The last couple weeks have been the beginning of a new chapter in my life, as I began my studies at Exeter University and turned 20 – leaving my teenage years behind me!
Since I am currently bedridden from a particularly nasty case of ‘fresher’s flu’, it’s been a chance to reflect on everything. There’s an element of nostalgia since I’ve been blessed by a loving family, great school and amazing friendships. I’ve also had a whole host of incredible opportunities such as travel, working, performing, volunteering and studying. But I’m even more excited for what is ahead.
I’m studying Arabic and Philosophy under the Flexible Combined Honours scheme at Exeter University, with lectures commencing this Monday. Although it is a slightly odd combination (I am the only person studying it!) it enables me to study what I’m really interested in, which is great. I’ll be looking at knowledge and reality, philosophical analysis, and Arabic language and culture.
I’m living in halls, in a flat of 11 – consisting of 5 other girls and 5 boys. We have baked cookies, gone out, and spent several hours having intense discussion over tea. Funnily enough it would appear that our common interests are pretty similar – a few being musical theatre, politics and baking.
I’ve found a lovely church called Belmont, and the Christian Union is huge – in fact I believe that last year it was the biggest in the country! I’m also working at a Christian bookstore in town on Saturdays; everything feels like it is coming together.
A new leaf, a fresh burst of determination to try your best, new goals – there’s something I find immensely captivating about a new start (Right down to buying new stationary!). All the while bearing this in mind …
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight’ Proverbs 3:5-6
Back to writing about my travels… Europe, Morocco, Australia, Turkey, and now New Zealand! Unfortunately I was only able to spend a few days there; I definitely intend to return at some point. But in the meanwhile I’ll tell you a little about my time there which led to me becoming so keen to go back!
So I spent 3 nights in a beautiful town called Rotorua, located in the North Island about 3 hours from Auckland. Whilst I’d love to tell you that the first thing that struck me was the natural beauty, it was in fact the smell. The area is renowned for it’s geothermal activity, which provides free heating and hot water, but consequently the area has a distinct smell of sulphur – which has been likened to the smell of rotten eggs. So if you have a particularly acute sense of smell maybe choose a different destination; if not go for it!
On arrival I went straight to the information centre, who were extremely helpful and directed me to Downtown Backpackers – a cheap friendly hostel next door. I definitely got more than I bargained for – at just £7 a night I had a 6 bedroom dorm to myself (since there weren’t many guests we were spread out a bit), free pasta/tea/coffee, access to an extremely clean kitchen and bathrooms, and there was a fabulous communal area too with games and movies.
It was pretty chilly, but not cold enough for snow. If I got a pound for every time somebody told me I should be used to the weather because I’m English, I could have gone out for a very nice meal (or at least a Nando’s for two). The weather worked out well for some activities; less so for others. Per example…
The Polynesian Spa – great. The naturally powered hot springs felt so much more luxurious given the cooler air temperature!
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland – great. Walking around the multicoloured lakes, craters, geysers and waterfalls kept you warm enough.
Rafting on the Kaituna River – not so great. Now that is not to say I did not enjoy myself! Rafting down a grade 5 (that is, of 5!) river with a 7m waterfall was an exhilarating experience – I dare say that adrenaline alone (never mind the wetsuit) would have kept me warm enough. But by the time we were back to the base I could no longer feel my toes, or fingers for that matter.
Other than the plethora of fun activities (mountain biking, visiting a traditional Maori village, skydiving, trekking, go carting, zorbing, Hobbitton – where The Hobbit was filmed) Rotorua itself is gorgeous. There is plenty of green space to go for walks, such as Kuirau Park, Government Gardens and Redwood Forest – with lakes, mountains, mud pools, hot springs (although be careful which ones you go about swimming in, some are 90 degrees!). The town is great for shopping and eating – there’s a restaurant for everyone, and an abundance of gorgeous cafés! And all this is completed by a lovely town museum next to a very impressive information centre.
So if you have the opportunity, Rotorua has my full recommendation – the place itself is wonderful, it’s easy to get to, and there’s plenty to do! Not to mention the wonderful Kiwi people and culture, which is similar to the West but combined with a lovely sense of the traditional Maori people (there’s more to it than simply having Kia Ora, hello, written on tacky souvenirs!).
