Let’s Play Catch Up

I had hoped to update you before now, but this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write. Where do I begin!

Describing YWAM New Zealand feels like explaining to a dog how gravity works. There are no words for this level of experience and change. My mind is completely blown. I’m already 10 times the person I was when I left home.

New Friends

I was the first student to reach the base! Awesome, right? I thought that would give me an advantage but for some reason I lost all of my social skills the moment I got here! For the first time in my life I couldn’t start a conversation or keep one going. It was weird.

Then I quickly realized something about identity. It’s easy to know who you are when you’re in an environment where you can relate to at least one or two things. But when you get put in an environment where absolutely everything is different, its difficult to bring what you have to the table and make it relate. I pushed through my awkwardness though, and one by one I connected with everyone in a big way. It was fun seeing the uniqueness of each person and imagining how close we would all become over the next six months.

Now, after such a short time, I love these people. Each of them has an awesome life story to tell and a powerful future ahead of them. So when you pray for me, please pray for them also.

New Zealand

After we all met on that first day, we received our itinerary, and we heard our first few lectures about the nation of New Zealand.

I’ve never fallen in love with a territory this fast and this hard. I’m not just talking about the geography either. Believe me, the people are even more beautiful than the land.

Listen to the NZ national anthem and you’ll start to see what I mean. It begins in the Māori language, then in English.

New Me

From that first day until now I feel like I have lived another lifetime. I’ve seen so many sights, my camera will never tell the story. I’ve changed so much, people back home wouldn’t recognize me. I never thought this experience would change me as much as it has.

When first arriving here in New Zealand I thought I had a big understanding of God. I thought I had Him figured out and I was in a good place in my life. Little did I know, there was a lot more to learn and experience.

Every factor is working together perfectly to shape me into the missionary I want to be. After each new lecture I am twice the man I was when I woke up that morning. With each weekend trip I’m seeing twice the beauty as the trip before it.

Here is 30 days in NZ through my eyes!

The YWAM base where I’m staying is a fairly large campus. It has five different houses for people to live in, two lecture rooms, a building for offices, and a big dinning hall with an industrial sized kitchen. There are also various other buildings for things like laundry, storage, and a gym.

IMG_1594.JPG

Two weeks into this journey I was blessed with a ukulele! My goal is to be able to play it before I get back to the states.

IMG_1059.JPG

We’re completely off on Sundays. So my friend and I hitchhike to random places. It’s the best way to meet new people and explore the area. We have even nicknamed this day, “Sunday Thumbday.” Haha.

IMG_1342.JPG

Since this is a school for backpackers, each weekend we all pile into big vans and head for somewhere new and exciting.

IMG_1100.JPG

As you will see from the photos below, we do everything from climbing to the peak of a snow covered mountain, to exploring caves covered in glow worms, and adventuring on cliffs that overlook the ocean.

IMG_1466.JPG

IMG_1333.JPG

IMG_1532.JPG

IMG_0953.JPG

IMG_1222.JPG

Thank you to my supporters for sending me here. I am using this time to grow as fast as any human being can grow, and I am well on my way to making the difference I’ve set out to make.

I’m really missing my friends back home. So please leave me a comment and tell me how you’re doing!

Would you like to know where I’m going next?

I’ll tell you in the next update! Haha

Talk to you soon.

My Journey To New Zealand

Yes, I Made It!

This dream has been a long time in the making, but with support from awesome friends and with God’s help I have safely arrived at YWAM.

My journey to New Zealand was an interesting one to say the least. I traveled for more than 65 hours, including an 8 hour layover in Dubai, and a 19 hour layover in Bangkok.

First Stop: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

My plane landed at 7am. It was my first time overseas so I wasn’t about to miss anything. So, after getting off the plane I headed straight for the exit.

On my way out I heard a flight attendant say that the temperature was 40.5 degrees. So I put on my long pants, a hoodie, and some warm socks, and I continued to leave the airport. As soon as I walked out the door, I QUICKLY REALIZED, it was 40.5 degrees Celsius! That’s 104.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Rookie mistake. Haha.

After stripping off as many layers as I legally could (in an Arab country), I continued to the Dubai mall. It’s the worlds largest mall with over 1,200 shops, a full size ice skating rink, and a huge aquarium! Then, I looked at a few other famous landmarks and headed for Burj Khalifa. It’s the tallest building on earth and the main reason I left the airport.

Here was my view from the top! It was beautiful.
IMG_0252-1.JPG

Second Stop: Bangkok, Thailand

When I first arrived in Bangkok it was 2:00am and I had no clue where to go. I told my taxi driver to drop me off somewhere with bright signs and flashy lights.

After the driver stopped in Yaowarat to let me take a few pictures he continued to drop me off on Khao San Road.

I started walking around and the night life was chaotic. Nobody spoke English, so every time I asked for a hotel they would send me to buildings to “rent” girls, or try and take me down sketchy alleyways to buy drugs.

Then out of nowhere a local who spoke little English introduced himself to me and said, “You can stay with me brother!”

I weighed my options, and said, “Okay.” He took me into the back of this small roadside restaurant and let me sleep on a spare bed for only $5.

In the morning, we woke up early and headed out together. This man drove me around on his tuk tuk and showed me everything Thailand had to offer.

Here are a few of my photos from Bangkok.
IMG_0675-0.JPG

IMG_0510-1.JPG

IMG_0358-1.JPG

IMG_0677-1.JPG

IMG_0673-0.JPG

IMG_0674-0.JPG

Final Stop: Oxford, New Zealand

Now, I’m just getting settled into my room at the YWAM base! I’ll tell you all about it soon.

Thanks for reading my fist post! Please leave a comment and share my adventure with your friends.