I can’t believe that I’m already here and have been for almost a week!! You all have been praying and so I wanted to let you know what God has done this past weekend!
SPEAKING AND SINGING:
Two days after I arrived I was at a women’s event hours from Brisbane on the Gold Coast. They had a speaker that was supposed to be there and then had cancelled weeks before, a friend of mine (Joy) called the day after and told them about me and without any background, they felt it was from the LORD. I was told that Australians consider Americans very demonstative and in-your-face-talkative – I feared that their impression would only be strengthened by meeting me. But, from the very beginning of the event I noticed that their love for God and depth in Him was mutual and that our hearts would “be as one” as Jesus prayed in John 17. I seriously had no idea how much God would do…tears, understanding, change, clarity…God moved so mightily. I spoke on the Love of God – using various Scriptures and allowing God to take it where I believe and hope He wanted it to. They then had a question and answer time later in the day with me…to my surprise almost all the women stayed and the conversation went deeper than I could have ever expected – some wept throughout parts of it. Australians overall tell me that they don’t open as quickly as Americans – can’t underestimate what God’s work in someone will lead to! J The next morning I had been asked to give the sermon and sing for a church of 200 or so. (I get shocked everytime I’m asked to do that…My place will never be to shepherd, but humbled, I must follow in His boldness if He wills for me to speak/teach- I have to act like I’m not nervous! J). The women from the day before greeted me and prayed with me before I put the headpiece microphone on. The service began with music from Hillsong and Jesus Culture…literally like I was listening to my itunes! J Women then shared what God had done in them the day before at our women’s event…it was humbling to hear how God had taken it to their hearts. Then they had someone come up and talk about this recovery group that took men off the streets that had been on drugs etc. and he challenged people to come to their Friday night prayer meeting – it was challenging evne to me. I spoke on Finding Ourselves in Him (Phil. 3:9). Afterwards they announced that I would be praying for people (willing, but a bit unexpected) after the service…there was a line of people that waited for a good long time, but to hear their hearts and what God had shown them while they shared with tears really makes me even now want to get on my knees to just praise Him. That night I spoke to a church service run by former missionaries to Papua New Ginea about an hour and a half away south called Minden where the musicians didn’t wear shoes and were all teens. I shared for only about 10 min. from Psalm 44 about praising Him for no reason other than who He is. Then I tried to lead them to do so. It was a powerful weekend…thank you for lifting me up. Most mornings I was up studying at 4:30 or 5…
I’m LOVING Australia…It’s much more different than even I expected! They have a whole other dictionary over here I fear! J I’m still trying to keep up… I’ve NOW SEEN A KANGAROO, an EMU, and even a wombat…which is more like a ground-hog than a bat! It’s funny, they really look at the Kangaroo as a pest and like we would look at a deer! They call Americans Yanks (Yankees – they haven’t learned about the Civil War – No worries Mate!) or they have this fun thing that they do with rhyming that they find quite humorous…They call us Yanks rhymes with Tanks so they call us Cepos (Ceptic Tanks) as well…They don’t mean a thing by it…just fun! I’m praying for a translator – Ha! Yesterday I saw my first Kangaroo, Emu, and Wombat…which is more like a ground-hog than a bat! J They have pretty cemented impressions in their minds of what Americans are like…they like us but expect that we will be loud and demonstrative…literally expressive and a little “in-your-face.” Well, my being here is probably not helping replace those impressions in the least bit, Eh? J
BUT, honestly God has allowed the interactions I’ve had to be a bridge to me telling them Truth as God’s laid on my heart somehow. The lady leading the first women’s event came up to tell me that she couldn’t believe how I had got in with the women…– ONLY GOD! I was so blessed to be with them all – I so hope some of them come to visit us in America! J They are a bit more reserved than us overall, but they are some of the most friendly generous people. They love their bakeries, admire their sunsets, have cheese that’s amazing, drink tea like a staple in their diet, have UTE’s (their version of pickup trucks) that they really enjoy, drive on the “other” side of the road and have steering-wheels on the opposite side as well, seem to always have time to chat with each other, have an overall modern style with an Asian-ish influence in the nicer houses, sleep in swags (I’m thinking tents?) at times (I’m hoping to!), and those that know Christ love Him and are thrilled to live boldly for Him overall! Those that don’t know him are sometimes very bold in not wanting to hear about anything to do with “religion” and will make that clear to you many times over OR they will sound like a Christian and then start talking of what the psychic they saw told them that keeps them going.
I found out that New Zealand has SNOW! If you’ve seen “Invictus” the movie, the dance that the rugby players (there’s 3 different types of Rugby – they call it football) from New Zealand do before they play – the New Zealanders learn it in school! J OH, and one of their teams is the Titans and the Broncos! J I wasn’t expecting that, nor did I plan for needing to buy a few extra pieces of clothing! J Everything is ultra expensive…almost double our prices in America. Eggs..can be over 5$.
In an hour, I believe I’ll be going (not speaking or singing most likely) to a Hillsong style service for Inversion age for a large church from Brisbane. Internet is “dodgy” as they would say (not very often etc.) and I just had a “cuppa” (3:00pm tea and “Brickies” (crackers)! I am preparing now for RECHARGE the place I’ll be speaking 4 separate times (4 very differing topics as well) for an engagement that’s for Inversion Age…LOVE IT and I’m so excited! I want to learn and get the pulse before I speak to a much larger audience of them at Recharge. I leave to travel on Friday my time. I’m not used to having time in between engagements, but I’m realizing for this amount and depth in topics…It’s a blessing and necessity! I’ll try to write again next week.
With so much more to say and an email much longer than I have time to edit,
Hungry for more….In His Love, Amy