And for now I’m back to reality – I’m currently sat on a plane on my way back to the UK, listening to a rather rude older lady giving a second attendant an earful because the food is too spicy. Sunday I’m driving to Switzerland with the family for a couple weeks, then home for the summer.
Anyhow, thank you for reading; have a great summer! (Or winter, depending on your hemisphere!)
(PS, good news! The lady has been giv
en the children’s option – oreos as opposed to thai chilli pretzels. What a relief!)
So, the Discipleship Training School (DTS) is over, and I’m currently sat on a coach on my way to Cunnamulla – a small town in the middle of nowhere, where my second cousins run a cafe. Since arriving back into Australia from Turkey, we have been to a YWAM missions conference, had a few days of debrief, and last Wednesday we finally graduated our DTS!
Just briefly I’d love to share about Go-Fest… it was the final stretch of our outreach – a YWAM organised conference focused on the Great Commission to go into all the world; it was pretty exciting! Loren Cunningham, Fred Markert, and Andy Bird were speaking (they were incredible) and we heard so many awesome stories about what God is doing! A few things I took out of it were:
1. The command ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Matthew 28v18-20) is completely worth it because Jesus said ‘I’ll be with you’!
2. We don’t need to be overwhelmed by this task because we do it by loving the person in front of us! I never realised the significance of Jesus calming the storm being directly before going to a graveyard to cast ‘legion’ out of the demon possessed man (Mark 4/5). He was willing to cross the water in dangerous conditions to help just one person.
3. We had a seminar with Nathaniel Oliver on the ‘Normal Christian Life’ (also a youtube video series), which was about how we don’t need to go overseas to be a missionary or radical christian – we need to do it right where we are! It was so encouraging, and during the seminar someone’s shoulder was healed – after a fall she was having problems lifting/moving it; so we prayed, it clicked; we prayed again, it went tingly – and now her arm is completely pain free! Go God!
Next stop was debrief and graduation, which was a lovely event! Games, food, presentations, thank you’s, goodbyes… saying bye to the people you’ve spent every day with for the last 5 months was a very bizarre feeling! I don’t feel like I’ve quite had time to take it all in – it’s sad but I’m so excited to see what everyone is going to do now we’ve finished. Some are going back to study/work, a couple are staying in Byron to staff the next school, and the married couple from our DTS are moving to Brisbane to go into full time ministry.
And that is pretty much it: my YWAM adventure is almost over! Next week I’ll be flying to Auckland, arriving home on the 17th. In the meanwhile I’m visiting cousins in Cunnamulla (an aboriginal town in the middle of nowhere), staying at the base for a few days and then spending a few days exploring New Zealand.
Going out from DTS the verse which I’m taking with me is ‘We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do’ -Ephesians 2:10. It’s the end of a season – I’ve made awesome friends, learnt a lot, changed a lot… I’m so grateful, and now I’m excited to see what God has got in store for the future!
Thank you for reading my updates, praying for me and staying in contact! You guys are amazing and I can’t wait to see you all in a few weeks (we are going on a family holiday so I’ll be back at St Johns in August)!
As some of you may know, I’ve spent the last 7 weeks in Turkey on the outreach phase of my YWAM discipleship school; I am now sat typing from the base in sunny (and cold) Byron Bay. It’s just gone 7am, which just so happens to be my favourite time of day – when nobody else is awake and you have a few hours of peace and quiet. The YWAM base has relocated since we left – and the new base is incredible! I’m sat watching the sun rise over some jungle-like terrain with the sea on the horizon, drinking a cup of English breakfast tea; the moment for blogging couldn’t be more perfect.
So, here we go… Turkey!
When we first found out this was our outreach location I must admit that my initial reaction was ‘why are we going to a holiday destination?!’ It’s pretty close to home, and because it is a Muslim country our activities were relatively restricted. We had heard of previous teams going to places like Fiji, India, and Papua New Guinea; seeing heaps of healings, praying with people, leading church services, saving the world singlehandedly… You know, things like that.
