Growing Pains

Today it has offically been three weeks since I have arrived in Australia. I anticipated that by this point in my journey I would be completely settled in, know my way around, polished my Australian accent, and successfully blended in as one of the locals. However, the past few days have put me in a few interesting situations that have led me to adjust my expectations.

For example, I awoke one morning to discover that my shower did not produce hot water. This was not the problem. The problem was that the shower only produced freezing cold water. Rather than suffer through unecessary pain, I decided to gather a few essentials and head over to Daniel and Mei’s to make use of their shower. The water heater man made it over the next day to make the necessary repairs. He discovered that the water thermostate was only half way up. “No worries mate,” he assured me.

The next morning I awoke to discover that in addition to freezing cold, the shower now had a new temperature: scolding hot. The shower also has aproximately fifty liters of water, which ammounts to a five minute shower. This means I have exactly five minutes to determine the exact proportion of freezing cold and scolding hot water necessary to take a shower. Needless to say, I have learned to take very quick showers lately!

One other scenario that occured this week involves the new washer. The Lord was kind enough to provide me with a new washer for my flat. I went to take the first load of clothes out of the wash, only to find them dripping wet. Apparently, the spin cycle was broken. So, I took out the dripping clothes and hung them out to dry on the line. I don’t have a dryer, so I am learning to adjust to life by hanging clothes out to dry. The next day we were able to replace the washer, and from all indications the spin cycle seems to work just fine. However, I forgot to take down the clothes on Tuesday night. It wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that it rained. Yes, I’m still learning.

On Tuesday I made my first pastoral visit to the hospital. Two members of our church were checked in, so I thought it would be good to visit them. I did not want to stand out, so I decided I would try to look like I knew my way around the place.

I arrived at the hospital with an air of confidence about me, and briefly spoke to the front desk attendant. “I am from Wallroo Bible Fellowship, and I am here to visit several church members,” I said. The attendant replied, “Wallaroo, what? I’m sorry.” I mumbled, “Uhh, I mean, I am…an interim pastor, and I would like to visit several people.” The attendant looked confused. So I said, “I know Daniel James and I would like to visit several people who go to the church that meets in his house.” She brightened up, “Oh, yes, Dr. James. Well, if you want to visit anyone, your in the wrong building.” So much for my first attempt to try to look like a local! I think the brash American accent gives me away. I eventually found my way around, and had several good visits.

Despite the above minor growing pains, the past three weeks have given me a good feeling for what I will be doing for the rest of my time while I will be here in Australia. I’ve preached two times, had several counseling sessions, visited the hospital, and led a bible study in Adealiade. The original plan was for me to come and get the feel for a few weeks, and move into full time responsibilities in July. I think I’m ready to go.

On Monday I am heading home to perform a wedding for Erika Barefoot and Tucker Mosteller, friends from home. I’ll head to Greenville, SC for one week and then return to Australia on July 12. Once I get back, it’s go time.

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2 Responses to “Growing Pains”

  1. Jeremy Says:

    Ha,ha,ha, well, I hope you find a suitable temp for showers. That or maybe you could just stand out by the clothes line and wait for the rain or the washing machine…yea, you’re right, it’s too small to get into. Oh, and the dryer would be interesting as it spun you around, bump, bump, bump, bump…. Umm, I should get back to work!

  2. Leslie Says:

    I had the same problem with showering when I was in the Philippines!

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