OUTREACH LOCATIONS! & More.

AHHHHH such exciting things happened this weekend! First of all, the day after the post about outreach locations, I found out what they are!!! And there are some pictures from my Pinterest, for a little taste of these countries :) 

Location 1: LATVIA & MOLDOVA! 
Where in the world/what in the world are these places?! Europe. Western, I believe. If the Lord leads me to choose Latvia & Moldova, the I would spend half of 3 months in one country, and half in the other. If I'm remembering right, these countries have soooo much human trafficking going on. Apparently, in Moldova, over 50% of the country is trafficked! IN. SAN. ITY.  
LATVIA
MOLDOVA

Location 2: AUSTRALIA & THAILAND!
What? Outreach in Australia?! Yep! If the Lord leads me to choose this outreach, I would be spending 3 weeks in Australia, loving on the Aboriginal tribes of Australia! How cool is that. And the rest of the time would be spent in Thailand! So cool, right?
AUSTRALIA
THAILAND


Location 3: ................................................
Cannot be revealed until more students are accepted! I have no idea where it could be.. I guessed Tahiti, but they said no. So we will see :) I will be praying for more and more students, particularly men of compassion, as right now mostly women are signed up for my school! Please be in prayer for this as well! 

Okay so in other news, my weekend was great! Friday I babysat in the morning, and then took Cameron (my high school teacher's adopted Ugandan son) home to stay with our family for the weekend! He is SO precious. We just love him. My cousin Ryan, from Alberta, and his fiancee, Bobbi, were down for the day as they were having a vacation in Ft. Myers. We took them to Siesta Key beach for a few hours and came home for a steak dinner. It was so good to see them again! I really miss all of my Canadian family, we don't get to see them often. If you are reading this and you qualify for the 'Canadian family' category, I really love and miss you! 

Saturday I worked an 11 hour shift at Detwiler's... It was a longggggg day. But once I was done at 8 I got to meet my best friend Sarah at Applebee's for dinner! It was SO GOOD to catch up just the two of us! I love that girl. We seriously laugh non-stop when we're together! Thanks for dinner,  Killer Miller :) We also said hi to Nicole at Orange Leaf and got some froyo. So delish! Here's a few photos of Sarah and I over the years. Keep in mind we were younger here...Cut us some slack por favor! 



Sunday was church! I sang with the worship team for youth Sunday, and during prayer and sharing time I felt God telling me to share about the outreaches! So I did, even though I was soooo nervous and shaky. But I think it was a good thing.. A lot of people came up afterwards hugging me and asking questions, telling me they are so excited and will be praying for me! Also.... here's something AMAZING.... Over the past 3 weeks in the offering, there has been a total of 1,110 dollars donated that are designated towards my trip! I can't believe it! I am so so so blessed and have the best church family anyone could ever ask for. I love you all! 

Sunday afternoon I went to the school play with my sisters! We had fun, and the play was Alice in Wonderland, (Is that what it's called??! That doesn't sound right. Alice and Wonderland? I dunno..?) That evening our college group at church, called Ethos, had a pizza/movie night at our sponsors house. We watched RED and it was super fun!

Late last night was the best though.. I ended up group video chatting on Google+ with 4 other girls who will be going to Australia with me in October! Annie, Haley, Laura, and Mariah! It was sooo fun and I loved getting to meet these girls! We talked for a long time and got along great! I'm so happy God is crossing our paths! :) So cool how He works it all out. I think the screenshot below was Mariahs. We were having fun with the effects ;) 
Left to right: Annie Greene, Haley Atterbury, Laura Evans, Mariah Bargen, me. 
So hows that for a book? I guess I wanted to write so much cause my weekend was so rad! I don't know what/when I'll posting on here now that photo week is over.. I guess you will have to check back often and see! :) 

Have a great Monday. Make it funner than a basket of monkeys! I'm going to go with Jackson's parents tonight to pick him up from college and get him moved back home! SO EXCITED cause I haven't seen that hunk in 15 days! 

xo, V. 


