ice cream

We went and got ice cream the other night and it was sooooo good, this in Northbridge, it’s a night place, some pretty sketch things going on here, but this is where I’ll be doing my evangelism tonight.

Hearing about relationships this week has really been making me miss home, but it has been great having my phone so that I’m able to talk to mom and dad more frequently and I don’t have to wait for a pay phone or anything like that. It great to call and just chat for a few minutes and not worry about the cost and all of that. Something that really stuck out to me yesterday in my lectures is that you have to separate the the behavior of the person from the person. That’s how we hate the sin but love the sinner, this is one thing that has always been hard for me to grasp, but when I look at separating the behavior from the person, I can see how to just hate their sin and not them. There is some good stuff that I’m learning.

Skype, it could be from heaven

I got a cell phone here, I think that it was the plan all along, but I was able to find a good one that I could talk to home with easily. That is where skype comes in… I got a skype mobile phone. I am able to talk to anyone on skype for free from my phone. So, now it basically looks like I’m always online and my calls get directed straight to my phone. So, if you don’t have skype, you should get it and add me as a contact and then we can talk and I don’t have to spend money on phone cards all of the time. natalat30 is my skype name, yay! I can talk to friends now, all you need is a microphone on your computer and speakers too. That was some good news that I wanted to share with you. 

In other news, this morning, I was getting ready to go to my morning chores and had about 15 minutes to kill, and Sarah-Jane came up and asked my if I cut hair. I told I didn’t, but she asked if I would cut hers, so I did. I guess paying attention all of those years while getting my hair cut paid off. I only trimmed the back so that she didn’t have a mullet, but it was still a hair cut and one of the many random things that happen when living in a community/family of 200 people. It’s pretty cool, I’m still enjoying myself quite a bit. She even got compliments on her hair cut!

This week we’re talking about Relationships in our lectures. Much less intense than last week, but equally as challenging. The four things that need to exist in any relationship: Love, Respect/Honor, trust and understanding. We’re talking about all of these areas this week and I’m sure that there will be more that comes out of it. We all long to be understood, but sometimes we aren’t willing to take the risks that are needed to be in a place where we let someone get close enough to understand us. This is something that stood out to me today durning our lecture, I’ll share more as I have time. I’ve been busy opening packages from mom and dad, I really enjoy packages, they are fun to open and look at. Thanks mom and dad! Love you guys!

Natalie

Gladiator Night

Last night we had a base event, it was Gladiator night. Some may think of Greek Gladiators, but this was more like American Gladiators. Weird, I know! So my school and the English for Missions school got to help with all of the set up for the evening of games and the dance party afterwards. We made an arena out of the auditorium and helped decorate with streamers and balloons. We had dinner and then went back to our dorm, 228, and got ready for the evening. I don’t have any pictures to share, yet, but you know that there were plenty taken! I’ll have to post some in the next couple of days. We had a lot of fun, I didn’t get to compete since we were helping to set up the next event every time, but you know that I got in on the dance party. We had a ton of fun dancing to all kinda of crazy music, which was also our responsibility to get together for the evening. Anyways, it was really good after a long week that was a bit taxing on the emotions. It was a good release time and to just laugh a lot and do things like “Cotton Eyed Joe” and “Cha-Cha Slide” those always bring good-times… Well, this post was meant to stay light hearted, so that is what it’ll do. This week we’re talking about relationships, we’ll see how fun that can be! Thanks for all of your prayers, God is working in my life on a daily basis, His love astounds me and I’m so grateful for that love. I’ll write again soon!

repentance & forgiveness

Well, we have had quite the week, that’s why I haven’t been as faithful with my posting. Mostly I wasn’t sure what to even write about in the first place. We talked about repentance and forgiveness this week in lectures. A man by the name of Ken Mulligan was our speaker, he leads the base in Townsville. He was amazing. We talked a lot about purpose and how all of our purpose is to be blessed and to be a blessing, like you’ll find with the Abrahamic covenant in Genesis. We went on to aligning ourselves with God’s heart, mind, and actions. Repentance is all about desiring to be aligned with God and the work that he wants to do in our lives. If we’re out of alignment, we’re missing something and usually, with God, that something is huge! I know that I don’t want to miss out on anything with God and what he has planned for my life, so I worked and am working on aligning myself with him on a daily basis. We also had an application time. In this time we confessed before God and man things that God has convicted us of. It was a really powerful time and really brought the team together and the school closer and more trusting of each other. While I was being prayed over, Ken spoke over me about being a voice to injustice. This is something that scares me a little bit, but it is also so exciting! Now it is about daily telling him that I’ll go where he wants me to go and do what he wants me to do. I’m all about belonging to him instead of always asking him what’s next. If I just belong to him, and follow him, he’ll take me where he wants me to go. I’m sure that this could be much longer, but those are the key things that God spoke to me about. Thanks for sharing in my story and I tell you about it.

