Humbled By Experience

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“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”
Titus 3:1,2

My sister Michelle and I wanted to travel. Michelle had heard about working in Canada, and how Australians (as part of the Commonwealth) had no trouble obtaining visas. She found the “Work Canada” website. We applied for working holiday visas to commence in September.

We discovered an information session was being held in a nearby city. The advice given was helpful. Visas were limited, but since God wanted us to go, ours were granted in time. Michelle and I had to supply bank statements to prove we had 4,000 Australian dollars each in our accounts on the Work Canada visa. Money to start out, and money in case we needed to fly home suddenly.

During our year abroad, we ended up working at four major locations: Severn Lodge in Ontario, Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia; a kid’s camp in Ontario (again) and Blueberry Acres in Nova Scotia. Each was different, and our jobs varied. A teacher by training, I worked as a kitchen hand, a waitress, a part-time receptionist, a camp counsellor and ropes course instructor, and a 249 blueberry factory employee. Outside of the comforts and confines of my profession, I experienced both laborious work and incredible freedom. A working holiday visa opens up another life. I was no longer a teacher, but a student of the world.

Some situations were humbling. Being told what to do by apprentice chefs in a resort kitchen. Being yelled at by the manager in a demanding restaurant setting. Being twenty-six and having eighteen-year-old university students asking me what I was doing working in a camp. Standing alongside a moving belt of somersaulting blueberries…

The Word says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6). God will grow your character through your working holiday. The people grading blueberries alongside me in the factory humbled me. Some of the women were in their fifties, and they did this job for six months every year. One lady would drive a couple of hours to work, then go home after being on her feet all day to massage the chest of her grown son, who suffered from cystic fibrosis. I was amazed at her strength and endurance.

In my journal, I recorded places, life-changing experiences and future changes. At Severn Lodge, I evangelised on a daily basis. Big White Ski Resort was a valley experience, but I did share my faith with the restaurant manager. At spring camp, I endured living in community but loved the ropes course and the kids. And I had my stamina and mental strength tested while berry picking and grading around Blueberry Acres. Look forward to and enjoy your unique working holiday experience. Plan carefully. Trip-related expenses may include passport and visa fees, travel insurance, airfare, organisation fees, luggage, new clothing, cameras and so on. And as you travel, be sure to be challenged and humbled.

Thoughts to Ponder:
• Are you leaving school, university or a profession behind? How do you feel about this loss?
• Are you a humble person? Which areas of your character need work?

Dear Father,
I am embarking on an amazing adventure away from the comforts and confines of my previous life and community. I know there will be challenges and humbling experiences. I expect to face people and situations that are unfamiliar to me. Please work on my character, and help me to accept whatever jobs and places you have prepared for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Humbled by Experience”, by Nicki Jeffery [Excerpt taken from “Faith-based Travels: A Devotional Guidebook for the Faith-filled Traveller”, published by Ark House Press and available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Faith-based-Travels-Devotional-Guidebook-Faith-filled-ebook/dp/B015GZLJTE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461552825&sr=8-1&keywords=faith+based+travels.

Nicki Jeffery – is an Aussie country girl who has travelled the world and now lives at the beach. Her passions are teaching, writing, and caring for her husband and sons, and she is a member of Faithwriters. Her first book, “Faith-based Travels: A Devotional Guidebook for the Faith-filled Traveller”, was written to help Christians stay close to God whilst travelling.

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