I’ve arrived!!

346 Lord Street
346 Lord Street
Our front porch
Our front porch
Our hallway leading to kitchen and dining room
Our hallway leading to kitchen and dining room
This top bunk is mine! The side ladder isn't great so my little legs have to jump up the end ladder!
This top bunk is mine! The side ladder isn’t great so my little legs have to jump up the end ladder!
The fireplace/shelving in between our 2 sets of bunk beds
The fireplace/shelving in between our 2 sets of bunk beds
One set of really high shelves. We get 2 shelves each to keep our stuff on
One set of really high shelves. We get 2 shelves each to keep our stuff on
The second set of really high shelves! Thankfully the bottom 2 will be mine!
The second set of really high shelves! Thankfully the bottom 2 will be mine!
This is how the shelves our connected on our back bedroom wall. Again, thankfully, I get half the rail space on the bottom railing
This is how the shelves our connected on our back bedroom wall. Again, thankfully, I get half the rail space on the bottom railing
This is our back garden
This is our back garden
And part of our back porch...equipped with outside sofa and chairs!! (and oddly...a bookshelf)
And part of our back porch…equipped with outside sofa and chairs!! (and oddly…a bookshelf)

Well I’ve arrived! And this is my new home 🙂 Apologies for the not so great pictures; I forgot to take them earlier in the day and by the time I remembered the light wasn’t so great. But at least you will be able to picture where I live!

I’m slowly starting to settle in now. I’ve been here a few days and feeling pretty jet lagged still, so sleep is still a bit of a problem. Hopefully I will soon start sleeping at the correct time of day! Everything in this house is so big! I feel really quite small as I stand next to the shelves in our bedroom (as you can see!) but I’m hoping that it will soon start to feel like home. I’ve had some ideas already as to how I can make it feel more homey.

Things are a little chaotic at the moment on base with lots of extra people around, so we currently have some people sleeping on the floor in our house. But once things have settled down there will be 8 of us living in this house. I share my room with 3 other ladies, and there are 3 bedrooms in total. We have 2 empty beds in the house, so the potential to go up to 10, but I don’t think we will have anybody else new anytime soon (but watch this space!!) So for now I am the newbie of the house, and thus I have a top bunk which makes life more interesting. My legs are definitely not long enough for the bunk ladder, but I am starting to get a bit of a technique going!!

Right. I am going to sign off for now, but stay tuned for more updates. What I didn’t realise until the other day is that I am joining at one of the busiest times of the year on base, with outreach teams returning, schools preparing to go out on outreach, and new students arriving. Plus our week long missions conference starts tomorrow – if I am honest I have no idea what that is – but I will keep you posted!!

Jo x





A few of you have asked me why I decided to go back to Australia and how I felt this is what God was calling me to do. So I thought I would try to tackle this question and answer the all-important question – “WHY?!”

If I am honest, almost as soon as I arrived in Perth the place started to look very attractive to me, and I realised that this was the kind of place that I would like to live. Community is very important to me, and the idea of living in community with a group of people all on fire for Jesus and committed to go out into the world to love and serve others is a very appealing one. But I didn’t really think much of it until about Week 5, when other people started to talk to me about it. It was odd – but people who I had only known for 5 weeks started to come up to me randomly and say that they thought I would be good working here more long term. I took it as a massive compliment, but didn’t really see it as anything else.

And then Week 6 came – the topic for which was ‘Lordship, Authority and Submission’. Heavy stuff! Being completely honest, it was a difficult week. The lecturer that we had for the week was weird and wonderful to the extreme (in fact he is quite literally mad as a badger – in a good way) and my poor little head had difficulty keeping up with the pace of the lectures. But amidst the whirlwind of information that was being thrown my way, God started to speak.

The week was, not surprisingly, about making Jesus Lord of our lives. Getting rid of anything else that was getting in the way, and making sure that our priorities were in the right order; Jesus first, then everything else. In my quiet times God started challenging me about the things that I sometimes put before Him, the things that can sometimes prevent me from obeying what He has asked me to do. I realised that at the very top of this list was my family, who I love dearly, and who I have a terrible habit of trying to take care of/taking responsibility for myself, rather than entrusting them into the (much better!) care of God. Throughout the whole week I kept being challenged, this question continually going around in my head; ‘would I be willing to give up my family for Jesus?’ My plan had always been to do my DTS and then go back to the UK, get a youth work job and live happily ever after in the same country as my family! But what if God asked me to move overseas? Would I be able to let go of my family, trust, and obey?

By this point I was really starting to worry that it may not be a hypothetical question that God was asking of me. Probably not the best attitude to have I’ll be honest, but nothing had happened specifically to make me think that I should go into full time missions. After all, that’s what my big sister does, not me! But then one morning in lectures that all changed. Our lecturer for the week was asking us all what rights we felt that we had, and in order to make the point that we need to give up our rights, he would then go and do the exact opposite thing of what we said we valued. For example, one person said that they had the right to personal space, and so our lecturer then went and sat on his lap, stroked his face etc…it was funny to watch from the back – and gave me some time to think of something to say that might be a little bit more safe. I can’t actually remember what I said, but I do remember his response as if it was yesterday. Not moving, he looked me straight in the eyes and said with a smile “Welcome to YWAM Perth!” That was it. It was like an arrow had hit me right in the heart. Without even knowing it, my lecturer had spoken the words of God to me, and I knew that this was what God was asking of me.

