging to all in the room.
Well I know that this is a very long post and probably could of been split into about 2 or 3 posts I think its fairly good detail of the trip thus far. I will try to update again this weekend.
Please be in prayer for both teams as this is the last week of Lectures for the students and next week is dead week so they dont have to be on campus and will be focused on studying for exams. So pray that we are able to make great connections this week and meet up with students next week as well. Also that our hearts are in the right place to truly serve this city over the next 4 weeks. Thanks

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

G'Day Mates!

Well we finally made it to Sydney after about 30 hrs of traveling. I speak for the whole team when I say we are glad to finally of made it. The Time difference is quite different as it is 5pm Wednesday evening and it is 3 am Tuesday night(well Wednesday morning but you get it) so it is a bit crazy. Should be fine after tomorrow though. First meal we had in town was at a Thai restaurant called Don Don's. Then we went to the grocery store and Sydney is definitely expensive. I was informed by one of the girls that it is the 16th most expensive cities in the world. So we are going to have to manage our money very well and fully rely on God to provide as with our essentials just as He already has provided so much. My battery is dying and I do not have the right converter that I thought I had so I will have to update later in the week when I get a chance to recharge my computer(and myself). It is going to be a busy trip but a thrilling and adventures one as well. I am looking forward to getting in a routine here and get going on the campuses and stuff. (On a roommates computer now)We are getting settled into our apartments and they are very accommodating. Not glamourous but all the guys have our own beds. all the kitchen supplies are provided. Sheets and towels are also provided. Internet is paid for however until I can get a three prong converter my laptop is dead so I will hopefully get one soon to keep updates coming. We got to go to the Opera House and see the bridge/Harbor today and it is quite amazing. There are a few parks around so plenty of places to go for a run or enjoy some leisure in the city. So for being here less than 7 hours it seems pretty sweet so far. We wont be going to any of the campuses until monday but tomorrow and friday we will be having orientation. This city is expensive and when we have about 21 dollars a/day for food when a avg meal is 9 bucks it will be big for us to stretch the dollar! I am relieved to be here and ready to start but we all need to stay reliant on God for everything! Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A short final update of support before I leave tomorrow. The Lord has been gracious enough to provide all the support for my goal of $6000!! That is a huge blessing and weight off my shoulders! This summer we were asked to develop a personal development plan. I chose to set up my plan to learn more about the importance of Integrity in all aspects in life. So I ask for your prayers that I grow abundantly in that area. Again I ask for prayers for safe travel. thanks and I look forward to posting from Sydney!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Less than a week

I can not believe how close it is til time to leave. These past months have really flown by and not really sure where the time went. With only 4 full days to pack and get final preparations out of the way, I am only about 300 dollars short of the 6000 dollar goal. On a bigger scale though my team from the last update I received just 3 days ago was we are roughly 10,000 short. Im sure it is less than that now as I have received a little support since then but there is still a need of support as a team. So I ask for prayers as we leave that most of the support comes in but that with in the first week or 2 that all funds are submitted to Campus Outreach and we can fulfill our mission as budgeted! The Lord has been so gracious in providing so much to me these past few years and especially these past few months, its hard not to want to praise Him daily, but as human nature comes there are days I struggle to spend alone with the Lord. I ask for prayers all summer that I consume myself and heart with the Lord and less of my own desires. I am extremely excited to get to Sydney and check the place out. I hope and pray that we will be able to have great interaction with the Aussie's and have great conversations. I am very interested in just seeing how different the way they think and live compared to the American Society does. As for the weather it does not seem like it gets all that cold during the winter so I am thankful that the weather should be quite pleasant while we are there! The average high is about 68 and the average low is about 45 of the time we will be there. So for some that may be a little chilly but I find that to be the perfect weather!
During some personal development time that is allotted while in Sydney I will be focusing on Integrity and why it is so important to leadership but also just in general. I pray that as a team we see 10 people come to know the Lord. I know that may be fairly low but we were told to be faithful to the Lord but to have low expectations. I know nothing is impossible with the Lord so I know I will be blown away with what God does this summer. With talking to a few teammates here recently I know we are all really excited to be getting there and we could all use your prayers so I ask that just for the whole trip from now until we leave May 17 and until our return June 25th that we are all in your prayers. Also there are 2 other teams one heading to Armidale and another to Brisbane. Both of those teams are fairly short of support as well so keep those teams in your prayers as well.

For those of you who know me, know I play soccer and with it being 2010 it is the year for the World Cup which is in South Africa, but I hope to catch some games on TV and hopefully will be a great way to meet Aussies and minister to them through that!

one of my favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I think it is very important to keep in our minds constantly as well as Matthew 6:33 "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." These 2 verses are two that I think will keep my heart in the right place this summer as for the reason I am in Australia and to overcome fears in the forthcoming weeks.

The internet in Australia is slightly different to here in the U.S. but there are internet cafe's so I hope to have this blog updated at least once a week but bare with me if the internet is rather pricey when we get there.

Thanks and God Bless

P.S. if you click on the picture of Sydney at the top of the page it will take you to the daily news paper in Sydney so that you can keep up with the current events in Australia