It Has Begun…

The last 2 weeks have been so crazy, crazier than before. It was school prep week while still having auditions this week. The week previous to this one was all about getting all the supplies together, making sure we had the welcome baskets ready, we even finished BLS that week. We did a presentation on a Bible character and I did mine on Ruth. That was terrifying in theory, in practice it went well and any time you can reference Pride and Prejudice you take it. The thing was to look deeper than what was given with the actual words on the page. Why did she do what she did? Was it just what people assume based on the words or was there more that people missed? I went for the missed aspects. I actually wish I could meet her and find out for sure.

At the same time I was arranging the airport runs for picking up our students. I really liked that. It was a lot of running around, getting information, making sure it was correct, tracking down the person in charge of the vans, figuring out who can go can who can’t, rearranging from missed connections, meeting the students. I got a kick out of doing it.

Wednesday we officially started the school with the welcome meal, there are also two DTSs starting at the same time. That night we took them up to Mount Coot-Tha, it’s tradition, and spent some time talking with a few of them. This school is twice the size of mine last year, so it’s a very different dynamic and we are all excited to see what God is going to do and what the students are going to accomplish. Thursday was orientation and finishing the registration details. I met a guy who is doing a DTS that I recognized and it turns out he played football with my nephew. That was pretty funny, it also made me feel old. Thursday night was the first movie night for the students as well. I think it went well in spite of the jet lag. Yesterday was school orientation and the school hang out. That was when we really got to see how they interact and personalities. Impromptu dancing and food then the getting to know each other time. Basically your name, where you are from, favourite film, and why you are doing the school. I really like our students. Everyone is unique and awesome. It’s really exciting, and weird, to be on the other side of things. It won’t take long to adjust I don’t think though.

So today is currently call home and type this day so far. I am teaching my first session on Tuesday (about how to pitch a film concept) so that is going to be fun. I remember when I did my pitch last year. How much difference a year makes in life and in general. I can see already how things are different for me and what the staff did for us and how it was a great example.

I have more things to do today, so I had better get to those. If every one could pray for one of our students that her visa gets approved now essentially. For Jason, our school leader, that is visa process goes in his favour and that he can stay here doing the work he is meant to do here. For continued health and strength to keep going with all that needs to be done, for everyone in the office and on the school.

Thanks everyone. Love you all.

Also this needs to be here because I need to see it repeatedly for giggles:

All the Small Things

I admit last week was a bit rough. I got hit in the head 3 times through no fault of my own, all accidents (an elbow, the shower head, and then a piece of wood flooring). It’s a lot frustrating, but it just goes to show you can’t prevent everything no matter how careful you are. Unanticipated things happen and it’s not letting those things get to you that is key.

Today we found out one of our Go Centre leaders is going to a YWAM school in Norway. As she too is completely volunteer she needs around $6000 to be able to go for the school fee and flights. So today we took up a donation for her and it exceeded the estimated amount needed. We all here are in the same boat, we all trust God to provide and when someone’s need arises we do what we can, even if it is just $2. It’s always amazing to see that work and the love and giving back to her, as she is basically the “mom” around here. When she comes back she will have new wisdom to give to us as well that she learned there. We’re all excited for her.

This is the last week of BLS lectures before the new schools start, including the ones I am staffing. Today I met one of our students that arrived already. He did the SDF before I did and this year he is doing the acting school. It was a busy week last week and I have to keep it secretive, but it was so cool. I saw some faces from when I was here last and it was exciting to see them again. It is a very busy time in the Initiative office in so many ways. It’s pretty exciting to know that the students are going to be here soon.

On Saturday it was a work bee at the newest house. We are trying to finish it up for the married couples to have their own suites. So I helped put in flooring in one room (hence being hit in the head, which I don’t hold against anyone, it’s just I’m over the head injury department). I miss manual labour and building things. I wanted to take scrap wood and make a box out of it. I attempted to help in an other room, but the guys had a system so I went and painted a door bottom and then took the garbage to the vehicle to be disposed of. There was tiling and assembling of cabinets going on as well. It’s not done so we’ll see what next week brings. Also Pink Champagne Magnum (it’s an ice cream bar) are sooooo good.

