Last weekend, we had the privilege of ministering at Greg’s Aunt and Uncle’s church in a small country town a couple of hours outside Melbourne. I preached their annual women’s event and Greg the Sunday morning services. We had the best time with cousins we didn’t know, their children, our children, Susan and Ron, and Generations Church. If we went there under the pretense that we were going to be a blessing, we left being much more blessed by all of them.
The influence of Generations Church on its community is astounding. For a town of only 4000 people, the church has 400 members! They are planning to build a 500 seat auditorium and have turned an old squash court into a beautiful facility. The name “Generations” is fitting. From the youngest child to the oldest lady, Pastors Susan and Ron have committed to taking people on the JOURNEY to find their gifts and purpose. They have provided an environment for those gifts to be used and God is doing a mighty work. Their own grown children are worship and children’s pastors influencing the people growing up in Tatura.
Young men with drug addictions in re-hab come to the early service sharing testimonies of God’s redeeming work in their lives. Teenagers are playing guitars, drums, and harmonicas. Retirees are staying up till midnight sweeping floors and making coffees after events. People are honoured for their service and encouraged to go out and reach more people for Jesus. I can see why kids move away for University and then come back!
We learned from Susan and Ron’s 20+ years of experience. We walked away with leadership training and inspiration of what Lift Church can look like down the road. However, the most meaningful part of our weekend for me was seeing Greg’s aunt’s dreams come true before her very eyes.
See, she accepted Christ in 1984 and as the only Christian in her family, began praying for everyone else. If you don’t know Greg’s background, he left Australia at age 19 to go to America to play baseball and had ZERO belief in God. Greg surrendered his life to Jesus at age 26 (in 2000), served God in full-time vocational ministry in Texas, and is now planting a church back in his homeland. Unbelievable!
Watching Susan talk about how much she loved Greg when he was born (he was the first baby in the family) and seeing her watch him preach was beautiful. A “full circle” moment.
I believe it was the seeds Susan and Ron sowed in prayer across the ocean for all those years that actually brought us to this place. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:7-8, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.”
When we pray, we partner with God to bring things to pass. We come into alignment with his perfect will. Seeds have been sown in prayer for us over many many years. I can name hundreds of instances where people watered them.
And all along the way God was making them grow.
We didn’t know about those prayers. Now, here we are.
I am so thankful for Aunt Susan. I’m more convinced than ever that our God answers our cries. And, I’m inspired to spend more of my day planting prayers, pouring life into people, and standing on God’s promises for a great harvest!
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 NLT)