Where in the world??

One thing that I love about my life is the sheer variety of people that I live with. I live in a community of people from literally all over the world. I will never get bored of the fact that I have friends from every continent on earth (with the exception of Antarctica of course) and that I get to share life with them, learning about their cultures and home countries along the way.

A few months ago we had a visiting speaker from Nepal and he made a joke that is funny, purely because for us, it reflects the daily reality of our lives. He said “what is the most spoken language on earth?” The answer? “Broken English!” Now that may not be funny to you, but if you lived my life for a day, where at any given moment you could be communicating to somebody whose mother language is Korean, Chinese, German, French, Spanish or some other language that you have never even heard of, whose level of English ranges anywhere from just a few words to you would hardly even notice that they haven’t spoken English their whole lives, then you would begin to get a glimpse of what “broken English” really is. My broken English has improved vast amounts since I came here. I’m actually getting quite good at it.

And not only is my broken English improving, I now have a vast array of words from all sorts of different countries in my vocabulary. I’m still not fluent in any language other than my own – but I know the word for lip in Polish and can say welcome in Swahili. I can even tell you to “hurry up beloved” in Arabic. So yes, random words and phrases in a variety of languages probably doesn’t get you very far, but it sure is fun.

The other week my housemates got together to have a house meal and eat Mexican food. In my house at the moment I have 1 girl from Switzerland who speaks French, 2 Australians, 1 girl from Hong Kong, 1 American who is fluent in Chinese and speaks a bit of Spanish, 1 girl from China, 1 girl from Korea who also speaks Chinese, 1 girl from the Reunion Island (where they speak French) and me. Oh. And my old house mate who is American, but fluent in Spanish. And we sat down in a circle and went round taking it in turns to say a word in different languages. It could be any word we liked, as long as we knew what it meant, and nobody else had already said a word in that language. Ie, no repeated languages allowed. Baring in mind that we are all missionaries, and that we have all been to lots of different countries in the world, between the lot of us we came up with a lot of countries and a lot of languages! I was really very impressed. e went around the circle at least 3 times before people started to get knocked out, when they couldn’t think of any more words. I’m happy to announce that I did really very well, making it to the top 4, but alas fell to my fellow comrades longer experiences in missions. Oh…. plus the fact that we made the big mistake of allowing different dialects, meaning that none of us had a chance of winning against our Chinese friend who knows many of the even more many different dialects of China. Apparently there are around 70 of them. Who knew!

So yes. Life is never boring. Every day I get share my experiences of growing up in the UK with other people, and learn about their experiences of growing up somewhere else. I learn about different ways of life, different views, opinions, ideas, world views. I get to be caught between the ultimate dilemma of whether to take all the cookies from your friend, thus going against your western beliefs of taking something that belongs to them, or against their Korean belief that if I don’t take their cookie, then I don’t want to be their friend (yes that has happened to me… on numerous occasions). I get to train my mind to think outside of the box that I grew up in and see the world from an entirely different perspective. And when I’m old and retired (IF I retire – it isn’t really possible on a missionary salary!) I will have friends from all over the world that I can go visit on my holidays!

Now who wouldn’t want that kind of life?!

Australia Day

It has recently occurred to me that I should make more use of being able to use my blog to show you all photo’s/videos of my life! There are so many things here that I love, the beautiful city of Perth, the beautiful people that I get to share life with, and some of the amusing things that I face when living Down Under!

There are many things that I will endeavour to share with you in the coming weeks, but for now, I will leave you with the photos that I took on Australia Day (surprisingly, the National Holiday of Australia). 30 minutes of uninterrupted fireworks, put on by (so I have been told but dont hold me to this) the same people who do the New Years Fireworks in Sydney. If this is true, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. The fireworks where spectacular. And being that Perth is built around a river, it was even more incredible to watch all the fireworks being reflected in the water. Thousands of people  all gathered together at the foreshore, spending time together, playing games, and celebrating life. It really was a great day filled with fun and fireworks. And that’s why January 26th is now one of my favourite  days of the year.

