Easter outreach

Easter is such an amazing celebration for a Christian.  We are reminded of Jesus, and His death on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins - and the day He conquered death and was raised from the dead!

We had an outreach on campus the week before Easter, where we hosted an Easter egg hunt!  Students decorated about 200 eggs and we hid them all over campus.  

When students found the eggs they would bring them to us and get a chocolate egg!  From there we would ask if people knew what Easter was about and invite them to a discussion we were having about Jesus and the Resurrection.

Oh yeah, and we had an Easter bunny, just for kicks.  Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of the bunny - and it's during a break.

Anyway, Happy Easter!


Sunday in Sydney

The next morning we started our day by visiting Hillsong church out in one of Sydney's suburbs.  It was nice to be at church, and everyone was super friendly - and gave us free coffees!  And, an older man swore I was his grand daughter, apparently we look, talk, and act the same.  Anyway, it was quite the adventure with the public transport system to get them, but well worth it I think.

After we figured out the train to get back in town, we decided to walk through the CBD and get a better feel for the city.  I liked this little cafe, it reminded me of New York for some reason.

Lot's of shopping.  I love these old buildings that have been transformed into upscale shopping centers - not that we were doing any purchasing, but fun to browse...

I believe this is town hall, or some sort of significant building :)  Either way it was really stunning.

Check out this alleyway!  It was filled with a public art display - tons of bird cages!  They were neat, and a pleasant surprise in a random alley.

Just in case you wanted another view of the harbour :)  This time from the harbour bridge.

And the other side.  What a handsome man!

The bridge is really huge.  At first I kept thinking - what's all the fuss about?  It's just a bridge, isn't the opera house the main attraction in Sydney?  But, over the few days we were in town the bridge really grew on me.  It's really pretty actually, and I think I quite like it!  

A theme park right on the harbour, which we didn't really visit, but we thought the sign was sort of creepy and funny.

The sun set as we began our walk back across the bridge, so we were able to see the city skyline at night.  In case you wanted to see yet another view of the harbour :)

And the opera house all lit up.  What a beautiful city!

Once we reached the other side, we decided it was time for dinner.  So we stopped at the Old Australian Hotel and had kangaroo pizza!

And Ryan gave it his approval.  Kangaroos are cute and yummy!



After our time in Melbourne I thought, "surely there's no way we will enjoy Sydney as much as we have enjoyed Melbourne"...  Well, I was wrong.  They are both fantastic cities!  Our first stop in Sydney (after ditching our bag at the hotel) was the opera house.

And she was just as stunning in person as I would have imagined.  You know growing up when you learn all about these famous places and it's almost surreal seeing them in real life.  I remember a game I had growing up where we learned about the Sydney Opera House (yes, I was a nerd), and I loved it.  And here I am seeing it in person.  Crazy!

That evening we took a (free) tour of the Rocks area, which is part of Old Sydney.  It's such a neat area!  It's where the first settlers landed and they've done a great job preserving the area and the history.  Many of the original buildings are still standing including shops, pubs, and hotels.  You can see our tour guide in the bright green shirt.

One of the oldest pubs in Sydney, where they also serve pizzas with unique meat (i.e. kangaroo, crocodile, etc...).  We plan to come back here sometime :)

More of old Sydney, and you can sort of see the Opera House peeking up in the background.

And our last stop was at the oldest pub in Sydney, where they still brew some of their own beers.  The Lord Nelson brewery if you are in the area.  Anyway, it was a fun atmosphere and we were able to catch up on our new favorite sport, footy!


Melbourne - market, tea and footy

I realize I've been pretty sporadic in my blogging lately.  You know those people that are really good writers and can just write and write and write.  Well, I am not one of them.  Ha, shocking, I know.  I haven't done a great job sharing about ministry here lately, but these types of posts are always a bit easier.  Not as much thought I suppose :)


Our last day in Melbourne.

Melbourne has these wonderful things - free cable cars!  You can get around town, easily, and for free.  Did I mention they're free?

On our last morning we went to Queen's Market, and found some chickens for sale.

And lots of fruits and veges.

We enjoyed a nice walk back through town after the market.  (The Melbourne bridge in the background)

And another bridge.

One of our last stops was the Hopetoun Tea Room.  It is almost 120 years old, and well, just delicious.

Whoops, I lied.  Ok, the last last thing we did in Melbourne was going to an AFL game.  This was one of the only things Ryan really wanted to do while we were in Australia.  The game, called footy, is definitely one of a kind.  We didn't completely know what was going on, but it was still entertaining to watch!  It combines rugby, soccer, football, and even a little volleyball move.  And it's played on a cricket field - which meant we got to see the Melbourne Cricket Stadium!

Which is huge - 85,000 people were at the game!  Oh, and apparently there is a dress code for men, so Ryan had to wear my jacket to have a collar.

And one last shot, Melbourne at night.


Great Ocean Road

It was a beautiful day in Wellington today, but I fear it might be the end for a while :)  Winter is setting in, and it almost seems like ages ago that we were visiting the beach and the warm weather along the great ocean road. 

The highway started at Bells Beach, which apparently has been featured in several movies as one of the best surfing beaches in the world.  Actually companies like Quicksilver and Rip Curl were started here near Bells Beach.  Who knew!?

Early morning.  Mmm, coffee.

We actually just missed the big surfing competition by one day!

Another beach a little further down the road...

And, just to document that we actually were on the great ocean road:

Cape Otway Lighthouse:

And!  We saw koalas!  Just hanging out in eucalyptus trees.  They were just as cute in person as you would imagine.  Sleep, eat, sleep, eat...

Our next stop was Loch Ard Gorge, also known as 'shipwreck coast' for all of the ships that have wrecked in the area.  Hince the lighthouse we saw earlier.

We were able to walk down into the gorge:

And, our last stop, the famous 12 apostles.  Not sure why they chose that name, but here you go!

There used to be 12, but now there are only 9 I think.  They keep collapsing, as recently as last year!  Anyway, they were beautiful, and we timed it perfectly to be there right at sunset.

Happy anniversary to us!

And this is when we started the 4 hour drive home, woo!  Long day, but totally worth it.  So glad we were able to get out into the Australian 'outback', even just to catch a glimpse :)



I mentioned in an earlier post that Ryan and I headed to Oz to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary!  We have been saving for this trip for a while, and we found a great deal on tickets a few months ago.  Thank you Air New Zealand!

Anyway we arrived into Melbourne at 8am (yes, that means we had to be at the airport at 4:30 that morning...ew), and after dropping our bags at the hotel, we started to explore!


a church
Rod Laver arena, home of the Australian tennis Open!
Federation Square

In Melbourne, many of the alleys have been turned into skinny laneways full of cafes, and shops.  I loved exploring and finding all of the hidden laneways and arcades.  So fun!  We led ourselves on a self-guided tour :)
more laneways
 some of them are so thin!

Similar to Wellington, there were a ton of cafes, so we felt right at home!  It was a long day after our 4:30am start, but I'm excited to share with you our trip on the Great Ocean Road the next day!