University Bible Study

It’s the end of the semester and our final official day of class, so today was the last UWA Bible study I will be attending for awhile.  This Bible study met every Tuesday and started working through 1 Peter.  Cultural Note: Australian’s say One Peter and Two Peter.  This has taken some getting use to for me but everyone still understands when I say 1st Peter or 2nd Peter.
Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 3.36.00 PMI loved connecting once a week with a different group of students, especially since they are mainly undergrad and in a different university world.  It was nice to have a break in between the craziness of classes to pray, read the Bible and have some fellowship time together.  I hope my schedule next semester also allows for another Bible study time and this group could potentially stay together.  I’m thankful for the opportunity and the privilege that it is to meet with other Christians on a regular basis at a public university.

Our Daily Bread

Bread is a staple food.  Despite food allergies and diet plans, bread remains on the table in many homes.  In our home we love bread and I’m thankful that I can buy nice bread here but a fresh homemade loaf is extra special.Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 8.57.53 AMI recently tried a recipe for No Knead Bread because the only thing better than homemade bread, is easy to make homemade bread.  This is now my go to recipe for us and for group events.  The autumn weather here lends itself to a hearty soup and a hearty soup pairs perfectly with crusty bread.  Our Friday night Bible study concurred when I brought that pairing this past Friday.  Everyone loved the bread to go along with their chicken potato soup and both loaves were happily consumed.

If you’re a bread lover, this is an easy recipe for your baking arsenal.  The only two specialty things you need are an oven that gets really hot and a covered dish that is oven safe (I use pyrex but a dutch oven or even a pizza stone and a metal bowl would do the trick).  This is the video I first used to learn this No Knead Bread.  It’s helpful if you’re visual but here’s the recipe I use now:

3 cups flour (Regular all purpose flour.  No need to use bread flour and I’m going to experiment at some point with some wheat flour but that might need a different water ratio.)
1/4 tsp yeast (Active dry yeast.  I like to buy mine not in pouches anyway and I store it in the freezer so it last longer.  No problems so far.)
1 1/4 tsp salt (Just regular table salt but I’m sure fancy salt would work too.)
1 1/2 cups water (Plain tap water, not hot or cold, just water.  Some recipes call for 1 5/8 cups water and as far as I can tell it doesn’t make a huge difference and 1 1/2 is easier to measure but I have to do more testing.)

Lightly mix the flour, salt and yeast.  Add in the water and mix until just combined.  Let sit 12-24 hours in the same bowl covered with a towel (I usually have it sit for around 18 and this is perfect for throwing together before bed the night before and baking just before dinner time.)

Preheat oven to hot 450ishF or 200-250C.  Be sure to put your oven safe dish in the oven to preheat so the dish gets hot too.  Punch down and flatten the dough.  Fold the dough over on itself a couple times and place seam side down on a floured towel.  I like to let it sit for another 1/2 hour or so before baking but you don’t have to.  Put the dough in the hot dish (seam side up) and cover.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake 15 more minutes.

As it cools the crust will get even crustier.  Enjoy!

Getting to Know East Perth: Uni Edition

What I’m learning at the University isn’t just about getting it right for a test or writing the most amazing academic paper.  For me, it’s about engaging with the material in a way that will be beneficial and influential both now and in the future.

It’s the end of the semester and one project is almost completed (just a final presentation on Monday).  The simplified version of what we needed to do was make a map of an area highlighting the assets in that community.  The focus was about changing the way we view a community from what it is lacking, to what it has to offer.  Since we compiled ours on Google Maps, you can view the project here: East Perth Asset Map.East Perth.jpgI’m sharing this because I thought some of you might appreciate this virtual tour of our area.  We have been living in East Perth for about 4 months and this project changed the way I view this community.  It allowed me to see below the surface and look at different assets through the lens of different people.  The asset based approach view has limitations because you can miss some of the larger problems or holes if you only focus on the positives but even with that in mind, assets are a wonderful way to approach any community.  Being able to see what people have to offer and the potentials are a beautiful way to start a bigger conversation about growth and development.

In the future I hope to use what I’ve learned to make an asset map for the Wheatbelt and the rural communities where we would love to be working in the future.  It will take time but seeing the assets in these places and having conversations around growing the good things that are already present in these communities has the potential of being a bridge to the hope that so many are desperately seeking.