And so now I want you to partake in the wonder that was. I’m sorry I cant upload the videos here, they are too big apparently. But if you have Facebook you will be able to find them there 🙂 But here are the photos for you to enjoy!

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Catch Up!

Firstly I must apologise for how far behind I have fallen with this blog. I think it was a case of once I had fallen behind, it was too difficult to catch up and so instead I just fell even more behind! But I’m here now, committed to giving you the run down on all that has happened in my life in the last 2 months. Or at least, the main highlights.

Firstly, Christmas! Spending Christmas day with over 400 people was somewhat chaotic, but also so much fun! It inevitably ends up with a lot of mess beings created, but again, when you have about 300 sets of hands to help tidy up, it doesn’t take very long! The joyful singing coming from the kitchen whilst all the dinner dishes were being done really was quite inspiring. This was my 2nd Christmas here in Perth, and whilst I did enjoy my first one as a student very much, I have to say this year was filled with much more joy for me. Having become (slightly) more accustomed to having a hot Christmas, being in a staff house with a more family based set up, and feeling more settled here with friends to celebrate with really did make a big difference. So I’m looking forward to next year being even better!

The following day was the base Boxing Day trip to the beach! So yes, we got to spend the day in 35 degree sun watching the waves and enjoying a BBQ brekkie! You can’t really get more Australian than that….

Next up was my birthday! Again, 2nd one here in Perth, and definitely more fun this time around! The previous year my birthday was the day before we left for Nepal on outreach, so I spent the majority of my day packing. This year I got to celebrate my birthday with housemates and friends, with pancakes, waffles, and all day breakfasts, a great game of Settlers, a Dead Sea mud face mask and a girlie movie! What more could a girl ask for?! I was greatly blessed. Then, a few days later, I got to celebrate the start of the new year with 2 of my dear friends, sitting by the river watching the fireworks. So beautiful and such a great way to welcome in 2015.

So all in all the week of December 24th-Jan 1st really was an incredibly blessed week for me, filed with joy, fun and laughter. 2015 got off to a great start for me too, so for the first few days I was literally buzzing! Things have naturally started to settle down for me more now, but I have to say, so far, 2015 has been incredibly good to me. And right now, I am loving life.

Other things that have happened in the past few weeks:

1) The January quarter has started, with all 160 of our new students. This has made life on base incredibly busy, at times simply chaotic, but they are a fantastic bunch and it is fantastic to have them around.

2) Perth also recorded its hottest January day in around 20 years I think a few weeks ago, with temperatures hitting a ridiculous 44 degrees C at one point. I am thankful that it was a week day, when I work in an air conditioned office, rather than at the weekend when I would have been melting in my house, so all in all I got off pretty lightly. Although having said that, it really wasn’t fun that evening in my house, as when I went to bed at around 10.30pm it was still 28 degrees. Hotter than an average UK summer day! That was definitely the hottest night we have had so far, but there have been many nights when I have gone to sleep in the 20s. This is still something that I am trying to get used to, and probably one of my biggest challenges here. Its not fun trying to sleep in such heat, and definitely has an impact on how well/how much sleep I get. February isn’t due to give us any relief either, so I’ve still got at least another month to survive before I will start to cool down….

3) The Megacities team have now been given their own office! Which definitely makes life easier for us over all. But we are now having to take the time to design how we want the office to look. Which is actually quite exciting, but challenging to do on a budget whilst also keeping everybody happy!

4) I got to achieve a dream of mine which was to watch a live tennis match; made even more exciting by the fact that I actually got to watch Andy Murray play! As a birthday treat to myself I purchased a ticket to the GB verses Australia matches for the Hopman Cup, a tennis tournament right here in Perth, only a 15 minute bus journey from me! This was such a treat, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Team GB beat Team Australia in the ladies, mens and doubles matches! Although there was some confusion as to the serving speeds, when I eventually realised that they were recording them in km per hour and not miles!!

Right that’s it for now! My tablet is running super slow and its time I head off to bed ready for the big day tomorrow that is Australia Day! But I will try my very hardest to be better at updating this more regularly 😉

I hope you are all well, and that 2015 has got off to a good start for you too!

Jo x

How far away??

