Happy New Year! As I look back into 2015 (so long ago) I am reminded of how exceedingly faithful God is. He gave me a great job, opened new opportunities for me to show my talents, took me to Mexico, and of course, to this beautiful land called Australia. I would definitely mark 2015 as one of the greatest years I've had in my young life so far. The adventure has just begun!So I assume you've been staring at your computer screen waiting for me to post another blog almost peeing your pants in excitement, so here you go (mom). Let's start where we left off! It was a hot, Monday afternoon on the 28th of December, 1937. Haha Jokes. It was December 28, 2015. The intense heat was too real. We were on our way to the beach though, so no complaints! We had arrived in Byron Bay, the most beautiful beach town I've ever been too.
You might be thinking, "Man, is Ryan at YWAM or on a vacation!". FALSE! It may have been beautiful, but we had a purpose (thank you J Biebs) and it was to share the love of Jesus Christ during the craziest party times of the year! The camp was called Impact Summer. We were given the schedule, it included things like lectures, worship, playing music in the streets, and getting to know the people of Byron!
So let me give you a run down of what the Byron Bay culture is like: It's a beach town about 3 hours south of Brisbane and it's very unique in all kinds of ways. A lot of backpackers come through on their way to different parts of Australia, or they stay in Byron to hike the mountains or surf the perfect waves! There are a lot of buskers (people who play music in the streets) and they are SO talented. You'll walk past a group of 4 girls singing, then turn the corner and be listening to a guy playing a didgeridoo. How cool is that?! So it's a very interesting town!
During the week I got to play A LOT of beach volleyball and it was a blast! We did a tournament on the last day of the camp. We would play a game, go take a dip in the ocean, then play another! It went all day and I made so many new friends, and that was a perfect opportunity for me to share my heart for Jesus with them.
When it would get dark, we would go out to the town and get to know the locals, foreigners, and everyone in between. I built many relationships and I'll tell you about one in particular. I got a picture one morning of me standing on a certain street corner that I remembered from the night before. So after getting that picture I knew I needed to spend some time on that corner. That night I went to the corner with my friend Lili, but there was no one there, so we moved on! That night we had great conversation with people, then started to head back to the church we were staying in. We stopped to listen to a busker who was getting a lot of attention, he was so good. We met a girl across the street from there that was waiting for her fiancé. He eventually came over and we started talking. I got into religion talks with the guy so quickly it was awesome! He and his fiancé are Buddhists and their goal in life is to find full peace and to keep a cap on their anger. It was very interesting what he had to say, and after he asked me about my religion. I was able to say so much about my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the church, and even creation it was awesome! He thought it was super interesting, so we went to get some tea. I gave the woman a Bible and it meant a lot to her. I loved getting to hear these people's hearts and then be able to share mine with them. The woman was so surprised that I was being nice to her and not shoving the Bible down her throat, which is what it's all about! It's about building a personal, REAL relationship with people and make disciples. She said she wants to go to church again too. I don't know where they're at right now or if they ended up going to church, but I still pray for their hearts and believe that they will come to find the true peace and love from God. So that's what most of my week consisted of! God moves in crazy ways. We also got to go to a lighthouse and explore cliffs and enjoy the beautiful ocean! So here are some more photos from Byron Bay:
Also, spending New Years on the beach was unreal! The beach was packed and it was so exciting. Minus all the naked people, Byron Bay was an incredible trip!
We returned from the beach in the New Year and got back in routine. We did lectures on Lordship, that was an amazing week, I was very challenged to lay a lot of things down that I didn't have submitted to the Lord. At the end of that week we did a Mission Simulation. It was a two day long simulation of our outreach, so we had to do all kinds of crazy things. Things like have host meals, preach sermons, teach ESL classes, lead youth groups, do worship, work duties, bucket baths, cook all of our food on a fire, and sleep outside on the concrete on a rainy night! Sound luxurious, I know, but it wasn't! It was a brutal two days for me, I didn't have any deodorant, a tooth brush, or any of those toiletries that we take for granted, I felt so gross! It was a wake up call for me though, I felt so unprepared during the whole two days. It was good that I felt like that before our real outreach though! Ive been taking a lot of time the past few weeks to get as prepared as I can! I've practiced worship, learned dances, skits, and written a sermon or two! It's so much more encouraging when you're prepared. After that we did a final project week, and it was so cool. Instead of lectures, we created art that was going to be shown at an art show in the city. So me and the other photographers collaborated and made three different photo series! They were printed, captioned, and stuck to a wall at an art show! How cool is that?! Here's one of the photos from our series about wealth and loneliness.
So there ya go! That was my packed last month! As you might know already, the title of this post says "one week". You know what that means? I leave for Tokyo, Japan in ONE WEEK!! I fly out on Monday February 1st at 9:45 am. I'm so excited (of course) and can't wait to experience a new culture and see some incredible things. I'll update as much as I can!
Thank you guys so much for your prayers and support, God is awesome.
✌🏼 Moshi Moshi ✌🏼️