We had a lecture on Apostolic Leadership last week. One thing that stood out was gauging things on whether you can see Jesus in it or not. That really stood out to me. If you go in a church is it about the people or the programs? If you are leading people, is it about them or are you on a power trip? That sort of thing. Always be aware of why you are doing what you are doing basically.

The other thing was Strength Finders. We did a test and went over the criteria and got our top 10. My top 5 was Adaptability, then Belief and Empathy, then Strategy and Developer. Really interesting. Anything analytical was pretty much near the bottom. Yep, it makes sense of some things. I’m trying to figure out how those are going to be able to be used as a director (with an amazing PA and 1st AD to fill the gaps I have, ha ha).

Anyways, it is homework time once again. So prayer requests:

Jason, our school leader on SDF, is trying to get a permanent resident visa and they changed the criteria he needs to meet. He needs to have the necessary information etc soon as the process has been going quick. Please pray he gets it or he will have to leave the country, but we all know his place is here. This is where he is meant to be.

Olive back home and her cancer.

Our students that are coming. That they all get here safely and settle in ok.

That we the staff can mentor them for this time and we have wisdom etc.

Thanks everyone. Love you.

Step By Step

Well, another week of teaching has come and gone. This week was the first week of actual BLS lectures. We learned about the importance of one on ones (Sorry, Brenden. Thank you, Brenden. You are the man. Sorry I’m a bit cuckoo. Sorry for saying sorry. Did I mention you are awesome?) and what we need to do to make sure we do those well. We also learned about the purpose of small groups, which is going to be interesting. I lead one tomorrow and I’m a bit terrified, but I think that is all in my head (I take that back, I KNOW it is all in my head.) We also learned about the importance of time management and how we need to remember to take care of ourselves. I spent 3 hours the night before that typing out a calendar for the next 3 weeks to make sure I get everything done that I need to get done as well as be where I need to be when I need to be there. I even scheduled introvert time. I just wish I would actually follow the schedule out of class and office time.

We had another lecture about the importance of intercession and worship. It was a great talk and I really wish I hadn’t been having concussion symptoms that day. When I’m having those symptoms I have a cranky looking resting face as I have to concentrate more and I also crocheted a basic square with scrap yarn to be able to focus on what she was saying. I felt bad as it was the only way I could take notes and stay focused but it looked like I didn’t care and wasn’t paying attention. The symptoms are much better the last 2 days so it should be fine tomorrow.

We had community worship again on Wednesday. It was really good, as usual. Breakthroughs were happening and people were just freeing themselves from their usual constraints. I find corporate worship hard. I’m an extreme introvert. I don’t tend to wave my hands or dance around lots (ok, at all). We were learning about the difference between corporate and personal worship and I’m trying to find where the balance is for someone like me, who is always in her head, based on the teaching we had on Friday. It’s going to need some figuring out and adjusting but this introvert is not going to act like an extrovert just because it seems to be the way to do things. There is more than one option and it’s not limited. It’s just finding out what works for me. I also wrote 3 pages of what I felt God was saying that night to me. It was awesome.

Yesterday it was pretty much take it easy day. I went to Spotlight with one of the girls (Maddie) for supplies for our teaching skills part of an assignment. Also anytime you can walk 6 km while showing someone where the awesome shop is to pet yarn you take it. It was good though as we got to talk and get to know each other more.

Today has been uneventful as well. I’m finding the anxiety is a little high right now so I have been skipping church as partly I forget what day it is and forget to ask for a ride. The ok side of that is God can meet you right where you are and it doesn’t have to be in a church, although to be in a church surrounded by other believers is a good idea.

The DTS outreach teams are returning so it is once again getting busy on base. Unfamiliar faces of students and familiar faces of the staff that are back. Starting tomorrow we get to hear some of the stories so that will be good. Why tomorrow? They are all jet lagged and tired today lol.

I nearly forgot: I got my Queensland Driver’s License!! Woo hoo! Thank you God! We now have 3 drivers for the school, once I practice and get the necessary papers filled out with the centre.

So I should go get some more homework done as there’s a lot of it. On the job TAA and now BLS stuff. It’s all good though. Before I go I’ll let you know some prayer requests.

