If you know me, you know I’m an extrovert; I like having people around for everything! When Greg and I committed to plant a church in Australia, one of our first prayers was that God would send people with us so that we wouldn’t have to journey alone. I envisioned these people would be from Australia, not America.
Well, lo and behold, THREE families and one single young adult are moving to Australia to help plant Lift Church. I can’t believe it! Why is it that when I pray for something and it happens, I am often surprised that God really heard me? I think about Peter when he saw Jesus walking on water toward his boat in the middle of the night. Peter specifically asked God to allow him to walk on water too. Jesus answered his prayer and even in the midst of the miracle, Peter began to doubt. As he started sinking, Jesus asked him, “Why did you doubt me?”
From the beginning, when these families told us God had been speaking to them about Australia, we would smile and encourage them (answer to our prayers). However, Greg and I would secretly feel like it couldn’t possibly be. I mean, how would they get visas? One family has a toddler and a baby on the way. Two of the families have FOUR kids each. How would they get jobs? The questions were endless. Walking on water seemed more likely to happen than this! I truly thought their excitement would wear off and they wouldn’t actually follow through. Call me doubting Thomas.
A major breakthrough built my faith while we were in Australia in November. One family who was visiting with us sent the husband into a recruiting agency while we were walking down the street. After 45 minutes, he came out grinning ear to ear. Industry is booming (check out this blog) in Newcastle. There’s no doubt that he and the other guys can get jobs. The recruiter will help them get visas and the company who hires them might even pay for the move! The guys have since had a Skype interview to talk about their qualifications and hiring potential.
After all of this walking on water, my excitement is sometimes like a roller coaster. I take a step of faith and get excited about how much quicker things will move with a team by our side. Then, a storm comes and I start to sink. Hurdles show up out of nowhere like when one of our couples had a close family member receive a cancer diagnosis. This seemed like it would halt their plans to come. All of this made me feel like the grandiose visions were just fantasy. I mean really. Are we all having an early mid-life crisis? No sooner than I put my eyes on Jesus taking a step out into that water, I doubt again, thinking when the rubber hits the road, they may not actually come.
Our little team has been meeting as a group and every time, someone brings news about how God is confirming the decision to go. We started the year praying and fasting for 21 days. After the fast, we gathered for a night of prayer and worship and God moved powerfully continuing to shore up our faith. These families are making daily choices to move themselves in the direction of Australia. One family of SIX whose lease on a 3500 square foot home ended in December downsized to a two bedroom apartment (with FOUR KIDS) saving money and beginning the purging process this move will require.
Needless to say, I believe they are all coming!
As we are in the very midst of a miracle in our own lives, Greg and I are humbled that these wonderful people are picking up their lives and moving to the other side of the world to help us fulfill the vision God has given us for Lift Church. It comes with great responsibility and we take it very seriously. We will go even if they do not. But we are thankful God heard our prayers! We are doing our best to keep our eyes on Jesus as we step out of the boat.
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. Psalm 65:5