However, God has spent the last few weeks breaking my heart for this nation and it’s been awesome. Turkey is 98% Muslim and people there simply haven’t heard the gospel – God’s heart aches for these people and I believe that as the church we should go and spread His love. ((I know that there may be people reading this who are wondering what I’m on about, or thinking that what people believe in is their own business – so just quickly I’d like to say that having a relationship with God is the best thing in my life and I want to share this joy and peace I’ve experienced with others, and that is why I think what I think. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!))
The Turks are an amazing people group (hospitable, kind, open…) and they live in a such a beautifully diverse country. It has many of the structural and commercial elements from the West, and many cultural elements of the East. The food is delicious, the scenery is wonderful, there is rich history (culturally and biblically), and since it serves as a gateway from Asia to Europe it is a very important country as far as the international community is concerned. But rather than tell you about the country, I’d like to tell you about how God led our team during this time, and how we saw him move.
The adventure began in Istanbul. Unfortunately this was not a very glamorous time due to jet lag and illness – although we did get to see the city and pray lots! After a few days we headed down to Izmir where we were in contact with our friend whom we met in Australia (for the sake of the people living there I won’t be putting any names in), who lives and works there – and has done for the last 6 years. It was just under a week, and we did a home visit, prayed and encouraged believers, participated in the church services/events there, began learning some (extremely basic) Turkish, received some tracts (booklets which talk about God), and were able to hand some out at an outreach we did. My highlight there was praying for a local believer who has recently had to move house because of financial difficulties and because she has 2 children who are both quite ill. Whilst I hope we were an encouragement to her (I am still praying that God will be providing for/strengthening her) she was a massive encouragement to me! Seeing how strong her faith was in the midst of her difficult situation was really inspirational.
The next leg of our journey was a huge God thing – talk about being the right place at the right time! There is a Christian retreat centre which was having maintenance work that week, who were looking for a team to go and work (gardening, landscaping, shovelling, brick laying) so that they could be finished in time to receive guests. So the 10 of us descended on the retreat centre and worked alongside some local tradesmen – doing manual work for a few hours each day, whilst staying in the centre. It was hard work, but they took good care of us – with an ample supply of cakes, bread and home made jam! Staying in the centre was really fun too – we played chess and sardines, ate together all the time, did devotionals each morning and went to town once. During our stay we got to know the owners/workers – and the guys in particular got to know the bricklayers. One of the bricklayers was actually a secret believer, and he was so touched by the fact we came to work and encourage them that by the end of the week he decided to make a public commitment and get baptised! Go God! We actually came to Turkey without rigid plans in order to let God guide and lead us, which worked perfectly in this case.
Afterwards we went to a YWAM ANZAC (which stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps, from WW1) conference… It was in a 4* all inclusive hotel by the beach, with loads of other YWAM teams – there were about 200 of us in total! It was inspirational, relaxing, fun, a good chance to learn about the ANZAC history and to spend time worshipping and learning about God – it felt like a well deserved break after our week of shovelling! During the conference we met the people we stayed with at Kusadasi the following 2 weeks. At this point our team split in two; what was 10 became 5 as the other half of our team left for Tajikistan.
Kusadasi was a really fun time… there were 3 other YWAM outreach teams who we overlapped with, and it’s a touristy area so we were quite free to speak out (pray for people publicly, and hand out tracts- or on one occasion cookies with verses attached!) There was one occasion where we were told to stop giving materials out because we could get arrested, but that’s the only trouble we encountered. One of my favourite activities there was playing with the Syrian and gypsy children who lived on a hill. Due to the fact that the team living there go regularly they are used to foreigners going to play with them; we were able to go 3 times – each time there were 15-30 kids (it varied each time).
My highlight of the trip also took place here! We did evangelism most days – which often was chatting to people on the sea front and to shop owners (we usually got into conversation and prayed a blessing over them if they wanted). One day I was out with a guy and a girl from the YWAM Amsterdam team, and we felt like God was directing us to a particular residential area. I started talking to a young taxi driver called Tolga, and he invited us for Chai tea and a chat. Once we explained we were all part of a bible school he had heaps of questions about our faith; he had been reading an English bible (as well as his Qur’an) but was finding it pretty difficult to understand. Patrick from the other team had a Turkish bible which we gave him, they exchanged numbers so he could get to the Christian youth group that week, and we prayed with him. It was a ‘divine-appointment’ I suppose (the somewhat cheesy name these meetings have been dubbed): I think God really led us to him!
