This trip to Australia has been beneficial on so many levels. From allowing me to see the city where we are moving for the first time to visiting churches and networking with pastors here to answering so many questions about housing, schools, cost of living, etc. We will go home with a specific outline and timeline of what needs to happen for us to start our lives here.
Perhaps one of the biggest things God has done for me personally is found in the little things. He reminds me almost daily that His hand is in each step of our move. Nothing surprises Him and He is going to make sure we are taken care of. One example of this came on our first trip to Newcastle. We stopped at the Charlestown Square Shopping Centre (notice how I’m practising my Aussie spelling twice in one sentence!) for a coffee and some free wi-fi. While we were relaxing at a local franchise called The Coffee Club, the owner, Shane, heard our American accents. He came over and talked to us for a while about how he loves America, owns a house in Orlando, and Rangers baseball of course! We never really got around to telling him that we are moving here but something prompted Greg to go back inside later to shake his hand and get his card. Unfortunately, he had already left. We took his card and Greg intended on calling him another day to inquire about the surrounding area, etc.
Later that afternoon when we were back at Greg’s parents’ house, the Coffee Club card was sitting on the kitchen table. Greg’s mum picked it up and asked if we had met with Shane (keep in mind, his parents live 2 hours north of Newcastle in a small country town). Greg told the story of our encounter with Shane. Well, Mum proceeded to inform us that she knows Shane and his wife Naomi well. Apparently along with owning homes in Newcastle and Orlando, he also owns one at the golf course Tallwoods, where my mother-in-law works! He comes down frequently to play golf and he recently purchased two Coffee Club franchises, one of which is located in the Charlestown Square Shopping Centre. WHAT????
Of all the people we could have met in a city of almost half a million people. Of all the people who own homes at Tallwoods Golf Club. Of all the people who have three young daughters close to the ages of my kids. How DIVINE that we would meet HIM???
Since then, Greg has spoken to Shane on the phone. We plan on meeting with him tomorrow to inquire about schools and to tell him why we are moving to Newcastle next year. Now, whether or not Shane and Naomi become our friends or ever step foot into Lift Church is yet to be seen. What IS evident above all is that our God gives us reminders of His presence and influence in every area of our lives. In this simple encounter at a coffee shop, He gave me yet another assurance that He will guide our every step if we continue to seek Him and trust Him. We are praying for divine appointments and believing we will have them. God is going to give us the right connections and place people in our path. He is into details.