Thursday, December 27, 2007

Reclaimed by wind and Sand

Have you ever felt like you're invincible?
That you could take on the world, achieve anything you wanted.
They keep telling us we're a generation that has the best everything has to offer, that we're growing up into the peak of our civilisation. We have the world at our fingertips through the internet and the whole growing globalisation thing.
'Get a nice home, buy shares, own a lot, generate weath, more wealth, buy islands and build empires', that's what they tell us. The world is ours for the taking if only we have the single minded drive and motivation to grab it.
Do you have that kind of motivation? I think i do, if i wanted to.
Yet i dont think i can be bothered to be honest. It's not that im straight up lazy, I'm beginning to fail to see the point.
Today I climbed a light house, first i quite literally had to crawl my way in through the front door then wiggle my way into the main tower. Some 20 years ago my entry would have been bold, standing tall on two feet into a room full of light, lit by the glow of electric bulbs or candles. But that was 20 years ago (and come to think of it i would have been one year old, at that age i could probably make the current entry standing tall or at least crawling (my usualy form of transportation at that age), since then wind and sand have gone to work, centermeter by centermeter covering the tower, flowing in through the windows and filling the base. The once strong building, a bastion of light, now left for the elements.
At the top, surrounded by panes of broken glass and a metal frame where the light used to stand, it made me think, to put things in perspective, well maybe a little, for now. What is the point of building an empire if you only have it for a time, then its a constent battle to keep it from being overrun... then its gone.
Some might argue that you can leave a name for yourself, go down in history, make sure your life isnt just a blip of nothingness in humanities enitre story.
Over the past week i've visited the graves of men and women lost to time, their lasting memory cast in stone, etched away by the elements and covered in lichen. They will be remembered by their family and loved ones, their names may be dredged up in the future as someone peices together a genialogy, but that doesnt really count as its just a name, not a memory.
ecclesiaties seems like a fitting read at a time like this.... and not just because nick and don and singing a bad rendition of silent night next to me as i try to type. i geuss if you've read any of my other blogs you'd realise that by this stage of my post i've moved onto the rambling section where words stop making as much sense and thoughts vomit to your screen....

Now dad, dont worry, this doesnt mean im going to come home and live as a hippy or decide to live by faith and see no need to work for money or spend everything i earn on pleasure, living with no security and leaving nothing for the kids that i may have in the future. It just means i need to keep things in perspective.
So If you find yourself in the north of Denmark and feel the need for a little perspective on the life the western capitalist world crams down our throat, come here, and check out the light house, if you can still see it, it might just be another rolling sand dune, only time will tell.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The great gammon feast and dinner #3

Our travels since we left base a week ago have been hecktic to say the least.
After a quick farewell (it was somewhat sudden if you ask me, bags packed, oh look its time to go, run to the car and chase down the fast boat to Bodo (pronounced; Buda)) and a short stay in town we had an early flight to Oslo then after a day of walking around Oslo city at -8c another short flight to liverpool.

Liverpool, was, in a very conservative estimate, absolutely awesome! It was great to finally catch up with a fellow aussie, and considering his executive removal the last time i traipsed through liverpool it was great to actually hang out with Will in his now home town! We spent late nights talking and reminiscing of old time and old friends (i feel like i'm actually growing up being able to talk about the old time and stuff, quite strange really!). To be honest i think nick was quite lost for the first evening as Will and I rambled on with complete Aussie slang and terribly quick speech dropping names of old friends at regular intervals. It was ok though as nick cradled his first legal bevvy (being from America and all and only 19) in Liverpool quite content.

We took a road trip, our only venture into the brittish country side and founda nice castle in the small enclosed town of conwy somewhere in the north of wales. We explored the ruins of the castle and walked around the town on its old wall, found a pasty for lunch and an old lolly shop who's owner was an integral part in our quest for the best pasty in town.
Other days of wandering were spent by the local park, whos name i already forget, it was nice, i went for a run through a mist enveloped park with the sun shining through tree's and fog creating beams of light and dark. I got lost.

The rest of the time, I guess, was spent around food and drink, either eating or preparing it with Will and Joy and their local community from frontline church. a quick rundown as i dont want to draw this out too far includes, Curry at the white room with a massive coffee, it was brilliant (curry and coffee), pint at the pub catching up with Joy and getting to know luke while Will sung his heart out caroling for the locals, two actually joined in! Poker and snacks later at night with a larger group of friend back at wills place. An evening of corx and more food and drink the next night and the great gammon feast.

I should fill you in with a little more detail on the feast seeing as though it scored the title of this Blog. A feast is what it truely was. We cooked from 10:30am through till the finish of the festivities at 11pm. By we i mean Joy, and we helped. The center piece of occasion was a large peice of Gammon, a salty piece of pig that is roasted and glased. Everything was flavored lovingly with a liberal spash of spirits (Grand monier, White Rum, Port). Garlic roast potatoes, roast chestnuts, christmas pudding, mulled wine (the best ever apparently, it was tasty but i dont really have any other reference point), stuffing balls (williams brilliant recipe, each one made with great love and care), roast parsnip, Red wine, White wine, Grand monier, Carlsburg, hand made chocolate truffles by nick and myself (they tasted awesome but didnt look to pretty, we ate all the pretty ones that Joy made the day before) chocolate coated macadamia nuts, much tea, brussel sprouts and carrots boiled in the pork and veggie stock.

