The summer is coming to a close and I leave for Switzerland in 5 days!
I'm very excited for this new adventure and all the things I'll be learning.
As I finish things up here in the states here are a few highlights from these last few weeks.
-Ashley Swinney, my former housemate from Newcastle has come to visit before I leave. It's been fun introducing her to some of my family and getting to hangout.
-Going up north, I took two of my cousins up north for a couple days, we spent a lot of time relaxing, hanging out, we particularly enjoyed playing lots of Uno and Clue together.
-Grant's baptism, although I wasn't able to be there in person, my nephew Grant was baptised.
-St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Community, I had an amazing time getting to connect with so many people and even play guitar for the last mass I was there for.
-Selfridge Air Show, my last few days in Michigan I was working at an air show, I got to meet so many people and it was fun being part of the whole event. My aunt is part of an all women's skydive team, The Misty Blues, that performed.
Fundraising Update for the On Location BCC
This summer I was able to book several jobs to work and save up for the course.
Thankfully, I've been able to raise over half the amount I need for BCC but still need to see another $2,590 come in before August 29.
Here are 3 different ways to donate: On Location BCC
The backstory to doing the On Location BCC with YWAM Lausanne in Switzerland.
After completing my DTS (Discipleship Training School) in 2008, I decided to pursue a degree with The University of the Nations. This is not a traditionally accredited course due to the fact that YWAM is an international organisation. However, many of the course are accepted by other universities and training centres. In Australia, where I've completed a majority of my training, many of our courses actually are accredited and I am looking into what recognition I may receive from this.
Since 2008 I've been working toward my degree whilst also serving as a full-time staff member with YWAM. Below is a list of courses I have been able to complete since 2008:
Certificate III in Discipleship
Certificate IV in Evangelism
Certificate IV in Training & Assessment
Certificate IV in Child & Youth Ministry
School of Communication Foundation
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement
The Bible Core Course (BCC) is the last course to finish my initial Associate of Arts in Christian Ministries. Following this I only need to do an additional two courses to complete my Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries.
I am passionate about understanding Christianity, God, faith, and what that means for me as an individual but also what that means for "us" as humanity. Is the bible real? What's so important about Jesus? Why does bad stuff happen, doesn't God care? These are just some of the questions I've spent time studying and I know that my life has been radically transformed by the reality of God. Also as someone who trains/teaches other Christians it is an important value of mine to seek out opportunities and ways to be further equipped, these courses have all been part of that journey.
Enter the On Location BCC---> I first heard about the On Location BCC about four years ago, I knew that I needed to do the BCC since it is a required course for my degree. When I heard about this one that you travel to the actual locations where biblical events took place I knew it was the one for me. The combination of intense learning/studying mixed with the opportunity to experience these places, to walk in the footsteps of Moses, Paul, and Jesus captured my heart. I've been trying to figure out how I could make this course work among my schedule for the last three years and actually had previously applied in 2015 to do the course in April of that year, however the timing didn't work out.
In December last year I made the decision to take a deliberate step back from my responsibilities which included running our youth ministry, Youth Street, and our second-level youth ministry training course, School of Innovative Youth Ministry. I felt it necessary to spend some time resting and rejuvenating my vision & goals for the future.
As part of this I thought it was the perfect time to again consider doing the On Location BCC. I knew I had already missed my chance to do the course for this year because it runs in April which I was pretty bummed about, that meant I'd have to wait a year. I went online to at least figure out what the dates for the April 2018 course were so I could plan accordingly. That's when I found out for the first time they were running a second course in August, the timing was perfect! I wouldn't have to wait a year to do the course!
I quickly applied and after processing I was finally accepted to do the course.
Now here we are, three weeks till the course starts!!! I don't think I've fully grasped the fact that I'm actually doing this school after hearing about it several years ago, but I am so thankful for the way God works things out, he really is the best planner and organiser!
I'm about half-way to my fundraising goal of $5,990 and need to see another $3,000 come in over the next three weeks. Be part of this journey through: praying, donating, and checking back here for updates.
You can also follow me on Instagram (kelcieoctober) for photos and updates.
I could share loads of great memories & experiences from my time being here in the U.S. however, I've consolidated my list to my top 3 categories.
1. Family: I have a very difficult time explaining where I'm from to people and living in Australia for the past several years has added to peoples' confusion. With family members all throughout the U.S. it can be a bit hard sometimes figuring out where to go. This summer I've spent most of my time in Michigan. I've had a blast getting to spend time with some of my cousins, aunts/uncles, and grandparents; getting involved in various activities such as kayaking "up north", spending the day at the Detroit Zoo, and driving around Belle Isle.
