Read more by Leanne!

Exactly one month ago today, I landed in Perth. I remember it vividly, like it was just a few days ago, and yet at the same time it feels like I’ve been here for ages. I remember seeing rows of red rooftops from above as the plane descended on the city. I remember the sigh of relief I breathed when I saw my duffel bag cruising down the baggage claim. I remember laughing while walking through the parking lot at practically everything around me – the cars on the wrong side of the road, the funny noises the birds were making, the simple fact that I was HERE, whether it felt real or not.

I had a few days of rest and fun before starting work in the kitchen here at base. Many other YWAM bases around the world have a professional chef or hired kitchen crew, and the cost of this is included in student & staff accommodation fees. Our base, however, is different. The kitchen is a ministry just like any other on base, meaning those who are in the kitchen full time are volunteers as well. Both staff and students spend time cooking and doing dishes. The kitchen is really a central part of the YWAM Perth culture – meals are served family style, and one hour is dedicated to both lunch and dinner to share food and share conversation. This means that a full day in the kitchen is a busy one, cooking two meals for 400 people every day!

I am so glad and so thankful that I was able to come before my school starts to work in the kitchen. Already I have learned so much and had wonderful and growing experiences. Because staff and students are in and out of the kitchen helping each day, I’ve gotten to know so many people from all different schools and ministries. Personally, I feel that God is teaching me more about serving humbly and working together with my brothers and sisters for a common goal. I also feel very loved that God has me doing work that I don’t have to take home at the end of the day. Once dinner is served, I am free to enjoy my evening!

However, weekdays tend to be pretty exhausting and an evening after dinner usually involves a bit of reading and reflecting, relaxed time with friends, and getting to bed early. The weekends are where I’ve been able to explore and adventure a bit more!

Perth has a really wonderful coffee and food scene. And thankfully with the English influence, Australia is big on tea! I’ve grown incredibly fond of the way most shops around here make a chai latte, with real chai tea leaves. We’ve been able to spend a few days at the beach, with white sand, blue water, and plenty of sunshine despite the fact that it’s almost winter. I love the architecture and scenery here and find myself wanting to photograph almost everything.

This month has definitely had its ups and downs as far as adjusting. Growing a solid group of friends has really helped me feel settled. I know that’s something many have joined me in praying into, and I’m so happy to see God’s goodness and love displayed in the relationships He has already built for me! Coming to Perth has brought about a multitude of life changes apart from the obvious location change: from photographer to missionary, from long distance to together, from supporting myself to trusting God for support. In all of these changes, I’m so thankful that my identity is in Christ and not in anything external, as lifting these things up has been challenging.

I’m so happy to say that even after costs to get here and accommodation for my first few months before school, God has been faithful to provide for my entire lecture costs and then some. I have faith that the remaining outreach costs will come before I leave in October. I still don’t have many details on exactly where I will be going or what I will be doing, but I did have a chance to meet with my school leader and hear stories of miracles and beautiful moments experienced in previous school outreaches!

I am so excited to continue to share what God is doing in and through me, and I’m so grateful for your partnership in this new life! If you’d like to join me in prayer, below is a list of starting points. Feel free to pray as God leads you!

  • Pray for continued support, and for my attitude toward this aspect to continue to be trusting and not fearful
  • Pray for spiritual protection and ability for me to hear from God as I navigate through a very transitional and vulnerable time
  • Pray for God’s light to pour through me and for His love to be displayed to both my family here and those I encounter day-to-day

If you feel led to give towards my outreach fees, or would just like to send a message and chat, please click here to head to the contact page!

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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!