But I still took some convincing. “What about my nephew God? I don’t know how long he will be living in the UK for and I want to spend as much time as possible with him. What about my family? I actually live in the same country as my sister right now and I’m really enjoying that. My mum will be really upset that I live so far away. What about youth work? I have a degree in it, so surely I should get a job doing that? I really like living in the UK, they have the NHS and an amazing flag and some really exciting stuff is going on in the Church and I totally want to be a part of that” etc…

I realised that I had a lot of reasons for wanting to stay in the UK and not going to live overseas. Maybe I imagined it then? It makes much more sense for me to stay in the UK, maybe I misunderstood what God was saying to me. Maybe it was just a coincidence….I tried to convince myself, but it just didn’t seem to stick. So I settled for this:

Ok God – if this is really you – if you are really asking me to move to the other side of the world, away from my family, friends, all the people that I love, and all that is comfortable and familiar to me, if that is really what you want me to do, then you will have to make it really really obvious. Because I’m a little slow, and I’m not going to do this unless I am absolutely, 100% certain that this is what you are asking me to do.

And that’s how I left it. I continued with my day, wondering if God would show up in some dramatic way or if the whole idea would fizzle out slowly and surely until I completely forgot that I had even considered it.

The next day I woke up and had ‘Jeremiah 42’ stuck in my head. Now, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you before, where you get this random Bible verse in your head, and you get all excited and wonder what it could be that God wants to say to you, and then you look it up in your Bible and its some random passage about the weight of silver that needs to be given as a sacrifice in the tabernacle along with 2 young pigeons and a dove?? It’s happened to me a lot. And I get really frustrated when I hear stories of people who have had dramatic intervention in their lives from God, seeing angels, Bibles opening up to certain scriptures, letters in the mail from unknown people etc. It’s annoying when people get direct instructions from God as to what they should do in their lives, because I don’t often get this and am instead left with questions as to whether I am doing the right thing or not.

So I half-heartedly reach for my Bible, expecting it to be some obscure passage that has nothing to do with anything (after all, it’s the book of Jeremiah, and I know nothing about the book of Jeremiah – my brain must be working in overtime to try and think of some response from God) when my eyes get to verse 10.

“If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot for…”

Well my heart both flipped with joy and sank with terror all at the same time. In a split second a million thoughts went through my head. This really was what God was saying. I had heard the voice of God! God had specifically spoken to me through His Word – that never happens to me. Wow! God answered my prayer. Oh no! That means I’ve got to come back to Australia. I really do have to leave my family. I can’t ignore this. This has actually happened. No doubt, no denying it. It’s right there in front of my eyes. What am I going to do???!!

The rest is history. I spoke to some people, filled out some forms, and now, in 2 weeks, I will be leaving my life here in the UK behind, getting on a jet plane, and moving to the other side of the world. For 2 years at least. After that? Who knows! But I am sure God will make it clear to me at the right time. But what amazes me most is God’s faithfulness in it all. I will leave that for another post, but let’s just say that in the 9 months or so since this happened, God has continued to guide me and show me that this is what I need to be doing, and has opened doors, closed doors, and enabled all the things that I have needed to happen, to happen, in order for me to bring closure to all that has gone before, and move forward into the future with a bright hope. God really is good, all the time. And He speaks! How awesome to know that we serve a God who wants to communicate with us, and guides us along the path that He has laid out for us.

…and where I’m going next!

I ended my last post by saying that I am going to be a full time missionary with YWAM Perth for the next 2 years.  As promised; here is the extra information for anybody who is interested!

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, YWAM is a multi-generational, multi-denominational, global non-profit organisation (sorry for the massive mouthful!) with 3 main aims of  1) discipling the church worldwide 2) evangelism and 3) mercy ministry.  It is a ministry and training body with over 1,100 operating locations in 180 nations around the world. YWAM was founded by a man named Loren Cunningham over 50 years ago, and has a mission statement ‘To know God and make Him known’ with a passion to bring hope and transformation in all spheres of society.

The base in Perth is the third biggest YWAM base in the world, but the biggest urban base, placed right in the heart of the city. This brings many challenges and opportunities! But one thing that I love about the Perth base is the range and diversity of ministries that it heads up. From providing health care and houses for some of the world’s most vulnerable, working with Social Services to bring help to local families in need, or outreach through art, technology, and dance, people from all over the world with all different kinds of skills and talents have joined together to live as a community to love and serve the people of this world. To find out more about YWAM Perth you can check out their website here: www.ywamperth.org.au which has a full list of all the different ministries and training opportunities they run.

The ministry that I will be specifically getting involved with is Megacities; a ministry that aims to be a catalyst towards transformation in the large cities of this world, serving in partnership with local believers, discipling and equipping them to see the Kingdom of God come to their cities in greater ways. You can find out more information about Megacities here: http://www.ywamperth.org.au/missions/megacities

More than 50% of people today live in cities, and the reality is that they need Jesus! Having travelled a fair bit in recent years to countries all around the world, I have become more and more convinced that if more people committed themselves to following the ways of Jesus and the values/principles of the Bible,  we would see real (and much needed!) change and transformation in our societies. I’ve seen a country torn apart by civil war and poverty in Burundi, communities torn apart and forced into poverty by corruption in Africa and South America, and a war torn country fearful of its neighbours in Lebanon. Not to mention the chaos and destruction that you see in Nepal brought on through the worship of false gods and idolatry. And the truth is that wherever the heart of a city lies, there lies the fate of the country. What happens in our cities leads the way for the rest of the nation. If politicians are led by greed and corruption, the country will lie in poverty. If the media spreads values of greed, inequality, and hate, then the country will be torn apart by misguided values. If education is censored, or given only to those with money, then the power of the minority will continue to dictate the lives of the majority, often with unjust and terrible consequences. The list is endless.

