Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TAA (Training and Assessment) Day 1

Today was the first day of TAA (Training and Assessment) Basically TAA is a two week teaching series for us staff - teaching us how to assess and mentor our students. How to lead small groups, intersession, on and on. There is so much beyond that but basically teaching how to assess our students. My mind is so full in this moment. Teaching was from 9am this morning 12:30. Then we had a lunch break and met back from 2-4:30pm. Then met again after dinner 6:30-7:30. The teaching is extremely intense and involves so much paperwork. My mind feels like a huge pool of water, and all of the information like a bunch of marbles being thrown into the pool. Complete chaos. Information overload. But all I can do is one step at a time. I am thankful to have a group of other staff who are all in this same boat with me. So the next 2 weeks will be TAA. Then after that will be a seminar of support raising in missions. That will last for 1 week. Then we start the BLS (Basic Leadership School). That may not make sense to anyone but that's an overview.

I am learning so much its crazy. Five days in YWAM is like three weeks in the real world. I'm learning to admit my weakness. Which I am very weak! I admit! It's in my weakness that God teaches me and gives me strength and I grow more then ever. I know right now I'm not supposed to know everything, or will I ever know everything - but its a learning process with the Lord. During teaching today we watching this amazing video called "The Bottom Line" - Basically it talked about how LOVE is the bottom line of the gospel.

1 John 3:11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Loving well.

It was so profound and so good for my heart to hear. It made me ask myself, "Am I truly loving people from my heart?" "Am I doing everything out of love?" It left me really humbled and wanting to be selfless. It made me realize just how selfish I am. And its so true, love is the bottom line. And when it comes to staffing and being a leader, beyond the teaching of the school or anything that goes on during the DTS (Discipleship Training School), my biggest prayer and desire is that the students of this upcoming school feel love. I pray that they remember LOVE, and feeling loved. And of course I'm not perfect and will make millions of mistakes, and ultimately its Jesus in me. It's His love through my soul that reaches people around me. It's choosing that love, choosing love over fear. And I pray they know that love truly is the bottom line. Just like it says in 1 John, everyone who loves has been born of God and KNOWS GOD.

1 John 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Such truth! Love love love! So that was Day 1 of TAA. I promise to have pictures up soon! I plan to have many here in the next coming days. So look for them!

Big day tomorrow, I must get some sleep.

Monday, August 30, 2010

First four days in Australia

"No set of circumstances could ever isolate you from My loving Presence." -Jesus Calling

I finally have a few minutes to write down my thoughts. The past four days have been a bit of a blur. I arrived here in Brisbane Friday morning and its Monday evening right now. My travel was super long to say the least. A total of 22 hours in the air plus my layovers. I only slept about one hour on my flight from LA to Auckland. Even that was just my eyes resting. I have never been able to sleep on planes. It was actually really great in the midst of all the exhaustion, I got to pray a lot and spend some great time with Jesus as I flew over the Pacific.

When I arrived here at the base in Brisbane I found myself smiling constantly and meeting so many new people. I honestly felt like I was in a dream. Everyone is so loving and super sweet. But it was very overwhelming, very overwhelming. I am still adjusting, and probably will be for several weeks. The birds are very different here. They sound like monkeys! Every morning they wake me up. But they are so beautiful and full of so much color. The season is ending winter right now so that's very different. It's about 60 degrees F right now and at night or whenever the sun goes down it gets colder. Cold enough to wear a jacket and warm socks. I like bundling up though so its nice. The most different thing would probably have to be being in an environment where nobody knows me. Yes people know I'm Alicia from Tennessee, but that's about it. It takes time to really know someones soul. I have felt extremely alone at times but in the midst of that lonely feeling, humanly speaking, I have felt so close to Jesus. He knows me perfectly! I know I am needed here at this base and in that I find peace. Its a beautiful thing to experience with the Lord - when no one, literally no other person knows really who you are, and you have to tell your heart and know that Jesus does, and just rest in that. Rest that He is all that I need. He always has and always will.

I live in a room with two other Australian girls. My room is apart of a huge open house. I will take pictures soon and show you what I mean. Australian houses don't have heat or air so the windows are usually open during the day and closed at night obviously. If they aren't closed animals will come in. So all throughout the day doors are left open, windows are always open no matter what. Its so breezy. The air is very clear and crisp here. The stars are breathtaking at night. Last night I went for a run around the neighborhood, and ended up walking up our street to a graveyard. At the top of the graveyard I could see all of Brisbane. It was so peaceful. Probably the quietest place I've found is up on that hill. Bad idea to go running at night on the sidewalk though, because later that night I found a spider in my running pants. Most spiders here is Australia are poisonous. And there are so many spiderwebs on the sidewalks apparently. So I think I will just stick to the treadmill here on base. We have a mini gym downstairs. I will take photos of that as well.

I know that's a lot of information and it probably sounds really unorganized. Forgive me. My mind is racing at the moment yet not thinking at all. I really wanted to write something down though, so you guys could know how I'm doing! That's part of what's been going on. Tomorrow we start TAA (Training And Assessment) The schedule starts tomorrow! I will be busy busy, but a good busy. I can't wait to see what God does, and He's already done tons! There is so much connection between all of us 12 staff. I already feel like family with all of them. God is soo good.

And under every feeling I am having, or any thought, there is a peace. I know I am supposed to be here. I know God has called me here for such a time as this.

I will write again soon. Love you guys.