All this was cooked in a tiny brittish kitchen, in a tiny brittish home for 20 odd people. The night was formal dress and i managed to score a shirt from Luke, wills housy, all be it a little small. To say it was the best christmas feast I've had to date would probably be the truth with no exaggeration. The combination of the cooking, company and chilled out atmosphere contrasting the hecktic afternoon of preparation in the kitchen with everything coming together just in time was brilliant!

I'm now in denmark, after a sketchy flight from manchester airport with a plane that had a emergency exit door that wasnt quite sealed, loudest mroe horrendous flight i've been on so far, followed by a mad dash to make a connecting flight with 3 strangers we met while in the air. We're being looked after by Lines family and they are, to say the least, pretty much awesomeness. Taking in 7 strangers ontop of the other 7 people already in the home is outstanding. We are like one big family here, already accepted as one of the kids and we're having a ball wandering through the forests, looking for christmas tree's, eating more food and drinking some great italian wine! Lines dad is a big fan of buying wine and we are encouraged to drink up at dinner so as to clear some space in the "Cellar" (or bedroom) for the purchase of more wine. we dont complain.

Its now christmas eve, the day of celebrations here in denmark. we're heading off to church later today and then home for dinner, a few songs around the christmas tree and present opening! (christmas dinner #3)

Next stop is latvia, via stockholm, to hang out with Madara before he head back to oslo for a few days then off to Tibet. I hope you are all well and have a wonderful christmas and new years celebrations. I'm off to go hunt down a deer, maybe ill have some photos of it later.
Ha Det Bra (Norweigian farewell "have it good")

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Am i having fun?

They say Time flies when you're having fun, so yeah, I probably am.
It's already December, which for most of you comes as little surprise as you've watched the dates tick over, however, for me september begun yesturday.

Yesturday I arrived, met 15 wide eyed stranges, each expressing their exitement in a unique way. Some were nervous, others excited and ready to go. Only 2 knew each other, they were married, the rest of us a group of individuals in a new world, a cold world, we needed to find something to grab onto and anchor ourselves.

Tommorrow I leave behind 15 friends, we're still individuals but we're now a family. It sounds strange after only 2.5 month but we'll miss each other for the next 2 weeks as we go on holiday, a quick break before we say farewell and break in two. Our family split, sent across the globe in two opposite directions. Greenland. Tibet.

For me (and Nick, my american room mate, we have spent 2.5 straight months together, we're travelling over break together and heading to tibet together... we might just get sick of each other, who knows...- it soging to add up to seeing each other every day for 9 months expect maybe 1-2 weeks spead out somewhere in the middle -) the journey ahead looks like this:

4 days in Liverpool with the wonderful Mr. William Evans and his friends complete with an English christmas dinner including a course of gammon. All cooked by Joy. (thats christmas dinner #2, #1 was 2 days ago at base)

5 days in Denmark with Line's family, she is taking in a group of us, christmas will arrive here, so will christmas dinner #3 (danish style) im sure it will be a time of fun, food and fine wine (well as fine as our increasingly shrinking YWAMer budgets can allow)

a loverly 30+ hours of travel on train, plane and boat via sweeden to Latvia will follow for our new years celebrations with Madara in her place just outside of Riga the capital! We've been promiced great food (chistmas leftovers LAtvia style, im counting that as Dinner #4) I'm almost certain we'll be spending some stage of the journey on the pavement outside or just inside a transportation station in the wee hours of the morning. I guess it will be cosier than in Tibet, and warmer...

So thats Christmas.

Onto Tibet.

Tibet, for those unaware, lies under the rule of china, they're kind tight... well thats an understatment.
They monitor everything going in and out. People, radiowaves, movies, telephone calls, email, blogs.
They dont like christians, well they do, they just dont like them being open about it. as such i cannot email or receive email about anything to do with God, outreach, prayer etc. you know, all that religious stuff... so seeing as though my Blog and email is peppered with it I shall be making a new blog and link this one to it (see hte linkson the left). i will also create a new email and let you know what it is... stay posted.

I'll smack up an itinery, its not very detailed, basically arrive in beijing on the 8th of Jan, organise tickets to Xining (tibet) as fast as possible (about 1 week) spend 6 weeks there with 1 of the weeks spent in a nearby city taking a break. then back to beijing to organise tickets and visas to take the Trans Siberian railway for 10 days to Moscow, then home via estonia!

so thats the basic outline, my communication will drop a fair bit as i travel seeing as though the people in tibet live in sketchy wood huts and burn yak dung for warmth... not much chance of an internet connection!

now its late, im tired and rambling so ill stop, ill use my same email and blog till the 7th of Jan so if you want more details give me a shout! would love to hear from you.

You're prayers are more than welcome. Team unity, saftey, energy and trust in God would be some good things to pray for, and that He reveals a heap to us and we come back different (in a good way) people!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I said a belated farewell to the sun today.
It was sad.
We wont be seeing each other here at Nordtun untill March.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Take a moment in time - its yours

Have you ever had one of those moments in life that you wish you could capture?
To take time, and frame by frame distil it; not just the visual world around you or the sounds that fill your mind, or the bittersweet feeling of pain mixed with joy and excitement, but along with all that the freedom, the company, the fear, the wonder and awe; the whole vibe?
Have you?