Now imagine a city that is dedicated and committed to the teachings of Jesus. Where justice, servanthood, and loving your neighbour are put before the love of money, power, or personal gain. Where peace, not war, is encouraged, love, and not hate. Where those in a position of power use it to serve the people of their nation; to bring justice and opportunities for everybody, instead of using corruption to meet private ambition. That is the dream that I have, and that is why I am committing the next 2 years of my life to this ministry. The hope that we will see lives and nations changed for Jesus compels me.

So what will this mean for me practically? Well, it will be a lot of admin from the base in Perth, networking with people, arranging teams and projects. Megacities focuses on one city every 2 years; one year of preparation, and then one year of sending people from all over the world to that specific city. Teams need to be created, trained, equipped and prepared, and then when they are sent out, they need to be co-ordinated and looked after! All of this involves a multitude of tasks, and I will be getting involved with many of them! But I will also have the opportunity to travel to these cities personally, getting involved with on the ground missionary work, training and equipping the local church, running evangelism projects and also mercy ministry. Megacities is currently in full swing in Kolkata India, and we are hearing some amazing stories of people being healed,  receiving the love of Jesus through acts of compassion, and coming to know him personally as their Lord and Saviour. It’s incredibly exciting stuff. You can read of some of these stories on the website J

So why am I telling you all of this?? Because I would LOVE for you to get involved. And there are many different ways that you can J What I love about the Church and the Body of Christ is that we all have our part to play, but without the other parts, we are useless. You can play your part in missions without even leaving your front room! Will you partner with me in missions and join the adventure of seeing this world transformed for Jesus, one person, one city at a time? If yes then I would love to hear from you!

Firstly, if you email me with your current email address then I will add you onto my newsletter list. I will be sending out monthly updates to let you know what I am up to, sharing stories and prayer requests. If you don’t email me, I won’t add you to the list and you will never have to read emails like this again! No pressure…but I would love your support and encouragement!!

Secondly, would you consider being a prayer partner? My monthly newsletters will contain general prayer requests, along with things going on at the time of writing, but I would also love to have a prayer team of people who I can email throughout the month with more specific (and maybe occasionally emergency!) prayer needs. Prayer is so important, and I really cannot do this alone. Without the generosity of people giving their time to hold me up in prayer and standing in faith with me, my frail and human attempts will add up to nothing much! So if you feel called to partner with me in prayer then I would love to hear from you.

Thirdly, would you prayerfully consider supporting me financially? I am going out as a full time missionary, and therefore will be required to support myself financially. I will be giving my time to work full time for free, and whilst I am completely happy to live a life of simplicity away from consumerism, I do need some money to pay for my bed and food! It costs $12 a day to live on base at YWAM Perth (that’s roughly £6.50 to you and me) which covers accommodation, lunch and evening meals. Which is a pretty incredible deal when you think about the average cost of living! (Even more so when you consider that everything is much more expensive Perth). That adds up to just over £200 a month for basic essentials, plus costs for simple things like breakfast and general living costs such as toiletries and transport. Could you be a monthly supporter or donator?

If you have any questions, or would like any more information about how you can partner with me, then please do let me know. I would love to chat with you further. These are just some of the ways that you can support me, but there are many other ways too. I will be spending at least 3 months abroad (that is, outside of Australia) each year (maybe up to 6 months) so will need to raise money for these trips too. How about organising a fundraiser in your church or community for when I will be heading out? The possibilities are endless!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am really excited about the next chapter in my adventure of following the call of Christ on my life, and I look forward to partnering with you. Let’s go out into the world together to continue the great commission of Jesus and making disciples of all nations!





How I’ve got to where I’m going….

Just over a year ago I applied for a job as a girls youth worker in Greenwich South East London.  I wasn’t really expecting to get it; I just thought that the whole process of applying, and going for interview, would be good experience for me. And then they offered me the job! It was quite the surprise. But to cut a long story short, I was confused, and didn’t really know what to do. On one hand, I thought I should take the job. After all, I would be stupid to turn down a job offer when so many people at the time were desperate to get ANY job, let alone one that they were trained/qualified in and actually wanted! But on the other – it just didn’t feel right. So after some time thinking, praying, and discussing with other people, I decided to turn the job offer down. This wasn’t where God wanted me. He was leading me somewhere; I just didn’t know where yet!

And so I went through a time of searching my own heart, and really seeking God. I had trained to be a youth worker, but had decided that I wasn’t the person to do secular youth work. The only trouble was, I also didn’t feel ready to go and work for a church again. My options were somewhat limited! I decided that if I wasn’t yet ready to do what I had felt for so long God calling me to, then I should focus on the reasons why.  Very slowly God started to speak to me…and that is how I ended up doing my Discipleship Training School at YWAM Perth!

A year on and I have absolutely no doubt that turning that job down was one of the best decisions I have made in my adult lifetime. In 20 years’ time I think I will look back on that moment and highlight it as one of those pivotal decisions that changed the course of my life.  And in the same way, choosing to go to YWAM Perth was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I am so thankful to God for His continued faithfulness and guidance in my life, without which, I haven’t got a clue where I would have ended up! I did nearly go to YWAM South Africa – but that’s a whole different story!

What I will say however, is that God led me exactly to where He wanted me, and that was in Perth. And now, 12 months on, I am preparing to go back to that city; the place where I firmly believe that God has called me to. So what will I be doing in Perth I hear you ask!

Well, to summarise, I am going to be a full time missionary with Youth With a Mission Perth (YWAM). I will be heading out there for 2 years, and then after that….who knows! But the next 2 years is what I want to concentrate on for now 🙂 It’s going to be an adventure, and one that I am incredibly excited about. But you will have to wait just a little bit longer to hear what I will be doing out there! Watch this space folks – it’s all just about to begin!