2. Work: I spend most of my time as a nanny but I don't really consider that a job, I get to spend time with my cousin Quinn. Some of our adventures have included bike rides, mini golf, and as of late we've been creating Barbie clothes, furniture, and other accessories. I've also been able to book a few jobs at events such as a team leader for a kids "play day" in partnership with Nickelodeon, sampling kombucha at a local supermarket, and working with the airforce at an airshow! These jobs have all been quite random but I've enjoyed the opportunity to use my skills in other areas.
3. "Aunty Kelcie" While my oldest nephew just graduated from high school, it's been an exciting time in our family with the addition of Grant, my youngest nephew. Early on in my time back I was able to drive with my mum to Nebraska to meet Grant for the first time. He's sooooo cute! Although it was a relatively brief visit it was nice to meet him in person and get to hold him and take care of him.
Upcoming events/projects in the life of Kelcie!
TWENTY SIXTEEN (2016)
We're already heading into our 3rd week of this year's School of Innovative Youth Ministry!
It's hard to believe that this is my sixth youth ministry school that I have been part of and while this journey hasn't been easy I'm thankful for the lessons I've learnt and continue learning through leading this course.
Our theme this year is John 10:10 (seen in the picture above)
I love this verse spoken by Jesus because I'm reminded of his purpose and heart for us. He didn't sacrifice his life so that we'd be miserable, depressed, or hopeless. He sacrificed his life that we may know what true life really is...FULL, ABUNDANT, OVERFLOWING-rooted in love, perfect unaltered, not a single ounce of selfishness: LOVE
It's hard for us to fully grasp this but Jesus' agenda wasn't that we follow a whole list of rules and religion.
"God meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be."
When I look back on 2015, I’m shocked and amazed but most of all I’m filled with
t h a n k f u l n e s s.
In the last year I’ve never felt so inadequate in the work God has called me to, however, I can tell you without hesitation that in every hard time, difficult decision, every tear filled overwhelming moment- He made a way for the miraculous to happen.
I could write about how it was all about me, the things I’ve learned and grown in, how I’m awesome, instead here are some of the things I’m most thankful for this past year.
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Those are just a few things I’m thankful for this past year.
Looking to this new year my desire is to continue seeking love, hope, faith, and peace. We’ve been seeing a lot of momentum and breakthrough in our youth programs and I know that there really is so much more in store for us this year, stay tuned!
Thanks for your prayers, thoughts, encouragements, and love.
This year has been quite the whirlwind, just the other day I was talking to a friend and calculated that I’ve roughly spent about 180 hours traveling by car which is more than a week! That’s also not including flights and trains.
We’ve got a few more weeks left in the year with a handful of exciting things. Here are some recent highlights of what’s been happening in my life.
Outreach for SOIYM: This was the first year that we’ve been able to split into two teams! One team is in Thailand with Matty my staff for the school and the other team is here in Australia working with our youth ministry- Youth Street.
I recently got to go and visit the team in Thailand and see how they were going. What a special time, it was actually quite surreal for me because I have been leading the outreach teams myself for the past four years, but now having the opportunity to train and equip another leader as well as seeing that practical multiplication & growth for the school has been so rewarding.
Another highlight from this trip was being able to see my youth pastor, Buddy and his family who have been living and doing ministry in Thailand for the past several years. He spoke for a week during the lecture phase, so it’s great to continuing connecting.
There are only two more weeks left of the school, so please be praying for us as we finishing this season.
Awesome Newcastle Grant: One thing that we had heard from God while praying for outreach was “grants” We wanted to apply for a few grants to be able to upgrade some of our equipment for Youth Street and our activity teams (surfing, sport, performing arts, dance, art, and skate)
I put in an application for a $1,000 grant and after not making it through the first round I felt a bit discouraged. What i was unaware of is that our application automatically rolled-over for the next entry round. To my surprise I got a phone call saying that we made it to the final three. I had just 3 minutes to pitch our vision and hope for why we should get the money. I was extremely nervous beforehand but was able to take a moment and pray with my housemate and allow my heart and nerves to settle in God’s peace. To my joy and surprise we were picked as the winner!
Those are just a few things I’ve been up to these past few months.
Byron Bay Outreach
Now heading into next week I have the privilege to lead our team to Byron Bay, eight hours north of Newcastle for a schoolies outreach with a group called Red Frogs-
read more about them here RED FROGS
We’re looking forward to an incredible week of getting to connect with loads of young people and also the practical aspect of helping “safeguard” them.
I'm Kelcie, I like people, baking, summer weather, the ocean, and Jesus!