Ups & Downs

Reading time: 5 minutes

The week starts well on Monday at 4.20 am to climb Castle Hill (the hill behind the campus) where, after a steep climb, we enjoy the beautiful sunrise with 12 people!

'Nature & Character of God' is the topic this week. To be honest, I didn't have very high expectations for the classes, because I've been going to church all my life and have seen and experienced a lot of God, but woow, I realized (again) this week that God is so much greater, wiser and more powerful than we humans can ever imagine! God continues to provide new insights and I learn so much, God speaks so clearly and goes along in processes. We have focused on hearing God's voice. A nice quote that appealed to me this week is: “Desires can be from God, but don't make them your god.”

Wednesday afternoon I went to the beach after a nice lunch to further develop my slackline (tightrope walk) skills. Since I have only had a longboard for a few days and the day before drove a little too proudly down a steep hill, today I decide, very sensibly, to walk down and longboard only on the flat road along the sea; until I suddenly lie flat on the ground with a bleeding leg and an open hand. Quickly I scramble to my feet, too stubborn to go back, I ignore my injuries and fasten the slackline between 2 palm trees. I am alone and the wind is blowing very hard so it is quite difficult to get it right the first time. The moment I realize that I have confirmed it wrong (making the whole line stuck), a passerby asks if I need help. After we have literally struggled for an hour (from 2 - 3 pm) to get it loose, I decide to leave the line, because I am expected to be back in the kitchen half an hour later. When I come back a little later, the slackline is gone! This not too good of a day ends with an unpleasant night in which my open wound sticks to my sheet with all bloody consequences.

Based on my African expertise, the next day I fabricate Honeycream (with Vaseline and honey as the main ingredients), to cover my wound. Unfortunately, the result was immense pain (turned out not to be the right honey) and hardly any improvement. On the advice of Dr. Hannah I leave the wound uncovered so that it can dry out, but unfortunately it remains very wet due to the tropical temperatures. I pray that no infection will occur! It is really great to see how everyone empathizes and asks all day how my leg is doing!

The days are pretty full. In addition to the daily classes (8:00 am - 12:30 pm) with associated homework and meal preparations, we have a 'medical meeting' once a week in which we receive education on medical matters. In addition, three times a week we have great worship sessions and every Friday or Saturday night we have an activity to connect with the people here in Townsville. For example, last Friday we went to a youth center where we played basketball with about 40 young people.

At the beginning of the week I still missed the deep conversations, but this week I have spoken more and more people one-to-one and there is a growing confidence, which I am very grateful for! This weekend we picked muffin ingredients for an unsuccessful baking attempt, went to the beach and ate pizza!

Saturday we went to the beach with about 40 people for a BBQ! That's really one of the things I really appreciate about Australia; every few hundred meters there are public BBQ facilities with toilets, water fountains and volleyball nets. That in combination with wonderful tropical temperatures, is pure joy! I look forward to next week in which the topic of 'identity' will be taught.

November 3, 2019


  1. Opa en oma Van Halsema

    Dear Daphne,

    We liked to learn about your experiences in Australia.
    We hope your leg will heal quickly (so: UP).
    An ice cream in time will certainly speed up the healing process.
    Don't forget to enjoy the other life there.
    Warm greetings,
    Grandpa & grandma Van Halsema

  2. Piet vd Oever

    Hi Daphne, I love reading your stories and experiences. Beautiful man, very special.
    All blessings, Annemiek and I pray for you.

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