At The End of The Rainbow

Today would have been a perfect day for us to go searching for the elusive pot of gold because this morning we watched a double rainbow arc across the sky and then move towards us over the lawn between our building and the Swan River.  Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 7.44.31 PM.pngAs beautiful as it was, we decided against digging up the public lawn.  We recognize that no pot of gold can compare to the amazing gifts we receive from all of the people who support us in so many ways.

Here is a little update for those financial givers and those who are considering giving:

  1. Our organization’s mailing address for checks has changed.  If you mail in your support, please make note of the new donations address:
    Mission to the World
    P.O. Box 744165
    Atlanta, GA 30374-4165
  2. Thanks to many generous one-time gifts and our current living situation, we are seeing our support account stay healthy.  Praise God!
  3. We are still trying to increase our regular monthly support in order to potentially move into a different place in the city.  Any regular monthly gifts can help make this possible.

Thank you to everyone who prays!  Thank you to everyone who gives!  Thank you to everyone who supports us near and far!

Book Review: The Tribe Trilogy

Almost two years ago I read a book called The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf.  I blogged about it because the author, Ambelin Kwaymullina, is an Aboriginal woman and draws from her culture and heritage to build the landscape, inspire the characters and generally make some really interesting commentaries on society.  This is all done in an engaging, very readable format and I couldn’t wait for the next books to come out.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 9.16.25 AM.png

In the past couple weeks I’ve devoured all three books of this series, only pausing to wait for the next book to be available at the library.  I would love to read more from this author.  The way she weaves history and culture into this fantasy world is really beautiful.  Because I’m currently here in Australia and one of my classes is an Indigenous Studies course, I found it particularly interesting what Kwaymullina chose to use as inspiration.

For example in the back of the 3rd book she speaks about the Citizenship Accords in the novels (don’t worry this isn’t a spoiler, I think it makes the book more powerful).  The Citizenship Accords were actually based on legislation regarding Aboriginal people passed in the 40s.  These laws made discrimination legal and restricted almost every part of Aboriginal life (from being able to go into cities and towns, who they could marry, where they could live, etc).  Having that in the back of your mind while reading the novel makes the story more real despite the dystopian fantasy genre.

I would definitely recommend this series as a fun, thoughtful, easy read.  Enjoy the plot line, enjoy getting to know the characters and I hope that the interwoven inspiration gives you pause to think as well.  Happy Reading!

Another Country

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 3.23.47 PM.pngWhile browsing through the DVDs at the Perth City Library, I came across this cultural gem.  I’ve been trying to soak in information about Aboriginal history and culture and this is yet another great documentary with a lot of meaningful and practical insight.  If you’ve seen the movie Australia, you know David Gulpilil (the documentary’s narrator), he’s the one who played King George.  He was also the narrator in 10 Canoes.

Watching Another Country was significant for me because it confirmed the clash of cultures that still continues today between white and Aboriginal.  It also emphasizes the basic human need to be productive, have meaningful work and be able to contribute positively to your community.  And I appreciated the insights into some Aboriginal views of Christianity.  If you can get ahold of this movie, it’s definitely worth a watch.  I’d love to have a chat with you about your thoughts and any questions that might arise.

Anzac Day 2017

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.29.21 PM.pngAnzac Day is a pretty big deal here in Australia.  I was first introduced to this holiday through the delicious Anzac biscuit.  Click HERE for the recipe I used to make these and let me know if I need to translate some of the ingredients for you:-)  Even Ryan enjoyed this version of these classic cookies and he’s not a coconut fan.  Now that we’re here in Australian, we see that Anzac Day is about more than just a tasty cookie…excuse me, more than just a tasty biscuit.

Anzac Day commemorates the first major military action Australia and New Zealand fought in during WWI.  Today we heard over and over again “Lest we forget.”  Because this military action, along with many others, happened at dawn the first celebrations/remembrances began with a dawn service up at Kings Park and then there was a breakfast in the city.

We did not make it to either of those events but we found ourselves a great spot along the parade route.  And we enjoyed the cool morning while chatting with a women next to us about Anzac Day and the celebrations.  The parade had marching bands, lots of bagpipes and people of all ages marching in remembrance.

We enjoyed hearing the many versions of Waltzing Matilda and other songs too as current service men and women, veterans and family members marched by.  Australia recognizes that they have fought alongside many other countries as well, so some of them (including the USA) were honored in the parade as well.

After the parade we walked over to the park where they held a memorial service.  The Governor of Western Australia spoke as well as a wounded veteran.  It was warm in the sun but we still enjoyed the service and hearing the choir sing about Australia.  Anzac Day is yet another cultural experience for us here in Perth.