Another problem that I continually face here is that everything is in km…and I have no idea how far away that is. Having to divide by 8 and multiply by 5 (or is it the other way around?!) every time somebody tells me where something is quickly becomes a bit of a hassle. And as you can tell…I’m not very good at it!

And the other day somebody at base made an announcement that somebody had had their baby – and gave the baby’s weight in kilos. Apparently the baby was quite small…I was simply left in a confused state. I can just about manage with pounds to dollars, but everything else here is still a little lost on me I’m afraid.

Something to add to ‘The List’

I forgot to mention yesterday that the road signs here are completely different, and something to add on to the list of things here that confuse me! Trying to navigate your way around an area is sometimes interesting, because they place road names in completely different places to us, and sometimes I cant figure out what street I am on! I actually think the system here is more logical, but 24 years of looking for street names in a certain place takes a little while to unlearn!

Life in another Country…

Hi Everybody

Apologies for the severe lack of updates. Things here continue to be incredibly busy, and combined with a week of illness (I’ve been suffering from quite bad headaches) I’ve found myself quite far behind on my list of things to get done! But I’m slowly starting to get back on top of things now, as I continue to find more of a routine. So hopefully you will hear a lot more from me now.

Something that has surprised me during my time here in Australia is just how different the culture is. I guess I was expecting it to be the same as the UK as on paper, the countries are very similar. Or more to the point, I thought they were. But now I think that I was simply blinded by the English speaking Western aspect of it, because Australia is, in fact, very different! So for your amusement; here are some of the differences that I have been struggling to get my ahead around and grasp the concept of during the past few weeks. Not surprisingly I suppose, a lot of them (but not all) have to do with wildlife…

1) The computer keyboard is different! And because I use my UK laptop at home, but an Ozzie pc in the office, this has left me occasionally wondering where the question mark is, or how to add speech marks. The biggest problem is switching between the two; you get used to one, and then you are using the other one.

2) The weather! It turns out that the weather here in spring is even more crazy than the UK. Maybe not in extremes, but in it’s fluctuations. One day its 33 degrees, the next day its only 22. One day its hot and sticky, the next day its pouring with rain and thunder storms. It makes trying to decide what to wear on any given day pretty tricky – 10 degrees makes quite the difference! Also, even when it is a hot day, you don’t want to under-dress, because then you will get cold indoors when the air conditioning is turned on. Conundrum!

3) Watering the grass! Yep that’s right folks. During the summer months we have to water our grass to keep it green. With a hose pipe. This is a difficult enough concept to try and get my head around. But it seems even more strange to me when you factor in that Australia is in a permanent drought. They don’t have enough water in their country. But they still send massive tanks of water round the city each day on the back of trucks for council employees to water the trees and grass in public spaces. In the UK we get a hosepipe ban if we have had 3 days in a row above 30 degrees… (I exaggerate, of course…but you see the point that I am making.)

4) Flies. They are everywhere. As the hotter weather comes, so too do the flies. Its an absolute hassle. You cant go anywhere without them attacking you. They aim for your eyes, nose, and ears, meaning that as you walk down the street you are constantly having to wave your hands around your face, or risk swallowing a fly…via your nose. It happens. There is a reason why the Aussies invented those hats with corks…

5) As the flies come…so do the ants. They are pretty much a reality here all the way through the year, but they are particularly bad during summer months. I went to get some food from my kitchen shelf the other day, only to find that the ants had managed to find a way into my container and had absolutely covered my food. I even have to keep my pot of honey in a tub of water to prevent them from swarming. It acts as a kind of moat as ants can’t swim through the water. But yes…having to fortify your food inside of your house to protect them from ants is a new concept to me.

