30 August 2009


I hate the word ‘Evangelism’.  It scares the crap out of me.  So does the word ‘Witness’.  It’s as if somewhere along the line I have gotten it in my head that to evangelize means to go up to a complete stranger and say…

“Did you know Jesus loves you?'”

I thought I was getting a free ‘get out of jail card’ when a few Christians along the way said, “all you need to do is live a good Christian life and people will see that you are different and ask why.”

I thought that was pretty sweet cause then I didn’t have to do anything…problem is, no one has ever asked me why I’m different…or even noticed (shocking).  Eventually I figured out that wasn’t really the way to go, but I still could not get the ‘evangelism’ stigmatism out of my head. 

Then we spent some time with friends just south of Newcastle about a week ago.  Matt had taken Seth for a walk, but suddenly walked in and said to me with a very serious look on his face, “get you shoes on and get in the car”.  At first I panicked cause he didn’t have Seth, but I realised that scenario didn’t make sense so I walked with him to the car and saw Seth strapped in the car so I got in.  As we drove away Matt filled me in.  He had seen a girl (about 18) crying at the park and had walked by her a few times but finally felt compelled to stop and see what was wrong.  She had had a fight with her boyfriend and was pretty upset.  Matt felt he wasn’t really the right person to comfort her, so he said he could get me.  She said it was fine, but he came anyway.  As we were driving I was praying, actually asking God if she could be gone by the time we got there cause I had no idea what to do, but I kind of figured she wouldn’t be… and she wasn’t.  I went and sat down and Matt introduced us.  I found out she had fought with her boyfriend about her eating problem and she was afraid it was over between them. 

I had no idea what to say and I kept asking God.  Finally after a few awkward moments I decided to come clean and to do the only thing I knew how to do in this sort of situation.  I told her I was a Christian and the best thing I knew how to do in this situation was pray, so I asked if I could pray with her.  She said yes, so I prayed…nothing fancy, just what came into my head.  Afterwards I asked her if she had ever been to church or anything, she said she used to be big into church but hadn’t been for a long time.  It just so happened that the friends we were staying with had started up a home fellowship and it was on the next day, so I asked her if she was interested, which she said she was.  So I gave her my number and told her to text hers through to mine and I would call her that night with the address. 

Now this sounds like its coming up to a beautifully wrapped up story where she comes and loves it etc, etc.  But she never sent me through her number, and I can’t say I blame her, cause she didn’t know me at all and this home fellowship could have been a cult for all she knew.  But I still really felt good about what happened and I believe God has used that in her life if for nothing else, than just to let her know He’s thinking of her.  I would have loved for the story to have turned out differently cause it would make me feel good, but the point is more that the experience wasn’t weird because I was just honest.  I didn’t push Jesus on her, it was just that if I was in the same situation I would pray, so that’s the best I could do for her.  It takes a bit of the sting out of ‘evangelism’ for me to know that if you just be yourself and only say what comes naturally and be honest it’s not so bad. 

18 August 2009

Horses for Motorbikes

I wanted to share an experience that the pastor (Allan Kelly) at Clermont had about 7 years ago because I think it is a great example of the attitude we need to have as Christians in this world.  We get so caught up in the way things ‘are’ and ‘have been’ that we miss the opportunity to let an eternally creative God work in magnificently innovative ways.

When Ps. Allan first went to Clermont to take over the church there, we came as an experienced motorbiker (is that a even a word?).  He had a fantastic idea to reach the young people in the community by starting a motorbike ministry.  The problem was, after meeting a few people around the place, they didn’t have motorbikes they had horses and Allan didn’t know anything about horses.  So after praying very hard about it he decided he would start a horse ministry and said you God ‘you had better make me good at horses’.  So he took his 9 year old son to pick out some horses.  The horse his son chose was a pretty ugly looking horse to which Allen tried to convince his son that he should choose another, but his son was adamant and  so Allan finally agreed.  They took the horse to a woman to train and it turned out that this horse was so bad the woman said ‘forget about  it, I’ll give you your money back, you have no chance with this horse’.  Allan disagreed and told her it might seem a bit strange but he wanted to pray for the horse.  So he laid hands on the horse, prayed for it and left.  The next day he came back and the woman’s jaw was on the ground.  The horse had become tame.

Over the past 7 years Allan has broken about 60 horses and any one he has trouble with he just prays for.  People who have spent all their lives with horses and spent decades breaking them bring any difficult ones to Allan.  He has brought God into peoples lives by showing them that the God they thought had no relevance in their lives works within their world. 

What a great example of God using our weaknesses to show His strength, and changing peoples lives in a relevant but supernatural way.

