Monday, October 26, 2009

I just couldn't be bothered...

I just couldn't be bothered is my favorite Australian phrase. You can use it for anything you don't want to do, and it's okay! Why didn't you clean the house? I couldn't be bothered. Why didn't you hang the washing on the line? I just couldn't be bothered. Why didn't you go to work today? I just couldn't be bothered. Okay, well, sometimes it's not okay, but you can get away with a lot using this one little phrase. So, in answer to your question, "Jenny, why haven't you updated your blog in 2 weeks?" I answer, "I just couldn't be bothered until now!"

Two Saturdays ago, some of the young adults in the Sydney area put on a Teen Only Event, called Only Jesus (OJ). In Australia, most youth groups include students in jr. high, high school, as well as young adults. Camps, area-wide youth worships, and youth activities are for anyone from ages 12 to 30. But every other month, the young adults like to give the teens an opportunity to have an event that is just for them, which is where OJ comes in. The theme of OJ this year has been purity. This particular OJ took place at Marubra Beach in Sydney. It started with soccer and ultimate frisbee on the beach. Then, we joined together for singing and a short talk about purity. The teens, then were divided into boys and girls for discussion groups. We finished the activity off with a sausage sizzle. We had about 8 teens from Gosford, along with 4 young adults to drive and chaperone.

Everyone getting ready to play soccer.

Micah, Me, Jamie, and Amanda spectating.

A good game of ultimate frisbee on a very windy day.

This past weekend, we had another youth event in Warringah (a suburb of Sydney) called Youth and Young at Heart (YAYAH). All the youth, young adults, and not so young adults get together the last Sunday of the month for a worship time led by young Christians. After worship, we have a meal together and a time of fellowship. The church that hosts this event each month has 2 HIM workers working there, also--Jamie and Sammie. Sunday night after YAYAH, I stayed with these girls instead of going back with the Gosford group. We spent the evening chatting about anything and everything, and just catching up on each others' lives and work. The next day Jamie and Sammie showed me around Manly (even though it was rainy and cold) and we went to an aquarium, called OceanWorld. We got to see lots of fish and sharks that are found in the waters of Australia. OceanWorld also has some reptiles and insects. While we were there, we watched a show about lizards, and were able to touch a blue-tongued lizard, a dragon lizard, a turtle, and a snake! We finished the afternoon off with coffee before I caught the train back to Gosford. Spending a night and a day with Jamie and Sammie really encouraged and re-energized me to start another week. I am so blessed to have them so close by!

Holding a boa constrictor at OceanWorld

Shark attack!
Manly Wharf

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saturday Adventures

This past week I had the pleasure of staying with another family from the church--the Moads. I met the Moads when I was on campaign 3 years ago, so I knew them already. Staying with them was such a blessing! Last Saturday, they gave me tour of the Central Coast and showed me some great spots. We started the morning with a HUGE breakfast of eggs, bacon (really ham), English muffins, and hashbrowns. Then we set off north to Norah Head, where there is a gorgeous lighthouse. There, we walked along the beach and watched the waves crash into the rocks. The next stop Crackneck, which is a cliff that over looks the ocean. We also took a 3 km bushwalk along a trail to the top to get another view of the ocean. Along the walk, we say a blue-tongued lizard and tons of beautiful Australian wildflowers. We were starving after all of our walking, so went to a bakery and got meat pies for lunch. Meat pies are exactly what they sound like--little mini pies with different kinds of meat like beef, sausage, or lamb. I had a sausage roll with bacon and cheese with diet coke of course. We dropped everyone else back at home and Sallie Anne and I went for coffee at Terrigal Beach. We ended up at great cafe looking right over the water. We had delicious coffee and split a lime tart, which was similar to key lime pie, so it made my day. I had a wonderful day spending time with the Moad family and getting more acquainted with my new home!

View from the top of Crackneck.

Moad family in front of the light house at Norah Head.

Tim, me, Sallie Anne, and Sara in front of the lighthouse.

Jay, Tim, Me and Sara at Norah Head.

Sara and I

The lighthouse.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Goodbye September

I have been so bad about blogging the last few weeks, please forgive me. But somewhere between going to Camp Revive and housesitting and surviving a dust storm, September ended and October came!

I was fortunate to attend Camp Revive in Melbourne. Camps in Australia are not just for teens, but also for young adults, so I was a participant at the camp. Because students here go to school all year long and summer is only about 6 weeks in December and January, lots of camps happen throughout the year on weekends. Five of us went to this camp from the Gosford—three young adults and two teens. We drove down to Melbourne in a massive road trip of two 10-seater buses and a minivan filled with 25 teens and young adults from the Sydney area. We arrived at the camp after spending 12 hours in the car on Friday evening. The camp was extremely uplifting and encouraging, even though it rained all weekend long. The theme was “Here I am to Worship,” which focused on how we can worship God with our every day lives and not just on Sunday mornings. There were excellent speakers, times of singing, and lots of fellowship. I was fortunate to meet and get to know many teens and young adults from all over Australia. I also was able to spend time with Jamie Canham and Sammie Marshall, two HIM workers in Sydney who also went to OC. The camp lasted until Sunday afternoon, then we got back in the bus and headed home. We arrived back to Gosford at 2 am Monday morning. Despite the long drive and the bad weather, I really enjoyed Revive and learned how to better worship God on a daily basis.

Spending 24 hours in a bus and loving it.

Me, Cam, and Emma representing Trek Youth.

My new Melbourne best friend, Amber.

Craft time with Jen, Allison, and Jamie (another HIM worker from Sydney).

A few weeks go, I woke up to very red and hazy sky. A freak dust storm had blown In the night before. Everything was coated in dust and the sky was foggy until late afternoon. I have been told I this never happens and it won’t happen again while I am here! Even after the air cleared, a fine layer of red dust covered everything including my freshly washed clothes! I ended up washing them twice and just using the dryer. The good thing was I felt right at home seeing all that red dirt along the street and on my car—just like being in Oklahoma!

I'll leave you with some of the signs that Spring is in full swing here on the Central Coast! These are all in my backyard!