Monday, September 21, 2009

Night Hike

Monday, I was invited to go on a night hike by the Krause family. The hike was organized by the Cub Scouts, which Jacque (Cub) and Sebastian (Joey) are both members of. So, Mel and I loaded up the two boys (ages 10 and 6), Tanesha (4), and baby Phoenix (4 months) to hike from Rumbalara across town to the Ridgeway in the dark! The kids were so excited to bundle up in their jumpers (jackets) and bring their own torches (flashlights). We also packed a back pack of fruit and water to for the long journey. The group of about 50 kids and parents departed at 7:00 and finished the hike 2 hours later. The kids did great, even little Phoenix who stayed awake almost the whole time enjoying the ride on his Mum's tummy. Tanesha made it almost the whole way on her own, and only had to be carried the last 15 or 20 minutes. By the time we got in the van to head home, all the food was gone and half the kids were asleep! It was a great way to spend time with some of my favorite kids!

Sebby, Tanesha, and I excited to start hiking!

The Jrs.

The whole Krause crew--Tanesha, Seb, Mum Mel, baby Phoenix, and Jacques

Monday, September 14, 2009

Open-Mic Night

Every other month, the Trek (the Gosford Youth Group) hosts an open-mic night at the ministry center. Evan, the youth minister, advertises it in coffee shops and has the teens take fliers to school to pass out. The purpose of the event is for the teens to invite their friends and bring in people from the community. Local musicans and the musicans within our group are invited to play at this event. Usually there are also skits, comedy acts, and videos. Last Saturday was the open-mic night for September. It started at 6:30 pm with a bbq dinner, and the music kicked off about 7:30. This open-mic night was mainly a hip-hop/rap music, featuring music preformed by 4 different Christian rappers, including the youth minister Evan. The evening wrapped up with Evan giving a short devo on Hope and concert ended at 9:30 pm. The teens really love these nights because it's a cool event to invite their friends to and a fun atmosphere to hang out in. The best part is that the music is uplifting and has Christian messages. We had over 50 teens/young adults there from our group, other congregations in the area, and the community. I can't wait to see how many more people we have in November!

Claire, Amanda, me, Tim and Hannah enjoying the music.

Jamming out.

Hanging out with the adults at the back.
Tim, Me, and Amanda

The audience.

Two of the rappers performing.
The one on the left is the Profit, aka Evan the youth minister.

Cameron, Chloe, Hannah, and Laura enjoying the bbq before the show.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I had my first experience in the wilds of Australia! Okay, maybe it wasn't that wild and dangerous, but I did go on my first bush walk. Bushwalking is what we would call hiking in the States. Yesterday (Mondays are my days-off), Amanda and I invited Jamie and Sammie, who are the 2 HIM workers in Warringah (a suburb of Sydney), to come up for some bushwalking and lunch. We woke up Monday morning to cloudy, overcast skies, which looked ready to downpour at any moment, but we decided to brave the elements. We decided to go hiking at the Rumbalara Reserve, which is actually in Gosford. Okay, so maybe we weren't as hardcore as we thought we were! We pulled up to the empty car park, looked at the map, and headed down a trail--first Amanda, then Sammie, followed by me, and Jamie brought up the end. We started hiking on along the trail and were met with tall trees and enormous rock faces, shaped by the elements. As we were walking, we were chatting about what was going on in our lives. We were talking and having such a good time, we lost the trail! We had to retraced our steps and went down another path. This path led us over a boulder and surfing down a hill of loose dirt. We continued along our walk up steps of packed dirt and logs. At one point, I placed my leg on one of these steps and the log went rolling down the hill, luckily Jamie moved out of the way. We finally reached the end of our trail, where we were met with orange, plastic construction fence blocking our way--never a good sign. We stepped over the fence and were met with a sign that said "Trail Closed." We went down a trail that was supposed to be closed due to erosion, which explains the unstable steps and the disappearing path! The view from the top was well worth it, though! We could see Brisbane waters and lots of little suburbs. After resting, we walked along the road back to where the car was parked. There, off, to the side was a piece of caution tape blocking off the entrance to the trail--we missed it because we were looking at the map earlier! After our exciting bushwalking experience, we decided one trail was enough and headed back to Amanda's apartment for lunch. We had a lovely afternoon chatting and catching up. I am so blessed to have fellow HIM workers so close to me.
The view from the top of Rumbalara.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Here I am at week 2 and still loving every minute of it. The members of the church family are all still looking after me and helping me settle in! I have just moved in with the Mowdays for about 2 weeks, then I will go back to the Grittens to housesit.

One of my favorite parts of my week in Gosford is Wednesday night. Like most churches, they have their mid-week bible study on Wednesday nights at 7:30 pm. There is an adult class that meets at the community center, a teen class that meets at the ministry center (church building), and a few kids classes that meet in homes. I have been going to the teen class on Wednesday nights to get to know the kids better and become a part of the youth ministry. We usually hang out for about 30 minutes--listen to music, play ping pong and pool, just hang out and catch up. Then, we have some singing and a devo by Evan, the youth minister. Last night after the devo, we finished working on Twitter inboxes. They are basically envelopes all the kids are decorating so we can send each other encouragement notes. Around 9 pm, the parents start showing up to pick up their kids.
Some of the jr high girls and me.
Playing ping-pong and hanging out.

Making Twitter inboxes

Then the church joins up at McDonalds (a.k.a. Maccas) for a cup of coffee or a snack, hence McFellowship. Older members and adults come from their class and the teens come from their class, and we just have a nice time of getting together and catching up with each other. You know I love it because they have diet coke and it's a self-serve fountain, so I can get free refills!!!I don't usually get home until 10:30 pm, but it so worth it to fellowship with the church.

Loving diet coke. PS: that's a large...

I was reminded again last night how thankful I am to be working here with this congregation!