You can't make me come dowm

How did I get here again?

It is becoming quite clear, even at this early stage, that the roles Dani and I are to fill here will be quite different from each other’s. While Dani is focussing largely on the heart and soul of RescueNet – registration with the World Health Organisation, developing outreach programs, organising staff training, updating medical practices and guidelines etc. – my job description is a little more difficult to pin down.

So since we have arrived I have found myself setting up a file server, repairing laptop/GPS/satellite phone/printer/<insert name of electronic device here>, resolving various computer issues, planning a new website, drawing a 3D model, designing ID cards and a variety of other tasks. However there is another element to our purpose here, which is to help relieve the load on the RescueNet Australia National Coordinator, Mark Cockburn. Mark has been running the Asia-Pacific branch of RescueNet for many years with the part-time help of his wife, Robin (who has many other commitments herself). That in itself is a large undertaking but he also has some hefty responsibilities on the YWAM Canberra base, maintaining and overseeing many of the practical elements of the building. This takes up a big chunk of his week and leaves him hard-pressed at times to meet the demands of both roles.

Dani doing her part to keep the place in order
Dani doing her part to keep the place in order

And so I am trying, as best I can, to relieve the weight of his on-base workload. To date this includes cutting the grass (there’s a lot of it!) and maintaining the grounds, repairing and replacing locks, repairing the dishwasher, draining the heating system and various other random tasks. Other non-essential activities have included helping to build a house from straw bales, relocating chickens, fixing a car headlight, plumbing and fitting shelves.

Somebody never read the 3 Little Pigs
Somebody never read the Three Little Pigs

Needless to say my mind is slightly a-buzz with this unpredictable lifestyle and lack of routine. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing as there will almost certainly be some chaotic experiences on the horizon if we are to stay involved in disaster relief. Hopefully I can learn to adapt to whatever is required of me and still keep an even keel at the end of the day (that’s the hard part!). Disciplining myself to relax after the work is over and lean into God is going to be essential if I’m not going to get lost in the melee. Already weeks have flown by and my moods have varied from elated highs to irritable lows which isn’t fair to those around me, especially Dani, or ultimately myself.

This old contraption has been washing the base dishes for over 30 years
This old contraption has been washing the base dishes for over 30 years
And it doesn't look a day over 50
And it doesn’t look a day over 50

This is definitely a new season and with that must come a new approach to life. The work here can be equally rewarding and frustrating but the work isn’t the end goal. Everything we ‘achieve’ is unfortunately wasted if we burn bridges and get buried in the overwhelming landslide of busy-ness along the way. Relationships are all that really matter – Jesus modelled that perfectly and never put a ‘task’ before a person. Keeping the communications going in both the vertical (God) and horizontal (other people) directions will be important if I’m going to stay grounded – any prayers would be welcome 🙂

6 thoughts on “How did I get here again?”

  1. I had no idea you were so good at DIY Alastair. You really are multi talented. You do however sound a bit stressed so I hope you are not pushing yourself too hard. Make sure you take some time out too. Good luck with it all. Thinking of you.

    1. Thanks Margaret. Seems I picked up a few things from Dad over the years when it comes to DIY, although I’m no expert. I’m sure any substantial change in life circumstances can be stressful until you adjust, so hoping it’s just a matter of time and prayer!

  2. Wow, the groundwork seems a lot! Often not seen and appreciated. Having lived on a big base for years I know it is often a never ending story. It takes discipline and humbleness. Thank you for serving the base and RescueNet. Hope to be able to work together again in a deployment Alastair. Big hugs, Ans

    1. Hi Ans. Yeah, Mark is kept a busy boy on base in terms of maintenance, so there’s plenty for us to do. The work is often reward in itself, although we were recently warned by a visiting speaker about becoming adrenaline junkies! Looking forward to seeing you again, whenever that may be.

  3. Very interesting to read your blog again. Amazing what a lot of different work there is to do. I hope Danielle that Hong Kong will be a success!
    Deep respect for both of you!
    Take care! Lots of love, Thea

  4. Thank you Thea! It’s true that we are certainly not bored 🙂 I’m almost ready for HK now- we’re looking forward to learning the latest of what’s happening in the world and making valuable connections. Lots of love to you all xx

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