Carpe Diem!

About 9 years ago a much younger version of me sat in a PSHE class at school. (I know – I still can’t believe how long ago it was since I left secondary school). This was a fairly standard occurrence (it happened once a week in fact) but the events of this particular lesson have stuck with me ever since.

As was typical for soon to be school leavers, we were discussing as a class our plans for the future, and what we thought we were going to do next. At 15, I had already known for some time what I wanted to be when I was older, what I was going to need to study at college, and ultimately, what degree I was going to have to do (I was an avid planner in those days!) And I told my tutor as much, adding that as both my older brother and sister had got a 2:1 in their degrees, this was my target, because I wanted to be as good as them.

In response, Mr K looked straight at me, and told me that I should never settle for anything less than the best. If my siblings both got 2:1s, then I should aim for nothing less than a First, and prove myself to not only be as good them, but in fact, better.

7 years later, I graduated from University with a First Class Honours Degree in Youth and Community Work with Practical Theology (and yes – that was the degree I had planned all those years before). I couldn’t help but think about that day when Mr K suggested to me that this could be possible. It had clearly had a profound impact on me.

A few months ago I was recalling this to my Mum, thinking about my time at both school and university, and sharing how much I respected Mr K, and how great a teacher he really was. For some time I had considered the idea of going back and visiting my secondary school, finding Mr K and thanking him for that timeless piece of advice that he had given me. Now, post degree, it seems much more significant than just talking about University. We all at times need to refuse to settle for anything less than the best. But I didn’t go back to school, despite it being only a 3 minutes walk away from my home. My reason? I was scared that Mr K wouldn’t remember who I was, and that the whole thing might just be a little bit too awkward.

So why am I sharing all of this with you? I wouldn’t blame you for asking. And if you did ask me, this is what I would say.

2 weeks ago I received the tragic news that Mr K had died. Still teaching at the school, a healthy man in his (at a guess) early 40s, went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up the next day. And when I heard this news, one of the first thoughts that came into my head was how I had never had the opportunity to say thank you. How my ridiculous fear of not being recognised had prevented me from telling another human being how much they were appreciated and respected. How he died, not knowing that I got a First in my degree, or how much of an impact he had made in my life. And for all of this, I felt a genuinely deep sadness.

What a missed opportunity! I know – it probably doesn’t sound like much. And in the scheme of things I suppose it really isn’t. There is a real possibility that had I gone to visit him, he wouldn’t have remembered me. Goodness knows how many students he has taught since I left that school, and I’m sure he didn’t stay up at night wondering what happened to all his previous students, or what degrees they went on to get at university! But I had the opportunity to show a hand of kindness, to reach out in a simple act of humanity by showing my thankfulness…and I didn’t do it.

My depth of feeling towards this these past few weeks has somewhat surprised me. I wasn’t “close” to Mr K, he wasn’t my favourite teacher (in fact I never actually had him as a subject teacher, only as my tutor for PSHE classes) but this really has struck me quite hard. He was strict, but he was also fair, and commanded the respect of almost everyone. He was wise, and he knew what he was talking about, giving good advice, and helping whenever possible.

So what reflections do I have to share with you all? Seize the day! If you have the opportunity to extend kindness to another human being – just do it. Don’t end up like me, regretting a missed opportunity. Don’t wait until tomorrow – because as I have so sadly discovered – tomorrow doesn’t always come. Life is too short. And too many people are out there competing with one another, looking for cheap shots to bring others down. Don’t be that person. Lets be the kind of people who happily offer encouragement. Who extend themselves beyond their own comfort zones to show thankfulness and appreciation. Lets give respect and honour to people where it is due, recognising and celebrating achievements when they come. We are not competing against each other. It doesn’t matter if at times it feels a little awkward. Because you never know what a difference you could make in another persons life.

My bet is that I am not the only person with a Mr K in their life. In fact, some of you reading this may be thinking of somebody that you need to thank at this very moment. If that is you, my challenge to you is – go and do it. Right Now. Or at least, as soon as possible. Don’t put it off. But even if there isn’t anybody right now, I hope that you will all learn from me on this one, as I now have learned, to be people of thankfulness and gratitude at every opportunity. And never to take anything,  or anyone, for granted. Rest in peace Mr K – you were one of the good ones.

Outreach Rules


As many of you will know, I like the American TV programme NCIS. Quite a lot. And one of the many quirks of the show that I think is fantastic is the list of rules that the team leader, Gibbs, has on life, and being an investigator. So when one of my team members during outreach suggested that we have our own list of team outreach rules, I was more than happy to comply. Some of them are darn right silly and completely unnecessary. Some of them sound absolutely ridiculous, but actually have a serious point or reason behind them. And some of them, I’ll be honest, I don’t actually agree with. But, to be fair to the spirit of the outreach rules, here is the full list, along with my own commentary to explain!


  1.   The nose decides. Which basically means, whenever a job has to be done, the last person to touch their nose loses. Almost always connected to who is going to do the dishes, but can be used in other scenerios too.


  2.   Never reject a High-Five! Dont do it! Because it’s just plain mean.


  3.   Don’t do the annoying snapping thing, because its annoying. You know the thing? With your fingers? That supposedly causes arthritis? I cant do this anyway, making this rule an easy one to follow. But I do agree with the rule. Dont do it people. It’s disgusting.


  4.   Don’t do hashtags, for the same reason as Rule 3. Alas, the rule (in my view) that is most contentious. Put simply, I personally #lovehashtagging, so with the exception of Rule 18, this is the one that I (intentionally) broke  most often.


