Australia

Australia

We visited Australia in the summer of 2011 with a small group of college students as we prepared to do mission work within Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Moree. Due to the nature of our visit, this blog post is focused more on our mission work rather than typical tourist attractions and sites.

Brisbane, Queensland

Arriving in Brisbane we had a nice breakfast at our missionaries house, meeting him and his family for the first time. We then met our host families which was a unique experience in itself because we were actually able to live with a family rather than staying in a typical hotel room. Our missionary work in the city of Brisbane varied from gathering with the local church and having a “barbie,” to spending time at West End, a project in the downtown area to help feed the homeless and teach them the gospel.

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Arriving at the Brisbane airport. We were all exhausted from the long flight.
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Apparently it is rare to see a koala in the wild. We had the privilege of seeing this guy on the first day.
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Many of the parks in Australia have many rules in order to help preserve the habitats of many creatures.
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Spending time at a local park.

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Logan and Kallsy on the beach of a local park.
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Australia was full of gorgeous views such as this one at nearly all of their parks.
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Spending time with the kids from a local church.
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Church “Barbie” for the evening.
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Downtown Brisbane
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Downtown Brisbane
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This was one of the most popular dessert/chocolate shops in Brisbane
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Ebony (host mom), Kallsy, and Katie (another student who went on the trip).
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Downtown Brisbane
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Enjoying the architecture of buildings in Brisbane
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Enjoying the day with our host families kids!
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Kallsy had a spa and baking day with the little girls at the local church.
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Kallsy and the other female missionaries with the girls that participated.

Gold Coast, Queensland

The following week we drove to Gold Coast to participate in a Christian youth camp in which young adults from all over Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia came to visit. During the day we typically played outdoor games on the nearby beaches and at night had devotionals, singing, and indoor games.

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We spent a lot of time at Palm Beach.
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Playing outdoor games at Palm Beach

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Beach at Sunset
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Sunset

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One morning we decided to wake up and hike over to the beach area in order to see the sunrise over the ocean.
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Sunrise and city scapes
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Sunrise
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The ocean was bitter cold, but that didn’t stop us from getting in.

We also were able to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which was one of the most hands on zoos we have ever been to. Many of the animals walk freely around the park.

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This joey wasn’t sure what to think of Logan
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All of these Joeys were so fast! I could hardly get close to one long enough to take a photo. 
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Up close encounter with a kangaroo
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We had never seen crocodiles so large!
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Warning signs were posted around the park as many of the animals roam freely.
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Emu
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Kallsy is sitting on the roots in order to show how large this tree was!
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Aboriginal dancing

Moree, New South Wales

Moree was different than any other experience we’ve had. First of all, Moree is a more rural area of Australia and a large population of Aboriginal Australians reside there. Before you can truly understand the nature of Mission Moree you must understand some of the background information on the Aboriginal people. We were told that in the late 1880s Aborigines joined white communities due to forced assimilation. Because of these, the Aboriginal people were exposed to many new diseases and the Aboriginal population began to drastically decline. After, Aborigines went through a long period of abuse and began speaking for rights in the 1970s but things really didn’t begin to change for them until 1976-1990. More recently, the Australian government began to increase wages and welfare benefits to the Aboriginal population but that didn’t solve all of their pain. We also were told that because of the assimilation act and long periods of abuse, the people in Moree began suffering from depression, drug addictions, and alcoholism. Many people also had children that they were unable to properly care for because of their depression. Our mission while in Moree became to educate the people there and the children in hopes that the cycle does not continue.

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Making friendship bracelets
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Making friendship bracelets
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Making friendship bracelets
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We learned how to play “Fly” a game in which you take your shoes off and place them in a line. You then run and see how far you can jump. After, you remove the closest shoe to increase difficulty.
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Another photo of the kids playing “Fly”
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Making iced biscuits.
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Traveling doesn’t go as expected! Driving to the hot spring we got a little stuck in the mud.
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The skyline of Moree.
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Hotspring area for a relaxing evening.
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We had a bonfire for the kids by the hotspring as the evenings were rather cold.
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Face painting at the carnival we held on the last day for the kids.

Someday we hope to be back to Australia to visit the friends we made their and to see more of what this amazing continent has to offer.

Logan & Kallsy
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