All posts tagged Australia

Inciting Incidents


I never had my 16th birthday.

Seriously. The day simply didn’t exist for me.

On the day before my birthday I boarded a 747 in Los Angeles that would eventually take me to Melbourne, Australia. Somewhere in the midnight darkness of the Pacific Ocean we crossed the International Date Line. June 23rd became June 25th and my special day of the 24th simply vanished into some space-time continuum that I still don’t fully understand.

I was on my way to Boronia, Victoria, a suburb outside of Melbounre. (Picture the southernmost part of Australia’s east coast) It was a Sort Term Mission trip, and it was a trip of firsts for me.

It was the first time I had flown. I guess go big or go home would be the appropriate thought there. My first flight ever was an Indianapolis to Chicago leg of what would be 40 hours in the air, round trip. I wasn’t sure if flying would terrify me, or excite me, or whether I would need to make use of the special baggie I found the airline had graciously left in the seat pocket in front of me.

It was my first extended time away from home. I had been to summer camps a few hours from my house, but never spent two weeks on the other side of the world. I think my mom had more trouble with this than I did. At the end of one phone conversation in which I described having flipped a go cart and catching it’s engine on fire (true story), my worried mother told me from half a world away that I should probably go to bed now.

(Confession time, I didn’t listen. I spent the evening watching Mr. Bean.) 

It was also my first mission trip. It was the beginning of what has become an 18-year odyssey of travel, ministry and stretching that I could never have imagined. One of my passions has been to encourage others to take part in at least one short-term mission trip in their lifetimes. I have taken part in over 20 teams to countries across both oceans. I have led trips and participated in trips. I have encouraged, cajoled, and pushed to get others to join me.


Continue reading →