Written by Team Australia
Team Australia is having a blast diving into the ministry and culture. We also took turns being sick this week. Thankfully it was short lived, and we are glad to be back to work! In the midst of being involved in the ministry, as well as seeing all the sights, I have been reminded of the importance of rest and finding time to abide with the Lord. On Monday, we went to Lake Macquarie and took some time to walk around and look at some of the artwork. We ended up separating about fifteen minutes into the walk, and I took some time to talk with God and pray over the city of Newcastle, as well as our internship. It was peaceful to walk and find rest with God in an unexpected way.
As a team, we are studying the Fruits of the Spirit and how they are present throughout Scripture, as well as how we may apply them to our lives. We have talked about “love” and “joy” so far. In discussing “joy”, we were drawn to the book of Philippians. Paul, the author, has no reason to be joyful, yet he uses the word “rejoice” at least nine times throughout the book. One phrase that stood out to me was in 1:25 where Paul says, “convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith.” That last phrase “joy in the faith” stuck out to me because it reminds me of having joy in the journey of faith. There are hills and valleys…and the valleys are tough, but they are also filled with joy because of the result of being in the valley. I think about all the tough seasons I have been through. While I may not desire to go through them, I feel that I can rejoice in those times because of the way I have seen God work in these times and how much closer I have grown to Him.
On Friday nights, we attend youth group where we get to hang out and talk with students, play games, and break into small groups to delve into the Word of God. This past Friday, I had the opportunity to share a game with the students called “Fishbowl” which combines Charades, Password, and Taboo all into one game. I always enjoyed playing it with my college friends and found it very encouraging to see that the students here were enjoying it as well.
The boys’ small group has been discussing the manly characteristics of Jesus, giving us an opportunity to reflect on what being a Godly man should be. This past Friday, we discussed Jesus’s ability and desire to teach and learn. We looked in Luke chapter 2 in which, at the age of 12, Jesus is found to be at the temple in Jerusalem, listening to the teachers and asking questions. As Jesus grows older, he is able to use knowledge and wisdom he has gained over the years to answer the Pharisee’s questions. Thus, as men, we should desire to learn and teach.
One of my favorite parts of this internship so far is learning about the history of Australia and the humility and pride that Australians hold about their past. This past weekend, we visited the Newcastle Museum, which displayed several exhibitions about the history of the city, including one about the coal industry, which was the main source of work for Newcastle for many years. There was also an old train car from an old suburb and a huge exhibit by Australian Geographic with photos from all over Australia! The same day we also went to a Japanese restaurant called Susuru (which means slurp!) and had the best ramen and gyoza I’ve EVER had!
So I am not an eloquent writer but I’ve really enjoyed my time so far here in Australia. Earlier this week we went down to the Bogey Hole! This is an ocean pool(bath) that was carved by convicts when they were sent to Australia. It was built for Major James Morisset in 1819 for his personal use. It was originally called “Commandant's Baths” but at some point, became the “Bogey Hole”. There were a ton of waves the day we went, so we got some cool photos!