Outreach Locations Coming Soon!

Okay, so I guess photo week is over! Only 3 days, whatevs! I guess when I get there I can take lots of photos to post to here for all to see :)  You can find the three posts from photo week here, here, and here!

But..... I do have something super exciting to say! The Newcastle Compassion DTS Facebook page announced that they have the outreach locations! And over the next 2 days they will be revealing all 3 (THREE!!) of them to us. I can't wait!! :) Dieuwke, our leader, asked us to take guesses as to where they are. I guessed Spain and Africa, (wishful thinking!) but I am just excited to go anywhere! Dieuwke said that my friend, Laura from Kansas, is close! She guessed 'Germany and Brazil! Or Papa New Gueni and London!' I can't wait to see which one is right! There are a ton of places I wouldn't mind going.. ;)


I love this photo. Pinned it to my going places pinboard on Pinterest. When I first saw it, I remember thinking, 'Why not?'  I don't wanna just look at Florida all my life... The beach gets old. JUST KIDDING. I love Florida, but I am so ready to see the world! 

What are you up to this weekend? I'm babysitting, family is coming in for the day from Canada, (yay!) and my Saturday will be spent working 9-close at Detwilers! Oh, and I have a date with my best friend, Sarah Marie! She is back from her first year of college! Wooohoo! Have a good one.

xo, V.



Photo Week: Youth Street/Warehouse

Hello! As you may have expected, I HAVE MORE PHOTOS FOR YOU TODAY :) There are from YWAM Newy's website. You should really check them out. Their website is what sparked an interest in their school, after all ;) If you missed the other two photo week posts, you can find them here and here.

SO. These photos are of the warehouse, also known as Youth Street. Obviously, I have never been here. But from what I understand, YWAM Newcastle bought a warehouse just a walk down from the Lewis House. They turned it into offices, and boy do they look awesome! Also, every Saturday they put on Youth Street. Check out the link, because I don't know how exactly to explain it... But I know I can't wait to be a part of it! Secretly I want to learn how to surf ASAP so I can be on the surf team ;)

Anyway, here they are! Take a look!






Doesn't it look so fun? 160 days ;)
xo, V

Photo Week: The Lewis House

You made it through Monday! Happy Tuesday! :) 



I have a neat-o story to share today- something that happened last night! Then we will get on with day 2 of photo week! Did you see yesterday's post with photos of the beautiful city of Newcastle?? :) Check it out here. Today's photos are of the Lewis House! More on that later. 


So last night I went with my friend Lauren to a Monday night church service thing called The Front. I had been before and it's a totally Spirit-led awesome service. We had worship and then this guy gets up to speak. He was from YWAM (Kona, I think) and kept saying how God is using YWAM in crazy ways in every nation and that the prayer movement and missions are 'kissing' right now, lol, and that we need to be praying like crazy whether we are out doing missions or doing them at home. He also talked about Circuit Riders, which is a new 2-week training school with YWAM. They're having one in Orlando this summer, and about 5 others around the country as well. It sounds awesome. But it was really cool to hear so many awesome stories about YWAM and it got me even more stoked than I already am! (Is that even possible?!!) 

Then later this lady named Michelle Tellone (She works for the Joy FM) got up to speak; she had an awesome story. This guy that was originally from Sarasota calls Michelle up and asks her to go to Australia to the YWAM base he works at to be the speaker for the week! My heart was going crazy because I thought she was maybe talking about Newcastle! But it wasn't Newcastle, it was Brisbane. Still super cool though! It's a media/music/dance/art kinda DTS. She said God kept telling her that He's going to give these students the keys to the nations so they can be able to reach and touch hearts using media/entertainment. So she went out and bought all these neat old skeleton keys and we prayed and prayed over them. She is going to give one to each of the 65 students in the DTS. Such a cool experience! Then later she went on to say that God is doing CRAZY things in Australia! The people there are so hungry and their hearts are soft, ready for the word. I was later introduced to Michelle and I told her that I'm doing a DTS in Newcastle, Austraila. She was so excited for me and said she would pray for me! It was so encouraging to hear awesome stories and promises from God that I have to look forward to! Only 161 more days :) 