A snapshot of your life tucked away to take out and re-experience when things get rough, living is a struggle and the world seems set against you? To remind you that life doesn't always suck, that God loves you and that this world He created is full of beauty and amazement, not just a giant rotting ball of hate?

A freeze frame to share with your friends and family so they could actually get it?
To not just live vicariously through your poor verbal rendition?

Picture this, imagine this, try to feel and experience this: -
It's 3pm and the sun is still setting, it has been since about 12:30pm, but that’s a whole nother story. The temperature has dropped to something that could best be described as Arctic; which in itself isn’t surprising being above the arctic circle (that probably explains the setting sun to...)

So picture this. The red glow in the sky, reflecting off the clouds that swamp the distant mountains, a now-white lake, frozen below us.
A fine mist of snow flowing like liquid over the peak of the slope.
A row of white clouds bursting forth from the snow machines that stretch up the mountain above us.
An empty slope below, flood-lit, complete with undulating shadows to hide the line, the bumps, the dangers and snares.
A lone companion strapping in, buckling in next to you; excitement and awe in their eyes like a reflection of your own.

Hear this, conjure it in your mind.
The sound of your board sliding over snow,
Of metal edges cutting in.
The gush of mist bursting into the air,
The click of buckles holding you ever tighter,
The voice of a friend.
All stolen away by a steadily rushing wind.

Feel this, try and imagine it.
The painful pressure of your mechanical ride to the top, the T-Bar, bane of all snowboarders, as it digs in behind your left thigh. 'Not long now, not long till it will be gone... for a time'.
The relief of making it to the top.
The icy wind cutting through your carefully prepared layers of clothing,
Freezing your breath as it leaves your mouth,
You're just another snow machine now.
The snow gliding beneath your board,
It’s harder than it seems you realise again as your land on your bruised behind,
It jars your wrists just one more time.
The frozen mist from the machines that passes off as snow,
Covering you, filling you.
Your knuckles hitting knuckles as you bid farewell to a friend and begin your descents,

Smell this:
Nothing but fresh air and cold snow powder.

Experience this:
The calm as you sit/glide/stand (which is it? all or none, still cant tell...) next to a freind discussing the important things in life as your are dragged up a hill, "your favourite food?", "Best outdoor experience?"
The awe as your reach the peak and look back at the scene above and below,
where the heavens meet the mountains.
The words stop.
Excitement and joy as you sit buckling your boots into your board,
Fear that fuels adrenaline slowly making its way into the mix of emotions.
Release as your stand and gravity takes hold and your board edge cuts in.
Moments of nerves as you fly with wind rushing against your body while the glow of lights is traded for the depths of a shadow with its hidden snares.

Sorrow as you know it cant last forever.

That's my moment in time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Fuck Drugs" In Fauske

So mum, i apologise for the title but I have to tell it how it is...

Many christians beleive that "the F word" is a terrible thing to say and shouldn't be spoken. Its harsh, crass and downright rude. Apparently they dont think the same way here in Norway. I have just spent (well we got back a week ago and had a week of teaching in between but i've been a little lazy and havent updated my blog until now...) a week in a larger town north of Engavagen (where i live) named Fauske, its about the size of say... errr... a small town? i cant really think of a similar sized town in melbourne, its a little late and my mind is starting to shut down, Not too big but not too small.
We were sent off by the staff for a week of "Mini-outreach", 1 week of being self-sufficient and self led (i was assigned to be the leader of our 4 person team to fasuke) to spend time in the communities and some way share the Gospel or encourage the people in the area or just be a christian presence in the places we were sent. We had a contact named Audun, a young snowboarder who, after injuring his knee, has returned home to lead the youth ministries in the area and be a christian role model for the youth in the area. He also hates the drug culture. Hence is car is plastered with a giant green sticker labled "Fuck Drugs". He also has a clothing line named "Perfect line" as he beleives that there is no high greater, no opportunity to get closer to God (at least for him) than to be riding down a perfect line pushing yourself so you just have to trust that God has your back as you ride down a mountain. --> he wants to share that message.
During the week we hung out with him at the youth clubs he runs at night, conformation classes, KRIK (christian youth sports group), Tensing (Christian youth singing group) and his night cafe. We just hung out and encouraged the youth, it was fun, they were crazy hopefully they'll be invading Nordtun for a weekend camp in 2 weeks to get to know God a little better. We were also given a school to run for 3 days, it was pretty insane, we had very little contact before and and though we were just going to say hello and maybe sit in on a few classes but when we rocked up at 8am the first day to meet with the principle we were informed that over the next 3 days classes had not been planned as we were going to be running them... "oh crap" was the first though it my head. But it ended up to be a great time, we spent the third day hiking up the mountains that surrounded the school with a fire and some damper. It was great to see the Amazment in the eyes of some of the students as they turned around to see the sun peaking over the mountains on the opposite side of the valley and shining through the trees. Although they have live amongst these mountains for many years most of them have never had a chance to walk up them!
So that was fauske (i could tell you more but its late, im tired and yeah, you'd probably get bored if i wrote lots more) it was freaking cold, -15c one morning... oh yeah up until today (when it rained) i have been living in a crazy snow covered world!

