Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Divine Romance

At this moment I’m sitting on the floor of the rec room with 25 Fijian rugby players talking in another language and laughing…I’m pretty sure it’s directed towards me because every time they look over here they giggle then their coach yells at them…
Earlier when a friend of mine was using skype to call her boyfriend they all looked at her like she was crazy for talking to her computer!:)

Anyways, today was the first official day of school!! Let me tell you ALL about it in schedule form!

6:45 – Wake up and stumble around the dark room to find my clothes. I’ve reached the point where I really don’t care too much about what I wear, so getting dressed in the dark is easy. Today I wore comfy jeans, toms, and Aaron’s t-shirt that I brought with me.

7:00 – Breakfast of, you guessed it, bran cereal and toast. This morning the Fijian boys at almost 6 loaves of bread JUST for breakfast!!!

7:30 – Devotion/quiet time. This week our devotions will be over the character and nature of God, so today was about God’s love. (Even though its not really a characteristic, its just who He is…but, don’t get me started) :) During my quiet time I just sat and listened to Phil Whickam and wrote God a love letter. On the plane to Sydney I was feeling pretty down but as I opened my window to look at the harbor I felt God tell me “This is where OUR love story begins…” And that’s what it really has been, a complete love story. God’s wooing me and it’s working – he’s pretty romantic :)

8:25 – Our daily work duties! I work in the kitchen which today consisted of buttering 5 loaves of bread to make sandwiches for the rugby team’s lunch.

9:00 – Worship. We had about an hour of worship which was AWESOME!! It’s SO different from Fellowship…in soooo many ways ☺ At first it was really hard for me (and still is sometimes) to get past the critique in me and to focus on the heart behind the worship but once I did (and do) it becomes amazing!!

10:00 – Morning tea. I’m telling you, they feed us all the time!! But, I didn’t eat this time, I just had tea b/c I’ve been feeling pretty sick lately.

11:00 – “chippin’ in”. This is the time when everyone goes to different sections of the base to help clean, mow the lawn, wash the cars, make the food, etc. I’m on “Dinning Room” duty which was finished in about a half an hour so I helped out with kitchen and hospitality. I really enjoyed this time because I got to put more Phil Whickam on and hang out with my friends while we vacuumed and made beds!

12:30 – we got finished with our cleaning early so LaChelle and I started our “skateboarding lessons”. She’s on the “Boarder’s DTS” where they skate and surf so she’s been teaching me how to skateboard. I almost did an Ollie today….but almost is kind of a personal interpretation. Once we were finished me and three other girls walked to McDonalds (they call it something weird like meccy’s) to get their free wifi. But, we also found out WHY it was free…it took the whole time I was there to load one e-mail!!

1:40 – we had to be back for our first lecture at 2:00 and it was at least a 20 minute walk from McDonalds to the base so we sprinted back as fast as we could and on the way passed some of our fellow schoolmates who told us that we missed the announcment saying they moved lectures back to 2:30! So, we enjoyed a nice leisurely walk back and then a quick power nap! It was SUCH a nice gift! Because, I have been really struggling with jetlag lately and was SO nervous about falling asleep during my lecture. But, my mom prayed against jetlag last night and that sweet nap God gave me was absolutely refreshing!

2:30 – Our base leader Etienne started off our first lecture of the whole DTS! This week we’re learning how to recognize the voice of God. He is SUCH a good speaker! He’s funny and gracious and open to so many things! I thought he was going to give us 5 easy steps to hear God but he really just explained how to fall in love with God and then from there we’ll start recognizing his voice. He emphasized that God is a FUN God! He told a story of this “bush” in Africa that has trees full of fruit that makes liquor. And once a year they all fall off the trees and onto the ground. Then all of the animals come and eat the fermented fruit and get completely wasted! He said that it is in the middle of no where and no one sees it. He thinks that God does it just because he enjoys a good laugh! He’s up in heaven rolling with the angels in laughter because of the drunk and hungover monkeys!:)

5:30 – After a three hour lecture (It FLEW by!) we had dinner!! There wasn’t really anything special about it, except that it was someones birthday so there was chocolate cake!!

6:50 – I’m now, like I said, in a room full of Fijians writing this blog! We have the continuation of today’s lecture in about 10 minutes. It’s scheduled to be another 2 hours…but, I hope it goes by quickly!

Can you tell that I’m a girl? It’s not even 7:00 and I’ve already written a novel! :) But, I just couldn’t leave ANYTHING out because it was all so good! I’m totally loving it here! Especially getting to know all of these people! Me and LaChelle are becoming really close (I hope she doesn’t read this blog…)! I even asked her to go on a date with me to our “Impartation” (basically a time of optional prayer and worship) tonight, she even checked the “yes” box!:)

Please keep me in your prayers because I still have some stuff I need prayer for that I would basically just prefer not to share with the whole world! Haha!