Here are the photos of the day. Again, they're taken from YWAM Newcastle's media page. These are photos of The Lewis House. I think- but I'm not sure- that The Lewis House is where all the YWAM DTS students sleep and eat. I think it used to be an old hostel. I think it's soooo cute! :) I believe there is also a lecture hall there, so I will most likely be spending a lot of time here! The last photo is a screenshot I took. It's the street view of the Lewis House from Google Earth! How neat is that???...........(Well that's pretty neat!!) Why yes, I do like to reference You Tube videos every now and them. Check out my about me...









Make today a great day. That's an order.
xo, V.

Photo Week: Newcastle

Hey there! Hope you had a great weekend :) I worked quite a bit, but got to go to see The Lucky One with some girlfriends late Saturday night! Great love story with a few very inappropriate scenes.. That's Hollywood for ya :/ 

On Sunday I took a nice 2 hour nap to get the energy to go through my clothes. I got rid of SO. MANY. CLOTHES. I wish I would've taken a few photos. Then you all could judge me... It was that bad. It was a great opportunity to reorganize my closet and drawers though.. can you say color categorized? ;) I love it! I had a nice huge pile to give away; I have lot of pretty dresses in mind to give to some lovely friends in Haiti this July :) I don't know why I even bought them... Many of them I only wore once. Such a shame! 

Anyway.... the reason for this post! This week, I have decided to post photos each day of Newcastle and of the YWAM base I will be calling home :) Of course, I have never been in real life, so these photos will be coming from their website. Today are photos of the city of Newcastle. Such a beautiful place, I can't wait to see it in person! 

Without further ado... 







Love this place already :) 
Have a great day!
xo, V


(Pssst... See day 2 here).

Dropping a Pinterest Bomb: Backpack Obsession.

GUYS. Can I just say I love backpacks? I do. 

Seriously though, I have my own Backpack & Purses board on  Pinterest. I am always looking at backpacks. On my 'Things-I-must-buy-before-I-leave-for-Australia' list, one of the biggest items is an awesome backpack. It needs to be big, but not too big, cute, maybe tribal patterned, or striped, or lace, and durable, (6 months in Australia and wherever else! Hello!) I've seen awesome backpacks all over, but not the perfect one at a perfect price. So I will keep searchin! 

Here's a glimpse into my backpack board, some of my favorites! I reallllly hope one of these pops up at Goodwill ;) 









Oh, funny story. I had a backpack that I bought from Goodwill that I kinda liked. It was dark green and very functional. I had big plans for it, maybe sew some fun material I got from Wal-Mart onto it. But then I got home from work yesterday and my little sis Ange goes, 'Look what I did to your old backpack!' and holds it up. Her name all over it in Sharpie. Haha, oh well I guess.. it was like $2 anyways! :) 

Hope you have a great weekend! I'm working at the Market 12-close Friday, and 9-close Saturday. Should make for a tiresome weekend! ;) 

Have a glittering day! 

xo, V


P.S.....Did you know I'm hosting a giveaway? Thanks to my dear friend Amy from The Blank Pages Blog. Check it out HERE! You might get lucky! ;) 

Always

Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again: Rejoice. 
Let your reasonableness be made known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
do not be anxious about everything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. 
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me- practice these things, and the peace of God will be with you. 
-Phillipians 4:4-9


Such a lovely reminder. I don't need to worry about anything.. He's got it under control. How awesome is that?! If I let myself, I could worry about 5 handfuls of things. Am I gonna get major homesick? Will I get all of the money for YWAM? What if something goes wrong with the paper work? What if I don't make any friends? What if I get lice? ....okay so I worry about crazy random things. Totally unnecessary. But I love the verse above. It helps me remember to be joyful in the Lord and for what He has done/is doing in me/for me/in my life and to pray about my worries- I know He will take care of them and of me! God is so great! Have a fabulous day!
xoxo, Vanes.

