When was baseball first mentioned in the Bible? “In the Big Inning.” (Genesis 1:1) When was baseball mentioned again? “The righteous run to it and they are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) Alright, so maybe baseball isn’t an important theme in the Bible but it still is just fine (as long as we steer clear of heresy) to mix the Bible and Baseball.Ryan is currently making the final preparations for his second Bible study out in Brookton and he has the Japan verses US up in the background. Since we don’t have TV, we get creative with how we get our news and keep up with other things like sports.
Please pray for Ryan as he heads out to Brookton every Wednesday (it works out great with the time change if our friends in the US pray on Tuesday night before you head to bed). Ryan has set aside Wednesday to visit with people and teach through the Bible. We’ll see how this time evolves in the future and I may join him on some Wednesdays too later on. We’re looking forward to marking our time here in Australia as Ryan teaches chronologically through the Bible. Thanks for your prayers!
Happy Sunday from Calvary Church in Brookton. Brookton is about 90 minutes from Perth and we’re thankful to be able to worship with this congregation once a month. This week Ryan will begin spending Wednesdays out in this area and that includes teaching a weekly Bible Study at Calvary in the afternoon. We’re thankful for this community and the time we get to spend here with these wonderful people. Please pray for this church, that it would continue to be a light in the Brookton community. And pray for us that we would serve well being humble and open to the opportunities that God presents for us in Brookton and the wider Wheatbelt area.
We can easily compared the weather here in Perth to the weather in Sacramento. Although the patterns may be a bit different, the average highs and lows are pretty similar and both areas are also known for their droughts. The only major difference is that, on average, Sacramento gets two more inches of rainfall a year. It’s currently winter in California and Summer in Perth but there has been an unusual amount of rainfall in both places which has lead to widespread flooding. Although it needs to be mentioned that despite some unseasonably cool days, the rain here has been accompanied by warm and muggy weather so it’s definitely not winter here.
In Australia there has been enough water to create a waterfall on Wave Rock where Ryan and I visited on our trip in 2014. It’s probably amazing to see in person but possibly dangerous to get to currently because the flooding has been along both the Swan River and the Avon river. Here are a couple news articles if you’re interested: WA Towns Flooded and Heavy Rain Wreaks Havoc. The Swan River runs right in front of our apartment in Perth but the flooding hasn’t been in our area and we checked out the swollen Avon river while we were out in Brookton this weekend. Some of the bridges to the north of Brookton are close to being covered and some of the places mentioned in these news articles are names we recognize because it’s an area where we could potentially work in the future.
As for Sacramento, my parents are a couple feet away from flooding which isn’t uncommon but if you can see in the picture of us, we’re standing on the deck and the grass below us is typically completely dry. For a good number of years, the Sacramento river hasn’t even flooded it’s banks. But now thanks to a very wet winter, not only is the drought in Northern California mostly over, some of the dams are reaching capacity and causing potential problems. Evidently there is a spillway near Oroville (Thousands in California Told to Evacuate) that could possibly break sending water down the Feather River which feeds into the Sacramento River above my parent’s home. My parents don’t need to evacuate yet but they have a plan and places to stay if needed.
Please pray for those being impacted by the flooding in both Western Australia and in California.
This past week confirmed that even though we’re living in Perth and enjoying the city, our hearts are in Brookton. It was wonderful to spend a couple days observing the Brookton Mission, catching up with friends and getting to know more people.This is one of my favorite pictures during morning tea after Sunday service. Ryan was visiting with a group of people from Calvary church in Brookton. These people all have a special place in our hearts already and since Ryan was out in Brookton during the same time last year, the morning tea time gave him an opportunity to reconnect. Please pray for us as we try to find the right balance of living in and being present, pursuing people and relationships in the city, as well as spending time investing in, learning and connecting in Brookton.
You know you’re in a different place when the warning you get before driving home is, “Watch out for kangaroos.” After spending the day in Brookton, this was said to us very seriously multiple times as we prepared to drive back to the city last night after the fun quiz evening. Although we wish we could have spent all week out in Brookton, it was wonderful to be able to take the day and see what the Brookton mission team is accomplishing by pouring into the local kids and community.
Ryan and I feel privileged to have work like this going before us that will continue to pave the way for future opportunities. Hopefully next year we will be able to fully take part in this week of God-centered fun. But for now it was encouraging to just get to know people better, see friends from the community and finally get that little feeling that we’ve arrived where we should be. I’m looking forward to driving out Sunday for the large church gathering. It will be a great celebration!
Since arriving in Perth, we have been slowly chipping away at all the to-dos that come with moving to a new country. The list remains long but one of the first accomplishments was getting Australian cell phone numbers. This means we’re giving up our US numbers but we still want to keep in touch with you.Here are the main ways to stay connected with us:
Snail Mail: The picture above is our humble, low-lying mail box. We’d love to have mail other than advertisement flyers when we check it. Especially since Ryan has to practically lay down on the floor to reach in to see what’s in there. Shoot me a message and I’ll send you our address.
WhatsApp: This is a messenger app that will allow you to send text messages and pictures through your data plan on your phone. Or if you don’t have a smart phone, you can use it on your computer. Download it, https://whatsapp.com/dl/ and find us! This is what we will be using as an alternative to texting.
Facebook: If you already have Facebook, we still have this and love being able to follow your lives this way. It’s also easy to send messages and video chat.
Skype: Ryan and I are working on getting our internet up and running. Once that happens we’d love to Skype and stay connected face to face.
Phone: You probably shouldn’t try calling us because of the expense but we do have a limited amount of US minutes each month so we can make US calls for special occasions. If you happen to have an international plan that includes Australia, shoot us a message and we will pass along our numbers.
Email: Our emails are the same, we can check them easily and love staying hearing from you personally.
Of course there is always this blog, our website (ryanwithjoy.com), Instagram and newsletters so you can be hearing from us but we like to hear from you too! Thanks for keeping in touch across the ocean.