  5.   There are absolutly no dogs allowed!! (no exceptions)
    1.   Pastor David’s little Dog is allowed!


      This is because of the massive risk of rabies when on outreach in Nepal. There are wild dogs EVERYWHERE so going near one is very much at your own peril. It’s sensible. Pastor David’s dog is allowed because he is a tiny cute bundle of fur. In Australia. He’s not going to be hurting anybody anytime soon.



  6.   Cows are forbidden!
    1.   Jo’s cow socks are allowed, because they are cool
    2.   Cow’s are not allowed to eat your shoes

      This one sounds silly, but is actually really serious. Cows are considered holy in Nepal, and are pretty much worshipped by many Hindus. As Christian missionaries you dont want to be a prt of that, or look like you are. But my cow (slipper) socks are awesome.



  7.   Goats are allways cool!
    1.   If Goats are wearing a T-shirt, they are double cool!

      Because sometimes in Nepal, goats wear T-shirts. They are that cool.

  8.   Ducks are sometimes cool, when they are not angry
    1.   Angry ducks are forbidden
    2.   The little duck is super cool

      In brief – angry ducks have red heads. Little ducks are cute little fluffy things.


  9.   Chickens and Pigs are allways cool
    1.   If we could have a Team-Pet, it would be a chicken
    2.   Roosters are forbidden and not cool

      We lived in a house with cute little fluffy ducks for a while. And chickens. But Roosters wake you up early in the morning. Even on your day off. Not cool.


  10.   Use your words
    1.   If you have a bad throut, you are absolutly not allowed to use your words


      This one was for the English as a 2nd language team members – it was important to keep communication even when difficult.


  11.   Speak loud, slow and clear

    See above !


  12.   The rules are unchangable


  13.   You can keep adding rules to the list


  14.   Ants are never cool
    1.   The rule is also for flys, mosquitos and cockroaches, as well as for all other bugs
    2.   Ants are not even cool if they could wear a T-Shirt


  15.   There is no Korean translation available
    1.   As well as no French, Turkish or Chinese

      (Dont ask me why these 3 languages – I have no idea)


  16.   Never interrupt Esther when she is having an Esther-Moment

    An Esther moment is when our lovely team member is trying very hard to translate something from Korean into English, pronounce something correctly, or explain/describe something in English. Its adorable, but you kind of have to see it to understand.


  17.   Kuckaburra’s are called Kokobros’ and are allowed. They are cool
    1.   The black and white birds are forbidden and evil


  18.   Never ask the question‘ Where is Leakey?‘ because sometimes the answer is confusing
    1.   You are allowed to fail this rule

      And believe me…fail this rule we did! (Leakey being a team member who was always disappearing)


  19.   God is good, all the time – All the time, God is good!!

    I hope this is self explanatory


  20.   Don’t touch wild Kangoroos

    They are dangerous you know


  21.   Esther needs to eat three pieces of vegetables at every meal
    1.   sometimes she needs to eat four pieces

      Although I would argue that eating your vegetables is an important rule for everybody…


  22.   If you are a member of this team, you need to say lunche, trashe, Outreache…

    It’s how Korean people say difficult pronounciations in English. Really quite incredible how quickly this catches on.


  23.   The kiakia song is forbidden
    1.   The lactso song is also forbidden
    2.   All songs or noises which sound like kiakia are forbidden

      These 2 songs are from Nepal, and are incredibly annoying. They also happen to be the catchiest tunes ever. Even a whisper of the first syllable is enough for the tune to be stuck in your head for the entire day. I’m not exaggerating. Hence, the very strong banning on any mention or association towards the song.


  24.   To Be Determined


  25.   The van is called mango and thats a cool name for a car!!

    I wanted to call the van Van-Go (get it?!) but it was decided that as the van helped man to go (on our road trip around Western Australia) we should call it that instead. We love Mango very much. He’s a cool van.


  26.   You are allowed to dream from mulch

    We did a lot of gardening in WA. There was mulch involved. Lots and lots of mulch.


  27.   Don’t follow or copy me and I am not Yeji

    This one is kind of unexplainable I’m afraid L


  28.   The language we are speaking is called Konglish

    A mix between English and Korean. See Rule 22.


  29.   The stomach is allowed to talk, whatever the stomach wants to talk
    1.   They are even allowed to talk weird stuff
    2.   They don’t need to use their words

      So my stomach makes weird noises sometimes. I like to say that its talking. Other people find this amusing. Apparently it’s not normal.


  30.   The struggle is real, even if the struggle is sometimes hidden

    Because sometimes, we have hidden struggles in our life. When working/living with a team of people for 3 months, this is important to remember.


  31.   Always remember: disembarking proceeds embarking

    This was the rule for public transportation in one of our outreach destinations. It was played on the speaker everytime the door to the metro opened….in a horribly cheesy American accent. Cue continual mockings and repetitions.


  32. You are allowed to be sad, when Outreache is over


  33.   Our team has six members: Stickman, Claire, Turtle, Felix, DJo, Robertson, Grandpa, JeeYoung, Esterää, Mango and Jo

    Only some of the many names that we were given during our 3 months of outreach.


  34.   Our team is called The Herd
    1.   We are allowed to be a weird herd
    2.   We don’t need a team flag

      The Herd is taken from a quote from the film Ice Age that we felt represented us quite well. We were incredibly blessed over the 3 months of outreach with team unity, so it was only right that we should have a group name/term of endearment.


  35.   If there’s anything JeeYoung can’t fix, it really is destroyed

    Seriously…that woman is a Ninja and can fix anything.



That’s it folks! Apologies for any typos or incorrectly spelt words. This actually comes all the way from Germany, and I cant figure out how to change the language on here to use spell check! Hopefully its readable anyway. And I hope you enjoyed a weird and wonderful glimpse into the world of Outreach!!




