Character of God

We just wrapped up week 7 of lectures and the topic was character of God. This week felt much more relaxed and gentle than others, like God was just wanting to confirm His goodness to us and increase our trust in Him. We spent the week discussing three realities that make up who God is. First, He has a nature. His nature is that He is infinte in power, knowledge, presence, love, etc. He is everlasting, sovereign, eminent (very close), and transcendent (bigger than anything He created). He is unchanging and has no beginning and no end. Second, God is a person; He has a personality and thinks, feels, communicates, etc. like a person (this is how we can have a personal relationship with Him). Third, God has a character. God chooses His character, and He has chosen firstly to be a father, a holy God, a faithful God, a kind God, a gracious God, a just God, a compassionate God, a generous God…the list is infinite because God is infinite. Sometimes we become so consumed by the enormity of our own struggles and problems that we start to think they’re too difficult for God to solve. But this week we were hit with the realization of how big and mighty God is. After all, He is the God who created the universe, and we are tiny beings sitting on a tiny planet in the middle of an infinitely large galaxy. So, I’m pretty darn sure God can handle any and all of our problems. If you want to sit in awe over how big  and creative God is, watch this video. I guarantee it will make your jaw drop!


There were a lot of gems of wisdom and truth this week, but what stuck with me most was the topic of faith. In the Bible, over and over again we see God ask people, “Are you up for making history with me?” We get to read about the awesome stories of the ones who said “yes”: Moses, Abraham, Joshua, Paul, etc. God is asking each and every person that same question, and it doesn’t depend on your circumstances or how capable you are. It depends on who God is and whether you have faith in who He is and what He says. For me, this really hit hard especially with our outreach looming on the horizon. So often I struggle with feeling unqualified and unworthy to go out and share the Gospel. But I forget that Jesus already annointed me to go save and rescue people (to do even greater things than He did on Earth!) (John 20:21-23). All I need to do is have faith that God has already annointed me and the sky is the limit to what I can do in His name.


Our speaker this week can be summed up in one word: precious. He is a humble man, small in demeanor, but so big in his heart for Jesus. He exudes love through his smile, his words, and especially his prayers. Although English is his second language, you would never know during his fervent, heartfelt prayers. He is transparent, and you know the Lord is with him. Because of this, he has some incredible stories of faith, and he has been led on some lifechanging journeys during his walk with Christ. 

Between our speaker’s words and the video linked above, I have really been reminding myself that God is always with us. He walks beside us in everything we do. We just have to acknowledge him and be in a relationship with him. I hope that living with that constant knowledge of His closeness will give me strength and reassurance during outreach. I also hope that His love will shine through my face to everyone I interact with, like it does through our speaker, and people will know God’s love through my words and actions. If you are praying for our journey, please pray for me in those areas – especially in terms of our outreach to Syrian refugees. 

Outside of school this week, we also spent another good day sightseeing around Newcastle. We traversed a suspended walkway on top of ocean cliffs called the ANZAC Walk, watched waves crash around the Bogey Hole, a man-made ocean bath, saw a pod of dolphins surf a wave, tried some good new coffee spots as per usual, and watched The Fellowship of The Ring with a LOTR virgin. It was a more relaxing week and weekend than usual. Next week’s topic is Lordship, which we’ve heard is pretty rough! We will let you know how we fare. 


Views from the ANZAC walk


The Bogey Hole : An ocean bath you can swim in when the waves aren’t as intense


Our Big Fat Greek Outreach!

Before our usual weekly blog post, we wanted to update everybody with information about our outreach locations – Greece and Germany! Just a few days after Christmas, we will first be travelling to the island of Lesbos, Greece for 6 weeks. Our team will be working with the Syrian refugees there in a variety of different roles – from refugee registration, to handing out food and clothing, to simply showing God’s love to these broken and displaced people. The days will be long and emotional, and we are sure that the situation there will hit us like a ton of bricks when we arrive.  


After our time in Greece, we will fly to Berlin, Germany for the remaining 4 weeks of outreach, where we’ll be staying at the YWAM Berlin base. There are already 800,000 Syrian refugees living in Germany. We are not exactly sure what our role with be there, but it will likely involve a lot of evangelism and relationship building with both refugees and people in the host communities. 