(hang in there, I’m nearly done!)
During our first few days in Kusadasi we met a guy who was staying with friends on his way home to Ankara (the capital of Turkey). He was inbetween jobs so was more than happy to help us out and host us in Ankara, so from this random meeting we ended up staying in Ankara for the final portion of our trip! It was an exciting time because we were there right over the duration of the elections which we had spent a long time praying about (we had a day of prayer and fasting on voting day), and it was a really positive result! 4 Christians got in, the Kurds got seats, and the AKP did not win a majority …’hallelujah’! I loved meeting all the youth there at their weekly youth meeting (we got to spend quite a bit of time with them), and also getting to know the ministries. These included refugee ministry, kids church, a wheelchair business, a ministry which serves children with disabilities, 2 different feeding programmes, and a local bible training school. We helped out in a variety of ways, which ranged from serving soup, babysitting, cooking, doing skits and cleaning. We were exposed to so many ministries and projects and areas of need; it really set my heart on fire for this nation and for God. One thing that particularly impacted me was trying to tell Syrian refugees when to come to the food bank. Well aware that we can’t speak Arabic we took pieces of paper with the information written down, but we shortly realised that they couldn’t read it, despite the fact it was in their own language. Knowing the facts about illiteracy is one thing – seeing them in person was another. We also discovered that 10% of Turkey’s population is disabled; the need for more specialists is huge. So pray for Turkey… they need it!
For our final few days we were back in Istanbul, having a bit of a unwind and meeting back with the other half of our team. We were also able to visit IST.H.O.P (Istanbul House of Prayer) several times which was an amazing experience. Although be warned… if you sit in the seats in the front left, even by accident, you will have to pray over the microphone in front of everyone!
To wrap up, all in all it was amazing. It’s changed my attitude towards the people there, towards God and towards life generally. Learning to trust him has been paramount, and getting a heart and a feel for the country was such a privilege. Whilst I’m gutted that it’s over I’m excited for the next chapter and to see what is in store next.
Thank you everyone who was praying for us the last few weeks: much appreciated!
This week has been our twelfth – and final – week of lecture phase of DTS (Discipleship Training School)! Tonight we are catching a plane to go to a place (which shall unfortunately remain nameless until we get back) which is predominantly non-Christian and share God’s love for 2 months; I can’t wait! I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to post blogs about it yet (WordPress and Facebook aren’t the most discrete forms of social media), but if you’d like to receive our team’s email updates please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to the mailing list.
So as you can imagine it’s been a bit of a funny week! We’ve had 3 days of lectures (in amongst hoards of packing and goodbyes) which were taken by a church down the road called New Earth Tribe. They’re a very spiritual led church, which really suits the Byron Shire (as they like to call it!); we had Phil Mason (the pastor) and Hans (an associate pastor) speaking about encounters with the Holy Spirit, the New Creation Miracle and Intimacy with God. However, they had also just been on a missions trip to India so we heard all about healings, miracles and a resurrection (!!) which they saw in Goa. I’ve always found this aspect of Christianity a bit strange (coming from the West…) but they ‘de-mythologised’ it; I’m super excited for our trip now!
Unfortunately we had some bad news as a base this week: if you’ve been following my blogs you might have seen that YWAM Byron Bay have been looking to transition from renting to owning – but this week the deal fell through. Obviously it’s a bit sad- particularly for the base directors who have spent over 10 years living here! But it’s all in God’s plan and we’ll see where that leads us. For the July School they will be living in rented houses, while we look for another property elsewhere. The good new is that we now have the deposit for another property, and a lot of fabulous supporters of the base which is a huge encouragement!
In the meanwhile we’ve been doing some really fun outreach in Nimbin – a small town about an hour away which is the national ‘drug capital’ of Australia. They have an annual festival/a cannabis law reform rally called MardiGrass – so we went and did late night pancakes and Chai tea in the centre of the festival. My favourite aspect was probably the 15ft inflatable joint which they carried round all afternoon! We arrived around 4/5ish and set up a prayer corner, a tea station and a pancake station. Personally I loved it – we were able to meet so many people and I had some really cool conversations (whilst synonymously enhancing my pancake making skills). We wrapped it up around 11pm (the Chai tea ran out) – but we could have gone all night! People are so open (given it’s most likely due to the substances in their system), and we could chat to them, pray for them and feed them – all the important things!