13 August 2009

Road Trip – Part 2

3000 klms down, and unknown klms to go.  We’ve been on the road now since the 5th of August and have at times looked at the road map and just pointed at a place to go…whatever looks good on the map…I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so free.  I do at times have trouble just taking it in and enjoying it for the experience that it is.  I keep asking God what the purpose of the trip is, so it’s good for me to have to just take things as they come.

We have seen so much of God in this trip in all the little things.  At one point we were driving down this dusty dirt road behind a big truck and we couldn’t get close enough to it for the driver to see us behind because of the dust.  I asked God if he wouldn’t mind giving us the opportunity to pass, realizing that it’s completely unnecessary for God to do so.  A few minutes later a truck came the other way and caused  the truck in front of us to slow enough that we could get close enough for him to see us and let us pass.  Then a few minutes later the tire blew out…. Its a bit ironic, but then, as stated previously, we flatwere blessed in Clermont by getting our new tire bought for us. 

I got the opportunity to ride a horse while in Clermont which decided it didn’t care to have an inexperienced rider and it threw me off.  I’m a bit sore but nothing serious.  It was an unusual experience because I had gone out with some women from the church so as I lay on the ground gasping for breath I had these two women praying for me and laying hands on me asking God for healing so I just relaxed and let Jesus do his thing.  I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so peaceful in a situation like that.

We moved on from there and spent a night in a tent on the side of the road which was good, but then the next night we ended up in Emmaville on the tablelands of NSW and spent the night in a caravan park in our tent and the temp. got down close to freezing that seth night!  It was painful to say the least.  So we decided to move on to visit some friends in Newcastle and slept in a very warm bed…and now I’m sitting in their living room with borrowed big fluffy dog slippers while Matt is taking Seth for a walk.  We are headed down to Nora Head next and then probably up to Kempsy area and then onto Brisbane.  We still have no particular plan that we need to follow and it feels very energizing, I would highly recommend it.

12 August 2009

Road Trip – Part 1

‘Scene opens with a loan car driving across the bottom of a very large dam.  Camera cuts to a close up of cracks forming in the dam wall.  It’s a great start to a natural disaster movie.’  I say to Matt. 

‘Tell me about it when we get to the other side’  He comments back as we come to the end of our drive across the bottom of a dam wall. 

It was a beautiful dam, but made us a little bit nervous putting our trust in the integrity of that wall holding back a whole lot of water.

That is where we got onto the dirt roads and really began our road trip south.  We stopped in Townsville as mentioned previously and were blessed by our friends there.  Then the following day we headed for Clermont.

We are at the end of week one of our trip and have been so hugely blessed by people I said to Matt if it keeps up this way we will end up coming home with a house or something.  God is good.

So far we haven’t paid for any of our own fuel, we’ve had meals provided for us and paid for.  When we were a few hours from Clermont we blew a tire and before we could pay for a new one, one had been bought for us.  We’ve been offered places to stay and it’s only been one week.  I think the thing I find the most joy in with generous people is that I know in the bible it says you are more blessed to give them to receive so I know they will receive back from God.

I know I haven’t said much, but I’ve struggled to find time to write so hopefully as we spend a bit of time visiting friends and family in New South Whales I will be able to provide a little more information!

06 August 2009

The Water Miracle

Once upon a time in a land far away there lived a man with a heart to follow God. He had a prophecy spoken over his life that one day he would stand over a dried up water source and with hands lifted up to heaven would ask for a miracle. God would grant that miracle and it would be a sign that revival was coming and that the waters of revival would spill down the mountain into the valleys and spread to the cities.

Over the next few years, every time this man entered a village he was expectant of the fulfilment of that prophecy, but nothing happened. It seemed God wanted him to empower the people through his practical skills and he and his team would begin by building relationship with the people and then work with them to find solutions.

Over many years the man began to forget about the word spoken over his life and continued working as best he could through the continued leading of God. And so the team grew and God opened new doors.

One day, more than a decade later, he found himself in a prayer battle for the small village of Huei Hia. There was significant resistance from village elders. He was told that the village was in desperate need of water, and while everything had been put in place to store the water including tanks, pipes and a water basin, there was no water and it was the middle of the dry season.

An old man watched on intently as the man stood by the empty water source. The old man had watched as the witch doctors from the village had done all they could to provide water, but had been unsuccessful, and so he wanted to see if the man who brought God into his village was any different.