Now, you might be thinking, where’s the backpacking/trekking that we signed up for with the Trailblazers DTS? It turns out that we actually felt so strongly called to help with the Syrian refugee crisis that we are going with a team from the Compassion DTS instead. We never thought Europe would be an outreach location, but all the recent events have put it on the forefront of world issues and on our hearts. Since the beginning of DTS, Alix has felt that God was reawakening her passion for the people of the Middle East. He was reminding Alix that her college concentration in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies was not wasted and that He had a plan for it (like she mentioned in this blog post). When praying about Greece as a possible outreach location, God told Alix that He made her for such a time as this. Also, in prayer for outreach, God showed Connor a specific vision of giving away his Vans shoes to a Syrian refugee. We also feel like it isn’t a coincidence that we’ve had speakers in our lectures from Egypt and from Jordan who have taught us about living amongst Muslims. 

So, while we will not be trekking through the mountains of Mexico with our Trailblazers team reaching the unreached there, we will be making the most of this unprecedented refugee crisis to speak God’s truth and love to people in whose country it is extremely dangerous to be Christian. God’s hand is on this mass exodus, breaking down the wall between Christians and Muslims and bringing the Syrians to us instead. Not only is this a chance to reach Syrians, but also to extend the grace of God to the host countries bringing in refugees. We want to be emissaries of hope; to extend humility and acceptance into the hearts of these host countries through our actions and words. If it interests you, feel free to take a few minutes to watch this video and/or read this article to get a better view into the current situation and the lives of these refugees.

In order to be able to go to Greece and Germany, we need to raise $3,300 USD before the end of December. We have been so grateful and overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness in our finances so far, and we know that this amount is just a crumb to Him. We know that He has already lined up the people He wants to partner with us in His vision for the Syrian refugees. Would you prayerfully consider being one of them, and partnering with us in His plan to help the people of Syria and Europe? If you feel led to donate, you can do so through our You Caring page here. Also, if you know of anyone who might want to partner with us, please feel free to share this blog post! We would also greatly appreciate your prayers during this time as we prepare for our outreach. Please pray that God would give us His heart for the Syrian refugees and that our team would be unified and effective in our ministry. Pray for the provision of a translator so we can more effectively communicate with the refugees. Please also pray for strength, as this outreach will be very emotionally and physically draining. Lastly, please pray for the provision of warm clothes for us and for our team. Many of us were unprepared for a cold weather outreach, and we’re now in need of things like winter boots and jackets.

Thank you all for your support and prayers so far! We are learning so much and we can’t wait to go on outreach in just a few short weeks!

Spiritual Warfare (With a Side of Camping) 

Hi friends! We  just returned from a week of camping with our Trailblazers DTS and it was an incredible few days filled with water sports, fellowship, and lots of quiet time with God. There are so many good things we’d like to share with you, so we’ll start by telling you what we learned. This week our lecture topic was spiritual warfare. The topic mixed with being in the outdoors 24-7 made this week one of our favorites so far (I know I say that every week haha). Spiritual warfare is actually much more personal and powerful than most people think. Spiritual warfare is all about spiritual authority. Spiritual authority is the right or position given by Jesus as well as spiritual strength (both the sword and the strength and skill to use it). Each of us has authority over the Enemy because God gave it to us. When He created humanity He gave authority on Earth to us, but the Enemy took it shortly after. When Jesus came, He took back that authority and gave it to us. This shows us that God is absolutely committed that the earth is our responsibility – He will not act on Earth apart from human relationship and involvement. God is so inclusive! The key is to walk in your God-given authority, or in other words, to own it. What does this mean? It means you have full authority in your own life – whatever the Enemy throws at you, you have already been given the authority to defeat it! We also learned that the Enemy knows that you don’t know you have authority over him, and he exploits that. He is constantly prowling around, looking for gateways into your life. His ultimate goal is to seperate you from God, and he will do it through your own negligence if you aren’t on guard, or he will do it through willful sin. So it’s important to be vigilant and watchful of any areas the Enemy could gain a foothold in your life. God also gave us some weapons to use against the Enemy including walking in the opposite spirit (for example responding to an environment of lust with love and care), prayer, fasting, worship, and proclaiming truth. So good!


