The dating game

Last week I organized a little dating event for our students.  Dating and relationships are always a hot topic, and somehow we really don't talk about it a ton.  So, we figured it was about time!

This picture doesn't have much to do with dating, but we did have a wonderful Mexican lunch with our speakers.  I had the unfortunate job of being their escorts from the airport to campus (via lunch) :)

Nathan and Rachel Mills work for Family Life, a ministry that works with young families and dating couples.  They have been specializing in writing some dating material, on how to have healthy dating relationships.  It was great, and I picked up on a few things too!

We had FUSE that night, where we played the dating game.

Here's a video of Leigh who took his bachelor #1 role as the Hulk very seriously...



 Surprise surprise, but I really enjoy Instagram!  So, I thought I would share some photos from the week...

 Curry and Bollywood night at Zoe's

 Sunday afternoon in the city

Short trip out to Scorching Bay

 Max and Cherie were over for dinner - and Max takes awkward photos

Team dinner - all you can eat ribs!

 Leigh's rib pile

 A large platter of ribs!

 Date night to see a play
And milkshakes afterwards!


Sydney Leadership Forum

After getting back from Fiji, I had a quick turn around, and Ryan and I headed to Australia.  We had been asked a few months ago to join in a leadership summit for Australia and New Zealand Campus Crusade staff.  We learned a lot!  I am always amazing at the great caliber of people that are on staff with Cru and I enjoyed getting to soak up some of the wisdom.  We learned some great skills in coaching others, managing finances well in our ministries, and how to send our students well into life beyond Uni.  Good stuff!

The summit was held outside of Sydney near the Blue Mountains at a camp, which had alpacas!  So that was entertaining during our morning tea times.

After the conference Ryan and I stayed in Sydney an extra 2 days through the weekend.  We spent Friday evening visiting an animal park, where we saw wallabies!

And a koala!

 And this crazy bird.

And most importantly, kangaroos!

Afterwards we went into town and visited the opera house with our new friends.

On Saturday we bought unlimited transport tickets, so we made the most of our time that day!  We had lunch after visiting Paddy's Market near Darling Harbour.

Then took the train out to Bondi Beach.

And this is a pretty sweet pool.

And then we took a ferry over to the Olympic Park.

And this sounds so wrong, but that night we had a kangaroo and emu pizza.  And a crocodile pizza.  It was delicious, but a bummer to be eating the animals we just saw!

 And ended our night back in Darling Harbour for fireworks!

We really do love Sydney, it's such a great city and so fun to get around.  If anyone ever wants to visit, just let us know, we would gladly join :)


Fiji Summer Project

I can not believe I haven't blogged in over a month!  Goodness, we have both traveled quite a bit this year and it's been hard to really settle into a routine.  A few weeks ago I was away on a summer mission trip (even though it was spring break really) during the uni holiday for 2 weeks.  I led a trip of 8 students and 2 other staff to Suva, Fiji.

Fiji isn't really that far from New Zealand, which is funny.  Only a 3 hour flight!  It's straight north, so warmer weather!  And tropical plants.

We were headed up to Fiji to do ministry at the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University.  Fiji is a very 'spiritual' place, so students were very open to talking about different faiths, and had some familiarity with Christianity.  But for many, it is out of family obligation or heritage, and many churches aren't that strong or Biblical.  So it was really fun getting to talk to friendly students and share about God's love and grace!

We stayed with the campus directors in Suva, basically camping at their house.  It was very homey and we learned a lot about every day life in Fiji.  There are definitely some differences living in the tropics!  Everything molds quickly and ants can find food ANYWHERE.

Here we are on campus, of course there is a rugby field.

 The house we stayed at had a huge porch where we spent a lot of our time.  After the first few days our bums were getting so sore from sitting on the ground so much! 

Four of the students were from Wellington, and I've been working with them for the past 2 years.  That was the main reason I wanted to go on the trip and it was such a blast getting to hang out and do ministry with them.  They are amazing girls and I feel so blessed that the Lord has allowed them to be in my life here. (Zoe, Emma, Joane, and Sarah) 

Many of our students hadn't really experienced a different culture like Fiji.  The island culture is different, and their history is very different that New Zealand's.  So we all had our culture overload moments :)  I happened to have an upper respitory infection for most of the trip, which was lovely.  But I am grateful that I had enough stregnth to do ministry during the day with students and was mostly tired only at night.

Overall we had a blast and saw the Lord doing some really cool things.  Over 20 students decided to follow Christ and we were able to follow up with many more and explain the foundations of the Christian faith.  Thank you to everyone that has been so supportive of this trip!