Dis-nay & Successful Passport Day

 Hello there! How was your weekend?My weekend was awesome!! :) Disney was a grand time, I had a blast and wish I could've stayed longer! On Saturday we went to Magic Kingdom, (I had been there a few times before, always a good time!) and Sunday we went to Hollywood Studios, a first for me. But I loved it! I think the Asians had a great time. It sure seemed like it. I think they especially enjoyed Hollywood studios, namely the Tower of Terror. They loved to come up with different 'poses' when the camera took our picture. Here's a few good ones. 

"Muscles"
"Lollypops"
"Bored"

A big thank you to Jill, Jackson's mom, for taking us! She drove us up there, and paid for a hotel for the weekend. I shared a bed with her, and I was nervous I would kick her or try to snuggle with her, but it was all good. At least, that's what she said when I asked. She's is so sweet. I'm SO glad my boyfriend has an awesome mom :)

Oh, in passport news...Friday morning went great! Mom and I went in at about 9:30am. The guy who helped us was super friendly, I'm not sure what I was so scared of! The bad part was, the only accept checks. We knew that, and mom was planning to write a check. But we got there, and she realizes she just wrote her last check, and had none left! The nice man continued to help us though, and let us run home to get it and I brought it back to him.

When I was bringing him the check, I also realized we hadn't paid for the passport photos. I told him this and he had forgot to charge me. He was shocked at my honesty and kept thanking me over and over. So in the end, I ended up paying $10.70 for passport photos, but was so glad to bless that nice guy with honesty. So I guess the lesson there is...honesty is the best policy :)

Oh! My photos... I wasn't sure if I could smile or not.. So I halfway did, and what I got was a blank face and open mouth. Oh well! No one ask to see it though... Again, an embarrassing passport photo! 



xoxo, Vanes. 

Just a Little Passport Talk.

Happy Thursday! One more day left and it's the weekend! :) I nanny Monday-Thursday, so my weekend starts tomorrow morning! 

My current passport in the holder I made it for the trip to Costa Rica. Awful cell phone photo, I know! Wow, that's really bad. 


Speaking of tomorrow morning.... I am going to go down to the County Clerk, (I think?) with my mom, to renew my passport! Yay! My passport is due to expire Feb 2013. Why would I renew it now?? Well, when I go to Aussie, my passport can't expire during my time there, of course, but also six months after the trip ends. Silly/strange/dumb/weird. That's what I think about that. 


I was going to wait until after I go to Haiti this July to renew my passport, but I just got all the info I need to apply/buy my visa. And I can't do it with a passport that is soon to expire! 


Once I get my passport, (hopefully within 2-4 weeks!) and buy travelers  health insurance, I can apply for my Visa!! Woohoo! Not sure about the health insurance details yet though.. Why oh why is it so much work to go live abroad for six months?!?!? Oh well. It will be so worth it!

Please pray everything goes well tomorrow morning with my passport... I don't know why but I'm really scared. Sounds silly, but I just am, okay?! Plus please pray my picture turns out good! Wow, is that awful & vain-sounding or what? I just don't want to have an awful picture on my passport for years to come.. When I go on trips, everyone's all like, "Let me see your passport picture!" And the one I have now is from 7th grade and so embarrassing. Anyone who has seen it can agree with me, haha. I'm sure I'll hate it though, however it turns out. That's just me :) 



This weekend I'm going to Disney with Jackson, his mom Jill, and Chaewon &Whijeong, their Korean exchange students! It's going to be a blast! Can't wait to see how they like it. What are you doing, friends? Have an awesome weekend.


xoxo Vanes.

