An April Newsletter

2017 April- InternetE-mailed on Monday and snail-mailed this past weekend (thanks to my mother and Ryan’s mother), many of you should have already seen our April Newsletter.  But for those of you who are better at Facebook than email or simply follow along on the blog, here is our latest news, a summary of the last few months here in Perth, which you can also find on the ‘About’ page of our website.IMG_20170416_140817.jpgWe love being able to keep in touch with you.  And if you’re on our mailing list, you should have received a large post card from us a couple months ago with a picture of the city of Perth.  If you didn’t get that update, we probably don’t have your mailing address correct.  Could you please take a moment to help us update our records?  Please also let us know if you want to be added to our email/mailing list.  Send me a message at and I’ll get you set up.

To give towards our ministry:
Give Online: Our Giving Page at MTW
Send a Check: Include our names and account number 11299
MTW PO Box 2589
Suwanee, GA 30024-0982

We hope you enjoy our latest update.  Thank you for reading about what God is doing here in Australia.

Social Work at UWA

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 6.55.05 PM.pngHere’s a little more of a peek into my life at UWA.  First of all, the campus is beautiful.  I will share more pictures some other time but between the roses, the trees, the lovely lawn areas and all the peacocks and ducks (currently with ducklings!) we have many beautiful things to enjoy as we walk through campus or sit outside while meeting for our group projects.Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 6.53.13 PMGroup projects have been a significant part of our course and I’m sure there will be more in our future.  Today we completed our first group task and this picture is from our group presentation.  Our group of 9 students read a chapter from a book, summarized the chapter, made our own reflections and presented our findings to the entire class.  Working in a group always has challenges but I love the conversations and the learning that is taking place through our group interactions.  There are some pretty amazing students in this class!Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 6.52.42 PMAnd not just a few students but 130 students!  We are typically split into two groups for our lectures but our Indigenous Studies Course has us all together and we fill the lecture hall to the brim.  I took this picture during a break when not everyone was in their seats.  There is also a lot of independent learning expected from us but I am thankful for the time outside of class to research interesting social work theories and to continue the conversations that start around our the lectures and other classroom work.Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.14.30 PM.pngI’m currently finalizing my first paper for this semester.  It includes reflections about how critical thinking is impacting my views as a future social worker.  While we are learning plenty of content, a lot of the course is geared towards introspection, self awareness and critical thinking.  I’m being challenged to think differently and this is only week 7 of the course!  There is still so much to learn.

The Postgraduate Study Area

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 4.27.42 PMTucked into the corner of the library’s second floor is the the Postgraduate Study Area.  It is silent, still and makes me feel guilty if I sneeze.  In the Postgraduate Study Area all you hear is typing and the clicking of computer mice.  In the Postgraduate Study Area the sound of squeaking chairs is deafening.  I sit, work and pause to wonder what everyone around me is studying.  I see computer screens covered in complicated codes, thick books and hunched shoulders.  In the Postgraduate Study Area individual learning is at its peek.  This is one aspect of University life that I probably should get used to.Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 4.28.11 PM

Putuparri and the Rainmakers

One of my current units at UWA is called Indigenous People and Social Work.  Indigenous studies is a very important topic in Australia and so it is no surprise that this is one of our first units.  I feel like everything I previously learned and read about the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities is now being reinforced, expanded and given a new Social Work perspective.  I hope that by the end of this unit I will begin to see my knowledge deepen beyond a superficial understanding.  Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 4.50.21 PM.pngA documentary that was recommended to us is Putuparri and the Rainmakers.  I’m not sure how you would get ahold of it in the US but in Australia you can stream it through SBS On Demand.  This documentary talks about Aboriginal culture, history, land rights, the law and so much more.  It is yet another perspective and another group of voices to add to my understanding and appreciation for Aboriginal life, history and culture.

The First Day of School

“Smile, make friends and eat a healthy lunch,” was the advice from a friend when I expressed that I was a bit nervous about today. It’s been 10 years since I graduated from UCSB so I do feel a little out of practice with this whole student thing.

But here I am ready for my first day with my healthy lunch packed, smile on my face and ready to make friends. Please pray for this week of learning and adjustment.  Graduate school can’t be too difficult, right?

Preparing for UWA

It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve been in school.  And starting next week, I will be a full time student again.  I’ve been organizing the paperwork.  I’ve bought basic school supplies.  And I even did a bit of reading at the beach for my first seminar that begins on Monday.  It brought back flashbacks of my undergrad at UCSB where I certainly tried to study at the beach but was never really successful.  Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 4.03.53 PM.pngMaybe the beach won’t be the ideal place to study for grad school either but I will not make that decision until I try at least a few more times.  Please pray for me in this new endeavor.  Pray that I would learn well and be able to understand the coursework.  Please also pray that I would connect well with my professors and fellow students.  I’m looking forward to having a student community again.  And I’ll be sure to let you know how the beach studying works out.