Around the World in 10 minutes!

Firstly, I must apologise. I know it has been far too long since I last updated this blog, and quite a lot has happened in that time. I suppose I should give you a quick rundown of my happenings for the past few months, which I hope will also explain the lack of communication.

When I last wrote, I was on the mission field of Nepal seeing God work in incredible ways. Well, God continued to do amazing things during our time there, but unfortunately we did not see a miraculous appearance of Wifi. Hence it suddenly going very quiet from my end. We were in Nepal for a total of 5 weeks, 2 weeks in Kathmandu, one week in Biratnigar, and then 1 week in Birtimode. Our final week was back in Kathmandu where, thankfully, the temperature had risen significantly in the 2 weeks that we had been away.  Our time in Nepal was spent mostly doing open air evangelism, sharing the gospel of Jesus; sometimes for the very first time to people who had never heard of Christianity or the Bible. Exciting times.

From Nepal we then spent 3 weeks in another country, where unfortunately social media is not easily accessed. That, plus the need for extra security, meant that I was not able to update my blog during that time. I can’t really say much about those 3 weeks publicly, but let’s just say that God is awesome and we really saw Him work during that time; and I feel incredibly blessed from my time there.

From there we flew back to Perth, had an overnight stop back at base, and then headed further down south to Dunsborough/Augusta for the final few weeks of outreach.  Ironically, our time on outreach in Western Australia was the only time that we had NO internet access, so again, making blog updates impossible. But, we had an amazing time there, so I would like to give a shout out to all my new Ozzie friends who I met during this time. Dunsborough is an incredibly beautiful part of the world – if you ever get the chance I would highly recommend heading down in that direction. During our time there we got to partner with a local church serving people and loving people – it was a great way to end 12 weeks of crazy outreach. God provided for us and blessed us as a team in many incredible ways, not least in our unity as a team. 12 weeks of living with 5 other people can be challenging at times, but amazingly we all went back to Perth still talking to one another! I was massively privileged to spend that time with 5 amazing people, and made some really good friends in the process.

But then it was time to go back to Perth for the final week and graduation! Chaos ensued – with more than 20 girls all sleeping on the floor in one classroom on base! Considering that nearly every girl also had 2 suitcases with her, you can imagine the messiness that followed. But it was a lot of fun, and great to catch up with all the other teams who we hadn’t seen in 12 weeks, each with incredible stories to tell of God’s faithfulness as we went out into all the world to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

And now here I am! Sat on my sofa in the glorious UK, an official YWAM DTS graduate. There are many other things that I could share with you, but I fear that if I did, we would be here forever. It would of course been much easier had I not taken so long to write this (I have been back for over a month now after all) but I confess that it has taken me this time to sort through all the thoughts and feelings going on in my head, and to figure out what exactly it is that I want to say.

I mean – what next? That is the question that entered my head as I said goodbye to my friends at Perth airport and headed up the escalator to begin my long journey back home to the UK. And it is the question that has refused to leave my head ever since. Sure, I have plans about what I am going to do, where I am going to go etc. But if there is one thing that I have learnt these past few years, it is that no matter how many plans you make for your future, you nearly always end up somewhere different from where you originally intended to go. Life happens. The unplanned, unexpected event that either forces, or encourages you, to take a detour or side step from where you thought you were going. And that’s not always a bad thing. All I am saying is – it isn’t always about the plan. Which is something that I never thought I would hear myself saying!

You see, the older I get, the more I am starting to think that maybe life isn’t so much about the big plans that you make for your life, but how you choose to live your life from day to day. Those simple, everyday decisions that you have to make. ‘How am I going to respond to this person who is really annoying me?’ ‘Can I be bothered to do the hovering today?’ ‘How am I going to spend my time, or my money?’ Because I think those decisions say a lot about a person.

My time on DTS blew all my expectations. I learnt so much about God, about myself, other people, and the world. But if that doesn’t affect how I live my life, then what was the point? And I think that is what I have been most fearful of. Ever since I came back home – ‘what if I am still living the same way back here in the UK as I was before I left 6 months ago?’ And that has caused me to do a lot of self-evaluation; much of which I still haven’t figured out. But when I do, I have a feeling that this will define me much more than what job I am going to do next ever will.

A couple of days ago I met up with one of my old school friends at the pub. It was great to catch up on life after 6 months, but what was even more encouraging is that both of us seem to be in a pretty good place right now. We are both 24 (and now accept, that yes, we are indeed in our mid-twenties) and life is pretty good. Neither of us had the best of times at secondary school (but then again, who does?!) but it seems to me that I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. It’s not about comparing myself to other people any more. I can be myself, and that is ok. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any more questions. Life is full of them, and always will be. But that’s ok too.

So, forgive me if my blog entries over the next couple of months consist of external processing of self-analysis, but I have a feeling that it could prove to be a helpful exercise. And who knows, maybe it will prove to be helpful for you too. I’m on a journey. No idea where I am going. There literally is no plan. Let’s see where I end up! 

Rickshaws, Hospitals and Witchcraft

I will start this post by saying that the promise of a comfortable 15 hour coach journey was not fulfilled, and turned out to be quite unpleasant. The warmth that was there when I wrote the last blog was quickly turned of plunging me once more into depths of coldness. There was a Bollywood movie being played loudly until late hours of the night, and the bumpy road road was like 15 hours of non stop turbulence. It was the closest that I have come to travel sickness in a very long time. But we arrived safely in Biratnagar early the next day and have been having an adventure ever since!