Oh. My. Lanta.

Do you notice anything new? If not, you better! This re-construction that I just did took me FOREVER and a day. And a headache! I re-did the header, (which I'm not really liking anymore... sigh...) and made social media buttons and tabs. For the social media buttons, f is linked to my Facebook, the .)) thing is linked to bloglovin, so you can follow my blog on there, and the t is linked to my twitter! Voila! Have a merry day! xx, Vanes. 
psssst. Blog design made possible by
THIS tutorial! Thanks to Katy of Sweet Verbena.

Quickly: Bloglovin' and Why I'm lovin' it.

Quick post today about Bloglovin! If you are looking for an easy way to keep up with my blog and other blogs, you will like this for sure. Bloglovin is seriously one of my favorite websites these days. It's free, easy, and wonderful. Also so very organized, just the way I like it ;) You can organize the blogs you follow into categories. For example, some categories I use are food, friends/family, DIY, missions, and of course, weddings! It's so nice and I have been a huge fan for awhile now! Totally helps to keep up with the blogs you like to read. If I don't get on for 2 or 3 days, I can easily have 100 unread posts, but it's not to hard to skim through and decide what I do and don't want to read :) 


Why yes, I did put my own blog under my family/friends category... Nothing weird about that... Right??
Look for another post soonish :) 
xx, Vanes.

A Welcome and an Introduction.

**WARNING: extremely long post ahead. Just warning you. Don't go away though- get comfy and get reading!**


Sounds like the first day of school or something, right?? No school here.. Just a welcome to my little blog and an introduction of sorts. 

First of all, I'm Vanessa. That's me up there with three of my friends- we took some fun photos for our graduation party. A serious photo of me is a rare thing.. So get used to stuff like this! Haha. 

I will be writing on this thing. What will I be writing about? My journey coming up this October- My 6 month journey with YWAM! I can hardly wait! Are you confused as to what YWAM is, though?? This is for you: 

'Youth With A Mission is an international volunteer movement of Christians from many backgrounds, cultures and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced "WHY-wham"), our purpose is simply to know God and to make Him known.
When YWAM began in 1960, our main focus was giving young people opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus to the whole world, according to His command in Mark 16:15. Today, we still focus on youth, but we have members (known as “YWAMers”) of almost every age and many of our short-term efforts have grown into long-term endeavors that have impacted lives and nations.
YWAM has a decentralized structure that encourages new vision and the exploration of new ways to change lives through training, convey the message of the gospel and care for those in need. We are currently operating in more than 1000 locations in over 180 countries, with a staff of over 18,000.'
Above text taken from here.

Basically, it's an amazing volunteer program that has been around for awhile. During the DTS, (Discipleship Training School) I will spend three months at the base of my choice, training for outreach and learning about and growing closer to my Heavenly Father. The second part of my DTS I will apply what I have learned and go on outreach, which is basically a 3 month mission trip! I could go almost anywhere in the world to do a YWAM-DTS; however, I know without a doubt that God wants me in Newcastle. 
....And that's where my blog name comes in: He Says Newcastle. God specifically told me that Newcastle, Australia is where He wants me to go. How He did that goes like this:
For a long time, I have known that after I graduate from high school God is calling me to do a DTS with YWAM. This was so exciting to me, but at the same time a bit scary. Especially knowing that there are literally hundreds (HUNDREDS!) of different places I could go. Where do I even begin?!! 
Me with two precious boys from the orphanage.
Summer 2008.
Okay so here's a side note.. I feel like I was first being called to YWAM when I was in Haiti with my youth group, the summer after I had finished 9th grade. I had never in my life been anywhere like Haiti. My experience was indescribable. I remember thinking, "I could do this for the rest of my life and be so happy!" (Maybe I forgot about the heat though... It's HOT in Haiti!) Since then I have been back to Haiti once, and am going again this July. Yay!!
My parents & I at senior night for basketball. Parents really
do know best. At least, mine do. I love them so much!
But anyways.. When I began getting closer to graduating high school, and I began trying to figure out what to do with my life, I looked to YWAM, and of course- Haiti. My good friend, Alyssa, mentioned a YWAM base in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and I immediately looked it up and began pouring over it. Doing my DTS in Haiti sounded like the perfect plan! I immediately said to myself, 'I am so doing this." When I had my parents take a look at the website, they thought it was cool but encouraged me to skip Haiti and look to go somewhere new, somewhere I've never been and probably wouldn't get the opportunity to go to normally. "Uh, no. I want Haiti. God obviously has placed Haiti on my heart for a reason." That's all I could think of. So I was stubborn and forgot about anything but going to Haiti in June 2012.

