It's been a while! The title of this blog (thanks to Coldplay) explains the past few months for me. It has been busy! We've traveled all around Queensland doing the coolest things for the Kingdom. So I'll start where we left off!
Here is one of the projects the photographers and artists did together in a collaboration. We needed to use graffiti in a place called Fortitude Valley and incorporate our own art to show a photo that speaks "Identity". The artists painted my arms black and Raleigh's arms colourful. We wanted to show identity in a way that our adventure with God is full of colour and risk and it's so exciting! Our lives aren't boring and black & white when we are fulfilling God's will for us! This shows that your identity in Christ brings you out into a world of colour and adventure and as Raleigh is grabbing my hand, I am being cleansed from all of the "sin" I am covered in. It was an incredible project that we all got to work together in!
One weekend we hiked Mount Tibrogargan near the Sunshine Coast and it was a blast! Despite the intense heat and crazy sunburns we got, it was so rewarding getting to the top of the mountain and being able to sit on the edge of a cliff and observe God's creation. This photo is of my boy Andre taking a break about halfway up the mountain.
Had to say goodbye to my wonderful friend Tron from the Philippines (sad face). He worked in the cafe with me and I love this dude! He's an incredible musician, so look up his music, Tron Suitcase!
It was hard getting into the Christmas spirit because it is summer and I'm away from my family, but being in a cold mall with a coffee looking at a Christmas tree made it a little better ;)
This right here has been the highlight of my YWAM experience so far. This is a photo from a hotel room in the Gold Coast, which is south of Brisbane. We were here for a whole week helping with an organization called Red Frogs at an event put on by the government called Schoolies. So basically, Schoolies is when 40,000+ students that just graduated high school, all come to the Gold Coast from the whole state of New South Wales (Sydney, Melbourne, etc) for a week and party! They get to stay in very high class hotel rooms and have the time of their life. Sounds like a cool concept, but it's insane. The drinking age in Australia is 18 so most of the students can legally drink alcohol. Our job was to make sure they stayed safe! I was on a team with 2 people from Sydney, a guy from Adelaide, and a girl from New Zealand for the week.
They were an incredible team and we got so close! This is how our days went: As it was getting dark, we would gather and have a rally where we would worship and intercede for the Schoolies we were going to meet that night, eat dinner, then head out for the night! I have so many crazy, awesome stories from this week, so let me know if you want to hear some! I was up so late everyday of the week that I got to see the sunrise every morning and it was SO worth it. My highlight of that amazing week, was getting to tell multiple Schoolies who were embarrassed because they were drunk and I didn't drink, or anything like that, that it didn't matter to me what they did. I don't think of them any differently and I came to Schoolies as a Red Frog because I love them and want to be there to help. It meant so much to them, and those moments made me so thankful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father and I just wanted t share that love with all of them!
Here was the church service we had on one of the days of Schoolies. The best part about it, was we were able to invite students to come to this, and we saw many of them get saved! It was one of the coolest experiences ever.
Gold Coast was quite the experience and Red Frogs made it amazing! Oh, and the super nice hotel room I stayed in ;)
A week after we returned to Gold Coast we went inland to the mountains of Toowoomba for some outreach team building. In this week I was able to get to know the team I was going to Japan with so much better! We did lectures on outreach and how to write sermons, then the rest of the day we played games to strengthen our teams in so many different ways! Being in the middle of nowhere for a week was very refreshing and I was able to have some incredible quiet time with God while looking at His beautiful creation. Oh, there was also a slackline there so I was content :) Here are some photos I took while there:
These last few days we have been doing lectures on Evangelism to prepare for our trip to Byron Bay that we leave for tomorrow! I'm very excited about it because we, again, will be in beautiful scenery AND we will be doing some hardcore evangelism into the New Year! I had a great Christmas, it was very restful and I am ready to go hard for the next three months! Here are some photos of a YWAM Christmas!
Thank you guys SO much for your support, words of encouragement, gifts, and many other things! I'm doing great, and am learning and growing and being stretched more than I ever have before! In the wise words of Jan, one of our speakers, "This DTS is your journey from Egypt to the Promised Land" I'm being challenged so hard and I love it! God is moving and I'm having the adventure of a lifetime with Him.
-RB. Stay sweet.