Myth Busted.

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Myth Busted.

If there is one show that I love and could sit down and watch for hours on end, it’s Myth Busters. Now, I don’t have a particularly great knowledge of science or anything like that, but there’s something about the rush that I get from seeing a myth ‘busted’ or ‘confirmed.’

 

Yeah, I’m weird.

 

But I say this because there are so many myths that exist in the church. After attending a week of worship last week that was centered around this topic, I feel convicted to share a bit of what I learnt. So here is one particularly important myth that I think is worth busting!

 

I want to talk about the myth of comfort. I want to talk about the myth that there's nothing that God will put you through that you can't get through yourself.

 

I've recently been thinking a lot about temptation to sin and what we can do to combat it. And, to be completely honest, I feel so much like Paul when he writes in Romans 7:15 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” This guy, Paul, if you haven't heard of him, was basically the most successful apostle in the early church. And even he struggled with sin and how to avoid temptation. But, being human, the short-term pleasure of sin was enough to make him fall for it.

 

One of my favourite, yet seemingly always misquoted verses in the Bible says this:

 

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

Many people replace the word “endure” with “escape”, and that's toxic for your faith. You see, the myth of comfort is that God doesn't want us to go through anything that we can't handle. That is a huge lie. If we were to never go through something that we couldn't handle, then we wouldn't need God. So what then, if there is no way for us to get through some trials and temptations, then what hope do we have to be like Jesus?

 

In all honesty, none. (On our own that is)

 

You see, Jesus says this in the gospel of Mark; "I and the Way the truth and the life". The implications of this are such that 'the way' to endure our trials is through Jesus. However, you may ask, why do I ask Jesus for help sometimes and still give in to the temptation and sin? That is because you don't know this one fact: No one calling on the name of Jesus in faith can lose out to temptation because Jesus already has the victory over sin and death. Since the cross, Jesus has had Satan by the throat because He conquered sin then and there. As a result, we now fight from a position of victory.

 

Now I understand that we stuff up. We are lazy, we forget, we still sin all the time and give in to temptation. However, I want to encourage you to study God's word regularly, and the passages that I have mentioned, so that you remember the victory that you have because of Jesus. And keep your heart open each time you read God's promises because there is no limit to the knowledge that God can reveal to you through His word. So, you see, we are not called to be comfortable in our faith because God wants us to grow that we might experience an abundant life (John 10:10). Even though we might equate this life of ‘abundance’ to happiness, God equates it to growth and closeness with him. We can see throughout creation a pattern of how to grow and, unfortunately, it does involve a little pain. Look at how we must prune roses for them to grow back more beautiful, or how we lose our baby teeth so that they can grow back bigger and stronger.

 

We are not called to be comfortable, rather, we are called to embrace trials with the mind-set that we already have the victory and that God can use this situation to help us grow. I don’t know where you’re at right now, but I know this: It doesn’t matter how far you wander, God is always by your side. So, remember to call on Him when you are struggling or going through a trial. He never fails.

 

Be blessed! (Myth Busted)

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I've Used the Word 'Debate' Too Much and Now It Sounds Funny

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I've Used the Word 'Debate' Too Much and Now It Sounds Funny

By Jessica Keye.

Why is contention and argument so entertaining? When two or more individuals or organizations with differing worldviews meet, we reach eagerly for the popcorn and wait to see what will unfold. I don’t think it really matters what setting either – religion, popular culture, politics, relationships… It’s all fair game.

 

I’m sitting here trying to think of possible reasons why some people find conflict so engaging and enjoyable. I’m actually stumped. The only thing that has popped into my head is that perhaps it is an opportunity to feel good about ourselves. As third party onlookers there are two teams vying for our approval and we sit above it all, with all the ultimate decisional power over who is right or wrong. Or if we’re in the hot-seat ourselves we get to flaunt our intelligence or something. Sounds pretty horrible and maybe I’m choosing not to let myself believe that’s the case completely because if that’s what’s going on, it is a deplorable way to operate. 

 

So I’m not ignorant. I know that not everyone on the planet agrees on everything entirely and that being able to share your thoughts, values and beliefs with others and indeed hear the thoughts, values and beliefs of others is a privilege. But I suppose there’s just a few things that have caught my attention lately that make me wonder whether, as a Christian community, we are going about this in the best way.

