March 31, 2005

Well, we're back in the States. For obvious reasons, it marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another. It also marks the end of the one-life as you once knew it. This used to be a site for all of our partners, family, and friends to catch up on what was happening in our lives while we served in Australia. We posted prayer requests and often talked about what we were up to in a certain week. And we had a great run - I'm so glad a guy called Steve decided to start his own blog which gave me the idea to start this one. We are thankful for all of you who read and watched us from afar - praying and encouraging us along the way. THANKS for everything you have done.

This blog will now look a little differently. Instead of it centering around both of our lives, it will just contain thoughts and notes from Josh. I will still update on what Kari is up to from time to time, but her life won't be on display like it was before. SO - this marks the beginning of a new kind of one-life. It probably won't be as interesting, but none the less, it is changing! I'm not quite sure where it will take me, so I'll just keep walking to find out and hopefully some of you will join me. :)

A quick update on what we're doing and where we're at in the world:

We looked at apartments in Chicago on Monday and Tuesday, but felt odd as we did. We felt aprehensive about the whole move - we felt like we may be rushing into the next thing without giving ourselves adequate time to rest, spend time with people, and recover a bit from our time overseas. We could have signed on a place for a great deal, but we both felt "off" about it. I even got a job at Wrigley Field working in concessions, but still felt off about it. So we drove four hours to Marion (which we were planning on) and talked the whole way down here. We decided (and later confirmed after talking to the Johnson's and Papa Jackson) that we just needed to take it easy for now instead of diving so quickly into the next thing. So it looks like we will make Marion, IN our hub for the next six weeks or so. We're living with the Johnson's and spending time with people here as well as traveling around quite a bit to see our families. THEN we'll see what we'll do next. We don't feel rushed which is so nice. We're just taking it easy for the time being. We have a cell phone now if anyone is trying to reach us: 616.402.6139

I'm thinking I'll post a couple times a least fairly regularly. We'll see what happens. Have a great day...and a big "HEY!!!" to our friends in Sydney!!!! Josh

March 10, 2005

Hey friends!! Just wanted to write and update you from North Queensland! We are having a great time! Lets see...

We love our hostel. It's this little dump in the heart of Cairns. SUPER friendly people and we have AC which has been amazing. We forgot our camera so no great pictures to show you. I may google some later. We go to a restuarant every night for free (with our hostel coupons). I usually pay a small amount to upgrade the meal and Kari goes for the free dish. They are usually sweet little pubs with crowds of backpackers.

We saw an INCREDIBLE film last night called "A Very Long Engagement" - a French film that we gave a 10/10. I think this is our 3rd or 4th movie to get this ranking since we've been in Australia.

We are also walking a lot (about 4 or 5 k's a day). It's been good to balance out all the ice cream I'm eating.

Today we scored a little MINI Cooper car and headed for the rain forest. It was beautiful...despite all the rain we got. Sweet!! We got back and ate some dinner and decided to chill on the internet cafe for a while (at the hostel - $2 an hour). After this we'll head back into town (1 k walk) and get some coffee and ice cream. Tomorrow we head to the reef at 7:15am - we are SO PUMPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The weather hasn't been sunny at all...but the Cyclone missed us so that was good. It's been a great week despite the weather. Well, we will be home soon! We leave 2 weeks from today.
Have a great weekend! Josh and Kari

March 6, 2005

I just tried writing a beautiful and eloquent blog about the lessons that we have learned over the past 18 months. It just wasn’t working. So...

We had good days and bad days. We made great friends but consistently felt lonely. We loved Sydney but missed America. We feel like we made a significant difference here but also feel a little defeated as we leave. “Missionary” work was tougher than we thought.

We learned a ton. We learned more about who we are and what makes us tick. We realized how much we love the city. We learned more about serving in the local Church. We learned about what it means to balance work, play, marriage and studies. While we learned a lot, we leave with lots of questions.

We worked hard. Kari learned a brand new occupation. We invested heart and soul into the work at Crossroads. We led four life groups. Kari wrote a commentary on half the Bible. Josh preached 34 times over the past 18 months. We helped raise up new leaders within the Church. We helped John get through a tough last year of University. And we took part in life transformation.

We changed a lot. We read provocative books. We thought about new ideas. We questioned everything. We came to different conclusions. And hopefully we’ll keep changing and thinking.

We watched a lot of movies.

In the end, we’ll look back on this time with great fondness. It was tough. But it was life changing and something that we’ll never forget. We are so thankful for those of you who have stayed with us from the beginning. We appreciate your prayers, your love and your encouragement.

Signing off for now – Josh and Kari