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Australia the beautiful


We are back in Australia – beautiful, unique, dramatic, friendly Australia.

This trip has a three-fold purpose.  See precious family again.  Celebrate the most excellent and beautiful marriage of Jesse and Daniella.  And visit with people who have supported the ministry in Ukraine to thank them and, in a small way, bless them.


We have definitely come back at an interesting time climate-wise.  The fires here have been termed catastrophic for a reason.  I read that since the beginning of October, 530 homes have been burnt in NSW, 16 in Queensland.  And the fire season is just starting.  Is God punishing Australia for recent laws concerning abortion and homosexual marriage?

There are a few things it may pay for us to remember when a subject like that is broached.

1.  Ultimately all who have not acknowledged God’s love through giving His Son as a sacrifice for sin and believed in this Son will be punished by God.  There is no doubt about that.  This is our God – a just and awesome, righteous Judge.  And we should feel no guilt or shame when some foolishly deride this God they don’t believe in as being cruel or try to make you look foolish for believing in this God. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)

2.  If God does choose to have mercy on a nation or group of people, He will sometimes use “loss” or hardship to humble us so that we are reminded that He is God and submit to His authority.  I have so many close brothers in Christ who are glorifying God today because He met them in their dark valley.  “Dark Valleys” are good for us.

3.  Romans 8 reminds us that Creation waits for a future day when death and decay will cease occurring.  This general death and decay has been placed upon it by our God… as a result of that first sin… and so that many will come to the realization that we need Him. 

4.  We want a perfect world without any suffering.  (That world is coming for those who repent and believe in Jesus.)  The present world has us suffering at times… but really, what right do we have to demand Eden from the God we have treated cheaply?  In addition to that, we enjoy 1000’s of days of peace and joy and blessing.  Just a question:  how often have those who impatiently suffer loss thanked and worshipped God for the days, weeks and months of blessing?

5.  The man or woman who wants to be outraged at the suggestion that God is punishing Australia certainly doesn’t have a Biblical paradigm… so I shouldn’t be surprised if I have a conversation in which “culturally-encouraged outrage” is expressed.  I guess the question is:  Can I respond in patience and love and confidence in God’s character?

Might I suggest this response:

“Yes.  Some people can seem insensitive to timing when they say things.  But I know that I, personally, have offended God so many times and really, I deserve to be punished by Him!  Do you understand how I can think that? …”

We landed in Brisbane on the 20-something of October.  The trip over wasn’t exactly “devoid of adventure”.  We flew to Rome, where the “crazy Romans” discussed not allowing Elle on the flight because she only had two months left on her passport.  Ultimately,  the wise Chinese gave the ruling that if a person was flying back to their home country, it was permitted.  Then we were told that Pris needed a visa for Australia.  If we could get one within the next 30 minutes… she could fly.  Strike a light!  (Why would God want Pris to stay in Rome another night and for us to have to buy another ticket???)  We prayed a few earnest prayers over that one!  We fast-tracked an e-visa online and received it with 5 minutes to spare.  We “danced” down the hallway saying thanks.

Marie and Angel flew out from Kiev the same day we flew from Rome.  They had enormous difficulties!  Their tickets were cancelled in Moscow due to an unacknowledged error by the airline.  They “"bought new ones on different flights.  Marie’s flight ended up getting diverted and she again didn’t make her connecting flight!  What purpose did God have for allowing the girls to go through this?  We’ll find out in heaven.  Uncles and aunts are much appreciated for the help they gave these daughters of ours!  That we do know.




Since arriving, we’ve really enjoyed seeing old friends in Bourke and Gymea… and making new ones at Emmanuel Baptist in Bella Vista, (North-west Sydney).  We feel as if we have been overly blessed by all the wonderful fellowship we’ve enjoyed!  It has been golden!

We go north later this week and will then go further north in early December for the wedding before returning to Ukraine on the 23rd of December.  Somehow, I suspect that we’ll be feeling the cold a tad upon our return! 

Ahh…  the beautiful contrasts of creation!