We had a bit of an adventure on the way back when we decided to go around several ‘road closed’ signs – turns out they put them there for a reason! We had had some pretty intense rain (40cm in 2 hours at it’s heaviest… apparently!) so this resulted in some pretty intense floods. Unfortunately one of the vans didn’t agree with 1/2 a meter of water and the clutch decided to give out as we got to the end of the overgrown puddle. So that was interesting! We got it working in the end (minus the clutch… poor gear box) and thankfully after a mile or so the clutch kicked back in again and we were in the clear. I really can vouch for the rain though – we dropped Eden (or Hyun-Wah, a South Korean student who isn’t coming on outreach with us) at the Gold Coast airport Friday and I drove back; it was an hour of terror! I could barely see infront of me – let alone the side of the road… I was clutching the steering wheel whilst desperately staring at the cat eyes in the road in order to not come off it! Lessons to be learnt? YWAM DTS is like Indiana Jones (according to Noel Harrison).
And that is all there is to report! We’re heading off really soon – all we need to do now is make sure everything is all packed up and clean the house. I’m pretty sad to say bye to people (base directors, other staff members and a couple fellow students) – and the base itself. But I’m mostly excited – it almost doesn’t seem real that we’re really leaving today! I’m not sure whether I will be continuing my weekly blog – but I will try to keep something up here!
What a spectacular week! Monday morning we packed our bags, and headed up to the YWAM base at Gold Coast (45/50 minute drive), where we joined the Brisbane and Gold Coast DTS’s for lectures on Lordship by Mark Parker. He’s a lovely Kiwi guy, with 5 sons, and a busy schedule speaking all over the place. Mark’s reputation had long since preceded his teaching so I knew we were set for an interesting week!
All in all there were almost 60 of us (including staff), and 37 sleeping on the church floor! We quickly made each others acquaintance at the start of the first lecture with a ‘hongie’ – my new least-favourite greeting there is. We formed a big circle and all moved round until everyone had ‘hongied’ everyone. It is a Maori (indigenous New Zealander) tradition where you touch noses; outwardly it is misleadingly simple – but inwardly I was panicking! Then there’s the awkward moment where you are going for the ‘hongie’ but they wanted to ask your name first, or you miss their nose because they are too tall, or worst of all – you head butt them. It’s safe to say that’s a tradition I won’t be bringing back to England.
Anyhow the teaching was really awesome! Mark spoke about living as a temple of the Holy Spirit, worshipping God, and fixing our eyes on Jesus, rather than shutting down the spirit and in doing so losing fellowship with God. Then on Friday we had a crazy ministry day than lasted from 11am (Friday) – 1.30am(Saturday); although long it was a really awesome day! We gave thanksgiving, praised God, ‘came to the alter’ (giving to others, offering God parts of our lives, and then picking up challenges / making alterations to grow closer to God). Thankfully over the course of the 14 hours we had a couple food breaks, and more importantly a baptism break where 3 people were baptised and 4 were confirmed – woop! After the alter stuff we then we commissioned each other to go out in Jesus’ name, and then we shared a communion meal together.
My favourite part of the week was definitely meeting all the other students – there were lots of Canadians, some Americans, a few Swiss people, a Finnish guy, Austrians, a Mexican… So many wonderful people with amazing hearts and a passion for God and serving others. My least favourite part (this is more difficult to think of) was perhaps the snoring. Sleeping on a church floor with 36 other people was fine, but falling asleep with intermittent snoring coming from all sides is not something which comes naturally to me!
And now the weekend! It’s Anzac (like Remembrance Day for Australians and Kiwis), and just 1 week (and 4 hours) until we leave for Outreach…. How did that happen?! Next week we have our final week of lectures on ‘Identity in Christ’, and then an all day outreach on Saturday to Nimbin – before saying our goodbyes and catching a plane!
And that’s just about everything! Other than the fact we had a huge bonfire last night, and it was so big that 6 firemen turned to take a look! Anyhow I hope you’re all well – lots of Assie love!