This week was so powerful. I noticed that personally and as a group, God spoke to each of us so clearly and intimately. In lectures we discussed what taking authority in your life looks like practically, and the speaker felt that a lot of us (myself included) felt silenced by the Enemy; like our voice doesn’t matter to God. Each of us took turns declaring that God moves at the sound of our voice, and we had people pray over us that the Enemy’s stronghold in this area would be broken. I spent the rest of the day meditating over this lie that has subtly affected me over the years and realized the Enemy has done a really good job of making me believe that I’m ignored by both God and people. I truly felt like I wasn’t very important to people or to God, but after this week I know that is the Enemy whispering in my ear. Each of us matters to God and our prayers can literally change the world. God is eagerly waiting for each of us to ask Him to do big things! That same day I was praying for freedom in this area and reading my Bible when God spoke so clearly to me through scripture. He had me read the verse in Genesis when the angel comes to Hagar as she has just run away from an abusive situation and is undoubtedly suffering and feeling rejected. He tells her she is with child and to name her son Ishmael which means God hears (!). Then she responds by saying “You are the God who sees me. I have now seen the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). Boom. There I was being a Hagar, believing I was ignored by God and He tells me that He both hears me and sees me. God is so personal and compassionate it blows my mind. 

Another area of conviction I had this week was in terms of my thoughts and words. As I wrote earlier, the Enemy is always on the prowl, looking for open gates He can enter your life through. Two of the ways he can do this is through your words and your thoughts. I realized I need to be more guarded with my mouth and my thoughts, intentionally using both to push me toward God, not away from Him. That means less fear, complaint, bitterness, and selfishness. 


This week was so good! You all know I love camping and the outdoors. Not only was this the longest camping trip I’ve ever been on, but it was the first and only one that was centered around God. Usually, I have a strict, intense itinerary for camping – every minute is planned out with what I want to do. But this week, I left it all in God’s hands and just went with the flow – trying new things and spending the massive amounts of free time in fellowship and in conversation with God. He didn’t disappoint! 

First of all, the lectures about spiritual warfare were amazing and freeing. I used to think following Jesus and reading the bible was just a checklist of not sinning and throwing up some prayers now and then, but now I realize my own important authority in the relationship. I realize that my words have power, and God hears them always. I realize that my daily decisions either bring me closer to or farther away from God. I realize the power I have over the Enemy, which also means the power I have to let him into my life as well (through thoughts, words, deeds, beliefs). This week I was convicted to enjoy the amazing things God has put into my life, but not let them turn into idols. For example, I used to idolize mountain biking. If I couldn’t get a ride in each day, I didn’t feel complete. I now look back at that and think how silly I was to put anything like that before so many more important things in my life, like my marriage, relationships, time with God, and developing my many other skills/talents/affinities. We are such amazing and complex beings, and God wants to use us for so many more wonderful things than we think or are led to believe by society. 

This week was also the very first time when I actually, truly wanted to read my bible. It wasn’t an obligation or something I felt like I had to do. I read a lot, prayed a lot, and received a lot of insight into what was currently going on in my mind and my life. Three of the ways God speaks are through nature, scripture, and dreams, and I definitely heard Him in all of these ways while camping. 

Trailblazers Camping Week

Up until this week, our days have been filled with nearly 12 hours of scheduled activities each day, so the free time we had while camping allowed us the necessary time to relax, reflect on the past 6 weeks (time flies!), and ready ourselves for the second half of our lecture phase. We camped on the shores of Myall Lakes National Park, and some staff brought boats for the first half of trip. We both did kneeboarding and sailed a catamaran for the first time! The lake had a slight salinity being next to the ocean, as well as a layer of tea tree oil from the trees surrounding it, so not showering for a week was simply remedied by a daily dip in the lukewarm water. We naturally woke up at sunrise, admired families of wallabies sauntering around all week, had lectures in a big circle under eucalyptus trees, formed tighter friendships beside the lake or by firelight each night, and ate our weight in hearty camp food and hot chocolate. 

