Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Body of Christ

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body...
-1 Corinthians 12:12-13

We have only been here for just under a week, yet it has been amazing to experience the body of Christ through our new church family. We have been blessed over and over again by the people in our church. We have already talked a little about the couple that we are living with. We have no idea what we would have done this first week without them! They are just one of the many people who have showed us what it means to be the body of Christ. Another example came from a couple that we met on Friday. After we met them, they felt God showing them a way to serve Him by letting us have one of their cars for the two years that we are here. Not only that but they want to take care of the insurance on the car as well!! We were absolutely blown away by their generosity and when we thanked them, all he could say was that the thanks belonged only to God for the blessings that He gives us in this life by being obedient to Him.

Praise God for his many blessings. We are looking forward to spending more time with our new church family and learning from them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

We made it!

Hello from Australia!! Yes, we have finally made it here :) We've now been here for 4 full days and have loved every second of it. Right now we are just hanging out on the couch and watching Australian Rules Football (AFL) to relax from the craziness of the last few days. We'll fill you in on the last few days!

Our Pastor and another man from the church picked us up from the airport and brought us to Yeppoon. We stopped by the church real quick to meet a few people, then they took us to our
new home. We got to meet the couple that we will be living with for the next 2 years. They are so friendly! The house that we live in is 2 stories. The couple lives upstairs and we live downstairs. They have 2 very cute dogs that we get to help take care of :) We have been so
blessed by their generosity and we are enjoying getting to know them. Later that night, a bible
study group met for dinner and we got to chat with them for a bit before we headed down to bed early because we were SO tired.

Wednesday: We slept in a bit and then went shopping with Sonja, the woman that we're living with. She showed us where the grocery store is and all of the places that we need to know. We had lunch at this coffee/sandwich shop. They drink lots of tea and coffee!!! We also discovered that their idea of iced coffee is very different than ours. Theirs has ice cream in it. It was a very delicious surprise :)

Our Pastor and his wife took us on a drive around the area and showed us some of their favorite
places. Sadly, I forgot my camera! Once we get a car, we will have to go exploring and take pictures of some of the beautiful places that we saw! Later that night we went to their house for dinner and got to know their son. We played a game of Mexican train to finish off the night. We really enjoyed getting to know them and we are looking forward to serving with them during the next 2 years.

We spent the whole day at the church. The day started with talking to Pastor Ron about what
we'll be doing for the next couple years. We are very excited about what the Lord has in store
for us. There are a lot of very talented musicians at the church and Sean is really looking forward to meeting all of them! We will share more about what we're doing as we sort that out more in the next few weeks. On Friday afternoons they have XLR8 which is for kids between preparatory school and year 7 (aka kindergarten and 7th grade). It's kind of like youth group for younger kids. Sean and I helped out and really enjoyed spending time with the kids. They were so well behaved and a lot of fun! After that, there was youth group for the older students. It started out with a BBQ, followed by devotions and then Gladiator Games. It was adults vs. the kids. I brought my camera to take pictures for you all, but lost it and didn't find it until the end of youth group :( It was a lot of fun though. I think my favorite game was sock wrestling. We both have rug burn though!

This morning our Pastor's son invited us to go out into the bush and take pictures with a group of photographers. It was beautiful! I'm so glad that we went. Here are a few pictures from the morning. I hope you enjoy.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We are truly enjoying our time here and are excited to jump in and start serving!

Friday, June 17, 2011

2 Week Recap

So much has happened in the last 2 weeks!! Let's recap!

1. Received our nomination
2. 2 hours later we got our visa!!!!
3. The next day we bought plane tickets
4. Changed banks
5. Cancelled house services and switched insurance
6. Packed our entire house
7. Had lots of quality friends and family time
8. Mama Rodick came to help pack
9. We packed our house onto a Budget truck
10. Said good-bye to friends and family in Indiana
11. Drove to New Jersey
12. Unpacked the truck and moved it into Mama and Papa Rodick's basement
13. Spent some quality time with Mama and Papa Rodick

There are 3 things left on the to do list:
1. Have our last slice of delicious New Jersey pizza
2. Repack and downsize everything we need into 4 bags and 2 carry-ons
3. Say good-bye and get on the plane!!!!

It's been a good 2 weeks :) Thanks for all of your prayers. We'll talk to you again from Australia! Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks!

The Schwarze family at our good-bye party

Our friends that came to our good-bye party

This is everything we want to we have to figure out what we need and can bring.
Our truck!

Sean and Papa Rodick moving our furniture into the basement. The stairs were too hard to get down, so they took the furniture down the rock wall. Here they are taking a break!

Friday, June 10, 2011

We're packed!

This past week we have had family and friends come and help us pack! We have been SO grateful for their help! We are happy to say that our house is pretty much packed up! We are able to take 2 checked bags each as well as 1 carry-on. It is very difficult to simplify your life for 2 years into 3 bags! But we did it. It has been good to go through our things and give a lot away.

A lot of people have asked how we're doing as we are getting ready to leave for Australia. We are very sad and excited at the same time. It is very bittersweet. We are very sad to say goodbye to our family and friends for the next couple years. I'm thankful that Sean hasn't had to work much and I am done with school. We've been able to spend a lot of quality time with family and friends these last couple weeks. At the same time though we are so excited to get to Australia to start the ministry that the Lord has called us to. We were able to Skype with our Pastor in Australia the other night to talk about last minute details. It was wonderful to finally be able to tell him that we are on our way! We are definitely looking forward to being able to serve with him while we are there. We would appreciate your prayers during this time as we start to say goodbye to our family and friends in Indiana.

Monday, June 6, 2011


In case you haven't heard, we are leaving for Australia on June 19th. So soon!!! My mom is flying out to IN on June 14th, we are packing the truck June 15th and heading out to NJ on June 16th. We will be flying out of NJ because my parents have so generously offered for us to store our things in their basement. We have jumped full force into packing. We are running around trying to fit in last minute doctor appointments and cancel all of our services at home. Things are coming along slowly but there is progress!! We are so grateful for all of the friends and family that have offered to help. We will let you know when we need it :) Thanks again!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Wait is Over!!

I woke up this morning to Sam jumping in bed on top of me yelling that our nomination letter finally came. It was a very fun way of being woke up :) (A little flustered but fun) Needless to say we were very excited! We forwarded that letter onto the embassy here in the states. That was that last thing that we needed for our visas. We were expecting to get our visas in the next couple weeks now that they finally had all of the information they asked us for. HOWEVER, only 2 hours later we got an email from Christopher from the Australian Embassy saying, "I am happy to let you know your visa has been granted today!" Who would have guessed that would have happened so quickly!!!!! It's finally starting to kick in that we are moving all the way across the world. It's a bittersweet feeling knowing that we are going to be serving where God has called us to but we have to leave our family and friends for the next two years. Nevertheless, we are so excited that this new adventure is finally happening.

Now we finally have to start packing. We "started" a few months ago. By started, I mean packed a few boxes then got overwhelmed and stopped :) Luckily, we have all kinds of amazing friends and family that have offered to help in any way possible. We will let you know our date of departure as soon as we buy our plane tickets. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!!