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Australia: The Journey Begins

We have been in Australia for 3 weeks and in Perth for 2 weeks and we are loving it! We were able to make a pit stop in Sydney and we celebrated our 5 year anniversary. It was a beautiful city with parrots flying around and amazing sights. I also gave Ben his long awaited birthday present that I gave to him in April and he finally went skydiving for the first time over the beach ๐Ÿ˜. The people here are so nice, everyone seems like a close friend. They say "mate" and they call French fries "hot chips", they say "no worries" in response to pretty much everything, they say "cheers" and "how you going" when they want to ask "how are you". Their Mexican food is definitely not as good as Tex-Mex so missing that already. After flying from the east coast of Australia to the west coast we were picked up at the airport by incredibly friendly YWAMers and they made us feel so welcome. With all the new students coming in we had to wait a few days to get our permanent housing so we stayed in staff housing for a short time and ended up finding out one of the girls living in the house is from the Colony, only about 20 minutes from McKinney where we're from, small world. We finally moved into our housing with another married couple on our team and we are loving it. It's a cute little house and we live a few minutes from the base so they gave us a car to take to and from the base. YWAM is an incredible organization. After learning more about how they do things and their heart I am truly impressed. I love the spirit of freedom that they have in everything but still maintaining organization and structure. Their goal in everything is to glorify God and honor one another. The organization is so flat that it's hard to figure out who's staff and who's student because everybody pitches in and serves with on another. Everybody here is so friendly and humble, the other day Ben and I were talking to the founder of the base and didn't even know it. From staff to students they all serve and uplift one another and seek to empower young people to hear and follow the will of the father. Right now our typical weeks consist of morning chores where everyone on the base cleans and takes care of the base, then we will have a worship time and then class. Around 10:00 we have "morning tea"โ˜บ๏ธ and then return for more teaching. Then we have lunch and then work duties, I serve in reception and the store on base and Ben is in the cafe making yummy coffee drinks. We do that for a little bit and then depending on the day we will have free time until dinner or have one on one discipleship with one of our leaders. On Monday nights we have a workshop consisting of specific teaching and information on sex trafficking, how the issues are rising and how we can help. On Friday's we go into the city of Perth and do evangelism and then Friday nights we have worship and a guest speaker. The topics we have covered in the two weeks being here are "Hearing God's Voice" and "The Character and Nature of God". Both weeks were amazing and we were able to hear from two amazing women. The first week we really tuned in to how God speaks to us and that He is ready to speak. Our God is not a quiet God and He wants to lead and guide us. We also talked about what things can hinder His voice in our lives and recognizing what those things are. The second week kind of rocked me as we talked about Gods character and nature. Our speaker's name was Rachel McGirr and she brought such a new and fresh perspective. Being in ministry for so long and after going to a bible school and numerous conferences I can easily get to a place of pride that I have heard it all and my view of God can't really change that dramatically, but this week the Lord really showed me that He is such an infinite God and there is SO much more about Him to soak in. One of the things she said was "You can tell what you truly believe about God by how you live". There are so many things that I know about God but it may not truly be heart knowledge. The head knowledge of knowing God is faithful, trustworthy and good becomes heart knowledge when you are asked to jump into unknowns. You will soon find out if what you know about God is something you truly believe. When you have doubts and fears about trusting His will it is rooted in your view of God. When you view Him as a distant, angry God everything is seen through that filter and it makes it harder to trust Him. But when you understand His nature is Love, Pure, Holy and His Character is compassionate, concerned and involved then His requests become much easier to trust because you know He is a trustworthy anchor in the storm. There is so much more to say and so much more the Lord is doing in both Ben and I and in our marriage. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and prayers. On Friday we received our options for outreach. Our team has 32 people and we will be splitting into four teams for outreach. Our options are Brazil, Greece/Latvia, Thailand/Burma and South Africa. Ben and I are praying about where we feel the Lord is wanting us to go and we would love it if you all prayed with us as well for the Lord to just make it clear where He is leading us. We have a mailing address here if you want to mail anything, it's P.O Box 8501 Perth Business Center, Western Australia 6849. We can also text, Facebook message and email so feel free to message us any time. We miss and love you all so much. God is good and you are proof, Ben and Stacy


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