Howie beginnings

Pause for a breath!

It feels like I’ve been going non-stop forever, but it’s only been two weeks. There’s been a first day, a staff conference, a photo shoot, a coffee catch up with women much smarter than me, a freshly painted bathroom, damp carpets, three doors in need of repair, a rental inspection, back pains, blue-bottle stings, sitting in the sun, the engagement of two awesome friends, A NEW BABY (!!), heatwaves, a new sister-in-law and a way too much take-away food. And in between all these things, the endless packing of boxes and shuttling things between old home in Hurlstone Park and new home in Newtown.

All of these things are big things but I can’t talk about them all now. This entry is all about starting off as a Howie (Howard Guinness Project trainee) with the Evangelical Union at Sydney Uni. Wedding photos, baby photos and house photos will all have to wait for another day.

So far, Howie life has been mainly filled with training and fund development. I’ve spent lots of time with the staff team and they are wonderful! I am incredibly thankful that I get to work with so many amazing people, and thankful that we have already had so many opportunities to support and bond with each other.

 photo Richardsnewhowiephotoresized_zps333434db.jpgRichard took this sneaky picture of this year’s new Howies during our staff photo shoot

The training and orientation work has been pretty full on. There have been lots of explanations, anecdotes and calendars to prepare us for the weeks and months ahead. So many hand outs! However I know that this is all important preparation work for when I start meeting my students properly over the next couple of weeks. I had a foretaste of interacting with students on Thursday at an informal catch up for women from the Christian postgraduate and staff group – my first proper contact with the people I will be serving on campus. It was much harder than I expected! They are all so clever and so at home on campus, it was a struggle to know what to do and say with them. I spent lots of the time struggling to deal with feelings of insecurity – it’s so easy to forget that I am there for a reason and I have things to contribute too. There is still so much I need to learn about postgraduate university ministry. As well as working with postgrads and staff I am also working with undergraduates studying high school teaching degrees. I haven’t met any of these students yet. Hopefully we will start meeting up this week to plan and prepare for the start of semester.

I am also super-thankful for all the support I have received from so many of my friends: encouragement, time spent in prayer and even some friends donating money to the EU Grads Fund so that they can employ me! The love and generosity is blowing me away. There have been so many great moments – friends at church asking questions and letting me debrief, lovely phone calls, emails and text messages, and many chances to meet up face to face with the people who are supporting me. However one of the most uplifting moments, entirely our of the blue, was this vlog entry from my old uni friend Andrew:

Now it’s time to take another deep breath and see what the next couple of weeks brings. See you next time I resurface.

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