Well it has been a few busy weeks since I let you all know what I’ve been up to. So here is the latest spiel on my life in the glorious land Down Under!
About two weeks ago we had all of our July DTS students come back from their outreach phase and it was awesome to hear about what they had been doing around the world. They saw an incredible number of salvations, healings, people prayed for, and Bibles handed out. It was definitely a chaotic week on base with 42 July students and then 50 October students, but it was so fun to have people back for a short time.
For the last three Saturdays I’ve also had the privilege of leading the Youth Street Performing Arts team. It was really stretching and hard, but such an incredible experience. Just over a week ago, on December 13th, we held a Hour of Honor night for our youth and their parents/guardians. We all dressed up really nicely, rented a red carpet and filled about 200 helium balloons. Complete with performances, a photo booth and many awards, it was an amazing night to remember. We had each team of youth go up on stage in front of about 200 people and present awards to their parent/guardians and thank them for something very specific. It was so cool to see parents being affirmed by their children, especially in families that would probably never have that happen. Whereas most youth groups are geared toward Christian youth, ours is focused on unreached kids. So most of the Crew that we have coming on Saturdays are not believers and most often have incredibly hard home lives. But in the last term we’ve seen God moving radically among families. Specifically, we’ve seen a failed divorce; a couple that was in the process of getting a divorce who happened to fall in love again. Or we have seen our kids reading their Bibles to their parents in families that are very against church. I’m beyond blessed to be apart of what God is doing in the youth of Newcastle.
So Youth Street has been busy, and work in the office is following the same pattern. I’ve recently taken on another role in addition to what I’ve already been doing. I’m beginning to work in out registrar office helping to process student applications. It’s been really cool getting to talk to people who are hoping to come do schools with us and really fighting to get them here. We’ve felt like we have a lot of opposition with the upcoming set of DTSs, but we’ve seen God come through in some awesome ways with visas being granted and finances being provided. Everyday I’m reminded of how big the God is that I serve.
With the return of our July schools, my roommate came home! So that has been a matter of excitement for me. Having her around gets me out of my shell more and helps me to not spend so much time introverting. Plus it is just lovely to have her back!
Lastly, I want to share a bit about what God has been teaching me over the past few weeks. During the week that the July students were home we had a five hour worship night. We have one every couple of months and we always see God move incredibly. For a few days before the worship night I was feeling a bit off, just kind of lonely and dispassionate. Life was getting really busy and I guess I was kind of overwhelmed; I had started relying a lot on my own strength and not God’s. When it came to spending time with God, I felt like I had nothing to give and I would get frustrated with myself. On the night of worship I wasn’t really feeling well and I was super tempted to just go home and sleep all night, but something inside me knew that I needed to be there. As the music started I began to go through the motions: singing and lifting my hands and all that, but my heart just wasn’t feeling it. Eventually I got frustrated and just sat down against the back wall. It was like as soon as I sat down I just heard this resounding “FINALLY!” Then it clicked for me. I don’t have to have anything to bring, all God wants is me. I began to feel God and hear him; he told me to stop talking and just be still. To just BE with him. And in that moment of utter peace and quiet, I was brought back to my first love. Work is important, Youth Street is amazing, but being with God should always come first.
So that’s what I’ve been working on: being with God. Not talking or bringing him all my issues, but just resting in his presences and knowing that he has everything in control.