I love you all!!!


Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm too tired to think of a title...

Today has felt like at least three days, it has been sooooo long!!!! But, I am proud to announce that I am FINALLY finished with orientation!!

Let me start at the beginning: I was up early (as always....), had a BIG breakfast of cereal, toast, and a crumpet, then it was off to learn the principles of intercessory prayer. The guy who presented it is ADD I'm pretty sure so I'm still a little confused as to what he was talking about, but he handed us notes so that helped me follow...a little. BUT we got to get into groups of 3 and practice each principle by praying for a fellow schoolmate's family who isn't saved yet..."yet" being the operative word!

Then it was afternoon tea, which I was starving to eat for some reason! I ate a ton!!

After making our sandwiches (and me eating one while making it...) we headed off to the zoo! Where I got to pet a koala bear, hang out with a kangaroo, and hear a barking owl!!! (I uploaded pictures on my facebook)

Then we headed back home for more orientation where they explained our schedules for the next twelve weeks and how our "assessments" (a nice name for tests) will work, which completely freaked everyone out! We're going to be INSANELY busy!!!! Oh, I was in SUCH a bad mood, and I was tired, and I didn't feel good, and my pants were too tight. It was AWFUL!!!

Then.... my favorite part of the day. We broke up into groups of 4 and went off into a room to discuss how we were feeling and pray for each other. The people I were with were exactly who I needed to be with, and they said exactly what I needed to hear! It was WONDERFUL!!!!!

Then dinner and an hour of worship and now I'm about to pass out! And we don't even get a day off until next Sunday!!! UGH! So, I'm pretty worn out but excited, but scared, but homesick, but happy, but not. So, prayer would be much appreciated.

Oh, and in addition to all of this madness and lack of sleep, a group of 30 eighteen year old Fijian rugby players moved in upstairs...right above my room. So you might actually need to pray in tongues for me...I'll need it. :)

G'Night! (I hope!!)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spiritual Box of Chocolates

Today we went to visit the Sunday evening service at Hillsong!!! It made me more homesick than anything! It's like, I've been here for a week and have been doing totally fine but right when we got on the bus for Hillsong I got SOOOO homesick!!

I miss my church so much!! I miss the creativity, I miss the excitement, I miss the volunteering!! I miss everything! I found myself taking every opportunity to mention Fellowship and brag about where I come from! I even went and found Ed Young's book in their bookstore and showed it off to everyone saying "MY pastor wrote this!!" :) It was so weird!!!!

But, what made me more sad/happy than anything was the service. It fired me up SO much, which made me happy but it made me want to get on a plane and go home so I could get back into the creativity of Fellowship!

Their service was AMAZING!!! The entire bottom floor was filled with young adults jumping and raising their hands in sincere worship! During times of prayer it was like the room was filled with the most vibrant excitement you've ever experienced! Even their church news video was like an act of creative worship! And all of that was before the message even started!! And ooohhh my was the message good!!

The stage was transformed into an "art gallery" with a huge circular drape in the middle; the speaker would speak from one side of the stage and then an interview video would interrupt, after which he would be on the other side, or behind the curtain, or sitting on a bench; then he'd be interrupted by a song that added to his message, or a live-stream video of a painting being painted. It was like a creative explosion that all flowed together seamlessly!!!

It absolutely filled my soul! It was like God was speaking directly to me and saying, "Hey baby girl, I've made you for this, and I made this for you. I know what fills you up and I know what excites you, and this is it. Enjoy it and then do it!!"

Oh my goodness, it was like God's love letter to me. It's like my spiritual box of chocolates. I absolutely can't wait to get home and start diving in to create for DFW what was created for me! But, I want to grow here at my DTS before I go back and really start serving! And hey, maybe there will be heaps more spiritual boxes of chocolates for me waiting along the way!! (PS Aussie's just at "heaps" to everything...I guess it adds emphasis).

Tomorrow we're going to the zoo to pet koala bears and kangaroos!! I'll upload pictures later!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Orientation Week Begins

Today was the first full day of my orientation week for my DTS!! It was a loooong day! I was up early at 5:30 in the morning because (I found out this morning), when you live in a tiny room with 10 girls you wake up whenever the earliest girl wakes up...and I'm lucky enough to be in the room with the early birds........

After trying to go back to bed multiple times, (I knew I shouldn't have picked the bed in the absolute middle of the room), I decided to get up and skype my dad! Which was perfect because it was early afternoon for him! I love technology because I can see my dad even though he's half way around the world!

After Skype I headed up to breakfast, which I also discovered will be bran cereal, toast, and instant coffee for the next 6 months :) Breakfast was followed by a short devotional and a long quiet time out in the Australian sun!