This last week of teaching has been on "A Life in Freedom" Basically it was about deliverance, bondage and the like. it was really interesting and brought up alot of questions amongst many people. still have to wrap my head around alot of it but i will be attempting to learn more about it as the weeks go on.

We took a night hike up the Troll, climbing moutains in the pitch black, covered in snow, with headtorches is fun, you should try it...

yeah gettin real tired, might fix this blog up when i get more energy, maybe not though.... Good night all, its snooze time for me! YaY!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Moonbow!

Picture this.

The blackness of the late autumn winter sky in the north or Norway.
A moon that burns so brightly it starts to hurt to look into its perfect circle.
Clouds, one above the other, blanketing the sky, masking the star filled heavens.
Faint northern lights, an electric green, flowing like a jetstream.
The end of a rocky jetty.
A cold wind is blowing over a once glassy harbour.
The moons vibrant reflection is broken, distorted.

Now imagine a rainbow in all its glory, violet through red.
Bend it around the perfect circle, set it against a black sky and blur it with a cloud.
Sit back and watch.
It's magnificent,
It's a moonbow,
It's Gods creation!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Eternal Sunrise of the clouded sky!

I'm happy, the sun is finally peaking over the mountains that surround our base, and at 10am its about time. As the days wear on and we lose what precious sunlight we have day by day, 7min per day to be precise, you begin to appreciate some light. The problem is, however, the sun seems tired, a little lazy, with barely enough energy or desire to peak its head up over the mountains blanketing it for a few moments before it decides to spend yet another day under the covers, away from our prying eyes. Its like living in an eternal state of sunrise, merging into sunset, forever twilight, never a bright and glorious day. It's kind of sad.

Base life has been interesting of late. I just found out im going to Tibet for outreach, spending 10 weeks traipsing throughout central asia supporting and building up local missionaries through prayer and worship while meeting the communities and getting to know the cultures, encouraging them and helping out where we can. To say im somewhat excited is probably an understatement as the team I'm going with is brilliant. We have the crazy german lars (seen here flying through the air), My two roommates, Nick and Daniel. All 4 of us are into climbing and slacklining so im sure Tibet will be one huge playground for us when we're not busy. Anna, Line and Rita make up the female contingent of the students, all crazy gals that are tough as nails. Its quite fortunate that we're into the outdoors and doing it a little rougher than usual as the villages that we will be spending time with each day are aroudn 2 hours hike away in -15degree Tibet!
Our leaders are Kjersti and Harman Jon, a Dutch guy and a Norske Gal and both crazy. (over left). We dont really know the plans yet but hopefully we'll spend some time in beijing, xining, tibet and catch the tras-siberian railway.

Mini-outreach, a week to get used to the idea of reaching out to a community, is happening next monday. I will be heading over to a place called... errr some crazy norsk name... to hang out and support and guy names Oudin. He's about 21 years old and is working with the young people in the community. Whats cooler (well sort of) is that he has just built himself a climbing wall inside his living room and he's into crazy outdoor things like bridge swinging. I'm sure its going to be awesome.

On a different note, we tried a social experiment the other night. To set the scene, there is a small room here at Nordtun, about 2 x 3m big, walls plastered in the norweigian bible, quite literally and a small table with some candles at one end. Now, cram a pile of pillows, blankets, tea, coffee, cameras and 6 people into this space. Close the door at 11:30pm, no one leave, except for a pee break till 9am (breakfast time) and no one sleeps, and see what happens...
What happened was an truely amazing night of prayer and worship, we didnt really plan it that was, we just wanted to see if we could last the night without sleep and killing ourselfs, we were thinking a few games of chess, some knitting and alot of joking. But, as God does, he sort of hijacked the night and we spend it in prayer, building each other up and encouraging each other. It was a night I wish never to forget, and somehow the 9.5 hours went like the blink of an eye as the hours skipped past. We all came out excited and refreshed, wanting to hear more from God!
Yet, we also all promptly crashed and slept the day away after an awesome breakfast of home made cerial and toast!

This week we're looking evangelism with two young guys from the SOE (school of evangelism) up from down south of Norway, it should be an interesting week!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A traipse through liquid ice

As our feet first touched down into the mid-calf deep ice flow stream we knew we were in for a bit of an adrenaline rush. The waters cool biting edge but through out warmest clothes in seconds and chille dus to our bones. We had to move fast as hanging around in that temperature saps your strength in no time. Quickly we trudged up the rapidly flowing stream.At this stage we were a good 15m below ground in the pitch black caves carved by centuries of fast flowing water, with nothign but our small head torches to light our path, there were about 8 daring souls in total for this adventure. After a few minuites, by now our feet had pretty much lost feeling we came to a stone slab with water flowing quick out below it. "under here" cries Harman Jon, out leader. 'Under here' was a 10cm gap of air between icy river and cold hard rock. "no way", "You're joking" and "I cant do that" were the few words spoken as we looked at the path ahead.
"It's now or never, if you go you go, make up your mind now" yelled Harman Jon above the roaring of a not so distant waterfall. With that he dissapeared under the water and through the gap.