This week came right after our Outreach Phase locations were announced! It was extremely hard to remain tight-lipped with our decision all week, and unfortunately we still don’t know which team we will be put on. But we should figure it out very soon (tomorrow or the next day), and we will undoubtedly make either a quick social media post or include it in next week’s blog when we find out! We can’t wait to find out and fill you in on the next leg of our journey.

The sky reflected on the still water at sunrise. One of the most beautiful things we’ve ever seen was the stars reflected on the water at night. You literally couldn’t tell the difference between sky and water!


The catarmaran Connor and I had a sailing lesson on!


Wallabies right next to our campsite!


So much time for reading on the dock with friends!


Our last day we went to a place called Seal Rocks and it was beautiful! The water was a bright aqua color!



This week was filled with rain, a care package from home, a nerf gun war, more rain, lots of cheap McDonald’s ice cream, and lectures on relationships from a hilarious speaker. We were honestly pretty hesitant before lectures began this week because we thought it would be generic high school relationship advice. But we ended up being surprised and really enjoyed the speaker’s unique take on the topic. This week we focused on Biblical wisdom as it is a key foundation of all relationships. We learned that Biblical wisdom is God’s “how to”, and it has nothing to do with your brain or education, but everything to do with your heart and attitude. Wisdom of the world says that you gain knowledge first, then understanding, and then wisdom. God’s wisdom has to do with your heart and it takes the exact opposite approach, beginning with the gift of wisdom and ending with knowledge. We also learned that wisdom is a heart attitude, and that attitudes take you into or away from the will of God. As our speaker put it, “actions are the offspring of your attitudes”, or in other words, your attitude determines your future because it determines your actions.

Another highlight of this week’s lectures was learning about The Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and their relationship with each other. “The Trinity Brothers” as our speaker called them make up the family of God. All three have different qualities, purposes, and functions but they are still one being. Our marriages, family life, and friendships were designed to reflect this relationship that The Trinity has with one another. Equality, authority, and ministry are to be pillars of each of our relationships. 


This week God continued to ask me to surrender some things to Him that I’ve been holding onto tightly and not trusting Him with. He has been leading me through this for 2 weeks, but this week I really felt like I was finally willing to let go of those things. This week our speaker asked us, “What do you think you have that God would want to steal it from you?” Since coming to DTS I had certain expectations for my life that I was not willing to let go of. I told God I’d do anything He wanted me to, unless it involved giving up those things. But the truth is that God comes to us and says, “Give me what’s yours and I’ll give you what’s mine.” This week I was hit with the truth that God’s plans for my life are far better than my own plans because He knows me infinitely better than I know myself! I can’t wait to see what His purpose is for me and for my marriage.


Like Alix stated, I have also been battling with God over giving up many things in order to fully commit to His calling on my life. These things range from attitudes I’ve developed, to expectations for my future, and to my understanding of how things are supposed to work in the world. For example, I have held the belief that I have to reach God through worldly acts, when He actually only desires a relationship based in love and to walk with Him side-by-side in faith. Confirming this, one of our staff leaders approached Alix and I during a worship time with a vision for us. God showed him that we were trying to ascend a climbing wall to reach God, but God simply opened up the wall like a doorway and let us in. Inside was a table full of fruit and food, which God said was provision for the journey He has planned for us. We thought this vision was perfectly timed and amazingly geared toward us – speaking in climbing terms we can relate to, and relevant to both of our current internal struggles towards a relationship with God. From this vision I am now more prepared than ever to walk into the next steps that God has planned for me and for my marriage. 

The next step of our journey will be outreach! Our outreach locations were announced yesterday. There were a lot of amazing opportunities and we have both prayed separately and together as to where to go. We get to select a first and second choice, but we have to wait a week or so to find out which teams we are actually selected for. So stay tuned! The Trailblazers will all be going on a week-long camping trip starting tomorrow, and hopefully we will have some exciting news not only from camping but also about our outreach location in one of our next blog posts. Thanks for following along!


A park a few blocks from our house where Connor and I like to run.


The birds in Australia are crazy! This one looks like he got a traffic cone stuck on his face and is also wearing skinny jeans!