Biratnagar is the second biggest city in Nepal, near the border of India. It is very different from Kathmandu. For one thing it is warmer. And secondly, we are no longer risking our lives on crammed buses. We risking our lives on rickshaws instead! Difficult to decide which is more uncomfortable, or scary. At least in the bus you don’t see the massive truck coming straight towards you….


Anyhoo. Here are just a couple of my highlights. Yesterday we got to go into a local hospital and pray for people. It was great how many people were open to prayer, even though most of them were Hindu! One man asked us for a Bible (which we were happy to supply) because he wanted to know more about Jesus. Another man we prayed for had terrible breathing before we prayed, but after some time of praying his breathing pace started to slow down to a normal constant rhythm, he was able to take much deeper breathes, and he said much of the pain had gone away! It was amazing!


Of course there were also some difficult bits. The conditions in the hospital were not exactly terrific to put it mildly, and there were a lot of very sick people. We prayed for one man who appeared to be close to death, and were able to spend time talking to his family. There were also some very sick and tiny children which was heartbreaking  to see, but I hope we were able to bring some hope to their families. So although it was difficult, I was also greatly encouraged that we were able to follow the command of Jesus to pray for the sick.


Today we got to visit a remote village outside of the city. This is always a great honour, because sometimes we are the first people to ever bring the gospel of Jesus to them. The village today had obviously had previous visits from christians (there was even a church there!) but as we met in fellowship with the believers it soon become clear that something not good was going on in the community. Many people came forward for prayer for bad and distressing dreams, most of which were reoccurring every night. One lady has had the same bad dream every night for the last 6 months, and at the same time that the dreams started, she started to suffer terribly from bad headaches and stomach pains. We did not think this was a coincidence, so asked Holy Spirit for guidance as to how we should pray for them. We all got a sense that witchcraft and other evil forces may be at work, so we spent most of the afternoon praying against that, rebuking it in the name of Jesus, and doing some good old spiritual warfare!


So that is my life at the moment! Never a dull moment but always an adventure! No idea what we are going to be doing tomorrow…but im sure God has something exciting planned! Will keep you posted!!!

Update from Nepal!

Hi all. I managed to send this through to my family a few days ago and now that I have the capability, I thought I would share it with you too! Enjoy!


Hello!!! Thought I would take this rare opportunity of having good WiFi internet access to email you all and let you know that I am still alive!! Please pass the message on to anybody who may be interested!!


The reason I currently have internet is somewhat amusing. I’m sat on a coach, leaving kathmandu, and will be sat here for the next 15 hours as it drives us through the night to our next destination , Beratnigar (almost certainly not the correct spelling) near the India border. We left today at 4pm and will arrive tomorrow morning at around 7am so we are in for a long drive!! But, having said that, this is the best internet I’ve had since arriving in Nepal, its the warmest I’ve been post 4pm in Nepal (I think there is actual heating here!!) and its the most comfortable I’ve been in weeks! The seats are big, comfy and recline for a good nights sleep so im not complaining at all!! The only thing its missing is a toilet, but I suppose you can’t have everything!


Life here in Nepal is very basic. There is limited internet, electricity, heat, water, clean air…you name it, we probably don’t have it! Unless its mountains. Which are incredibly beautiful and pretty much surrounding us. But even then you can only see them some of the time due to the smog and horrible air pollution. But we are all slowly adapting and surviving for the most part. I’m happy to report that I have kept in good health, and have been one of the few not needing to take a sick day for one thing or another. I think all my previous traveling experience has prepared me and my stomach well!! Although nothing can quite prepare you for the bad smells and air pollution here, half the population walk around with face masks just so they can breathe. Eurgh.


We have been incredibly blessed with the food so far, its basic, but tasty, albeit loaded with carbs, mostly rice, noodles and potato. Apparently the city we are going to next is influnced by India so im looking forward to curry and naan bread which I have been informed I can expect.


Weather here is a tale of 2 extreme. If the sun is out, its actually pretty hot, so for the most part, day time is warm and comfortable. But as soon as the sun disappears there is a tangible drop in temperature, and it just gets colder from there on in! I feel like I have discovered new levels of freezing at night, as unlike anywhere else I have been there is no getting away from it. No heater, no central heating, no nothing. Its just you and your sleeping bag desperately trying to keep warm. This is tough at times, and most people have indeed got the sniffles and sneezes, but I hear where we are going will be slightly warmer so im thanking God for that! We may actually be in the plus numbers at night!


The work that we have been doing is going really well. We have done many things but highlights have included playing football in the park with street boys surrounded by monkeys (bizarre it has to be said) and then eating snacks with them as we shared the gospel of Jesus, visiting a ywam childrens home and playing with the children there, going into a school to do several dramas to talk about love and friendships and doing an open air in a park where we were surrounded by a crowd of over 200 people and got to preach the gospel! We have also done a bit of street evangelism and prayer walking, visiting places of influence such as colleges, the TV centre, and the High Court, as well as praying outside several Hindu temples and shrines. Every day as been different with new challenges and adventures to be had! My team are bonding well and we are having a lot of fun together.