In the meantime, I graduate from Sarasota Christian High School in May of 2011. I began working and working to save up money for my DTS in Haiti. I kept checking back to see when I could apply, and one day I decided to email them and ask for some info about the June 2012  DTS. To my absolute horror, the registrar informed me that they're taking a year off and not doing a DTS this year. WHAT?! Welp, there goes my plans. Now what? I sure didn't know. 
My family & I the night I graduated. Please ignore the puffy, red eyes. I cried like a baby! 
So I kinda pushed YWAM aside, and decided to do school. I figured, I already have 18 credit hours from high school, so how about I go to the community college and get my AA degree, then go do a DTS in Haiti. Maybe they'll be doing another in a year or two. I sign up for the Spring 2012 semester and pay for online courses at State College of Florida, (seven of them!) go to orientation, and try to prepare myself for "school mode" again. 
Right after Christmas my boyfriend, Jackson, (He is so wonderful. Hey Jack!) and I were having breakfast at Chickfila. Some friends (Sarah & James Beechy) from Jacksons church came in and sat by us and we talked for awhile. Eventually, we began talking about Passion 2012. Jackson was going with some people from his church, and I sort of missed the boat and didn't get to join them for the week in Atlanta, Georgia. Sarah mentioned that they had one more ticket left, and I heard myself saying, "I'm sure I can't get off work." "Just ask!" They insisted. So I sent a text to Kristin, the mom of the boys that I nanny for. She told me she would check with daycare and see if they could take the boys for the week. Yep! Just like that, I was going! So exciting. And to top it all off, the extra ticket they had was for Jackson's little brother, Logan, who wasn't able to go after all. Jackson's mom, Jill, who is the the sweetest person you will ever meet, had already paid for most of it, and insisted that I just use the ticket and go! Whaaaat! How neat is that.

So I went and had an amazing week! We listened to sermons from Louie Giglio, John Piper, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, and others. We worshiped with 45,000 other people with Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Christian 
Stanfill, David Crowder Band, Lecrae, and more. We raised over 3 million dollars. 3. million. dollars. And every bit of it went towards the fight for slavery. Did you know that there are over 27 million slaves, worldwide?? Probably even more than that. Yeah, I didn't know either. So all week we talked about this issue. I was brought to tears daily just hearing the stories of people held captive and in bondage to slavery. Human trafficking, prostitution, child slave labor, even adults caught in slave labor. It's just sickening. One night we were listening to a speaker, I can't remember who, but I remember that they said something along the lines of, "Why wait to make a difference in this world? You need to go to college? Get a job? Make money? Be stable in this changing economy? Those are all important, but God has even bigger plans for you. Stop thinking of what you think you need to do and do what He is asking. God wants to use you NOW, wherever you are!" This hit me like a ton of bricks. He was talking to me! I know it. Right away I knew that I needed to find the YWAM -DTS God intended for me and just GO.