Week 4 is in the bag and we really enjoyed hearing about the topic of missions from YWAM’s regional director of the Middle East. The speaker and his family have lived in the Middle East for the last 20 or so years doing missionary work and he taught us so much about God’s heart for missions as well as the Arab world. We learned that missions is what God set about to do in Genesis, what He is doing now and what He is passionate for. Since Genesis, God has been partnering with believers in order to bless the unbelievers and the lost. He sent out prophets and did great miracles so that everyone would know His name and then get to know Him personally. When Jesus came, He made it clear that the Gospel is for everyone – Jews, Gentiles, men, women, prostitutes, lepers…no one is excluded. In fact, God is so good and so inclusive that in Revelation 7:9 He tells us that in Heaven there will be people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. That means that Jesus won’t return until every nation and people group has heard the Gospel. That shows so much of God’s character! He wants everyone to get the chance to be with Him for eternity in Heaven. He’s not cruel or judgemental. Our speaker talked about how a bunch of people in the world hear the Gospel again and again and other places have not tasted the goodness of God. This is a justice issue and we are commanded to do something about it – to give our greatest attention to the least reached people. One of my favorite qualities of God is His heart for justice!


God really confirmed in me this week that my passion for the Middle East is no accident and that He gave me that passion for a reason. For those of you who don’t know, my majors in college were Political Science and International Studies with a concentration in Middle East and North African Studies and a minor in Arabic (whew!). Since graduating I really felt discouraged and like I had wasted my degree because I didn’t see how I was going to put those studies to use. Then this week God just confirmed that He led me to those and that He has a plan for them. As of right now I don’t know what that will look like but I’m excited to find out!

Another huge takeaway I had from this week was when our speaker told us to just RELAX and enjoy the walk of being God’s child. We are not disapointments to God and we’re not working toward some standard where one day we won’t disappoint Him. I don’t know about you but for me that was huge. Worry and fear are big struggles for me and I always feel like I’m a let-down to God so hearing the speaker rebuke those lies was so powerful.


Similarly to what Alix said, I was also struck by the fact that God does not view all of us as sinners but rather lost children made in His image. The speaker described how, for example, a carpenter is a person who works with wood every day of his life for his living. By that definition, a sinner is one who purposefully wakes up each day with the intention to sin and lives by sinning. However, as children of God, we are all inherently good people – carpenters, students, cyclists, whoever you ‘are’ – who on occassion commit sins. I felt like this realization lifts a huge weight off my shoulders to be perfect so that I wont be a sinner, which leads into the next important revelation from this week: that the bible isn’t a Christian rulebook. 

While the bible contains many important morals and principles to abide by, the end purpose of Christianity is to love and exemplify Christ. Strictly following rules to gain the favor or kingdom of God is how Christians lived before Jesus, and is the basic principle of Islam! Jesus changed everything. Because Jesus is God’s earthly embodiment, we have His exact example to follow. And because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we are forgiven when we sin and allowed to enter God’s kingdom even after commiting sin or not living 100% by the rules. However, the most important caveat of being a Christian is that we are called to love like Jesus loved people and like God loves us. For me, exemplifying Jesus’ love is even more diffucult than simply following rules. It requires something more, something deeper, that I am just now learning and have to constantly strive for. Here’s to 2 more months of lectures and learning!

In other news this week, we took part in evangelism at the local mall, Youth Street, and went to the beach again. Mall evangelism was, and still is, an extremely difficult thing for Alix and I. We have not had any training or any positive experiences with it – and we’re introverts. Thankfully, God provided an awesome opportunity for Connor. While walking around the mall, Connor and his partner Ben spotted 3 rowdy young teens. As they headed into an elevator, he followed them to begin a conversation. Quickly he learned they were drunk and high, about to steal bags of chips from the grocery store. He and Ben spoke to them for a while, prayed over them, and bought them the chips they were aiming to steal. The youths were extremely thankful and receptive to our message. During Youth Street this week, Connor’s team went skating on the beach, and Alix got to go to the zoo with her team! While hanging out with dozens of teens every Saturday is completely exhausting, it provides some sweet opportunities in the community (See awesome pics below). Finally, to decompress after an extremely busy and stressful week, we got to go to the beach again on Monday. 100% chance of rain forecasted miraculously proved to be sunny and eighties all day! Also just throwing it out there that McDonalds here, affectionately dubbed Maccas, is 10x better than in the States with touchscreen ordering, a seperate full service cafe, and provides not only free wifi but ice cream cones for $0.35 USD. Praise the Lord!


