I wanted to take a, not so brief, moment to acknowledge how blessed I have been by my church family here in Brisbane. (I Tried to be short, but let’s face it, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not gifted in “brevity of speech”).
For over a year before coming to Australia, I prayed that God would provide me with genuine Christians when I came to Australia. I prayed for a Grace-giving, gospel-centered church that reflected the heart and actions of Jesus, and I prayed for solid Christian friends and accountability both at Uni and outside Uni. I also prayed that God would grow me, strengthen me, and use me for His glory here in Australia. And I am blessed to say God answered all of those prayers exceedingly and more abundantly than I could have ever imagined.
Spending my last Sunday (for a couple months) with my sweet brothers and sisters at the Grange Baptist today was difficult, but I am praising God for all of the “See ya laters” I received today, instead of “Goodbyes!”
I want to thank the members of the Grange for being so warm and inviting and for so openly accepting me and loving me from the start. I praise God for their genuine relationships with Him, for their understanding and exhibition of God’s Grace, and for their understanding of their depravity and desperate need for Jesus. I am so thankful for this very small, but very powerful church and the picture of Jesus that they are representing with each of their lives.
I want to thank my Pastor Luke and his wife Bec for their friendship and all of the repeated kindnesses they have shown me. They have continually gone out of their way to help me and make me and others feel so loved and accepted. You both are a testament to God’s love and faithfulness and I pray that your faithfulness will be rewarded mightily. Thank you Luke for your patience, faith, and steadfastness in leading this church, because under your teaching I have truly learned more and more about our mighty and loving God.
I also want to thank two of my best friends Stephen and Alexander for their friendship, encouragement, and their weekly sacrifice on Sunday mornings by waking up extra early to give me a lift to church and then bringing me back home afterwards, as well as, driving me to and from various other activities on a weekly basis. I seriously appreciate you both so much!
I want to thank Stephen for his passion for Jesus, his heart for people, and his faithfulness that are all so evident in the way he shares the hope he has found in Jesus with others so willingly and transparently. Thank you Stephen for taking a chance on a skeptical, over-inquisitive, loquacious little American girl and inviting me to your church when I first met you at Uni. Thank you for introducing me to and helping me to get involved with the Grange, StudentLife, City North, and other wonderful Christian friends and outlets that I can now call my own. I thank God for your friendship and the significant role you have played in God’s great work in my life here in Australia.
God has surrounded me with so many genuine Christian men and women here in Australia, whether it be through meeting Christian strangers next to me on flights, the Red Frogs ministry, the Grange Baptist, City North Baptist, StudentLife, or Christian friends introducing me to other Christian friends.
I am so thankful for and encouraged daily by all of the men and women here who are genuinely striving to be like Christ and modeling true Christianity boldly and lovingly to Brisbane, to Australia, and to the rest of the world. Praise God!
Anyways, just wanted to let you all know how much I love you and how thankful I am for you!
Psalm 34:1-5 ESV – “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”