6) Not knowing whether something is poisonous or trying to kill you. The other day I was sat by the river, and as I looked down I noticed that I had some kind of bug on my leg. Now normally, in the UK that is, I wouldn’t think much of it, and would simply flick it off. But here? It could be all kinds of weird and wonderful nasties, and as I have no idea what it is, how poisonous it is, or just generally if it is dangerous or not, I end up shaking my leg around like a lunatic until I am satisfied that it is no longer attached to me. And then a few days ago I was faced with the ultimate fear…a spider. All sorts of questions fill your mind? Can it jump? Is it poisonous? Will it kill me?! Or am I simply being a silly foreigner? You can never quite be too sure…

And finally…(for now at least)

7) Cockroaches. Need I say more?? Cockroaches of the flying, and the non flying variety, just aren’t cool, and I am very grateful to God that up until this point in my life, I have lived in a country where this is not a problem. But now I am filled with dread every time I see something lurking on the floor in the corner of my eye, and I generally live with a pair of flip flops (or ‘Thongs’ as they are called here – something which I don’t think I will ever get used to) close at hand just in case I need to kill one.

Well that’s it for now folks. But I’m sure that as I continue to find my way in this weird and wonderful land I will find other things to add to this list. When I do, I will be sure to let you know!

Signing out for now


PS- I could go on to explain how infuriating the traffic lights here are, but I will leave that for another day 😉

The Blessing of a Generous Heart

I wanted to share with you what happened to me last weekend, as it was such a blessing and a joy to me.

When I woke up that morning I was greeted with the usual beautiful smell of one of my room mates. To some of you that may sound weird, but many of you will know that I love smelling things, and my room mate happens to always smell spectacular. On this particular day I happened to mention this fact to her, and then I remembered – I myself needed to buy some new smelly stuff because I only packed limited toiletries when I flew over here. So, given that she seems to have extraordinary taste in such things, I thought I would ask her advice as to where the best place would be for me to go to get some good stuff at a good price (everything here is SO expensive). As it turns out, she always gets her stuff either overseas when on outreach or at the airport when leaving/coming back from outreach for that very reason. So I may have to wait some time before I can do that!! But then she said that she had a spare can of body spray that she got when she was recently in India, and that if I wanted it, I could have it. I accepted with a grateful heart.

About an hour later another one of my house mates (the one who would soon be leaving that I mentioned before) came into my room and asked if I would be blessed with some cushions. As she was packing up all of her stuff she had been praying and asking God who she could bless by giving some of her stuff away to, and she felt God say that she should give me her cushions. Now, to put this into context, ever since I have arrived I have been trying to think of creative ways to make my top bunk bed feel more homely. It is the only space in the world that I have to myself, and so I was wanting to put a bit of a ‘Jo’ touch to it! The only trouble is, like I mentioned before, things are really quite expensive here. And so although I had been thinking for some time that cushions would be quite nice to put on my bed, I decided that I really couldnt justify spending all that money on decorating my bed! So I put aside the thought and didnt tell anybody about it. Now, a few weeks later, without even knowing about my thoughts, somebody was offering me 5 free cushions. Not only that, but they also happen to be purple, my favourite colour, and the colour of my bedding, so they match perfectly! I told her I would be extremely blessed and accepted them with a thankful heart.

About 5 minutes after that, she came in again holding a UK power adapter, asking if it would be of any use to me. Again, to put into context, I made the rookie error of only packing one power adapter in my suitcases coming here. I didnt really think about it when packing, but it turns out that only being able to use/charge one thing at a time is really quite inconvenient. Only a few days after arriving here I discovered this, but was faced with the problem that there was no way that I would be able to buy a UK power adapter in Australia! I was either going to have to put up with it, or ask somebody to post one to me from the UK. Literally that morning I had been chatting to God about what a hassle it was, and within a few hours He had provided me with a second UK power adapter…from a New Zealander no less! (Dont ask me why she had one – I can only assume it was from her time in London!) A brief conversation later, and I was leaving her room not only with the power adapter, but also 1 plastic storage box, with the promise of more to come (which I have now received) – another thing that had been on my list of things to get! I accepted all of these with a joyful heart.

Later that day I was walking to the train station to head into the city and was thanking God for His amazing provision through other peoples generosity. And then, when I arrived in the city centre to meet with another one of my house mates for our 1 hour prayer chain slot – she asked me what I would like to drink because it was her shout, and she went on to bless me with an incredible chocolate milkshake, topped with ice cream and whipped cream! It was incredible. And I accepted it with a joy filled and thankful heart.