 

Too many times I have sat in a Sabbath School class having established that the person who was supposed to take the lesson that morning was not going to show up and asked for people in the group to possibly suggest some topics of conversation – maybe things that they’ve come across during the week that has challenged them or Bible stories that they don’t necessarily understand… only to receive the same old, same old “controversial” issues, like ‘homosexuality’, ‘alcohol and drugs’ or ‘abortion’. Before you get defensive and tell me “but Jess, these are the topics we need to be talking about with our youth!” I will say that I agree with that sentiment – but not when such suggestions are delivered with immature giggles, cheeky glances across the room and winks and nudges to our mates. It is so transparent – people don’t actually want to reach a logical, God based understanding around these subjects… it’s certainly not a primary goal anyway. No, we’d rather trivialize these issues and try to pit people against each other for a bit of drama and a good laugh. Please don’t think I am saying such topics shouldn’t be suggested for discussion – if you have a genuine interest in learning and understanding, that is fantastic! But it’s in situations like these we should be employing the wise ancient saying “check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self” (Ice Cube, 1993)… be really honest with yourself and what your motives are - are you suggesting this conversation or taking part in it to learn and grow or to laugh, cause a stir and eat popcorn. It’s the latter that is a problem and makes the former so hard to achieve. 

 

When it’s spelled out like that, I think we can all agree that talking about things in such a setting is inappropriate. But of course we still need to be providing opportunities to offer up information, facts and opinions to the masses in order for them to learn what a Christian worldview looks like. And it has to be in a respectful and objective way otherwise we’ll be discredited immediately.  So, ladies and gentleman, I give you debates!  However, I’ll say straight up, I’m not convinced debates actually serve the function we’re told they do. I was always unsure when it came to debates in high school. Your team was given a topic and you had to argue and persuade your audience that your line of thinking was correct at all costs – the aim was to win, at all costs, even if you didn’t agree with your argument in the slightest. A breeding ground for deceit, misconstrued information and taking and twisting things out of context to suit your means. What a thing to be teaching 13 year-olds. Uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable.

 

I won’t say that formal debates don’t have their place… but I think there are a couple of things that need to be carefully considered where debates are concerned.  Not everyone plays fair and debates can open us up to a lot of ridicule and deception. It’s also important to remember that casual conversations can easily become “debates” and therefore I would respectfully suggest that you avoid debating altogether – particularly on the subject of God and religion. The Bible itself actually says not to debate. Titus 3:9, Romans 14:1, 1 Peter 3:15-16. Debating can be harmful, and a huge distraction away from the things that really matter when it comes to God.

  

The evolution-creation debate is a huge one when it comes to religious argument and the existence of God. A lot of these arguments (going both ways) are based on discrediting and disproving the other’s position. I don’t think any one has ever believed in creation before they have believed in God. I mean, it wouldn’t make sense really – for creation to be a thing, there first had to be a God in order to create; hence, God then creation. It is useless to try and “convert” people by disproving evolution rather, it starts from building a perspective based on the truth you know. If we show people the relationship they can have with God, His character and love, and what this means in regard to the way we experience life, isn’t that so much more appropriate, authentic and powerful? Belief in creation and all that other stuff is just part of the package deal and an understanding of that is likely to follow naturally after people meet Jesus and begin to get to know Him.

 

We need to give up this idea that it is our duty or right to persuade and convince people of the reality of God via argument or debate- as if God is a sales pitch or a really good deal people should get on board with straight away. In reality, God does not need our help at all with this. It is far better for us to show people Jesus in our lives and allow God the opportunity to work on their hearts in order to achieve the rest. Yes, by all means defend your beliefs and explain them should anyone ask! But don’t think you have to do this to the point where you will change their minds about something. It’s important to recognize when these conversations turn into debate arguments and therefore, when to bow out. So I’ve come up with a little list of things to look out for to help us recognize when a discussion is a turning into a “debate” and when you are in danger of the other person not being the least bit interested in hearing what you have to say:

 

1.     You get increasingly agitated and emotional as the conversation progresses

2.     You find you are repeating a lot of what you say

3.     You’re only in the discussion to push a personal agenda – you must ask yourself whether the conversation is benefitting anyone, particularly in terms of relationship with God

4.     The discussion centres a lot around specific words, definitions and the way things are said – a lot of the time its semantics that are a diversion from the content that’s being presented in conversation