As the water hit my chest and crept up to my neck i could do nothing but lose my breath, regain it, and yell the first thing that came to mind, "Baaaaaaaaahhhhhhh", this was shortly followed by "shiiiiiiiiiite". It was cold. For 20m we crawled through the water faces to the ceiling trying to suck what air we could, hearts beating at rediculous speeds and adrenaline pumping through our bodies. As we crawled along the roar of the waterfall grew louder, sliding through a small gap we popped out below a gushing waterfull with a delightful sight before us, the rope, our path out of this feezing tunnel. Pity it was sitting right in the middle of the downpour of freezing water. So, the final hurdle, a 3m rope climb up a overhung tiered rockface, sound fun, not so much with icecold hand. Grip after grip was laid upon that rope, though i could never quite tell if i was actually holding it hard enough. After an epic struggle against the oncoming water I finally made over the top and bolted for the mouth of the cave, where ever it was, I just ran upstream. finally, with muscles tired from the fading adrenaline rush but still buzzing we made it out, never have a felt so happy to chuck my hands into snow, it actually felt warmer...

That was cave 3/4 in the Norwiegian highlands, the past 4 days have been a traips around the the caves, about 50km from YWAM base, unfortunately its a 5hour drive aorund the mountains to the other side. The first night was spend camping in the fresh snow overlooking the mountain range. That night we spend some time in a large gaping cave lit by candle light, praying and singing praises as our words were whisked away by the thunder of the river below so we could barely hear what we were saying.
The rest of the caves we visited were winding trails carved by streams, mostly dry now with a little water deep within them. Being in the caves was amazing, the knowledge that you are meters underground surrounded by cold rock in every direction with nothing but a headtorch and your freinds to get you out. For some reason i felt right at home within the caves, it was soo much fun just wandering around exploring all the nooks and crannies, squeezing through tiny gaps like a peice fitting into the last spot on a jig-saw puzzle. Lars and Madara say 'Hi', its late here at Nordtun about 1:30am, we're still up as we had our 5hr drive back to base this arvo and filled ourselves with chocolaty goodness on the way.
On that note, i should probably sign off and crash for the evening, tomorrow is a day full of planning for 7-11 (the youth group we run every second friday) and 7-11 itself, theater sports tomorrow i think.
hope all is well.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

some facts...

So, it started to snow! - this will be short...
it was cold and raining, then down it came!
the mountain opposite me in now balck and white striped!
We ran outside, barefoot, and frollicked!
Being so close to the coast it doesnt stick for too long just yet but it will soon!
Its still autumn and its already colder than it is in melbournes cold winter... well warm winter now...
We're losing 7 mins of sunlight a day, thats 1 hour of sunlight a week! it will be dark soon...

sorry, thats about it... gotta go organise outreach, just wanted to share some random things about norway, and the fact that im excited for snow! not as much as the alaskan but im excited!

And the sheep have tails here... go figure...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Island hopping and the aussie...

so It's been a while since i posted, things are a little hectic and i get a little distracted by all the thing i can go and do, from hiking up mountains, lighting fires and cooking meals outdoors or combining them both and hiking up and cooking a meal on the top of a mountain.

hmmm, its been so long that i'm beginning to forget what has happened so many details will be missing but ill give it my best shot.

so we went island hopping, we caught the local ferry across to a small island called Bolga, it was a small island with a granite mountain. Base camp was the best so far as we were right next to a sweet boulder feild with heaps of stuff to clamber over and under, more moss covered boulders everywhere with little caves with a large mountain looming behind us. We managed to get a little bit of bouldering which was good as most of the rock in norway is falling apart and crumbles under your weight.
The first day we hiked around the island (this one was pretty small) and climbed up through the moutnain, there was a large crack that split it in two that turned into a short cave to get through to the other side of the island. the descent on the other side was pretty nasty, with a few spots with just a rope and a small drop onto a small ledge and another drop... fun... that was all followed by a traverse across some slippery slopeing rock.

the next day we went up the mountain, passed over the giant crack in the mountain and made it to the top. Any vertigo i may have once had is quickly dissapearing with these repedative climbs! sketchy is the best way to describle some of it. at the top it was a beautiful view! the weather was perfect, for the whole week infact, which is totally uncommon for Norway for this time of year, a week of sunshine! My roomies and I have started a tradition for taking a photo on the cairne of each peak we cap. we've got 4 so far and will most likely have heaps more at the current rate. At the top of the peak we had a time of MPW (moutnain peak worship) which was a time of prayer and intercession and worship for the surrounding islands in the area. someone managed to hike a guitar up the top and we just sat on the sheltered side and worshiped! it was great. oh yeah, the wind was absolutely insane up the top, you could run down with your jacket open and feel the wind hold you back and slow you down!
on the way down we took a rediculously steep chute down the side, it took us about 1/4 of the time to get down that it took to hike up.

That night was solo night, a chance to get out into the widlerness with our packs, a tarp, some rope and a bible. it was great, after i managed to find a spot to camp out. i can tell you now that the top of a windy treeless hill by the sea is not the best place to pitch a tarp, i searched up there but after the sun began to fall i quickly dropped down to the forrested valley below to find a spot. with a head lamp on and a pack on my back i muddled around for a while. Norsk wilderness with either rocky or swampy for the most part but i eventually found a spot (probably settling with it out of desperation) that managed to do. Most of the next day was spent by myself wandering around, i found a nice ravine to chill out, pray and read my bible for a while coming complete with a babbling brook hidden below the fallen rocks.