Natalie

What do you know!

This sign is posted outside of my dorm, they are working on the street and I thought that it was pretty cool.

It’s true, there is some deep excavation going on in this heart of mine. I feel as though I’m changing each day as God works on my heart and reveals new things to me each day as well. Today, I will follow him no matter the cost, no matter where he wants me to go, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, I will go. I serve a big God and I’m joining in what he is doing so that I can help change this world. There is a lot that needs to be done and a lot of people that are needed to help with the great commission. So far I don’t know exactly what this looks like, but hopefully that will be revealed to me in the next 5 1/2 months. More to come later…

quick post

Sorry I haven’t written anything for a couple of days, I’ve been busy… Let’s see, what has been going on. Sunday I went to Riverview once again and had a good time. It is a great church http://www.riverviewchurch.com.au you should check it out. Then I ended up that evening getting a bunch of people together and we went to the beach at night. It was really pretty and peaceful. The trip there was a little adventuresome. We were transferring trains in the city to go on to the beach and Samuel (Brazil) and I got left when a guy stopped right in front of the doors as they were closing while everyone else got on the train, so we had to wait at the train station for another 30 minutes until the next one came. They don’t run very often at night, especially Sunday night. So we hung out and I got to know him a little bit. He has only been speaking English for about a week, so it was a little challenging! We had a good time at the beach and took some fun pictures. You can check them out at flickr.com/natalat

Anyways… we started the week on Repentance and forgiveness, it is pretty intense and I haven’t quite processed it enough to write anything down that would make much sense outside of my mind. God is really good though and I’m enjoying being here, I can’t believe that next Friday is the 2nd, that’ll be a month from when I left. There isn’t much more to say, except that I have a blister from chopping so many vegetables in the kitchen. Any who, here is a picture of Amanda and I, we were having a good time taking pictures this afternoon.

It’s a background that my photobooth program puts in, quite fun!

Stop the Traffik

What a night… For some unknown reason I was invited to go with 4 staff girls, that I hardly knew, to go to a documentary type of film about human trafficking in Australia. I was sitting eating dinner, minding my own business, and Ellen (New Zealand) came up to me and invited me to go to this movie put on by The Salvation Army. I’ve talked with Ellen a few times and I work with her in the mornings right now for my morning chores, but we aren’t buddy-buddy or anything, so I’m still confused as to why I was invited. So, I of course said yes, I’ll go. So we quickly walked down to Northbridge and got there just in time for it to begin.

 

I don’t even know where to start with how this worked me over, I’m still processing it all. The story was about 3 prostitute women that were sold into it. It wall happened by chance that this woman, Ashley, met the mother of one of the girls. She was looking for her daughter and kept bugging Ashley until she would finally help her. The mother being from China didn’t speak  very good English so she needed her help. Finally she got a phone call from some flyers that she handed out and it was one of the girls saying that the daughter was in the hospital because of an overdose of some sort of drug, I’m pretty sure she was attempting suicide. This is what finally got Ashley to help. The rest of the story is bouncing back and fourth with real time and the testimony of one of the other girls that was being held because she didn’t have the proper papers to be in the country. We saw how these girls were treated, beating, locked up and basically being no better than animals. Later we find out that Rubi, the daughter, doesn’t want to go back with her mom because it is her mom that sold her in the first place to pay off a debt that she owed. Some children are sold for as little as $40. Insane! How could a parent do that, and how could someone take advantage of those people in that way. Anyways, Rubi doesn’t want to go with her mom so she ends up committing suicide after Ashley saves her from her pimps. Chrystal, one of the other girls that was rescued at the same time finds her friend on the sidewalk outside of the hotel that they are hiding in. Thus, bringing the police into the picture and Chrystal being taken into custody, and eventually sent into detention. Finally the last girl is rescued and ends up leaving to start her life again, without anything. I’m not hardly doing justice to this film.

 

Human trafficking is the 3rd largest illegal income after drug and arms trades. Who would have thought, and it is hardly even known about. This organization is bring awareness to this awful crime. 80% are women and 50% are children that are trafficked, a child is sold about every 30 seconds. This is a very real issue in our world and people need to know about it. I guess this is my contribution, for now. You can learn more at www.stopthetraffik.org who knows, maybe God will speak to you as to how you can be apart.