Read more by Leanne!

Listen while you look:

It’s easy to look around at my life here in Australia and think it’s like some sort of dream. Studying abroad with the love of my life by my side, drinking coffee and doing homework at the cutest little cafes – meeting people from nations around the world, dedicating my life to serving and loving. But being here, and even during the steps leading up to it, it doesn’t feel so much like a grand, exciting, perfect life.

It actually just feels normal.

In reality, the frequent visits to coffee shops are because a cuppa each is all we can afford for a date. Preparing for a life of missions requires a lot more grunt work than just jetting off anywhere, anytime. Yes, there’s enough routine to make it feel like a “normal” life – but there’s also plenty of magical moments that make it feel like a “good” normal life. But really, I think what makes it feel the most “normal” is the fact that God has led me and continues to lead me in this lifestyle.

The most comfortable place to be is in the center of God’s will.

As normal as it feels, I love looking back at all the little steps and details God had planned to get me here. It felt normal moving from Portland to Boise in 2014. It felt normal getting a job as a newborn photographer. It felt normal getting involved with a really wonderful church group. But if I knew what God was doing behind-the-scenes through all those little things, it might not have felt so normal.

He used being in Boise to shape and grow my faith in a way I never imagined. He used my job as a newborn photographer to give me a heart for midwifery. He used that little church group so I could meet a handsome, adventurous, God-loving fellow named Chris. Then He brought all of those puzzle pieces together in one grand vision: join Chris at Youth With a Mission in Australia and study to become a birth attendant in developing nations.

Today is the day I start my medical-focused discipleship course – step one in this larger-scale vision God has given to me.

For three months, I’ll be focusing on God. I’ll be learning more about His heart for me and His heart for the world, especially in a medical context. These three months are made to prepare me to go out into the world and share. Share simple ways that people in underdeveloped places can care for their bodies, and through that share about the One who cares so much about their wellbeing – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

I’m so excited to share this adventure with you. God has asked me to share my experiences through images and stories because He wants to share how deeply and intimately He is working in lives all over the world. Just as He guided me here, He is guiding the lives of the individuals I will get to meet during this experience. The 40 other students from all over the world, and the people we will get to meet in our travels in three months. I can’t wait to see what He has planned and how all of those details are going to come together perfectly.

It might feel normal, but it’s all been perfectly orchestrated by the Master Composer.

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we are the rileys

We are a newlywed couple serving in Christian missions.

God has called us to Youth With a Mission in Perth, Australia. We have a heart for the city of Perth and for reaching Aboriginal people here in Western Australia. We would also love to see transformation and mobilisation through partnering with local initiatives in other nations in short-term outreach trips. Together, we have a passion for mentorship and discipleship of young people. Chris is gifted in meeting practical needs, and Leanne has a big desire for the sphere of Media & Communications.

This is our blog, a place to share what God is doing as well as things we learn as we journey through the adventure of following Jesus!