5.     The other person makes frequent jokes and putdowns related to what you’re saying

6.     You keep getting interrupted or find you are interrupting with your own points – you feel you aren’t being listened to

7.     When you ask them if they are genuinely interested in learning your thoughts and they say “no”……. (honestly just being straight up and asking is probably the easiest route to take at the end of the day)

 

Mature discussion is good! It’s healthy for our spiritual life even… it is an effective way to learn and to test and examine our beliefs up against another’s. But debate and senseless argument for the sake of arguing is foolish and a waste of time and often leaves at least one person in more of a negative state than before – and I don’t think our mission should be to make people feel bad or put ourselves in a position where we might feel bad either. Don’t get caught up in the iddy-biddy details of religion and argument that people make more important than they really are. Instead convince others of God’s goodness by showing them without words what Jesus has done for you. When it gets down to it, you will never persuade someone to love you, and it’s the same with God.

 

 

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Love, Faith & Getting Mad at Donald Trump

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Love, Faith & Getting Mad at Donald Trump

By Emily Crawford.

I’ve been struggling to find a way to write something for this month, I’ll be honest. Lately I’ve been bombarded with all these tidbits of information about President Donald Trump and his latest escapades and I wanted to confront it from my personal Christian perspective. However, it wouldn’t be right to call him an idiot and list all the reasons why every other Christian should too.

 

What are we meant to do in these situations? Some Christians believe that he is doing right by trying to ban Muslims from entering his country and that our country (Australia) should follow suit. Others have sat back because he donated money to Christian organisations in the US, so he must be a good guy, right? Then there are those who have decided to stand against him.

 

It seems that there are few Christians who fit the last category. But the rhetoric that Trump brings is divisive to the point where it has caused division within our family in Christ. I have to admit that I can’t understand how I could be in the company of someone who just sees Muslims as only “ready to kill us in the name of Allah”. I don’t see why immigrants, who come as refugees, are all bad people when we’ve got just as many awful characters that were born and raised in our home countries.

 

In the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4:1-26), Jesus does not take heed of the social apartheid between Jews and Samaritans, despite even the woman calling herself despicable and Jesus knowing all her failings. Instead he offers her “living water” and chooses to ignore the social conventions that seemingly create a ravine between he and the woman.

 

In the story of the Phoenician Woman and her ailing daughter, she persists despite being considered lowly and a dog because she was a Gentile. Her perseverance in faith, despite the tests to her resilience, achieves the healing of her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).

 

Even a Roman Centurion approaches Jesus, asking for his servant to be healed (Matthew 8:5-13).

 

So what am I trying to get at?

 

In the midst of all of the hate, the politics and the divisiveness that has been brought on by the rise of Donald Trump, the conflict in Syria, the attacks in Paris, Libya, Nice, Brussels, Orlando, and countless other events, we must remain open to people who are not like us. I am not asking us to ignorantly and blindly do so. Even God asks us to reason with him, so should we not do the same in all aspects of life?

 

Do not choose the easiest and simplest perspective. Please choose to look at the world through “other” eyes. Yes, the world is dangerous and "other eyes" may be those of people who do not share every single principle as you, but God asks us to love one another, to love our fellow humans: “31 “The second is: ‘You must love others as much as yourself.’ No other commandments are greater than these.”

32 The teacher of religion replied, “Sir, you have spoken a true word in saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is far more important to love him with all my heart and understanding and strength, and to love others as myself, than to offer all kinds of sacrifices on the altar of the Temple.” (Mark 12:31-33)

 

There is no stipulation to that. “Others” means anyone but you. I remember as a child, there was a little song we’d have in our Sabbath school, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. I suppose sometimes instead of letting all the worries that adulthood and school and the world overwhelm us, we need to have a faith like a child in some ways.

“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red, yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

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Tackling Tough Talks

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Tackling Tough Talks

By Nicole Murua.

Sex. Racism. Death. Drugs. Mental illness. Abortion. Animal cruelty. Pornography. Refugees. Homosexuality. Euthanasia. Capitol punishment. Disabilities. Feminism. Masturbation. Terminal illness. Suicide.

 

What do these all have in common?