Then came the whirlwind of info!! We learned the hierarchy of YWAM, the history of YWAM, the inner workings of our base, we checked our visas and passports, signed a bunch of paper, and we even had an afternoon tea. They feed us ALL the time!! Every time I turn around there's another bowl of lollies being thrown in my face! (Lollies are what they call all types of candies, and they love candy...and chocolate...and cookies...and chips....pretty much every type of junk food).

Lunch was much appreciated, not just because we were somehow hungry but because we needed a mental break. But, after the short break we were back in the classroom for more info! After the story of our specific base and our leaders we broke into small groups to tell our own stories!

There was a short break before dinner during which I took the time to dominate at mini pool and get to know one of the guys in my school. I love the break time the most because every single person in my school is SO different but we all genuinely like each other and enjoy hanging out and getting to know one another.

It's so weird going into a place where absolutely no one knows you; no one knows who your mom was; no one knows where your dad pastors; no one knows how beautiful your sister is; no one knows how charismatic your brother is; and no one knows how cute your dog is! All they know is the Clancy that I present to them. Which is kind of a different Clancy than I thought it would be! But, I like finding out who I naturally am without any outside influence going into it!

Anyways, after chatting and attempting to play ping-pong we celebrated Derek's birthday (another DTS student at my school) with a very loud song, coke, cake and a sweet prayer. Then it was back upstairs to learn the 16 values of YWAM. Our base leader Ettiene taught them to us; he is a fast-talking, passionate, and hilarious South African man! He started off our time together by telling us that he was thinking deeply about us while he was trying to get his poo out and into the toilet. Then he went on to tell a few stories about poo and how they related to our upcoming outreaches...? Later on while talking about the vision of YWAM he said "We fart vision out of our bums, that's how much vision we have here!" Basically, I really like him as a leader and a storyteller!

To finish up the night we had the first annual "Island Breeze Sydney's Got Talent" where we broke up into teams of 5 and presented three of the values in a creative way. I made up my teams skit which included a Samoan guy as a crocodile, a German girl making bratwurst, two valley girls, and me as a fast-talking cowboy. Ettiene said it was the best of the night and we made it to the top three! Also in the top three was a sportscaster team and, of course, an entire team devoted to pooping skits.

Now I am downstairs, with a second wind, hanging out with everyone in my school. It really has been a very tiring day, but completely worth it! And the DTS hasn't even "technically" started yet!!!

I still REALLY appreciate your prayers and would also ask for some prayers for a few of my friends who don't have the funds for the rest of their schooling yet! They're trusting for God to provide but extra prayers are definitely appreciated! :)

I love and miss you all!


Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm So Freaking Excited!

G'day all!

Today has been an eventful day! Where do I begin?

I "slept in" today until 8:30 then lounged around the base all morning. Then a girl named Lachele and I made the long walk to the nearest mall to drop off some letters to our men back home. On the way to the post box we passed a fruit store and couldn't resist getting some Australian mango and New Zealand kiwi!

Then it was back to the base for the official "Barbie-que" to start the DTS! Their idea of a barbecue is lamb hot dogs and curry...weird. Then we went outside and played some "team bonding" games to get to know eachother.

Then....we learned the game of Rugby!!!! And you know what? I was one of the best girls on the team!! And the only girl to make a touchdown! Well, they don't call it a touchdown, they call it something weird like a downy or something.

Following the game we had a quick tour/history of this YWAM base and then showered up for dinner. After dinner was our orientation/welcome to the DTS! There was aboriginal dancers, worship, words of prayer, dancing, and even a guy that did the haka!!! I'm so excited about everything! They're all about using different types of dance, song, and words to worship! It's all about what you're gifted in and what nation you represent! Just in my room alone we have 6 different nations represented!

My favorite part of the night was when they called each one of us up and gave us a piece of paper telling us the words that they received for each of us while they were praying for us. My words were:

Ephesians 2:19-20 "You are in His family!"

Matthew 6:33-34

Psalm 39(:5) "Remember life is but a breath, so make sure it's a life that glorifies Him!"

Psalm 23

Ephesians 2:3

I can't wait to get back to my room and look up the meaning of each of these words!!

What was really cool was that during the time when the staff prayed for the students one of the staff members came over and spoke a word over me that was almost verbatim to one of the words on my paper!!!

Basically, to sum up my feelings...I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!!! :)

But, it's been a long eventful day and we have a very early breakfast in the morning! Please keep me in your prayers and don't forget me! :)


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not a local yet...

Today 7 girls and myself took a train into downtown Sydney to see the sights and shop a little.

Yeah....that sounds really simple right? Well, little did we know it would be a 2 mile walk just to get to the train station and then another 40 minute ride to get into the city. But, it was all worth it!!