Week 10 of DTS (Discipleship Training Course) and I feel like we’ve established a pretty standard routine; so I thought that this week I’d write a blog so you know what a usual week of doing a DTS in Byron looks like. Before I begin I’d just like to say that doing a DTS is one of the craziest, and probably the best, thing I’ve ever done. Not only have I joined a 20-something strong family (I couldn’t be living with a better bunch of people), but I’m having the time of my life! Of course at times it’s hard – you go through a lot of changes as you discover more about God and yourself (and on a less serious note a dishwasher certainly wouldn’t go amiss) – but it’s so worth it… I’d recommend it to anyone!
Monday! Normally the guest speaker will have arrived the night before. You get up, do work duties (toilets, kitchen, pool, living room, etc), grab some breakfast and head to Eastgate (the church where we do our lectures) for 9am. It varies base to base, but we have a base worship meeting (led by a different staff member every week) until 10/10.30. This is followed by morning tea; everyone thanks the English, which I’m more than happy to accept credit for. At 10.45/11am we start lectures, which will normally go on until around 1pm (the lecturer, often from another YWAM base, will usually start the week ending on time – getting progressively later as he goes on). After lunch we do base development for a few hours, grass mowing/weeding/pool cleaning, before coming in for a sweaty community meal – where all the staff members and their families join for a meal together. However, we haven’t done this for a few weeks since we have been fasting during the evenings, and doing a prayer meeting with everyone instead for the purchase and development of the property.
Tuesday: Lie-in, no work duties, breakfast, head to church… This is then followed by adopt-a-nation! A student gives a presentation about a nation where Christians are persecuted, and then we pray for them. This is followed by lectures, lunch, and then we enjoy a mostly free afternoon, except for one on ones. Mostly we tend read (there are 2 compulsory books which are part of the DTS course), swim, chat… it varies according to the weather. A one-on-one is a catch up with a staff member, who also takes in our book reports, weekly journals, and weekly devotionals (‘homework’ as such – the DTS is a module in the University of Nations, and thus we are assessed to some degree). Then we have dinner (5.30pm) – and sometimes a ministry evening led by the guest speaker.
Wednesday: Work duties (they run on alternate days), breakfast, and then a bible study whilst our leaders are in a staff training meeting. After lectures and lunch it’s ‘TBA’; sometimes a surf trip or outing is arranged but often we can decide what we want to do and will take a van out somewhere (more often than not to town or the beach). This week I read my bible, and spent time with Kev and Tiff’s (the base director’s) kids. I also cut Kevin’s hair – it was a first for me (maybe or maybe not to Kev’s knowledge – I’m unsure), but I was quite proud of it!
Thursday: In the morning we have student led devotionals and worship (this is always fun -whether it’s an iPod, guitar, keyboard or something creative). It’s all done on a rota (the Australians call it a ‘roster’ for some unbeknown reason). After lectures and lunch we have small groups (groups of 5/6) where we chat about the week, play a game, or go somewhere. This week we had Jeremy Humphrey, our guest speaker, talk about our outreach destination (only 16 days to go!!) – he lived there for 15 years so was able to give us heaps of insight into the culture. Then it’s community meal again at half 5, and we often chat for a while – it’s really nice having everyone at the base all together. This week after community dinner some of us went for an emergency chocolate run (not an unusual occurrence) and to the beach. It was a clear night with no moon, so we could see the stars perfectly; they were SO beautiful – we even saw some shooting ones!
Friday: In the morning we have base intercession (prayer), followed by lectures – which often descends (not in a bad way!) uinto ministry or prayer time. After lunch we hold our free BBQ in town – which starts around 3.30/4pm and ends 7ish (or whenever the burgers run out). It’s a really fun afternoon to meet people, share some love around, eat some greasy burgers, do some live music (if that floats your boat), play football and chill out. Afterwards we head home, watch a movie, chill out, go out…. it varies!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Byron Bay in a nutshell! Other interesting things from this week – I’ve realised just how versatile a toastie machine is. You can make bacon, french toast, chocolate toasties, eggs and pancakes in them!
Next week we are going to the Gold Coast YWAM base for lectures, with the much anticipated Mark Parker! We’ll be sleeping on the church floor and sharing lectures with 2 other DTS’s: Brisbane and Gold Coast – I’m really looking forward to it!