Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mission In Brisbane (M.I.B.) 2011

I am back from the land down under!  It has taken me a week and a half to process everything and be able to post about my trip.  It was definitely a whirlwind.  Pastor Mike fills two weeks of time with a month worth of activities.  I wanted to share a couple of highlights of my trip, both on a personal growth level and an a fun level.  First,  this time it seemed to be easier to focus on the people and God's reason for me going rather than more of the experience of being in a different country.
     I loved that I got to reconnect with the people I met before and renew these relationships.  Two big opportunities God gave me were in speaking to a couple of the teen/young adult girls. One girl approached me alone and asked about God answering prayer.  I was able to really talk to her about her prayers and relationship with God.  But then she dropped the bomb and asked me if I had ever sinned.  I allowed myself to be vulnerable with this young girl and be honest with her.  She then asked me if I was afraid that I wouldn't go to heaven because of my sin and again we were able to really talk about having a relationship with God and what that means when we make mistakes.
     Another opportunity came when a young adult girl told me that she really desired to be a youth ministry but feels inadequate.  I was able to really encourage her and tell her how much potential she has.  She told me that it meant a lot to her that I believed in her.  This blew me away and humbled me.  Who was I that she would give me that much credit.  I spent two weeks with her three years ago and two weeks this year.  Pastor Mike always tells us how important relationships are to the people and it really hit home with this young girl.
     I believe that God gave me divine opportunities with people this time and I am glad that I realized them and used these opportunities to share His love.  I even shared the gospel with a man named Kevin at the Community BBQ we had.  He was really nice but quite an interesting character.
     I had such a great time in Australia!  I got to go to Stradbroke Island and swim in Brown Lake. It was only about 65 degrees outside and 50 degrees in the water but I did it.  We got to go to Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man.  The coconut hot chocolate was amazing and so was the fondue.  We went to The Pancake Manor, yummy!  We did shopping and spent the day at NAIDOC and there are too many other things to mention.
     One last thing,  I really need to thank everyone who supported me financially and in prayer.  Without all of you I would not be able to go and the trip would not have been as amazing!  Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Me with Bonnie and Ayeesha
Me with one of the international students from Korea, Amy.

Brown Lake...looks like iced tea

My Croc friend at Alma Park Zoo

Community BBQ and Kevin!

Aboriginal Dancer at NAIDOC

Coconut Hot Chocolate at Max Brenners

The girls working hard

Fantastic View of the city from a hilltop at night.

Me and one of the kids in Eidsvold

Leading craft time for the children in Eidsvold.