 

When I see this list, all I see is a bunch of things I can’t talk about in church; questions I wouldn’t be able to have answered. Imagine yourself as a 14 year old and thinking something like, “Are drugs really that bad for you?” Where do you look for answers? Who do you ask? You might ask a friend or an older sibling, maybe you’d even ask a parent. But what responses would you be hearing? The friend might say, “My dad has beer if you want to try.” The sibling would say, “Marijuana isn’t as bad as adults say.” And the parent, “Don’t do drugs.” Then as you’re thinking more about it you find yourself typing questions into Google. Article after article roll down your screen:

 

Marijuana vs. Alcohol: Which is really worse for your health?

 

5 Myths About Illegal Drugs You Probably Believe

 

So really, how bad is frequent MDMA use?

 

(These are all real articles by the way)

 

As members of a church family, what are we doing to tackle these issues? Of course, these are not issues exclusive to teenagers. Racism, capitol punishment, and euthanasia are all problems we must face at all ages. My question is: if we aren’t having a dialogue about it with our church family and looking to the Bible for these answers then how are we forming our opinions and beliefs? Who are we talking to and listening to?

 

I’m all for personal research, reading Christian books and articles have their merit and is important for us to form our own opinions. However, equally as important is our ability to have thoughtful debates and discussions with our Christian peers. One of the reasons why we don’t do this in churches is because it’s hard. It’s hard to talk about emotionally charged topics like feminism or abortion. It’s hard to have an unbiased opinion about animal cruelty or pornography. It’s really hard to not take things personally in these kinds of conversations, but so is life. Being a Christian is hard and we should be under no illusion that following Jesus is all sunshine and rainbows. The Bible offers story after story about the corrupt lives of those who feared God, but we float over the yucky bits to keep things G rated for the kids. I can tell you right now, the information they get from their friends or the internet isn’t G rated.

 

I don’t want to diminish the effort we’re already making in church to talk about the tough issues. What I want to emphasise is the need to talk about the hard stuff openly, candidly, and early. Lets stop with the “don’t do this and that” talk and have more open discussions with our church family members about the why’s and how’s.

 

I have to say, I am very proud of our church. In 2016, the Livingston Youth saw the beginning of a program called “Tough Talks” where we are free to talk about difficult or ‘taboo’ topics without fear of judgement. Every meeting is a new topic and a safe environment to debate and discuss. This year I have taken on the roll of organising these “Tough Talks.” It’s exactly what it sounds like: tough. What should we talk about? Is this relevant/important? How far is too far? I’m hoping that in 2017 we will see more discussion, more open minds, and more answers to those tricky questions.

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Merry Consumerism and a Happy New Attitude

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Merry Consumerism and a Happy New Attitude

By Jessica Keye.

 

There’s something important I have to say and it may be confronting for some of you. I’m sorry if you are having to find out this way but… Santa? Yeah he isn’t real.

Wew! Ok, glad we got that one out of the way. Now, I’m just going to double check that we’re all on the same page in terms of what Christmas is really all about…

 

Christmas: beginning in early November (and sometimes mid-October for particularly eager stores), is characterised by the same three incessant carols being played over shopping centre speakers, people attaching plush reindeer antlers and a red Rudolf nose to their cars, advent calendars testing the willpower of our children, complaints of last minute gift shopping, and utterances of the phrase “what the heck do you get guys for Christmas?!”… plus, a spike in the employment rates of bearded old men and, immediately after Christmas, an increase in the number of people seeking psychological support (likely due to all the Christmas lunch engagements endured with the extended family…). Christmas is the celebration of tinsel, public holidays and having some decent leverage over our kids when they are misbehaving. 

 

On a scale of 1 to the Grinch, how cynical did that sound? Around this holiday season I hear a lot of my friends, Christian and non-Christian alike, echoing the same old tune year after year… “Christmas is so consumeristic.” and they are certainly not wrong. But I’d like to suggest that there will always be people who seek to make a selfish profit by exploiting the celebration and cheer of others and I wonder how, in pointing out this fault in others and declaring that “the true meaning of Christmas has been lost” because of it, is any better. The true meaning of Christmas is just as easily lost when we begin to criticise one another and cast negative thoughts upon everything around us.

 

Perhaps there needs to be an embargo on the amount of Christmas related decorations allowed in each household? Do people think that the true meaning of Christmas is simply making sure there is a nativity scene visible in every home and public space available? Like Christmas is just a nod to the immaculate conception of God incarnate you know, just coming down from Heavenly heights to set a perfect example and standard for a life lived with the Spirit and yeah, the same Lord of all who sweat blood as He laid down His life as a sacrifice in place of our own? Yeah, thanks Jesus! Cheers mate… I bet you were a cute baby… Oooh good fruitcake this year Grandma! (Just kidding… I don’t like fruitcake… I’m more of a Pavlova person myself).

