Black Swans and Prayers

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 4.32.07 PMOn a southern bend of the Swan River there is a sandbar that leads to a little island.  It’s hard to see in the picture above but the island is the little scrap of land about an inch to the left of my head.  The river in general is pretty shallow but we walked out across this sandbar all the way to the island and only our knees down got wet (my knees a little more so than Ryan’s).Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 4.30.28 PMWalking along the sand bar was kind of fun because you usually don’t just get to walk out into the middle of a river and the black swans seemed to be enjoying the sandbar too.  Black swans are an important animal here and were almost wiped out when the river wasn’t being taken care of.  But they are back and since I had only ever seen white swans in the US, I think the black ones are very elegant.Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 4.31.21 PMOnce we made it out to the island, we sat down and spent some time in prayer.  We previously set aside time to pray every Wednesday but with our new schedule have had to find a different time.  So now we pray on Thursdays.  We don’t always find a new spot to explore and pray but sometimes it’s nice to have a different view.  I’m sure we’ll come back and pray with the black swans again.

Getting to Know Perth: Rottnest Island

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-9-58-15-amRottnest Island is southwest of Perth in the Indian Ocean and only 11 miles off the Australian coast.  There are express boats that leave daily from Perth and Fremantle.  I’ve been on the Island once before in 2012 when I was single.  It was great walking around, swimming and I even got to take a whale watching tour: A Beach and Animal Day.  So yesterday, since I have a little break before classes begin full-time and we also needed an adventure for Flat Stanley, Ryan and I figured that a trip out to Rottnest to meet quokkas was in order.

These little guys live only a couple other places besides Rottnest (named “Rats Nest” because the Dutch that named the Island thought the quokkas were really large rats).  And they are curious, gentle and pretty cute.  They hop around, hang out and will drink water from your hand.

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-10-02-23-amBesides hanging out with the quokkas, we also biked around the island (which was not my favorite part of the trip).  But the bikes did allow us to get out and see more than I had before.  It’s beautiful here and this was our view as we ate lunch in between snorkeling adventures.  screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-10-05-08-amSnorkeling was a highlight.  I loved being in the water.  The weather was perfect, not too hot or too cold so we lost track of time chasing fish and taking videos.  The first place we went in the water was ok but the second place (right below where we ate lunch), had a ton of fish and more bright colors.  I even found a place where I could swim under and through a coral tunnel.  screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-10-01-00-amThis picture is for Beverly, although it’s not the official pink lake (we didn’t have time to ride by that one).  Rottnest does have a few lakes with high salt content and I’m sure some other mineral that cause them to be pink!  While biking by this one, it seemed to have a bright salmon, almost orange color that didn’t show up as bright in the picture.Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 10.01.58 AM.pngRyan and I had a great day at Rottnest Island.  If you come visit us, Rottnest is on the list of places you could enjoy too!  And we’ll supply the SPF50 sunscreen.  We applied 3 times and managed to escape only a little singed.  Well worth it for the fun adventure of a day.

Brookton Mission Week

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!

Australian Beginnings

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-7-47-13-pmBack in 2012, I was hanging out in Perth.  I ate Kangaroo meat, met a Quokka and made a decision that would change my life.  I said yes to joining the Perth team in Australia.  Although Ryan and I hadn’t met yet, that decision to join the Perth team, paved the way for our relationship.  screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-26-46-pmIn the fall of 2012, God was also working in Ryan’s heart.  Ryan had been praying about where in the world God was sending him.  He had known for awhile that he was called into overseas missions but the world is a pretty big place.  However, around the same time I was saying yes to the Perth team, God was putting South Africa and Australia on Ryan’s heart.screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-25-33-pmLittle did we know that 3 months later when we met, we would be contemplating life in Australia together.  And now we’re about a month away, Lord willing, from moving to Australia and beginning this new face of our life.  God’s faithfulness continues to be sweet as we continue on this adventure together.

Provision from God through Prayer

Today we are asking you to PRAY for provision for us.  Our work is not our own.  We need financial support and we would love to see provision in the form of 20 new monthly supporters.  Please pray that God would work in the hearts of families and individuals to become a part of our work through monthly giving.

As Ryan and I look forward in sweet anticipation of our move to Australia, we find comfort, encouragement, wisdom and peace in words from the Bible.  Jesus’ wisdom, like his words recorded in Luke 12, remind us to keep our focus on the heavenly perspective of provision.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

*All pictures in this post were taken by Timothy Goldsmith in 2012.