Meloy was our next stop, we had one night in a cabin half way up the mountain situated by a glistening lake with two large peaks looming over the top. We settled in and hiked up to the peak. we were set loose to go solo for the last stretch up to the peak. It come complete with 3 false peaks so finally reaching the top was a releif. More MPW followed and some great views.

Ill run through it a little faster now... my fingers are getting tired. On the weekend a few of us, probably due to out masachistic nature or something, decided to climb another peak behind base, the tallest one so far. The day was just too beautiful to waste though so we did it. best views so far as i got to see the whole surrounding area with our local outreach spots all within sight and all the spots we have been, the glacier, ornes, the pool, etc. laying below us.
The following week of teaching was headed up by an Aussie who has been living in norway for 20 or so years, it was really nice to have a familiar accent and common slang (even with the generational gap, he didnt know what a bogan was... go figure...) around the base. the teaching was on the nature and identity of God, it was great as he attempted to fit together they apparent inconsistencies in Gods character as he is both Holy and righteous and loving. It gave us all alot to think about around base and our processing groups (discussion groups) were running with full verbal diarrhoea for once. it was brilliant.

everyone here at base is slowly coming out of their shell and we are becoming one big family, I'm loving it!

NExt weeks teaching is about hearing the voice of God and I am quite excited to see what we will learn by the end of the week. Monday week i will be caving in the surrounding area for 1 week and will fill you all in when i get back all covered in mud. hopefully ill be able to sit down and write it straight away, not wait for a week and a half before i try and dredge up some memories....

Hope all is well!

oh yeah forgot, my local outreach, 7-11, (it runs from 7-11pm on a friday night) is going great! we have a bunch of local youth come every second week and just hang out with them teaching them some life skills like teamwork or practical skills like music or cooking and just build up some fellowship, on friday we had a massive scavenger hunt with team building games that ended in a large bonfire down on a rocky beach in a nice cove with sheer rock walls! we cooked bananas and chocolate. all teh Kids are opening up and really enjoying it! they even said it was nice!!! (thats a massive thing in norway as they tend to under exaggerate their excitement here...)

ok now this is the real end.

bye =)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

fire and the northern lights!

So, where to begin, its been a while since i last updated this and alot has happened....

The base at Nordtun continues to amaze me each day, with the beautiful scenery surrounding us, to the extremes of weather. Lately the days have been wonderful, warm sun, calm waters rolling like liquid glass, still a little chilly but ultimately just great days to be out in Gods creation. However, there have been days completely overcast with clouds hanging just a few hundred meters above the ground level, just capping the low peaks surrounding us, some days this comes with freezing wind and thrashing rain, others its calm and it feels like I'm living under a giant blanket.

It was on one such day, overcast, raining, freezing that we decided to go fishing. We can walk 500m from the front door to a nice point jutting into the fjord that has been affectionately named "worlds end" and cast our lines off (this is worlds end on a nice day...) . It's a great spot however, if its cold, windy and raining the full force of nature will hit you there. Nick (my American roomy) and I were hankering to catch a fish so we decided to brave the weather and go out. we did, it was cold, freezing is an understatement, Hooray for Gore-tex and windprool fleeces, and like 10 layers of clothing... but we still couldnt feel our fingers. We didnt catch anything decent, just two small fish about the size of a mobile phone but it was still amazing being out in the elements "acclimatising" as we called it. On the walk back, we decided that night needed to be calm, not raining or windy so we could go out and set a fire at worlds end, take a guitar, jembae and fish + sing the nighta way. We had also been learning about our identity in christ during the week and had read a passage that when two or more people agree in prayer it will be answered or something along those lines, so we figured, hey, why not ask God for this opportunity...

That night was amazing, not only did it not rain, there was a clear sky full of stars, most of the people in the base decided to join us at worlds end and we sung and praised the night away by a huge fire just hanging out. What was even better was that God decided to give us something special and switched on the northern lights! they are crazy if you ever get the chance to witness them! whats even cooler is that they only show up on really clear nights in winter, so having them this early in autumn is a real treat!

This week we have been having teaching on "the bible". The history, its canonisation and all that mentally heavy stuff, its not quite as entertaining as other things we have done but we are learning heaps. Soon i will be able to pick apart the bible like a pro, well no, not really but thats what they're teaching us to do, well trying to teach us to do.
The sky last night was big, really big. If you have ever lay on the beach (is that bad english - its slowly slipping from me) at ocean grove or somewhere else where teh city lights die down and look up you'll begin to understand out big it is up here, just double everything, the sky is so packed with stars some sections of the night sky look white rather than black.

next week we are heading out to go island hopping and climbing a few of the peak on these island and sitting at the top doing some MTW or "mountain top worship" just hanging out praising God and praying for the local area and islands around us, it will be a really cool week as we will just get to hang out on the islands and hike!

my mind is slowly melting and im about to start rambling so ill cut my blog off here. I'll have some more pics up for you in about a weeks time i guess after the trip.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


So i arrived at YWAM base about a week ago and met all the people i will be living with for the next 9 months, everyone seems really chilled out and awesome people. they all love God first then love the outdoors second, my kind of people!