 

While you might be appalled by the Santa paraphernalia that litters our shopping centre shelves (especially now you know its all a lie!) and the obligation to buy gifts for friends and family, I might suggest that just like those big corporations pushing products, you are also missing the true meaning of Christmas by quite a distance. Just like every Sabbath is important time set apart as a reminder to rest in God and provide us with an opportunity the renew our relationship with Him, Christmas is a special time of the year when we are (or should be) reminded of love and joy, peacefulness and hope. You may complain all you like about this culture of consumerism but it will not change just because you don’t agree with it. But if you keep wasting your time being upset, annoyed, and aggravated or any other related adjectives, you risk becoming so bitter and Grinch-like that you no longer contain the essence of Christmas within you either. We have the truth in us because we have Jesus at the centre of our hearts – don’t shroud the glory of God under a heavy cloak of judgement and negativity. It’s in the simple joys and acts of love that we get to witness and share that carry the spirit of Christmas most of all.

 

This Christmas season let’s not get wrapped up (Christmas pun very much intended) in the disappointments and stresses of buying and organising and Christmas card writing. Whatever you do let it be because of all the things you know Christmas is truly about, untainted by consumerism. We don’t have to argue the deception of Santa or the mass production of baubles and fairy lights… We love, we praise, we are joyful and full of peace and we give just as God did. Let that be the Christmas that people buy into this season. 

 

 

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand. - Dr. Seuss

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5 Signs That You Suck at Praying

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5 Signs That You Suck at Praying

By Lachlan Harders.

If you're anything like me, you struggle with the concept of praying. You've heard a tonne or people pray before and now you're at a point where you can't help but compare your own prayers to those of other people. If that sounds anything like you or someone you know, let's have a talk about why we suck at praying.

1. You don't pray often.

I look at myself and feel so broken, so full of sin that I am not even worthy to come to God to ask him for things. My mind is drawn to the story of Uzzah (2 Samuel 2) where this innocent guy tries to stop the Arc of the Covenant (the promise between God and his people) from hitting the ground and then is struck down! I look at my guilty self and think, how can I even come to God, not because I think he'll strike me down, but because he is completely good and pure, whereas I am so sinful. However, what we can take heart in is that God loves his people more than anything. He loves us so much that even though the ones he loves the most are filled with thing he hates the most (Sin) he has created a way for us to come to him in prayer; not because we are good, but because he is good.

2. You think you can't pray.

One of the most frustrating things I see amongst Christians my age is that the we all seem to think that we can't pray. And let me let you in on a little secret: we're right! Now let's not hang out heads in shame, Jesus made it pretty clear that no one knows how to pray. Not even the leaders of the church. That's why he gave us an example of how to pray (Matt. 6:9-13). But what is cool about this is that God just wants us to love him and reveal to him (and ourselves) what's on our heart. The thing is, prayer isn't about how well you can tell God what you want in the most eloquent language. It is about how earnestly you seek God by revealing your heart to him.

3. You go into prayer with an agenda.

When I first heard this I got confused because I thought that this meant that I should never think before praying, but that is not the point of this. The reason that this makes you suck at praying is that prayer is supposed to be like a conversation with God. And who can honestly say that they go into a conversation with a close friend with and clear picture of how the conversation is going to pan out. God wants to be closer to us than anyone else, so is it not insulting when we plan what we are going to pray for, do it, and then leave? Jut a thought. I want to challenge you to go into prayer with no agenda, let the spirit work on your heart, be thankful, open your heart to God, ask boldly, and believe wholly in his provision.