I couldnt help but laugh later on when I was reflecting on the events of the day. It was like God had deliberately set out to bless me and show me His generous heart and desire to provide for both my needs and those extra little things as well. I dont need cushions. I can live without body spray (although my house mates might not want to put up with my smelliness!) and a chocolate milkshake is now considered a massive treat. But our Father God loves His children so much, and wants to give us good things; not just necessary things. And it seems that God had decided to reiterate this point to me on this particular day in the most obvious way that He could think of!

But God wasnt the only person being exceedingly generous that day; so too were my house mates. None of us in YWAM make any money. We are all full time volunteers, trusting God to provide our finances in order for us to serve Him. And so giving things away, or buying things for others comes at a high cost, and is the sign of both a generous heart and one that hears the voice of God and is willing to obey. I love that I get to live in a community with some of the most generous people I have ever met. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that out of all the people I know, they are also the ones with the least amount of money.

Somehow I dont think so. Generosity is such a beautiful thing. Not only do people get blessed by it, but it also puts things in the world back into the right order – people first, belongings second. A heart of generosity shows that you fully comprehend the simple truth that all things come from God and belong to God; He has simply chosen to give them out on loan to you. And so when He speaks and tells you to give it away, you obey, understanding that it was never really yours in the first place. It seems to me that generosity is both an attitude and a way of life, and one that makes the world a much better place. My prayer is that God will bless me with a generous heart, so that I can be a blessing to others, in the same way that I have been blessed.

Cleaning Day and Rego Day

Every 3 months (or quarter as it is known here in Perth)  we send some students out into the nations on outreach, some students return back to Perth from outreach before heading back home, and new students arrive in Perth to start a school. Its quite the big turn around! But there is one week on base, when all students have left and no new students have arrived, leaving just the staff on base. This is known as the interim week….and it feels very quiet!

During this week all staff have to pick up extra duties to cover the work that students would usually do. So for instance I had to help with the evening dinner dishes clear up twice in the past week, which believe me, is incredibly hard work, and I am forever grateful that I dont have to do it more often! Doing the dishes for 200 odd people, plus cleaning the kitchen and 2 dining rooms is exhausting!! Happily, the new students have arrived now, so I have at least 3 months off from that particular duty 🙂

But the other thing that we do during the interim is give the whole base a good clean. We obviously clean the base more than just once every 3 months (every weekday morning every week of the year from 8-8.30am we all meet together to clean the base) but during the interim week we take a whole day to do a deep clean of absolutely everything. All the staff, 8am to 5.30pm with tea breaks in the middle, cleaning absolutely everything in sight. Again, absolutely exhausting. Although I have to say, I did pretty well with my allocations this time around. While some people were cleaning toilets in the morning, I was doing the gardening. And in the afternoon when some people were scrubbing the kitchen floors, I was helping to clean all the base vehicles. It was actually petty fun!

There was one bus in particular, one of the oldest in our fleet, but still very reliable, that I spent a lot of time looking after and giving some love to. I swept the insides of the bus, scrubbed the outside, and then gave it a good hose down with some of my friends. It was the cleanest that this bus has looked in ages. Unfortunately, the very next day there was an accident which ended up with the fire department being called and the bus going up in flames. No joke. All of my hard work cleaning the bus, and and now it is burnt to a cinder. Thankfully nobody got hurt (which is a miracle because one of my friends was actually on the roof of the bus when it went up in flames) but it certainly provided some entertainment that day. There we were, all busy working in the office, when an announcement is made over the speaker system (which I didnt even know we had!) saying “there is a fire on the premises. This is not a drill. please evacuate the building”. And so we did, all looking very confused, as from what I can understand this has never happened in the nearly 30 year history of YWAM Perth. But thankfully nothing serious, and after 15 minutes of chilling out in the car park area while the fire department did their thing, we were all back in the office sitting at our computers. Praise God.

