26 08 2009

The funny thing about Journeys is that you think of the people you meet along your Journey – and then you’re the ‘people’ along theirs…

Every now and then I get to to be a person who speaks to others on their journeys. I remember those people for me – people interviewed at uni conferences, or that I spoke to at ReachOut, people I asked advice or people who seemed to be living the ‘dream’ of mission. And over the last few months I’ve had so many chances to stand in that space, and speak about those things – at MYCs AnCon, ReachOut, countless visits and casual conversations. And I pray that some of those times it triggers something in the journey God it taking them. Because I know they meant so much to me – meant things and shaped directions in ways I’m only now beginning to realise.

But even when I’m standing as the ‘sharer’ – there’s always so many more people speaking back to me. I had one of those nights tonight at the International Teams ‘Journeys’ night. There in the room: people I’ve met at so many different places and times, who spoken wisdom, and lived out lives that have challenged me on. And meeting againg those whose paths have intersected with mine at the most random places! God’s having a laugh crisscrossing our Journeys, interweaving our lives and making a rich tapestry of the way we can share and encourage each other.

Going to be ‘Shamed in the Spanish Kitchen’

25 08 2009
Last night I tried out a new recipe. It came from a book I picked up once when I was helping prepare Christmas hampers for the homeless. Someone had sent in a stack of hundreds of pasta cookbooks. We’re standing there sorting out pull top cans from those without in case the recipient doesn’t have a can opener – so it wasn’t a huge stretch to imagine that the cook books might not be all that useful 🙂
I, on the other hand, really need simple cooking instructions. And I was super proud of working out how to make (a fairly bland) chicken with risoni… Until I got some perspective. I’m so not going to be able to hold my head up in a Spanish kitchen!

Objects are closer than they appear

25 08 2009
Everyone keeps asking if I’m getting excited given it’s nearly here. Today I think I threw someone completely by remarking you can break your leg and it could heal completely before I leave… But I’ve been thinking in terms of weeks. There’s nothing like counting the weekends to start the horizon hurtling towards you. I have so few weekends left! Where’s my planned road trip space? Where’s my casual weekend away with friends? How will it all fit?


23 08 2009

Today I had my commissioning. And it was great! Great to see people from all parts of my life are with me on this journey. Great to have my church family stand with me. Fantastic to see God’s awesome provision for me in my Core Support Team. They have gifts in all the areas I’m weak (as well as those I’m a bit better at) but they gently prodded me on in the bits I need to get to and efficiently and capable took everything else in hand. They get things done – and they care good too 🙂

Full support – no more room in the inn?

20 08 2009

What does full support mean? Does that mean you’ve missed the boat? It means that people have committed to provide the basic level that ECM and I set as confirmation of God’s timing for my going. That was worked out according to an estimate of my budget. A rough estimate. It may be that the dollar rises and it’s more than I need, other things might also change. So there is still plenty of room for more supporters in prayer and in finance. It’s often the case that for various reasons while you’re away people have to cease partnering, so you can imagine if we’re spot on with the budget, I don’t want to be giving up breakfast from the second year in 🙂 As for the once off costs involved in setting up life in Spain – I’m at %. While those costs aren’t all upfront (language costs get paid out over the time I’m studying and living with a family initially might mean I don’t set up a home for several months) they’re going to kick in at some point. So if you’re feeling God is putting it on your heart to be involved – get involved!

Visa and Support are in!

17 08 2009
I have a visa!!! Or at least an approved Visa. That means I can definitely get into the country – as long as I can provide an itinerary.
Which is awesome, except that means I now have another hurdle in front of me which seems bigger than filling in Spanish forms – working out  leaving date and booking tickets. Because to do that I need work out whether to go via the UK to do an intensive language course, which I decide by contacting someone who is awake and at home (there) between 4-6am (here). No luck so far by phone or email.
I figured before I go into the ECM office to tell them about the visa, I’d better get my head around my support levels just so I have all the useful info. After 3 attempts and three different results, I reckon we have a winner at 97.5% (I didn’t even get that result – that’s what they got at the office when I finally abdicated accounting responsibility all together 🙂
So it turns out God has provided the full support at the same moment as the visa – which is awesome, not watching one drag behind that other. And it turns out that if you don’t count couples as individuals (or a whole home group as 1) I actually have my 100 prayers too. So praise God – because apart from being incapacitated while deciding what to pack – there doesn’t seem to be anything standing in my way to leave for Spain 🙂


14 08 2009
I spent the last week visiting my brother and sister in law in Cairns – and my two little nephews. Jacob is 2 in October and Elijah is only a few weeks old. It’s funny to think they’ll be preschool and almost kindi-aged next time I see them in OZ! I went up with Dad and we spent a day together on the Reef, checking out the coral, snorkeling and got overtaken by a humpback whale surfacing within 20 metres of the pontoon as it navigated its way through the coral gardens. Going to the Reef was a big thing on my list before I left because when I lived in the UK, every time I explained I was from Sydney, people would assume I could surf. And I had to explain that while they filmed Home and Away down the street – that lifestyle is miles away, and a big Saturday night for us in North Ryde was hanging at the local baseball fields, or Macquarie Shopping Centre – in the car park! So this time I worked out all the things they’ll assume I’ve done and I’m trying to tick them off the list. Uluru, the Reef… if you have any more ideas – let me know 🙂
My sister-in-law asked me if I felt like it was real that I’m leaving. I guess it might seem like its a bit surreal, but I’ve been eating and breathing preparations for leaving for months. It seems a lot more real that most of the other things going on around me. Mind you – ask me that again when I’ve 2 weeks to go and dissociation has set in…

God’s into real Estate

10 08 2009

My weakness isn’t romance novels, I don’t get soppy at weddings – but auctions make me wistful, the Freedom catalogue is my Mills and Boon; give me the Domain Real Estate guide and I’m gone. When others wrestled with leaving for the mission field single – I grieved over the flat I’d never own, the ecclectic furniture I’d never buy, the crockery set I have to leave behind.   Today I drove to Copacabana on the Central Coast – driving over the last hill, the view opens up revealing the ocean at the foot of beautiful green hills dotted with homes in leafy gardens with breathtaking scenery. Places like this get longing – owning these homes must mean owning a better life. Each year while I run the City to Surf I have the same struggle because its seems like living with that view must add depth and richness to life, it must be a better place to live…   Normally, with a lot of self talk (right behind trying to convince myself I can actually make it to the finish line of the race – I think I can, I think I can…) – I work my way back to reality. Life gets no easier because you can drink your tea looking out over the Harbour Bridge.   But on the drive today, God spoke something new to me. Instead of trying to reason my own thought away – He reminded me that this is nothing on heaven. This beauty, this wonder – pales before the New Creation. And I have all of eternity to enjoy that. I’ll live in it forever…  

15:1A Psalm of David.

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?

Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

2He who walks blamelessly and does what is right

and speaks truth in his heart; …

5 He who does these things shall never be moved.

 I was washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:10). In Jesus I’m made blameless and upright – I’m of the people who live with God! And I’ll never be moved.