Alix took this selfie with a koala at the zoo. They are so soft and calm and cute!


A wombat!


A tasmanian devil! More like an R.O.U.S.



One of the skate parks Connor’s Youth Street team went to this week.


Nobby’s Beach


Biblical Worldview

Another week has flown by and another lecture topic finished. This week our speaker was Ed Sherman and he covered the topic of Biblical Worldview. Worldview is how we perceive and interpret the world, and it impacts what we do and how we act. Having a Biblical worldview then is doing life with God’s perspective. There are so many aspects to this that we covered this week, but in short, we learned about God’s creation of the universe and His purpose for humanity. We learned that life in the Garden was just what God intended for us, but after the Fall and our submission to evil, the Garden became wilderness and the world became a place God did not intend it to be. However, since the Fall, the entire span of human history has been about God graciously giving humanity chance after chance to be reconciled back to Him and back to how He intended things to be. When you read your Bible, realize that every chapter is one where God is giving humanity another opportunity to repent and be in relationship with Him – it will change how you see God (it did for me!). When Jesus came, He began doing miracles, showing us God’s purpose for the Earth (no sickness, no poverty, no hunger, no death). Jesus involved His disciples in these miracles to show us that we participate with God in His work on Earth – that’s how much He loves us. Not only that, but we have been given authority over this Earth as co-heirs with Christ. Therefore we are called to heal the sick, help the poor, feed the hungry, and do miracles through Jesus, growing the Kingdom on Earth and making the world like our King intended it to be. I wish we could cover everything we learned because it was all so exciting and interesting! 


This week taught me more about God’s character than any week so far. As I said above, the thing that stood out to me most was the fact that God has had one plan since the beginning of our creation and that is to have relationship with us. It blows my mind that ever since the Fall, God has given us countless chances to be reconciled to Him, and no matter how many times we’ve blown it (and we have blown it a lot – just read the history of the Israelites in the Old Testament), He still welcomes us with open arms and promises good things. Now when I read the Bible, I just kind of sit in awe that He loves us that much. Every book of the Bible is basically God trying to reconcile us to Him. So good.

Another huge thing God taught me this week is that I need to stop taking the viewpoint that I have to finish some sort of checklist before I can be qualified or have authority to do big things for God. This is a legalistic viewpoint – which I struggle with frequently – and is so sinful as it robs the world of the talents God has given me for doing Kingdom work on Earth. As our speaker explained, Jesus gave us authority to be His priests, kings, queens, prophets, healers, etc. on this Earth when he annointed us with the Holy Spirit (described in the book of Acts). So, we already have authority just by believing in Him, and the key is owning that authority in order to be involved in the ministry of reconciling the world to what God intended it to be. How good is God that He doesn’t just sit back in Heaven waiting for the time when He’ll come retake the Earth and reign but that He invites us to join Him in lessening human suffering until then?! 


This week took a step back from the more personal side of connecting with God and instead helped me view the world through His eyes. I often question how to reconcile society’s view of how you should live your life with God’s view. Ed Sherman’s talks this week opened my mind to the fact that God can use your wisdom, desires, and talents (which are all from God anyway!) to further His Kingdom through nearly any job/career/workplace in society. I’ve always been interested in business, but wondered how moral it was to be in a job where profit is #1 and God’s wishes for the people of this planet are long forgotten. God kindled within me a desire to do business for good purposes, putting His desires for this world first. I have no idea what this might look like after DTS as we re-enter the job market, but I know that putting faith in His hands and looking at any job with His outlook in mind will put me on the right path. 