A week on and all the new students for this quarter have arrived, and the base is looking much busier again. Today was Rego day (thats registration day for those of you who dont speak Australian!!) where all the students have to fill out lots of paper work, get a tour of the base, and generally get everything ready for class to start tomorrow. As staff we spend a lot of the day just mingling, getting to know some of the students, and welcoming them onto base. Then in the afternoon, there is always a whole base outing! This time we all went to the park, where there were lots of games and activities, and our evening meal served on paper plates! Its a great time to have some fun, get to know one another, and build community. We dont just work together, we also play together, and that is one reason why the base is so good at welcoming people into the family, and making them feel at home. There may be a lot of people on base, but they are all lovely, and they all genuinely care, which I think is really quite remarkable. I love it.

So now a new quarter has started, and (hopefully!) things will start to settle down a little. It will certainly go into more of a routine if nothing else, which I think will be helpful for me settling in. But all in all, things here are going really well! Thank you to those of you who have messaged me and been of such encouragement. I’m afraid I’m not very good at replying right now (I havent yet found enough hours in the day to get everything done!) but I love hearing from you all. And I will try my very best I promise!

Signing off for now with love and joy

Jo x

My First Week!

Sorry this is very much long overdue, but here is a quick run down of my first week in the office (which was last week in case you were wondering!) I said in my last post that I arrived at a very busy time on base with the mission conference and other things going on – and this week has proved no different!

Firstly, on Monday it was the Megacities Training Day! This is the one day every quarter (during a megacities year) where all the students that we will be sending overseas with megacities gets training on what to expect when they arrive! They were given cultural training in preparation for arriving in Kolkata, a quick history of the place, and a briefing as to the work that has already been done in the city and what they personally expect to get involved with. As a member of the Megacities Ministry, I got to sit in on the training day, which was incredibly helpful and I gained a lot of useful information myself. Next quarter I will probably be helping to do the training, rather than just listening to it! But a good first day I thought.

Tuesday we had a LONG ministry staff meeting – which involved danishes, custard and muffins. Yummy. I am not the only new member of the Megacities team, although the 2 other new people have been on staff here previously, so I am still the absolute Newbie. We spent some time during this meeting just getting to know one another more, but then we were given the sad news that one of the other members of the team will be leaving soon (Boo!) which will have quite the big impact on the team. Morag has been here at YWAM Perth for 10 years, so her departure is quite big news and she will be sorely missed. She carries a lot of responsibility in our team, so when she leaves a lot of things will be changing (did I mention that I have arrived at quite a busy time??!) Morag also happens to be one of my house mates, so I will doubly miss her as she is a lot of fun to live with. So there goes another person leaving my house (I’m not even going to bother to try and convince myself that this will be our house now, as apparently we have quite a few new staff joining us in the coming months so we are quite likely to be getting more new house mates) so its all change yet again! And I haven’t even been here a month yet!

Wednesday morning I had my official staff induction. I had to read the whole of the Child Protection Policy (I cant tell you how much fun that was!) and then was given a brief tour of the open office. There’s a fair bit of paperwork that needs to be sorted out, and I had to email lots of people letting them know that I have arrived so I can be put on rosters etc but I think we are getting there now. I’ve learnt fairly quickly that flexibility is the key – or as my team leader puts it “just ride the wave!”

The rest of the week I spent logging videos and transcribing testimonies. Yes thats right folks. Transcribing. I havent done any since my dissertation several years ago, and I must confess it is not my most favourite job in the world, although it is petty exciting hearing all the stories and testimonies coming out of Kolkata. What I love the most is hearing how we are having a lasting impact in the city – local people and local churches are being equipped, discipled, and trained, so that long after we leave the city the impact will still be seen in their communities. Its not just a short missions trip with short term goals, we are genuinely hoping for, and planting the seeds for long term transformation. Which I think is incredibly exciting. We are seeing hundreds of people coming to know Jesus as their Saviour and being plugged into a local church, and in turn the local churches are reporting continued growth. Praise the Lord!

