I am writing to you in a half empty house. I was stunned as my voice echoed off the walls when I walked through the door at 9:30 this evening and noticed half our stuff is missing. Don’t worry – we didn’t get robbed. This was very much intentional to put all our furniture, home decor, and appliances up on the Internet for sale, but still a reality check to come through the door and see it all gone. Not just the items, but what they represented – our life here in Australia, our first year of marriage, our memories in this home. Not to mention the hours and effort I spent in making our first home together feel cozy and well decorated, now being sold off to different buyers across the Gold Coast. It’s a “bittersweet” moment really. I am sad that this chapter of my life in Australia is coming to an end, but full of hope of what’s to come.
It’s hard to mentally prepare for the closing of a chapter. You have the “plan” in your brain months in advance, yet when the time comes, there is always a sadness as you say goodbye. YWAM Gold Coast has become a part of me. They are my family. I’ve spent years interceeding for this city and pouring into the community here. I will miss every single person from Coffee Van and Set Free Care, every child from the schools we teach at, and of course, every beloved staff member that I’ve worked so closely next to over the past 3 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. It’s funny to think that I had no idea what I was getting myself into 3 years ago when I came to do my DTS here – little did I know my whole life would change!! I love how life with Jesus is so exciting and such an adventure.
I have cherished every memory in this place and am so thankful to God for everything He has blessed us with. I also know that when we open our hands and surrender what we have (which was never “ours” in the first place), God has an amazing way of putting things back into our hands that were better than before. So I look forward to how He’s going to bless us in Germany!!
So in 2 weeks from now we leave for the Australian Outback, in an aboriginal community called Brewarrina. We will stay there for 7 days, then leave the following day for India on the 31st of May. We spend 7 weeks in India, returning to Australia on the 18th of July. We spend 10 days back on the Gold Coast, then leave for Munich, Germany to begin a new chapter of life.
We are beyond excited for outreach in the Outback and India, sharing the Gospel and ministering to people’s needs. I know it will be a life changing trip. I don’t think you can go to a place like India, see the poverty and suffering that millions of people experience daily, and come back unchanged. I know my heart will break for so many people. But we serve an awesome, powerful God that is bigger than poverty, bigger than disease, bigger than anything in this world. I am expecting to see God heal the sick and move in miraculous power. It will be amazing to be a part of His will in India!
This week in the DTS lectures, the topic is Biblical Worldview. Something the speaker (a brilliant man, Pastor Neville) has been laboring on is the sanctity of life. Christianity is the only religion that believes that mankind is created in the image of God, thereby believing in the sanctity of life. Every other religion/belief system will therefore have a different worldview on human life and see a completely different perspective. Hinduism, for example, believes in Karma and reincarnation. So to see a crippled beggar on the street, in their worldview, they believe that person deserves the life they have because in a “past life” they had wrong desires and choices which produced bad karma. Therefore, to help that person would be adding to the “bad karma” so Hindus will have absolutely no moral conviction of seeing a dying person on the street, even a small child. It’s amazing how worldview changes everything. To reach people without a Biblical worldview, we must take time to understand their worldview (how they think and see the world) in order to bring truth into their lives. Something to think about.
In other news, Marty has officially finished college!!! He took his last final on Monday. His graduation, however, is not until the end of July, as the University graduates their students collectively. We went out to dinner last night to celebrate all his hard work and dedication. I am very proud of him!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Suenkel update. When life changes, there is peace for those who stand upon the Rock – Jesus Christ, who never changes and is always consistent. I love that about Him.
Lots of love,