Australia, the country that also doubles as a continent, is more than the images of kangaroos, koalas, and the Great Barrier Reef that pop into most people’s head. Sure, she’s home to the late Crocodile Hunter (RIP Steve) and the wild and rugged Outback (no, not the restaurant… I’m looking at you grandpa Don), but she’s also home to a people who have a varied and rich background, coming from all over the world. You’ll have the opportunity to share the Gospel in a culture not too unlike your own, but in a place that’s still new, exciting, and full of adventure. After your time with the Aussies, you’ll head to New Zealand and debrief the summer in the land of Tolkien!
The majority of your time will be spent in the Australian state of New South Wales, whose capital is none other than the famed city of Sydney. There, on the steps of the iconic Sydney Opera House and near the on-ramps to the iconic Harbor Bridge, you and your teammates will have the opportunity to minister to native Aussies and recent immigrants from over 230 countries. Acclaimed destinations like Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, and The Rocks will give you opportunities to reach out to Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus as well as agnostics, atheists, and everything in between. The religious landscape of this continent is just as varied as its physical beauty. After traveling by motor coach and train, you’ll also spend time working with children and youth in a small “gold rush” town on the far side of Australia’s famed “Blue Mountains".
Honestly, food in Australia will not be the most exotic, save a few national dishes. Unless you really want to eat balut (an incubated duck egg with the fetus all feathery and beaky that is then boiled alive), the food will otherwise be recognizable, delicious, and often cooked up on the barbie (Australian for barbecue). You might even get a taste of barbecued kangaroo, followed by delicious pavlova, the Aussies famed dessert that’s topped with fresh kiwi fruit! Bottom line, you’re going to eat well…and without feathers getting stuck in your teeth!
You and the team will be partnering together with several local churches to show and share Christ in their area. So be sure to bring a sleeping bag, because you’ll be sleeping in the church buildings that you’ll be working with. Showers? No worries, mate. The Aussies like to be a clean as you do!Close
Culturally speaking, Australia is about as close to home as you’re going to get despite being literally on the other side of the planet. This trip is for those who have a wild sense of adventure, and want to explore new places in a language they can speak and understand. You should also go on this trip if you want to learn more about how to share your faith in a post-Christian culture, and how you can prepare to return home and effectively live out your faith there as well. Close
Australia is not only a country, but a very big island An island with a geography and ecology that is unique compared with… well anywhere. Australia has animals that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, like koalas, wallabies, and platypus’. And when’s the last time a kangaroo went bouncing down your street? While you won’t see a “roo” bounding down the boulevard, you can see all of the above animals at different locations throughout Australia. Sydney is located very near some of Australia’s famed beaches like Bondi and Manly? And although it will be winter there, the beaches are still open, beautiful, and perfect for all beach bums!
As a former British colony, English is the tongue of the land. And so while there are many similarities between the sibling nations of Australia and the United States, you may be thrown for a spin as you revel in its differences and peculiarities. When you join the Australia team, you’ll be immersed in the relaxed pace of life that the Australians thoroughly enjoy. Thanks to trains, buses, and ferries, you'll view the beautiful city of Sydney and its famed harbor. On top of that you also get to experience some of the natural beauty of New Zealand during your time of debriefing! You'll ferry to and hike across a city (Auckland) that was formed by over 50 volcanoes, and explore the land where much of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed!
You’ll be working alongside local churches and Aussie believers, reaching out to many of the marginalized people groups within the country. Ministry will include a large variety of experiences. Did you know that in certain areas of Sydney, up to 40% of the population was born in countries outside of Australia? This is an incredible ministry challenge and opportunity for you and the whole team.Close
It’s hard to walk away from a summer and not experience a measure of spiritual growth when you spend consistent and quality time reading God’s Word and being discipled in small groups on a daily basis. As you go out and engage with the quirky and fun people of Australia, you’ll find that your heart for God’s people and a desire to live an authentic faith life will increase. Sharing the Gospel can be awkward and hard at times, but you’ll be challenged and grow in your ability to share about the most important relationship in your life in a relative and relatable way. Close
For those on the Australia mission trip, debriefing is critical on a couple of levels. First, because the schedule is really full and working in a small group context is tiring – you’ll need a break! Debriefing will be a time to play and explore some of the natural wonders and ecology of New Zealand. But debriefing is also a period of reflection – to see how God worked in and through your life. It gives you time to bring closure to your ministry and prepare yourself to transition back home. Just because the active ministry may be over during debriefing, it is an important time for the Lord to continue His work in your life!