Of course, transcribing requires quite a lot of concentration and hard work, so your prayers for that would be appreciated. It sounds like a silly job, but its actually really important both for us recording the impact that we are having in the city, and also for our promotional material, so prayer for grace and humility when I am feeling absolutely fed up and exhausted from thinking so hard would also be great! Its funny – but having spent all day today typing at an Ozzie keyboard, typing this on my UK laptop has had its moments of searching! There are only minor differences between the 2 (which probably makes it more difficult than if it was drastically different!) but significant symbols and pieces of punctuation are definitely in a different place! Just in case you were wondering…

Anyway, that was pretty much my week! I’ll save the adventures of this week for another day (and there are indeed some stories to be told!) and hopefully I will become more successful at sending out these updates on time.

Wishing you all a very happy October!!

Jo x

Week One – Missions Conference!

Before I start this post, there are a couple of things from my previous post that need to be set straight. Firstly, as some of you pointed out to me, my house does not have 33 bedrooms; it does in fact, only have 3. I have now corrected this so it reads correctly. I apologise for the incorrect facts, and can only blame it on the jet-lag. Secondly, I thought when I wrote the last post that once the students left from our house, things would settle down with the 7 of us living here. I was incorrect. In the last week alone, we have seen 2 students leave, and one move in (but only for a few days) 1 member of staff leave, one member of staff move in, one member of staff who will soon be leaving, and one member of staff who was going to be leaving, but now is not. It seems that life in this house will continue to move around a fair bit; but the 4 of us girls in my room will be the same now for the foreseeable future, which is nice.

Some of you will know that I got hit quite badly by jet lag last week. Happily, I have now pretty much recovered from that, and while I am still pretty tired at the end of each day, that is now down to the very busy schedule and all the new things that I am having to learn, and not because I’m not sleeping. Praise God!

Anyway, I will leave all other things for another post some day, as really I want to share a little bit with you about the Missions Conference that we have just had. I had no idea when I booked my ticket for Perth that I would be arriving just in time for this. It was such a blessing to be able to be at it, although the timing of it for me had both good and bad points to it. In one way, it was nice to have that as my first week to give me a chance to settle in more before getting fully involved with my ministry, but in other ways it was at times difficult and frustrating listening to people talk about your calling and role in missions when I hadn’t even started in my ministry yet! To sum it up…..it was really good, but totally out of context. So what exactly was it??

The missions conference was an in house conference held by YWAM Perth to spend the week talking about different aspects of missions. Everybody had the week off from their usual ministries, and we had a full on schedule, starting at 8am every morning, (although one morning I was on food prep duty in the kitchen – so then it was 7am) and finishing at about 9.15pm every night. There was some free time in between, but with about 500 people on base for the week it was petty chaotic! And a bit of a gruelling schedule for someone who was suffering from jet lag and majorly sleep deprived! So apologies for the lack of contact that I have had since arriving (and for the lateness of this post!) but hopefully you can understand why!

I did enjoy myself though; we had good speakers/topics, amazing times of worship, and a lot of fun too! Highlights had to be watching people go crazy after an awesome time of worship, crowd surfing, dancing and and generally partying really hard! Then there was the videos about the base that we got to make, all of our different drama interpretations on Genesis 12 and the calling of Abraham (the people here are so very creative) and even more exciting, hearing different peoples stories of how they got called into missions and where they feel God is calling them next! There are some amazing new things being developed here and in other countries around the world that we have connections with through different ministries, so it really is an exciting time to be involved!

Something that was really encouraging for me was that God really used the week to affirm once more that I am in the right place for this season in my life. I would be lying if I said that some doubts hadn’t crept into my mind these past few months (on occasion) about coming back here, or more often, wondered why God has called me to this place. If I am honest, I still don’t know why God has called me to this place specifically, but I am absolutely 100% certain that this is the place to be. And so I am trusting God in that.

This week God has really used the speakers and times of worship to show His faithfulness to me, as well as many other different things as well. I’ll save those things for another post – but for now I will just say that God is so very good. This week has definitely had its ups and downs, and there have been many challenges that I have had to face; but the good news is that I have survived! And I am looking forward to another week coming, where I will finally be able to get inducted as a fully fledged staff member (literally everything got put on hold this past week) meet the other people on my team and get stuck in with the Mega Cities Ministry. Adventure awaits!

Signing off for now, but I will be back soon with more updates I promise! Thanks to everybody for all your love, support and encouragement.