After a short introduction and a quick supper (we managed to get to base at about 10:30pm as driving directly from Bodo to Engavagen consists of driving aroun in the hugest squiggly line you cna amagine due to all the fjords up here, a 100km direct line took us about 3hours i think...) were todl the plan for the next few days, basically it consisted of jumping on a small boat, taking a short trip over a crystle turquose blue glacial runoff fjord to the base of the 2nd largest glacier in norway and setting up camp. all on the 2nd day we got there with half the student still Jet lagged and feeling tired and sore, awesome...

so basically words can barely begine to describe how beutiful northern Norway is, pictured dont really do it justice either, though ill throw some up anyways. We set up camp at the bottom of the glacial flow just behind the big turquose lake at the bottom in a small clearing of tree's. The mountains rise about 1000-1500m up from sea level with rocky outcrop and near vertical cliffs, the tree level is about 300m so there are not many tree's on them at all... everything is lush and green with small waterfalls cutting their way down the side of the mountains at regular intervals, small berry bearing bushes litter the ground, all of which you can eat if you feel a little peckish.

we camped one night at out base at the bottom of the mountain then hiked up and spent a day on the glacier with crampons and iceaxes in tow all tied together with a rope to make sure we didnt fall. its hard work and we got our first glimpse of freezing norwegian temperature as it was windy, raining, icey. we were all soaked and cold by the time we got of the glacier and we still had to scramble down a wet rocky mountain side to get back, it was great! that night was horrible, pouring rain, over cramped tent as we forgot the poles for one tent, with a splitting headache. got through the night and we packed up early instead of hiking up to a hut 1400m up the mountain as the wind was too strong and it was pouring with rain.

My room at base has an amazing view, its great for the mornings when you just dont want to get out of bed, you just look out the window and want to jump out and go climb it or something, its picturesque!

so thats about it for the short ramble, not too much details but you get an idea of what its liek up here, we're yet to start the teachign phase, that starts this monday but i'm looking forward to that and to see what is in store for us! after a week or so of teaching im sure my Blog will have a little more substance to it! but yeah....


Saturday, September 1, 2007

leo and ali...

So i flew out of liverpool a week or so ago, having spend an awesome week there having lots of fun with Joy, Kurzon and Trish (tina) - they were all brilliant hosts ! - and landed in Oslo for my first stint going solo... managed to navagate my way through the airport, its a really really good one, everyone's relaxed and very helpful, though thats the same for most of the norweigian people anyway!

got in the hostel door moments before it poured down with rain, the hostel is on a big grassy hill, a really nice change coming out of Englands crampedness...

so far I've basically been wandering the streets seeing the sights. I met up with two others Leo, a smooth talking mexican at the end of his travels and Ali, an Aussie gal, it was nice to hear an accent from home too. we hung out and had a great time at the vigeland park? (spelling on tha tis probably wrong) with all the random sculptures and walked aroudn the bay to the viking museum and saw how they moved the ship in a whole chung 100 yards at a time on moveable track... crazy norweigians...
oh, also saw scream by munch, we were in a hall of all his work and only realised it was famouse art when we spotted that paining, its pretty crazy!

we ended up cooking dinner, food here is rediculously expensive if you eat out, like 50AUD if you want a large pizza... so we made a massive bowl of pasta for me and Leo, 500g of pasta with about as much sauce, we were stuffed but managed to get through it all in the end, though felt rather unwell.

Leo, being the smooth talker he is managed to get 2 young Russians to sing to him. we found out they were from a choir and managed to get invited up to their practise. there were about 14 Russian woman with amazingly beautiful voices, very hard to descrive how good it was though it gave us all shivers they were that good! turns out they were only amatures who sing for a hobby by we felt they were professionals, besides all the laughter and chatter between songs...
they were a great group and when their leader found out i was australian she asked if i could find some poeple who would be interested in being penpals with a russian as they were studying international studies and austrlian in particular for the last semester... so if anyones interested...

besides that I've just been hanging out relaxing.
not really sure what else has been done, im sure ill remember later...
oh, large fireworks show in liverpool, fosters in the park at night like a bogan (scally), knitting with some ladies while drinking coffee at the white room... yeah thats about it...

so, send me an email or a reply or something and fill me in on whats happening back home, im kinda out of the loop up here you know...
hope alls well.

oh, ill chuck up some photos when i get a chance, i have to use an internet cafe as the hostels wireless is a little stuffed at the moment or something.. oh well.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

so... liverpool.

I've been in liverpool now for about a week hanging out with Kurzon (wills housey) and Joy.
It's been an interesting time, i've checked out wales with the local youth group and had a scavenger hunt in a small tourist town, had lunch in some mountains near a large picturesque (hmm i still cant spell) bridge and a river, and finished off the day with a trip to the beach, which was mainly beach, we started walking to the water, 10 mins later we were about halfway there along the sand (directly out towards it) and we got called back for dinner, strange beach that, but we did get a good dose od DoDo, and as always there were injuried, a potentially cracked rib and a knocked face this time i think. The youth trip was fun!

Went up to the lakes district yesturday, drove up a steep and winding path that only 1 car could fit up but there were 2 directons of traffic, its always interesting! amazing mountains though and with i could have climbed them! didnt quite have the time though so we just sat at the top in a wind sheltered part and let the wind rush by, listening to it rustle through the grass, attempting not to slide down the mountain! It was probably the best bit about england so far, a place with no one else except the people you came with! its rare here being so crowded.

