It’s all happening here in Townsville at the moment as we prepare for tropical Cyclone Dylan to hit us at some stage throughout the night! The guys have been busy securing our ship down at the harbor and others have been clearing the campus of debris and pulling out the kits with battery radios and flashlights for everyone to take home. It’s cyclone season here in Queensland and after ten years here this is actually reasonably routine. There’s nothing to worry about, though of course we take the necessary precautions just to be sure. Today I’m actually quite enjoying the cooler weather and managed to even find my jeans that haven’t really been worn in months. After sweating every single day it’s a very welcome change!
Small and Mighty
There has been lots else going on here as well over the last few months. As you know, since returning from the Ship in Papua New Guinea I’ve been a part of the Ship Ministry Team. This is a small but mighty team who works throughout the year completing all the behind-the-scenes preparations that enable the YWAM Medical Ship Ministry to run. Since returning in October I’ve been involved in a large scale inventory of our medical supplies, helping put together training materials and manuals for future outreaches, updating our optometry database and current spectacle supply, and various other outreach related preparation. Currently I’m working on putting together a teaching regarding domestic violence and abuse. I’m trusting God to guide as I prepare and to open doors for us while we are up in PNG to use this to speak worth, value, honour and right relationships.
As I returned to Townsville in October I felt that God was speaking to me specifically about getting involved in discipleship and pastoral care of our staff more deliberately. At that stage there wasn’t a clear avenue to go about that though, beyond relationally, I just felt that was God’s prompting. Since then we’ve started running small groups and pairing mentors for our newer staff. I’ve loved leading a group this quarter with six ladies here on their first year of staff. I’ve also really enjoyed meeting with them individually and championing and encouraging them as they begin their journey in missions.
Near the end of last year I felt God challenging me in regards to teaching, and I committed to him that if opportunities arose I would jump into them. I didn’t mention this conversation to anyone. I had to laugh when in the following few weeks I started getting asked to teach various different groupings on campus. Since the start of the year I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to teach in our Certificate IV in Christian Missions Internship, on our Primary Health Care School, and in this quarter’s staff leadership training. I’m also looking forward to speaking on the Not For Sale Discipleship Training School in a few weeks time.
I can't wait to get back up to PNG!!!
At the end of March I’ll be heading back up to Papua New Guinea to be on board the medical ship. Again I’ll be leading our optometry team, which I’m very much looking forward to. I haven’t been on the ship previous years for the length of time I will be this year, and while I’m very excited, along with my excitement…I am also very aware of the intensity of life on a small crowded vessel in the middle of nowhere. Prayers for grace, strength, joy and energy would be much appreciated as we finish our preparations and throughout our time in PNG.
I hope this finds you well and that you’ve had a lovely Christmas and start to 2014. I'd love to hear how you're doing. I continue to be so grateful for your love, support and friendship. Blessings to each one of you!
1 Chronicles 16:24 - Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous works amongst all peoples!