Feeling Better and Pictures from National Park #2

I’m feeling better but still a little tender in the stomach where the incisions are healing.  Today I’m not resting because I have to be on campus for our internship introduction but I’m thankful that I can sit in a classroom and not have to be too active.  More details on the internship in Friday’s blogpost so stay tuned.  Please pray for me this week as I’m pretty busy but still in recovery mode.  In the meantime, here are some pictures from last Thursday’s pre-surgery outing.Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 2.44.44 PMFor various reasons we haven’t been hiking for awhile so hiking and another national park seemed like the right pre-surgery activity.  We drove about an hour to visit Serpentine National Park and parked using our WA Park Pass.  We were greeted almost right away by two kangaroos enjoying their breakfast in the picnic area.  And we were happy to see monarch butterflies as well.  The three hour hike only took us an hour and a half but it was still enjoyable and the views were lovely.

When we went back to check out the swimming hole again, we found even more kangaroos that hopped away before we could snap a picture.  I’m sure the novelty will wear off eventually but it’s still fun to see kangaroos just hanging around.  This park was a sweet little gem and we are looking forward to heading back for the longer hike as well as swimming when the weather warms up again.

Who Needs a Gallbladder Anyway?

Living overseas means always looking for cultural experiences.  And spending the night in the hospital is one of those that you don’t look forward to checking off the list but it definitely counts as a cultural experience.  Up until tomorrow (when I will be having my gallbladder out and be spending the night at Hollywood Hospital here in Perth), I’ve only ever spent the night in one other hospital as an adult.  And it was indeed a cultural experience because I was in Ghana.Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 12.52.10 PMI was hospitalized for malaria and can’t remember now if it was one night or two or three but I recovered well enough and went on to hike, find rainbows, chase waterfalls and generally enjoy myself for the rest of my semester abroad (although this picture I think was taken in Togo).  I don’t have too many memories of the hospital other than they left the lights on all night, everyone else in my shared room had family coming in to visit and take care of them, the hospital provided beans and cooked plantains for my meals and when I left, I paid for the whole bill with just what cash I had in my wallet (which wasn’t much).Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 12.54.26 PMAnd now we’re in Australia, we’re still finding rainbows and tomorrow I will be comparing my hospital experience to the one I had a little over 10 years ago in Ghana.  I’ll let you know about the lights and the shared room.  But I’m pretty certain I won’t be fed beans and plantains.  And I’m 100% sure that I won’t be able to pay for the bill with the cash I have on hand.  I’m thankful for credit cards and insurance.

Even though this is a pretty routine surgery, I still appreciate your prayers.  Please pray for no complications and a quick and easy recovery.

3 More Assignments

My first semester at UWA is almost in the bag.  I have three more assignments to complete and 3 weeks to complete them.  I certainly hope to be finished sooner and get a nice break before the craziness of the internship begins.  (More on the internship soon but here are three details 1. Ryan is coming with me 2. We’re working with Rural and Remote Mental Health 3. We’re going on a road trip)  Being a student isn’t my only responsibility in Australia but it is definitely one of my most consuming tasks.

Studying, writing papers and working through case studies may not always be enjoyable but I see how this work can help prepare me for the future and that’s good motivation.  Finding pretty places to do my work is also good motivation.  While it isn’t always warm enough to study outside, there are some nice places.  Two of my current favorites are the Perth Library (with an amazing balcony with beautiful views) and a coffee shop just down the street (a pot of tea and just enough city noise to keep me focused).

Please pray for me to stay focused and use my time wisely.  I’m looking forward to having semester 1 of 4 complete!

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!

Spiritual Reflections in the City

Last week was Resurrection Sunday.  Although Ryan and I enjoyed the church service and our relaxing afternoon, we felt something missing.  Some of what we were missing may have been our typical Easter traditions with family and friends; however, I think there was something more going on.  Yes, there were a lot of people out enjoying the beautiful autumn day (yes, it’s autumn here) but I got the feeling that most people were just enjoying the 4 day weekend because it was time off work.  There seemed to be little or no thought given to the reason behind the holiday.Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 12.43.48 PMMost of the time when we walk around the city, we see churches like St. Mary’s gated off and quiet.  There are a couple large, beautiful cathedrals in the city but I’ve rarely seen people gathering for anything besides a tour.  We also see signs posted for little churches outside of buildings or in shopping centers where they meet on Sundays but rarely do we get see the visible community of God meeting outside of our own church and church family.Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 12.55.00 PMBut today while walking home I saw something different.  I first walked by a little church that had just let out of their service, all ages, different races, gathered outside the doors chatting and enjoying the Sunday sunshine.  Almost everyone had a delicious looking donut in hand and I walked through getting a peek into this community.  And then I came to St. Mary’s Cathedral with gates open, cars coming and going, kids playing on the lawn and signs of life.  It was encouraging to me that these places do have active communities, hopefully the Gospel is being preached and people are being reached.  I know for sure that God is at work even if we don’t always see outward, visible signs.

I look forward to continuing to see how God is at work as we get to know more people in the city and see firsthand the Gospel being lived out.  If you are discouraged by the lack of God and faith in your community, be encouraged that God is at work.  Open your eyes and hopefully God will show you His specific work.  Please pray for us here, that God would be working through us and other Christians in Perth, and we will be praying the same for you.

 

Bible Study Routines

Post-it notes remind me of prayers.  When I started attending Ryan’s Bible study in Camarillo while we were dating, it was already a routine.  At the end of every study he brought out post-its and everyone wrote down a prayer request and then these were passed around.  You write a post-it and then you take someone else’s post-it.  It could be anonymous or you could put your name down but either way that request was prayed for over the week.  I know a few people who would put the post-its up on their bathroom mirror as a reminder to pray.Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 5.19.44 PM.pngOn Wednesdays Ryan now drives out to Brookton.  He teaches the Bible study and each week brings post-it notes so that everyone can share prayer requests.  Even though I don’t usually attend, I’ve started writing a prayer request to send with Ryan because I enjoy getting a prayer request back to pray for during the week.  I love being connected to this community through simple, weekly prayers.  Post-it notes have a lot of other uses but for me, they will probably always be connected to prayers.  I look forward to seeing what God will do through the prayers that will be written on these post-its.

Baseball and Bible Study

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.Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 11.43.44 AMRyan 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!