At the Beginning


I’m writing this from Australia!

During the Queen's Birthday long weekend I took a long-awaited day trip to Marysville, VIC.

During the Queen’s Birthday long weekend I took a long-awaited day trip to Marysville, VIC.

Australia 2015 - City Trip 1 013

View of Melbourne city from St. Kilda beach.

The excitement over being fully funded & back in full-time ministry overseas consistently renews itself, even though I’ve been here two months. In the past weeks I’ve had a HOPE61 table at a men’s convention, connected with my teammate Tanya, settled into general OMS Australia responsibilities, been miraculously put in touch with a possible Kiwi teammate, had a 3-tier 9-point plan of action approved, and turned twenty five. Among other things.

As I posted on Facebook, emailed, and spoke with friends upon my return, a theme emerged. From my friends in Australia to coworkers in New Zealand to my mother in America, people congratulated me on returning home. While I certainly have come to know Australia and New Zealand as homes, it was a satisfying encouragement for others to recognize that as well. So, it is good to be “home” again and to hear the magpies warbling in the morning.

The Bongers kids made this birthday meringue tree for me, dubbing it the "Emily Tree."

The Bongers kids made this birthday meringue tree for me, dubbing it the “Emily Tree.”

Last week I turned twenty five. Following much contemplation on whether or not to have a party, I decided to instead spend this next year completing twenty five tasks in Australia and New Zealand. This list is mostly designed so that I’ll get out more, free of the self-imposed guilt that so often commits me to choosing work instead of play or exploration. It’s a (not yet written) reasonable list. I mean, while I want to see Uluru, Kakadu, etc., the likelihood of me taking the time and $ to really go that far is almost zero. I’m choosing things that are more realistic, like Te Waihou walkway and Lady Talbot drive. Next year, when I turn twenty six, I will celebrate the new things I’ve seen and places I’ve been with a party. Woot woot!

You’re due for more details on ministry things that have been happening of late, but for now I will ask you to pray for my teammate, Tanya, and I. We have challenged ourselves to meet with all of our current ministry contacts by the end of July. Each of us has a different list and different schedule so we will meet separately, but keep each other in the loop. To be honest, I originally set this goal for myself at the beginning of June but was only able to meet with Jess from Unshackled…and conclude that we needed another, more official meeting!

Tanya and I.

With Tanya this past weekend to belatedly celebrate her birthday.

Please pray that both Tanya and I can meet this goal and will find our schedules coinciding well with those of the people we need to meet. We hope to use these opportunities to propose HOPE61 training sessions. In September I’ll take a two week trip to New Zealand and plan to meet up with current contacts there for the same purpose.

I’m two months in and I’ve had horrible days (Mostly due to my health issues.) and I’ve had glorious days. Put it all together and you’ve got me, newly twenty five, doing well in body and in spirit, servant of God still being taught what service is, holding a plan with open hands so God can change it if He wants, freaking out a little because God is showing me great potential and wonderful glimpses of what is to come.

My life centers around the existence of human trafficking. How can I use words like “glorious” and “wonderful?” It’s because of the justice I see coming on the horizon, and the justice I see growing now.

Thank you for joining me on the adventure!


3 thoughts on “At the Beginning

  1. Pingback: 2015 Review |

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