We first walked around "town center" which was really similar to New York City, very busy and urban! We found a place called "Darling Harbor". Is that not the cutest name you've ever heard?! There was a mall, a food court, beautiful fountains, even more beautiful views, and of course more freezing weather. :)

I tried a "Bondi Burger with chili sauce and chips" at the Australian fast food restaurant Oporto's. It was actually really good! Australia is very similar to the United States, they even have Target and McDonalds here! I think that's why it hasn't really hit me that I'm in a different country. I keep thinking I'm just in a different state!

After visiting Darling Harbor we walked to Sydney Harbor (another hour long walk) and marveled at the bridge, beautiful water, and of course the opera house!! I ran up the steps and mimicked Rocky at the top.

By this time it was about 5:30 and the sun was starting to wane, which meant the freeze was coming!! We quickly hopped on the nearest train which was completely packed, (apparently Australians have rush hour on the train instead of the highway) and tried to stay awake during the 40 minute ride home.

By the time we got off the train it was night time and absolutely freezing!!! We briskly walked the 2 miles home and met all of the "new arrivals" before scrounging for the leftover dinner in the kitchen.Now, I am sitting in that basement again, plugged into a wall with my knuckles locking up from the cold updating my blog for you all!

Today I completely turned into a tourist and took a picture of absolutely everything I saw! I got laughed at because I couldn't understand the Australian accent and lingo. And I dared to try a new cuisine. I'm definitely not a local yet, but maybe in a few months I'll feel a little differently :)

G'Night all!

P.S. I've posted pictures on my facebook from my day today with captions explaining!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waiting for jet lag to kick in


As I'm writing this it is 2:34 AM Texas time and only 5:30 PM Australian time! But I'm not tired one bit! I'm pretty sure its because I'm too FREEZING to get sleepy!!! I thought that coming to Australia it'd be nice warm, sunny, with maybe a light breeze...but no, its cold. It was warm for a few hours today but once the sun started going down it turned to frosty cold wind. And everyone keeps the doors open here for some reason so its like a refrigerator. It even hurts to type because my knuckles are stiff.

Right before I left the house Haven threw her favorite UNT sweatshirt into my bag just in case, and I think it was really a divine act of God because I haven't taken it off yet!!

Since I'm not tired yet and its too late at home to talk to anyone I decided I'd upload a few pictures of my trip so far for everyone to see where and how I'm living.

PS I'll post these on my facebook too for better quality pictures.

this is the beautiful sunrise I woke up to on the plane.

Flying over the Sydney harbor
My room (there are 4 other bunk beds that you cant see...that's 10 girls in ONE room with NO drawers!!

My bed arrangement! It's definitely the most personalized bed in the room!

Wall-e followed me all the way to Sydney! :)

Keep praying for me, please!! Tonight is my first night here and I don't want to wake up homesick or jetlagged! But, my mom once told me that God is bigger than my emotions and that they cannot overtake me. And I happen to agree with her. :)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In the beginning...

Well, I am here! At this moment I am sitting on an inflatable ball in a basement rec room plugged into the wall to get my internet...oh, and I'm in SYDNEY!!!

Leaving my family was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I was completely drained: physically, emotionally, spiritually, everything! The flight from DFW to San Francisco was the absolute hardest. All I could do was sit there. The entire three hour flight I stared at the seat in front of me and cried. It felt as if my heart weighed 50,000 lbs. and it was tugging on every vein and artery around. I got of the plane and immediately asked my mom to buy a ticket to San Francisco and come find me. But, after a good conversation with her and Kevin I decided to ask for prayer and brave the 15 hour flight ahead.

It seemed as if everything was going to be okay...and then I lost my Ambien!! It was probably the worst thing that could have happened before a 15 hour flight. But, I rushed over and grabbed some tylenol PM which did the trick and helped me sleep for 10 hours!

I had the window seat (thanks to Steve Cauble), no one was in the middle seat, and the aisle seat was taken up by an Australian man returning from a singles cruise...he thought I was "very religious" and laughed at me when I told him I wanted to study acting. But, he helped me fill out my customs form and didn't make fun of me when I remarked that everyone was driving on the wrong side of the road as we flew over Sydney.

I was SO nervous about getting through customs because the only address I had in Sydney was a PO box. But, God chose the absolute perfect customs lady for me who was incredibly sweet and understanding. However, my visa apparently didn't include my middle name so I got sent to the immigration office for a while to fix everything.

On the way off the plane a talkative college guy remarked about how he like my pillow case and we started up a conversation. He asked me why I was there and then said that he had met another girl on the plane doing the same thing! He introduced us and we both got our luggage together. God definitely helped me all the way - it was like he was embodying every person I met!!

Then I met up with a group of 8 other Americans and we headed to our base, (which ended up being a 2 hour trip because our driver got lost a few times).

And now I'm here!! I'm nervous, scared, excited, tired, and anxious about the days to come! BUT God has been placing my steps so far and I don't doubt He'll continue to do that from here on out.

Keep me in your prayers!