Excerpt from Spring 2014 student Breanna Reeder’s blog “Australian Adventures”. Reproduced with permission.
Today I woke up at around 6:30am because I am still a little bit jetlagged and the once the rest of my roommates were awake we went for a coffee run. We went to this place called zarraffa’s which is like a starbucks. From there we just walked around little shops and we went down to the shore line and took pictures and out our feet in the ocean. The view was so beautiful and the water was so clear. Even after only being out for a short while, we were all hot so we stopped for some gelato, I had strawberries and cream and it was delicious! We were out until about noon and came back for lunch and then headed out to the beach again, with swimsuits this time. (they call them swimmies, and they call sunglasses sunnies.) I also asked them if there were beach tags for the beach and the had no idea what I was talking about and so I explained to them what beach tags were and they thought that was such a ridiculous idea. Once we were at the beach everyone went into the ocean and we hung out in the water for about an hour and a half (I put sunscreen on 3 times and still got burnt, the sun is 7x hotter here). Once we came out of the ocean we walked around town more and looked at little shops again. Everything is so expensive here. All the dresses are anywhere from 50- 120 dollars. I asked the Australians if they ever went thrifting and they didn’t know what I was talking about. After I explained it to them they told me that they called it op-shopping and yes! They loved to go op-shopping. We left the beach and came back to our little apartment to shower and get ready for dinner and a time of worship.
Worship was held in one of the apartments and it started with 3 worship songs that I had never heard before but I loved them all. This wasn’t just a time of singing, it was clapping, singing, dancing, praying. It was just so beautiful and so full of the powerful Holy Spirit. This amazing worship was followed my 2 speakers. One of them was the president of the University and the other ones name is Andy and he had a ministry called Red Frogs. Their ministry started by Andy and his friend getting into a college party because they offered a college frat Red Frog gummy candies. This was how they were allowed inside the building. Once inside, they go to people who are way too drunk and in danger of hurting themselves and they help them. Andy said that this ministry is in every university in Australia except one but they are working on that one now. One of the coolest things about this ministry is that they are in the right place at the right time, they are saving lives.
This retreat is just absolutely wonderful and I am so thankful that I was able to meet Australians that will be in my classes with me. However, I haven’t done any school work since the middle of December so “I reckon” (the Australian phrase for “I think”) that it will be a little difficult getting back into the swing of things.
I was so scared of this new adventure and so far it has been nothing but amazing. I am so thankful for all your prayers and that God had blessed me with this wonderful experience.