Harp and Story


Here we are, on the Great Ocean Road
It had been a year since we had seen our son and his family and we just couldn’t go to that side of the world and not have some time in Australia with them.
When our son and his family decided to move to Australia I put my emotions in words one day when I said, “One side of the world might be rejoicing, but the other side of the world is crying.” As I continued to lament my loss, YHVH’s Spirit spoke to my heart one afternoon, “look at it this way, Shirley,
it is another continent for you.” Back in 1995, in a dingy, run-down hotel room in the out-back of China, my very first international trip, as I was checking out of that hotel room YHVH’s Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “I will send you to worse places than this if you are willing.” And He has! I have discovered in the intervening years though, that “worse” places does not necessarily mean poverty, but more appropriately lack. Until we traveled to Australia I had no idea that this beautiful land lacked a foundation of faith in the Creator of the Universe, YHVH.

A view from the top!
Victoria, the state where we spent our time is a beautiful land. 15 years of drought have now been followed by 2 years of abundant rain. Lakes that had dried up are now full again, hillsides are lush and green, farmers are harvesting bumper crops, sheep once again are roaming the pasture lands; we saw this down-under country at its best, from the Great Ocean Road to the High Country, Mt. Buller to Melbourne and hardly a church in it. We kept expecting to see little white churches in the small country towns we drove through, but hardly a one. It was eerie not to see this evidence of faith as is the custom in America. Even if Americans by and large don’t attend the churches that dot the landscapes of towns all across our fair land, it is somehow comforting knowing that they are there. The churches keep up the pretense that America is still a “nation under God”. Australia, however, has been described as a “godless nation.” Australians have no religious pretense; they seem, generally speaking, not to be a church-going bunch. We were told that there is a bible-belt where you can find an abundance of churches and church-goers, but by and large Australia is a self-made country that takes great pride in their own boot-strap ability.

Grandma and Grandpa with Isabelle and Jacob

Our granddaughter Isabelle, is soon to be 4 and Jacob is sooner to be 2; what precious days we spent with these two little ones, jumping on the “jump-o-lene (Isabelle’s new word for trampoline), swimming in the kiddie pool, going to the beach, feeding the ducks, playing on the swings and slides at the park and taking “d’ventures” to many of Victoria’s most beautiful and scenic places. It’s the most wonderful thing to be a grandparent; you get to experience your children all over again through your children’s children! We would often say to each other, “did you see that? Micah used to do that very same thing when he was little.” Jacob loves to “tweak” his sister just the way Micah loved to irritate his brother. Isabelle isn’t a morning lark and neither was her father; thumb in mouth, blankey dragging behind her, she much prefers extended cuddle time just like her daddy, but Jacob is all business, “I’m up – let’s play!” At almost 2 he has a great throwing arm; we were really impressed with his ability to throw a ball and not just throw it, but throw the ball so you could catch it. If they still lived in the States Micah would have him in Little League. Alas, not much baseball in Australia!

Now, after having visited this country and spent extended, intimate time with our son and his family do we have a greater understanding of how to pray for the people of this beautiful nation and more importantly for our family? Yes! Thank you YHVH for making this trip possible. May there be many more!

2 thoughts on “Australia…reflections”

  1. I am so glad that you got to go and visit family!

    What a powerful perspective on “worse than this”! Being impoverished physically is nothing compared to being impoverished spiritually!

    Abba, please touch all the people in the world who do not know you, yet. Please open their eyes and hearts to see the truth and may they run into Your open arms! b’shem Yeshua


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