Hello All!!! Today is exactly one month since we returned home, but with all the things happening we are just now able to post the video update of what was taking place in Australia. Some of the highlights from Australia include: numerous healings, including 4 legs growing out, giving away free food that led to us conversing with hippies and drunk aborigines, playing with snakes, categorizing and alphabetizing a library and cooking some chili for a community meal at the YWAM base in Byron Bay.
Look for upcoming video updates including a recap of the entire trip and some outtakes from our unedited video updates. Our trip to Australia is still not paid ($2,000), so pray about contributing to the ministry that the Lord did here!!!
The Land Down Under. Kangaroos, boomerangs, and Steve Irwin. These are the things we think of when envisioning the Outback. My wife and I have been in Australia for more than a week now, and this is the first official blog about Australia. We have been involved in a flurry of activities interspaced with moments of rest. Things with us are busy and yet chill as the culture here denotes.
We are ministering in a small town called Byron Bay. This area is known for a lot of things… none of which are listed above. There are beautiful beaches here, lots of surfing, a lighthouse, and cults. That’s right. Maybe the Lord prepared us for the culture here by having us visit a cult our last Sunday in Cambodia. It seems that there is a longing for the spiritual things here that exhibits itself in many ways.
New Age is rampant as well as many other cults that deceive people from the Truth. Maybe this is because Byron Bay is the most Easterly point in Australia. It is called the Eastgate, and because of this the enemy wants to take this city as his own.
As strong as the darkness is here, the bright light of the Son is all around. We have visited two churches here that are solid and on fire, walking in the salvation, healing, and deliverance that Jesus called His people to. The YWAM community has been here for more than 10 years and God is placing them in the perfect position to destroy the influence of the enemy in this place. Even as we visited the Lighthouse on the cliffs at Eastgate, God spoke to me about the spiritual lighthouses that are here. There is so much light here that the darkness will not last for long. The gates of the enemy will not be able to stand against the Kingdom of God that is rolling forward here. It is interesting that the people here, even the ones that are so involved in the dark things, are open to talk and share, and that is what we have been doing. We listen to their deception and pray, then they sit and listen to the Truth that we have to give. When the darkness is placed next to the light of the Truth, it becomes clear which one is the light. There is no denying the light and the darkness.
We got to talk with three surfer-hippie types. One from Australia, one from Germany, and one from Norway that were all living in a camper van by the beach talked with us about the Truth. In the end, they did not miraculously choose to follow Christ, but the Truth was spoken clearly and seeds were planted. We did not beat them over the head with the Truth so they would be defensive and not listen to anything we said. We listened to them and then spoke the Truth without compromise.
It is Holy Spirit’s job to give us the words to say and do the working their hearts. Nothing I say or do can change a person. I speak and act in obedience, and God will use me to plant, water, and sometimes harvest. It is much more fun to harvest and bring a soul into the Kingdom… but it is always a result of Holy Spirit!!!
God has made you to be a light no matter where you may be!!! The darkness may be dark, but the light is always brighter!!!
Pray and ask Holy Spirit how you can be a light and speak the Truth. Then, be the Light of the World that Jesus calls you to be (Matthew 5:14-16).
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
The Lord is amazing and His plans for us are far beyond the awesomeness of our own small ways of thinking. Currently, God has taken us back to Spain. I never thought a year and a half ago that we would be able to return here. In fact, on all my adventures in so many different countries, I have had to make close friends and say goodbye without ever expecting to see them again. However, now my wife and I are back with such good friends here in Spain where we had our first date. We have even been able to have an adult “sleepover” with the first couple we double dated with. The story of how our first date came to be in Spain is one for another time. Feel free to ask us about it when you see us. One telling of this story took almost 2 hours and no one really likes reading long blogs anyway.
Here in Spain, it is hard to find time to write because we are spending so much time with our family. Spiritual family perhaps, but still family. Spain is where we first began to learn about true community. When people in the church begin to meet every evening for prayer, sit at a table after a meal is over for an hour or two, go on walk together… This is how community is built. In our fast-paced way of living, we almost have to budget our time with our friends. We do not have more than 30 minutes or an hour for lunch before we have to get back to work. Here, the people are so much more important than the other things going on.
For me, this is what true family is all about. When I was growing up, our family always ate together around a table. There was no radio, tv or other distractions allowed there. We would sit and eat together and talk no matter how hard it was sometimes. Even as I have grown older, I cherish the times we get around a table and eat, though our family is not even on the same continent most of the time 🙂 For me, table time is family time. It is hard to be angry at your family when you always eat together. There may be arguments, but eventually you know you will be around the table and have to talk about what is going on. Usually, the problems seem silly as you talk about them. Even better than this is when you get to share your triumphs with those closest to you. The table is where you learn about each other and truly become family.
In Spain, the church is a family. Last Friday, we had an unplanned gathering. Marie called Nancy and decided to eat together. Before long, 10 people were sitting around a table laughing and sharing more than a meal, we were sharing family time. So, the real question comes up. Do we in the US want real community? Real community means sharing hurts as well as laughs. It means the giving up of ourselves for the good of others. It means walking beside someone in the hardest of times and never giving up on them. For me, the more a church grows in size, the harder it is to build community. However, a church can never be truly strong and healthy, no matter what the size, if the community of the people is not strong.
Ask Holy Spirit if you are engaged in true community and family. If so, ask how you can add to your family and invite others to become a part of the Community of Christ. If not, ask how you can develop a spiritual family and be a part of the community the way Jesus intended.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!