Well…I’m simultaneously exhausted and refreshed at the same time. It has been such an incredible couple of weeks. From ship tour, to new DTSs starting and base retreat, it’s all been super amazing. Like I said, I’m exhausted from the busyness, but refreshed from God’s grace. I’ll give you a run down on what has been going on.
The ship tour ended on a completely amazing note; many tours were given and a lot of money was raised. There is still a long way to go with the fundraising, but God is so faithful to provide. Awareness of the ship got spread throughout the whole city and far beyond that. The ship and its crew have now moved on to a harbour in Sydney where they will complete the Overcoming the Impossible tour! I’m so excited to see all the amazing things that will be accomplished with the MV Ammari.
Last Friday we left the YWAM base and made our way to a friend’s property – Rosewood – where we set up camp for the weekend. There were about 180 of us all together that had to be shuttled out with all our tents and gear, but we all made it eventually. We took over a huge area and constructed our tent city. We rented a massive marquee to hold all our meetings and such under, and we also had a few kitchen tents and tents to sleep. Once we got everything set up and everyone fed, it was time for a bit of a worship night. We held an awesome acoustic worship service under our huge covering and just spent time with God as a big family. It was such a cool way to kick off the weekend; we had opened up space and time for God to move among us and we definitely saw him come through.
On Saturday we started out bright and early with breakfast and bit of worship and teaching. We had a guest speaker, Tom Hallas, come and talk to us about having hope in God and how the results of hope are faith and love. Another thing he talked about was not habouring any bitterness and resentment toward God. We looked at a few examples in the Bible and so many people, even though they were in hard times, never spoke to God with bitterness in their words. We need to get our attitudes aligned with God’s will. After the time of teaching and discussion, we had a break for lunch and then just some hangout time in the afternoon. A bunch of people were playing sport and there were also a few groups going on hikes. I, however, joined a group of sun-tanners and book-readers…That was my favorite activity. It was so nice to hang out with others, but still be resting; it was definitely much needed. Later on in the evening, we all gathered around the fires for dinner and some family time. We had tea and Milo (a chocolate malt kind of drink…Super Aussie) and just mingled around a few fires. The evening got pretty cold and it was quite a battle to stay warm in our tents, but, by sleeping in my jeans and using my towel as an extra blanket, I managed to keep all my fingers and toes.
Sunday was pretty similar to the previous day, we did have a different teaching however. Our base leader, David Stephenson, shared a message on worldview and consequences. It was amazing to spend some time thinking about how our actions are a direct result of our worldview and, often, when we are prone to a certain area of sin or weakness, it is because of an incorrect worldview in the specific area. If we seek God’s heart in matters, we should not have to struggle with certain areas that have always proved to be difficult for us. We also spent some time speaking about sexual impurity and how it is such a declining thing in the world. It was definitely a harder subject to discuss, but, in the end, talking about those kind of deeper topics brings so much life, personally and as a community. It was also an amazing opportunity to share a bit of my testimony with a girl I was discussing stuff with; God has done huge things in my life and I love that I’m always getting chances to tell people about it. The rest of the day was filled with more reading and relaxing. A bunch of people had brought hammocks to set up and I definitely spent a while dozing in one of them. (Total side note: if anyone feels the need to bless me with an Eno hammock, I would not object in the slightest. 😛 ) In the evening we had a worship service and then more hangout time around the fires. It was the most perfect end to an awesome weekend.
On Monday we met in the morning and then packed up all our tents and everything before we made our way back home. I had such an amazing weekend, even though the nights were freezing and my back definitely noticed it wasn’t sleeping on a bed. It was an incredible time to really rest and just spend time with God and the people I live with.
I’ve noticed, since I’ve moved here, that I’m really quite introverted. I love my alone time and being around people all the time exhausts me. Because if this, this past weekend definitely tired me out in some senses, but I also feel rested in the fact that I had some amazing quality time with God; I was able to hangout with people in a way that wouldn’t exhaust me. Sitting in a group of people while all of our noses are in our own books was a great way to hangout but still rest. It’s so cool how God knows just what you need and I definitely need some rest before I make the trip home in a couple of days. I’m starting to come to terms with the reality that visiting home for two weeks won’t be restful, especially since one week is taken up with the many wedding festivities that are to take place!
These next few days in Australia are, hopefully, going to be quiet and peaceful. I’m wanting to get some good down time before I dive head first into an extrovert’s heaven back at home. Though I am introverted and I love the quiet, I am so excited to see my friends and family! It will be so awesome to see my brother get married!!
Anyway, that’s life for me!