My concussion issues go away. My anxiety goes down and the depression comes up (like I said it’s not too bad, just a bit noticeable). That the students coming in 2 weeks (eek!!) all get what they need to get done done and arrive safely. That the current DTSs end well. That I can get focused and on schedule and stay on budget. That God keeps doing his thing here with all of my BLS co-students and we all learn what we need to learn.

Thank you everyone. Love you. (Also the website currently won’t let me upload pictures and I’m still working on a newsletter and video. Sorry!)

Phew!

So much has been going on the last two weeks, and I don’t just mean the 8 earthquakes that happened in the last 3 days. We started TAA (Training and Assessment) 2 weeks ago and it was intense. Basically we were taught about competency training, which is how the YWAM schools run, and how to assess that as well as teach for it. It was quite interesting, but really hard. We had short time frames to get projects done in. Some of them it was hard coming up with ideas (ok, all the ones involving training or presenting) and then there was the actual presentations. I can do them, that isn’t the problem (although to start with it felt like I can’t). the problem was the panic attacks. They weren’t too bad but I nearly lost it. That pretty much was the entirety of the last two weeks that I didn’t blog for. There was just too much homework.

The BLS training itself starts tomorrow (aka Monday for us here in Aus). That will be different and I am curious as to how that is going to go and look. SDF starts in 24 days. Crazy! We have 21 students still for SDF and SAS. It`s going to be so much fun to watch the dynamics.

After TAA on Friday the guys from the Sunshine Coast base (I keep thinking of the one in Canada as well) and us Brisbane crew watched Dead Poet`s Society to celebrate being done that part of TAA and the guys left early the next morning. Yesterday a group went up to the beach at the Sunny Coast by the YWAM centre there. Alas, I still was unable to go as there wasn`t enough room and I had bread run anyways. I will get to a beach. It will happen, lol. Bread run is at the end of the day the bakeries give away their leftovers to charities so they don`t have to throw it out as it costs them to dump it, we can still eat it (nothing wrong with day old bread), and we don`t have to pay to dump the leftovers. Bakery bread, so good. Friday we got free naan bread from the Indian food place close to the bakery. That was amazing. So good and such a nice guy. Anyone in the area want Indian food I know where to send you.

Yesterday I pretty much just relaxed and read a book all day. Except first thing in the morning I went to get a cell phone as I need one for during the school. I got the cheapest one ($29 on the price tag) as I just need a simple phone and skipped the smart phone. When she rang it in it came up half price, $14.50. I got a brand new phone for less than $15. Thank you God!

Today I went out an walked for nearly 8 1/2 km. I miss my big walks. It doesn’t feel like winter at this moment that is for sure. It was already warm when I went out and by the time I got back I wished I had shorts on. I was gone for a good 3 hours. Not all of it was walking. I just needed some people free time in the outdoors, just being. There was the cutest 9 week old German shepherd puppy, and a great dane at some point. Also a few wild turkeys. Yesterday I was lying on a bench and I looked up at the sky and thought “That`s Australian sky. You are in Australia.” It kind of sunk in for a minute. The moon rises and we see it and the sunrises from our bedroom window all the time. One night I just sat in the dark with only the moon for light as I did homework. It was fantastic. The neighbour cats are finally coming around to me, ha ha. I had two of them come for petting yesterday and one came back for more today so this looks good for feline cuddles. I just need to make sure the owners don’t mind. 😀

I nearly forgot. When my group led intercession during TAA we decided to role play and pray against human trafficking. I got to take people out to become sex workers via trafficking. Maddie kept her group in the classroom and tied them all up to symbolize labour trafficking. Tim tied a t-shirt around his head like it was a balaclava and came into the room with a water gun screaming for nobody to move or he’ll shoot. He picked 4 people to go with him and they became child soldiers. It was super effective I think. We really prayed against it and prayed for those trapped in it and those who are helping get people out. We had a lot of good intercession times during TAA.

So that is currently it for now. I have my last bread run of the week shortly. Oh wait, prayer requests. That the deadlines I need to meet for grant applications are reached on time and on target with everything I need ready to go. This is work related, not personal ones. Currently that is all I can think of. More later. Love you all.