One final thing that I will share is the bus situation. Its certainly interesting and I feel like every time I get on one im putting my life on the line! The other week the bus with my team on it started to leave without me (apparently the driver got impatient even though I was standing right there at the door) and I literally had to jump onto a moving bus as it continued to speed up! Scary stuff. Even right now on this really very nice bus as we wind our way down the mountain I feel like I am on a roller coaster as we go flying into the air with every pothole!! But a normal bus here (or micro as they are called) are about half the size of a mini bus but cram the same number of people in. Rachel – think bus in Huancayo but smaller with more people! I’ve been very thankful for that previous experience as it wasn’t quite so daunting this time around. Although the driving here is even more chaotic as there really doesnt appear to be any road rules or regulations. Its pretty scary. Even crossing the road as a pedestrian is a step of faith here, my team were stuck in the middle of a busy road yesterday for 5 minutes trying to get to the other side, cars, buses and motorcycles surrounding us in every direction. It was pretty surreal. But like i said at the start of this email…im alive! So all is good 🙂


Right id better be off now before my phone battery dies! Lots of love to you all. Will be in touch again as soon as i can. Hope you are all surviving The Great Flood!! Me xxxxx


I’m writing this at 7.25am, sat in my bottom bunk, in my pyjamas and tiara (it’s a long story but basically it was a Christmas present put in my stocking from one of my class mates!) having just opened all my birthday cards. Yep. Its my birthday. I’m in Australia. And tomorrow I fly off to Nepal for 5 weeks. This is how weird and wacky my life has become!!

So here’s a recap of what has happened this past week. Last week we had our final lectures on Missions and the Bible which was great. This week has been filled with outreach prep, although due to my leaders being sick we didn’t actually get much done. Gave me lots of time to do final Christmas and outreach shopping which was good. Christmas Eve- I had a BBQ I the park for dinner. Christmas Day- I woke up, went and collected my stocking from the staircase which had about 250 stockings hanging up around it, and went to one of our class staff houses to open presents and have breakfast together as a class. I got a Princess Tiara. Then over to base, where we had lots of dramas and a massive base gift exchange. Everybody came with one present, and left with another etc.

Then it was lunch! The whole dining room and auditorium had been decorated to look so beautiful, and there was food everywhere!! Pork, muscles, shrimp, lamb, chicken, roast vegetables, different types of salad, gravy, freshly baked bread roles….. and a slushy machine! Best. Idea. Ever. Although the queue for it was massive, so for a while I had to settle for strawberry and watermelon lemonade. Yum. We played some games, (including apple bobbing where the whole base entrance got completed flooded with water, and then it was time to tidy up! Happily, when you have several hundred people that doesn’t take very long!

We had a chilled afternoon, I played cards with some of my housemates, and then in the evening we all watched ‘The Nativity’ on the big screen at base, with popcorn and slushies’ of course!! So all in all it was a very happy and exciting day! Although I did miss my family lots. I did get to Skype them though so I am very thankful for technology! Boxing Day we all went as a base to the beach! Lots of people now look very red; happily I managed to avoid the worst of this.

Friday was cleaning day, as before everybody leaves we have to clean our house/dormitories, and our classrooms, so there was lots to keep us busy. Although we did have brunch together as a class first, as it was our last official day together on this stage of our DTS. Sad times! Then in the evening I had my birthday table which is where everybody on base sings happy birthday to you, and you get served dinner on a nicely decorated table with your friends and you get made a birthday cake! My cake was really beautifully decorated with flowers and covered in cream cheese icing. It was meant to be a red velvet cake, but the staff member when made it had never baked a cake before in his life…. So it was interesting. But lovely all the same. Happily this morning my outreach team are giving me a Birthday Pancake Party in the Park, so hopefully the pancakes will be a bit more traditional!!!  

So the plan for today (after I’m dressed!) is to go have pancakes with my team, then come home and finish my packing. This afternoon I’m going into town with friends to get Bubble Tea as I haven’t had this before, and then we are going to run though the fountain in the city centre and get really wet, something that I have wanted to do ever since I arrived here in Perth. Its one of those floor fountains that changes where the water shoots up from, so you can run through and guess where you think it will appear!! Then back to base for dinner and last minute things, as I am then going to Skype my family and go to bed!

We are being picked up for the airport at 3.30am tomorrow morning, so this is my last day in Perth, but I will want to get as much sleep as possible! Then begins the adventure! I will be in Nepal for 5 weeks, then off to another very exciting country for 3 weeks, and then back to Western Australia somewhere for 3 weeks of outreach, before heading back to Perth for Report Back and Graduation! Will be good to see all of my class again, as my team is one of the smallest. In Asia we will 4 students and 2 staff, and then in WA we gain one more team member and her 2 year old daughter which is exciting. So we will be a very intimate team, but I’m excited for that. Unfortunately I am going to be kept very busy during outreach, and we will have very limited internet access, so I can’t guarantee how often I will be able to email home or update this blog. I will try as often as I can! But if you don’t hear from me much, there is no need to panic! I will just have lots of exciting stories to tell you upon my return!

A few prayer points before I go and head off for my Birthday Breakfast!

  1. That God would protect our team in our travels, and help as stay united as a team and not come back after 11 weeks together of arguing!
  2. For boldness for my team, as we step out to do evangelism on the streets, open air services, sharing of testimonies and I don’t know what else to share the gospel with people. Also that we would see miracles as we pray for people, and real breakthrough and change in people’s lives. We are going to a predominantly Hindu country, so many people haven’t even heard the name of Jesus before, let alone heard the gospel, so this is a really exciting opportunity.
  3. That I would stay close to God, hear His voice, and follow Him guiding me. Ive been told that outreach is usually the time when God chooses to speak to people about their future, and I am really seeking God as to what to do next, so am praying that I will hear Him speak to me clearly about this.


That’s all folks! Thanks for travelling on this part of the adventure with me here in Perth. Onwards to the next one now!! Will try and get as much information to you as I can, when I can. But until then, may I take this time to wish you all a very belated Happy Christmas (hope it was lovely and that you weren’t too badly affected by the rain I’ve been reading all about on the news!!) and all the best for 2014!!! Here’s hoping that it is one filled with joy and adventure!!

Love Jo xxx     

PS- I’m 24! When did that happen?! I’m now officially in my mid twenties!! Aaaaahhhhhh!!!