I'm sure you must have all heard about the recent shooting in liverpool of the 11 year old child. but have you heard about the other shootings? a week before i got here another man was shot dead 2 mins walk from the church i attended, and on saturday night 2 bouncers were shot abotu 2 blocks away. the 11 year old child was shot 1 suburb over!
I rarely use this kind of language but i do have to ask, what the FUCK is going on here?! liverpool is a seemingly peacefull place, reminds me of home just a little more crowded, there are nice parks, clean streets, people wandering around jumping around an laughing. why on earth is there so much violence? why does this happen here?! I guess the violence portrayed on the news doesnt really hit home until its happening a block away, at least it seems not for me. And what makes it worse is that these have been seemingly random attacks.
i should say now, for mums sake at least, that i have been completely safe and not witnessed any violence and it appears this random acts are not the norm. but still. why does this happen here but not in melbourne? i jumped in on a debate at a cafe with some freinds of a freinds freind. (yeah, that makes alot of sense doesn it!) they were throwing ideas around about gangsta cultre, racial mix through to food additives. but what really gets me is why not in melbourne we have all the same. i geuss we're fortunate.... but yeah....

I'm off to norway soon, tomorrow infact, a short stay in olso then on to YWAM, 2nd day up there they're loading us up and we're going up a glacier and camping on it for the night, then up a further mountain to stay in a hut up the top! should be crazy, kinda getting thrown in the deep end though i feel! should be a blast!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Low, High and mummified cats.

Since last time, well i guess not long as passed, still just bumming around london with Katie and crocker, but ill throw up some blogs while i still have the chance...

Well last sunday i wandered into Holy trinity Brompton, a small church in the centre of london that has the likes of tim hughes and niky gumble, it was an interesting experience, very much like church back home at St Hills, good music, good teaching, big nice old building. bit of a walk in and walk out service though, no one really talked to each other where i was sitting, alas.

tried to get into the famed Harrods, got knocked back, must've been looking dodgy or something.

managed to catch communion at St Pauls that night, it was a totally different church experience to HTB (as one would expect), its a massive place, if you've been there you'll know what im tlaking about, if not, high ceilings, big dome, painted roofs with sculptures and what not piled in everywhere. communion was a great experience, about 100 people from all around the world, and it was partially sung, the canon and helper people were in robes and they had a smoke bowl thingo full of incense.

it was an interesting contract, going to the contemporary service in the morning then on to the high anglican shin dig at the church that is the centre of the anglican church...

I've also been road tripping with Dan Crocker, long drive, took up 12 hours to clock up about 400km, stupid UK traffic, even in the middle of the day in the middle of the week, its amazing... though we found some nice cliched small roads surrouned by hedges, where we got stuck and had to squeeze past other cars.
We ended up in Hastings for dinner at a small Pub called the Stagg, it was older than our country, (im assuming most reading this are aussies...) at about 400years old and came complete with mumified cats in a box and drunk owner sitting behind the bar offering us a free meal if it wasnt up to scratch.

besides all that i;ve just been doing the usual tourist stuff, all good fun, lots of museums and what not. still missin home a little.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Long flights, busy places and warm beer....

hmmm, first blog, how does one write these things...

After leaving good old Melbourne on wednesday morning at 1am, early, yes. after getting to singapore with very few difficulties i managed to score a row to my self on the 14 hour flight to london, I'm very glad about tat as it would have been torture otherwise! - thats about all there is to say about travelling, it wasnt very exciting to be honest, just lots of sitting there and waiting...

After wandering hopelessly around heathrow for a while i finally (after a few desperate calls home to try and get my Cuz's mobile number) managed to find katie, a great relief, thanks mum for praying fervently! then headed into the city, i had managed to get 35kg of gear onto the aeroplane and was now somewhat regretting it... but that was all good as we slowly made our way on the train through the suburbs of london, its all medium density rows and rows of buildings, its quite incredible after coming from Melbourne.
At the moment I'm staying in Notting Hill with Katie (my Cuz) and her housemate, its a small place, but in a really really nice spot, a short walk to hyde park and one of the palaces, close to the museums, which i was pleased to find out are free! - im checking out the science and nature one later today.

I caught up with Dan Crocker yesturday, who has been hanging out here for the last 6 months teaching, we checked out greenwich and the meridian line, It's a really interesting place and makes me think that we're getting dumber as a people as those guys seemed to be insanely brilliant to be able to figure all that stuff out!

wandered picadilly and oxford circus (really packed places, not sure why though, not all that exciting, though the archetecture is amazing there! really really nice) that arvo and had my first brittish beer, wasnt quite warm but definately wasn't cold, good though, a great bitter, then onto dinner, managed to find china town, as small as it is, i guess its in the blood, seems to be an asian thing, find china town in every city you visit... seemed a common theme amongst the people, oh yeah, and its right next to SOHO, interesting place that, didnt check out many of the shops there, thankfully, but found a brilliant french cake shop.

well, i'm thinking this wasnt a very exciting post as i havent done much to note yet, just thought i'd organise this whole blog thing... so yeah, feel free to pick your way through this post and correct my spelling mistakes, i blame the computer, it tends to forget to put letters in where i asked it too...

I hope everyone is going well back home, i already miss everyone heaps! Wish i had someone here to share the experience with!

keep in touch,