Other than school lectures, we also had another Saturday doing Youth Street. Alix’s sports team played picnic games, and Connor’s skate & scoot team tie-dyed shirts and did a slip ‘n’ slide. Connor was also part of a team that did City Serve, wherein students helped plant hundreds of trees and grasses in the riparian area of a nearby park. On our weekend, we took advantage of the $2.50 all-day public transportation on every Sunday to visit Newcastle Beach and Charlestown Mall. We also try to go running and play soccer once or twice per weekend, but the opportunities pale in comparison to Colorado! We are missing our home state but glad that we have 90’s and sun instead of that white stuff!


Newcastle beach!


A quick coffee at this shop before going to the beach


Found a cool coffee place not far from our house. A great place to work on homework!


The Fatherheart of God

We just finished up our week on Fatherheart of God and it was another busy one! We didn’t get to do a lot of fun stuff because I (Alix) have been really sick for the entire week. But lectures were awesome and we both came out of this week with some great revelations, some of which we’ll share below! This week we talked about fatherhood and how we can often take the negative characteristics/experiences we’ve had with male authority figures and associate those with God. This leads us to believe lies about God’s character, and can prompt us to live in a spirit of orphanhood (a.k.a. living as if you are not a child of God). If Satan can’t get you to dismiss the existence of God, he will try to make you live your life as if there is no God. In addition to discussing some characteristics of being a spiritual orphan, we also discussed how to overcome this spirit. One of the ways is to understand God’s character and fatherheart is to read the Bible – it is full of truths about who He is and what He wants for you. 


This week, one teaching that stuck out to me was the notion that there are 3 steps of tranforming your faith: Revelation, Change of mind/heart, then Turning. For my Christian life so far, I have read a lot of ideals and had a lot of revelation, but only truly acted upon a handful of them. The rest are stuck in my head at the revelation stage, waiting for me to do something about it. Being here at YWAM has allowed me to really focus my energy on seeing these revelations play out in my thoughts, words, and deeds. 

Some other things that we’ve been spending time doing are work duties (daily) and Youth Street ministry (Saturdays). Work duties are a way for all the students to pitch in around the base and keep things tidy and in working order. Connor is part of the property development team (basically a handyman), and Alix’s duty so far is gardening at our house. On Saturdays, everyone meets for Youth Street, YWAM’s local youth outreach/ministry organization. We break into our teams and spend a few hours with local youth who come to the warehouse every Saturday to join in the activities. Connor is on the skate & scoot team which busses kids around to different skate parks, and Alix is on the sports team which plays different sports or activities with the kids each week (this week was a slip-n-slide). Between these extra duties and lectures, we’ve been keeping thoroughly busy.


I was most looking forward to this week’s topic, so when I got sick on the first day of lectures for Fatherheart of God I was really bummed. I’ve been sick for a week now and am finally starting to feel better. I had to miss a few days of lectures and Youth Street but I was still able to learn a lot. After discussing some of the personality manifestations of being a spiritual orphan, I realized I struggle with a few of them, mainly mistrust, emotional concealment, and independence. This lead to the revelation that I’ve lived by my own strength from an early age and therefore I don’t know how to rely on God for strength or how to be weak and vulnerable with Him. I never saw that as a weakness until this week. It’s pretty cool because my one-on-one (a staff member who meets with me once a week to disciple and talk) wrote me a letter before I arrived. She said while she was praying for me, God gave her the word “strength”. She said He wanted me to learn to rely on His strength and not to be afraid to be weak with Him, because His power is made perfect in our weakness. Woah – mind is now blown. 

This week God also confirmed to me the reasons why I view Him as a God instead of as a Father. He also gave me so much reassurance that He wants a father-daughter relationship with me. That He is not distant and uninterested. That I am adored and counted as His child. From here I just need to get to know God’s character and fatherheart more, as well as identify the areas of spiritual orphanhood I lean toward and change those behaviors. As Connor said above, revelation is only the first part of the transformation process. 

Other than school (which occupies 90% of our time), this weekend we were finally able to go to Newcastle and explore! We took a taxi there and walked around all day visiting coffee shops and cafes. We also spent a little bit of time at the beach! The water here is super blue and the beaches are amazing. Newcastle is a really beautiful city and we can’t wait to explore it more! Below are a few photos of our day around the city!


The street art in Newcastle is on point! These are our two friends Ken and Tori!