4. God doesn't answer your prayers.

It's kind of funny how we give God a set amount of time to answer our prayers isn't it? After all Psalm 102:12 reveals to us that God is outside of time. So basically, because God is eternal, he is in the past, present, and future al at once (Good luck trying to wrap your head around that!). Anyways, what this means is that no to god, he answers your prayers at the same time as you're asking them. That is why we must have faith in that God works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

5. You pray every day.

This one may be confusing because isn't it good to pray everyday? The answer is yes (obviously!), however, I am not following God's commands if I pray each morning and night. The bible is pretty clear when it says "pray without ceasing" (1 Thes. 5:16-18), but what does this look like in real life. Even if I replaced all of my procrastination from study with time spent with the original G, I still wouldn't be praying without ceasing. What I think this passage means is that God wants us to constantly be in tune with the Holy Spirit and to seek his will in all that you do. So to pray "without ceasing" means to live in conversation with God. Now I hate to ruin this for you, but living in conversation with God is impossible for us because of sin (Thanks Adam and Eve!). But on a brighter note, there is a way that it can be done. If we deny ourselves to God's will (Luke 9:23) and allow Christ to live through us (Galatians 2:20) then we will live in sync with the father.

Thank God!

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Falling Down Stairs Really Makes You Stop and Think

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Falling Down Stairs Really Makes You Stop and Think

By Emily Crawford.  

So I fell down some stairs.

 

Yeah… was not one of my finest moments.

 

I think it was around 9pm at night in the Sky Luck Hotel in Vũng Tàu, Vietnam. It was one flight of stairs. One. It was so trivial, really. I was giving back a charger to a mission teammate on the floor above mine and was on my way down to my room.

 

In the aftermath (because I was kind of dazed and in pain), I was left to my own devices as I held a cold bottle of water whilst everyone left me. My hand was in pain to the point I couldn’t move three fingers for quite some time. 'But I had to finish getting ready for bed! I had to finish tying up my hair (FYI: braiding requires two hands)! I had to…'

 

You’re probably wondering why I’m rattling off about my first world problems, but whilst I struggled to organise myself without the aid of others those few hours, my head cleared out all my complaints and I thought about what I was doing in Vietnam. A group of us were there as a part of a mission trip and we had just spent the last two days playing and interacting with children in a local orphanage. The oncoming two days after the Incident were going to be spent corralling and playing and interacting with school kids at a school made for the poor.

 

Brief History lesson: The Vietnam War, or as the locals call it the American War, was 1962 to 1975. During this period, countless inhumane acts occurred ranging from rape to murder and massacre to bombings on unsuspecting innocents. One such atrocity is known as Agent Orange. The outcome of this substance has had lasting affects to the point where there is an abundance of the Vietnam population, and veterans around the world, who are deformed or were afflicted deeply by this.

 

In this orphanage, I was not prepared for the frequency of children who were born with disability, deformities or even HIV. It was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time to be in this place. One girl who had abnormal features was one of the first to run up to our group on our first visit to the orphanage. Within minutes of our arrival this girl ran across the playground and looped her arm around Karlie’s arm, happily walking with us as we started our first day. The fact that these kids had so much energy and were so welcoming and loving… it’s inspiring.

 

It’s been a couple of days since we left those children and Vietnam. The tragedy is that they’ll never have life were they can get drive thru on the way home from a flight for brekkie then proceed to hand out souvenirs for their family members. And that is what breaks my heart. My Huong, the director of the orphanage and school to us that deep down these kids crave a home and a family more than anything.

 

Almost as soon as I got settled in at home, I realised I was instinctively waiting for a message to be sent to the team about the day’s goals. Whilst we achieved so much in a short amount of time, there is so much to be done still.

 

I take my lead from examples in the bible were compassion was free and without motive. Ruth went with her mother-in-law, despite her culture, which was to return to her father’s house to be re-married as she had no children yet. She persevered with Naomi instead, when they had practically nothing but the hope of God’s mercy and the compassion of others. He was abused and persecuted. Joseph even used his dreams to help people who would rather see him dead or rotting away.

 

We are called in a variety of ways to serve others. It may be simply to support a friend who is having a hard time with school, spirituality or relationships. It could be a community that needs a job done that your have the special capabilities for. It could be a collection of children in a far away country that just need someone to play with them.

 

So here I am sinking back into my normal of uni assessments, family home life, church and seeing my friends again. Now though, my finger is still aching and swollen slightly. But instead of it being a reminder of shame and stupidity or anything of the like, I will remember how blessed I am to have had those few days with those kids. I will remember what it was to work until I was ready to pass out from heatstroke or have a sore neck from having 2 year olds sitting on my shoulders as they squealed and giggled with joy. I will remember how I fell down a few stair steps on a trip for God and serving that has changed my life.

 

“For, dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other.” Galations 5:13. (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galations+5%3A13&version=TLB

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