No practical ideas were going to work, and the man had forgotten the words spoken so long ago. But as he began to walk away he felt the Holy Spirit speak to him and say ‘why don’t you ask God NOW’. And so he joined in prayer with his team, and with his arms raised to heaven, asked God to do what no one else could. They all went home that day with nothing to report. He still had not remembered the prophecy

Not long after they returned home they received a call from the village. ‘You won’t believe it, the tanks are overflowing with water and there has been no rain!’ The man began to tremble as the memory of the promise from many years ago came back into his mind.

Now there is a great expectation of revival among the people, and many lives are already being transformed from the mountains down into the city. And it’s not just a story, but it’s what we saw as we travelled through Thailand.

tanks (These are the water tanks that overflowed)

The man referred to above is the missionary we went to visit, Erik. For a more complete story of the work they are doing you can visit this link:


It was an amazing experience to be a part of what God is doing through them in Thailand if only for a short time and I find myself humbled to have observed their trust in God. God has given them a great vision and opened doors that would have remained closed to anyone else through, not just the work they are doing but their mental approach. I was less surprised with what they were accomplishing when I found out they have 24 hour prayer. People are booked in to pray every hour of the day, every day of the week. I was challenged by their commitment to prayer, especially since I’ve seen the power of prayer and yet I struggle to have the self-discipline to continue making it a priority every day. And I know better. When they worship, even though they are singing songs I sang in church when I was eight (‘The Joy of the Lord is My Strength’ and others) and had I heard it sung elsewhere it would have sounded stale, they bring it back to life because they believe every word as they sing. I look forward to experiencing the change the trip has inspired in me as I continue on my own journey. Hopefully I will get the chance to visit with the team again and see the continued work that God is doing in that place.

05 August 2009

Road Trip

I'll add more about Thailand shortly, but thought I would mention that we have come to the end of day one of our road trip that will last about a month or so. We are having a layover in Townsville staying with some good friends, then we are off to Clermont for a few days (I hope I spelled that right). I am hoping for the opportunity to ride a horse. I've only done so a handful of times but enjoy it. Our trip will lead us down the east coast of Australia into NSW where we will see some more friends and family. We are hoping for lots of adventure and for Seth to sleep well at night! At some point we will be fossicking for Sapphires so plan to be very wealthy by the end of the trip (I'm hoping everyone can hear the sarcasm in that comment). At the very least I've been instructed by my mother that I have to get at least one for her seeing as it is her birth stone. We'll pick out the biggest one for you mum!

02 August 2009

Village #1

As we arrived at the first village we found ourselves faced with a walk down a slope to reach the buildings where we were going to have our meetings. I was rather cocky about my ability to walk gracefully down the muddy path down to the village. Matt asked me if I would like him to take Seth which I declined. Whether it was because I wanted to impress those around me with my agility or I was just plain convinced I could do it, I cannot remember. Either way, it took me about three steps before my foot slid on that red mud like ice. Now you are probably expecting me to say I fell flat on my back or something similar, but I am happy to report I was not one of the group to encounter that unpleasant problem. And so, I laid down my pride, handed Seth to Matt and began my very, very slow decent down the hill. It took me till almost all the way down to realize that it was better to step in the grassier areas to get more grip. My shoes didn't help either. With my feet covered in mud slipping in my thongs (flip-flops) and then my thongs slipping in the mud, I took a step, then another, with villagers running and skipping around me...ok maybe that is an exaggeration, but they did walk beside me laughing and hanging onto my shirt in case I fell. Finally, one of the men gave me his arm and I held tight as I took the last few steps. Towards the end of the day the mud had dried out a bit and we were all a bit relieved that the walk back up would be easier.

I would like to make an aside here and mention that not only does God have a sense of humour, but when we get ourselves into situations that we think are impossible, God always gets us out.

As we were having our final meeting and the sun went down, the heavens once again opened and we had the opportunity to listen to the lovely sound of a downpour...I remember mentioning to God that the rain could stop anytime...anytime at all. It finally did a few hours later just before the meeting finished. So there we were in the dark, and the only way to leave was walk back up the slope, so with a few torches (flashlights) to light the way (well sort of, they kept moving and so we would freeze until the light fell on our path again). It was nothing less than an experience, and I would not have done it differently, although I might have worn different shoes.

01 August 2009


I have tried a hundred different ways to start this, but nothing seems right. Some things are easy to express in words, but when you experience something that changes you, well, how do articulate that? And it's not as if some extraordinary event has taken place. All I can say is that I have come home from Thailand altered in some ways that have not yet fully expressed themselves. So I will share my trip as best as I can, but I suppose some stuff is just for me.

Whether it be the sound of villagers laughing at me as I slip down a muddy slope or riding an elephant through the forest, I'd like to try my best to write down my thoughts well, so bear with me as I put some stuff together!