45,000 people ages 18-25 gathered in the Georgia Dome for this amazing week!  
So I got home and the next day I got online and began looking at YWAM's website. My friend Tara told me that YWAM has a special DTS that focus on Compassion, so the outreach would be focused on reaching the prostitutes, the homeless, orphans, and others in desperate need of God's truth and love. A compassion DTS sounded absolutely perfect for me. So I searched 'compassion DTS' and came up with quite a few, all mostly in Australia. Woah! I had never even considered Australia- almost forgot about it, really. But the more I thought about it, the more crazy awesome it sounded. 

A nice 'ol screenshot of YWAM Newcastle's Compassion DTS page, found here. Believe it or not, most YWAM base webpages that I looked at were very unorganized. I'm a very organized kinda girl. Newcastle's page caught my eye for sure! 
I looked at all of the Compassion DTS options and narrowed it down to a few, and sent my info to them. Still, I didn't feel a peace about it. All of a sudden I saw the Newcastle base and clicked the link for the website. I was so impressed by the website! It sounds totally silly, I know. But it was beautiful, and I immediately sent my info to them and very quickly received a very sweet, informative, and welcoming email from them. I was hooked! I felt like this is exactly where I need to go. But still, there was this fear and doubt that was waiting around in the back of my mind... It can't just be this easy! How can I decide where I spend 6 months of my life this quickly?! And HOW IN THE WORLD am I supposed to get around $10,000-$12,000 by then? I can't do school and work.. It's just too much! What to do, God? Give me a sign! 
A few hours later I went online to look at my courses (that were about to start that Monday). What did I see when I went to look at my schedule??

We are sorry, you are not registered for the Spring 2012 semester at the State College of Florida. To register, click here.



This was a very unexpected, exciting surprise! I could hardly believe it! I told my mom and she was excited too! We both knew that deep down, I really wasn't ready for school yet. Mom also told me I better be able to get all the money back! Haha.
So after something awesome like that, I should be totally confidant that I'm supposed to go to Newcastle, right? Yeah. But not me. I don't know what I was so afraid of, but I still didn't want to make a for sure decision, maybe because I have been waiting SO LONG to do this. My lovely mom tells me I should ask God for a sign, a specific sign. I really didn't want to do that because I feel like I would be testing God, and making Him do things He didn't want to do. Also, in the back of my mind, I didn't want to ask for a sign and not get one, only to be disappointed and left again without a DTS.; however, I was so ready to just know. I just wanted to know. So that night on my way to babysitting, I asked God, "Okay, if Newcastle is where you want me, please give me a sign Lord. Have someone talk to me about Australia, or have Australia pop up everywhere in random places!" Seems like a strange thing to ask, but hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. So as I was driving, I kept thinking, I'm gonna get there, and Bob & Shelly (the people I was babysitting for) are gonna talk to me about their trip to Australia they just decided to take! Way to set myself up for disappointment, cause that sure didn't happen! So I was bummed. They left, and after their son went to bed, I went on their ipad to look at wedding blogs, which is something I do all. the. time. I love weddings. But what do you know, the first three weddings I see are AUSTRALIAN WEDDINGS!! What the world! I had never seen an Australian wedding featured on these blogs before! That was so exciting! I sent a super excited text to my mom right away. And if that wasn't enough.. I later turned on the TV to see an 'Australian Western' movie featured on some Indie channel. I didn't even know those existed, but I'll take it!! 



That night in January was so amazing. I had complete affirmation that Newcastle is exactly where God wants me, after all this time! Every time I tell the story I get so emotional and all worked up about it! It's amazing how His plan unfolds along the way, as I try to be in control and make my own decisions. God knows what's up, and He knows what's best for me! He knows what is best for all of us, and we can take comfort in this, knowing He will take great care of us! 


So, that's my story so far! Oh! And I got my money back from the college :) Mom and Dad were very pleased about that! 


In the next few days I will write another post, which will be about what I need to do to prepare for October, (Passport, visas, health insurance, all that crazy stuff) and how I'm going to corral all that money! Thanks for reading, come back soon! 
xx, Vanes.