There are a few firsts in my life today. Today is the first time I flew on Air New Zealand and it was very pleasant experience. Today is the first time I have been on the south side of the equator (am I suppose to shave my head?). Today is the first time I have been to New Zealand. I was only there for a few hours but I met a great Orthodontists on the flight to Sydney and promised to pray for peace in his soul (see more below). You can pray for my new friend as well. Today is the first time I have been to Australia.
As you can tell, Neil Cole and I arrived safely here. We have enjoyed a nice day with David and Helen Esdaile. Tomorrow we will take a harbor tour, rest a bit and begin teaching Organic Church Principles in the evening and through the weekend. Tonight we are staying with Greg and Diane who have spent time in Peoria, Az. They know a mutual pastor friend, Brian Anderson (North Phoenix Vineyard) - small world. I'm looking forward to lamb chops for dinner!
This afternoon we walked a couple of the streets of Cambramatta and it looked nothing like I might have imagined a city in Australia. Take a look at the photo below and let me know if this is what you might expect to see...
I'm happy to report that it is apparent my presuppositions about Australia are not true!
We have three conferences to teach at over the next 10 days. Your valuable prayers will be appreciated very much.
On my flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles, I sat next to a 20 something young man named Mark. Mark and I began to talk and quickly he was lamenting the way church is often done and how he longed for things to change. We spent the next 90 minutes pouring over the Scriptures to learn more about organic church principles. It was a powerful time and I hope that Mark and I will stay in touch so he can learn more and hand off what he is learning.
On my flight from Aukland, New Zealand to Sydney, I did speak to my Orthodontist friend that I mentioned above. His first name is Allen. Allen has traveled all over the world and when I mentioned that my wife and I traveled to France last year to celebrate her breast cancer recovery, he said good for you Mate, I lost my wife to cancer. His wife had Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) which is the same cancer my neighbor, Lee, had a few years ago. I told Allen that I would pray for him to have a surge of peace and he thanked me. Just before disembarking the plant, he handed me his card when I learned he was an Orthodontists. I pray Allen and I will begin an e-mail friendship and we'll see where God brings us.
Both of these stories remind me that when we are ready to hear from God and obey what He speaks into our hearts for another, mighty ministry can begin. Let me encourage you to be listening, even straining to hear the voice of God in your hearts and then obey what He speaks to you at any given moment...who knows what adventure God might take you on?
Thanks for your prayers my friends. Your prayers will be part of a great influence here in Australia. We are begging God for a mighty work of His Spirit upon this land so that there is an unleashing of multiple, multiplicative movements across this great country for His glory!