Posts Tagged With: women

The long weekend

 

I helped a lady from her seat to walk her to the communion table and she began to cry. She quietly cried and cried. I could feel the presence of God on her. As I held her hand and she was crying, I too began to cry and pray. I prayed for this woman with kind eyes, who looked as though life had been tough for. That was Good Friday morning at our house. I had never met this lady before, but she had wanted to come to church when I was picking up others on our usual bus run and so her and her daughter had hopped on the bus.

It was a beautiful morning. Touching. Moving. Reminded me again of why God wanted us here: to keep our hearts soft.

Friday evening we went to Topsy, a local hostel for indigenous people who come into town from remote communities mainly for health reasons. The people there couldn’t come to our service today because many of them had dialysis in the morning so we came around to have communion and sing with them. It was a lovely time. We prayed together and enjoyed fellowship. One lady we had prayed for the night before was beaming. She had chest pains, but after we prayed, Jesus had healed her. The smile on her face was priceless. As was the smile on the other people’s faces as our boys handed out the bread and juice.

From there we went to the hospital. There is a girl there that has just lost her leg and her brother died a couple of weeks ago. She has been so sad. Today she was a little brighter as her family had been able to take her out to a local footy comp that was on over the weekend. My heart was breaking for this young girl as we shared communion with her, she loved that Zion gave her the bread, he insisted that he serve her. 

Zion loves to visit his friends as he calls all the people we go to see. And they are. They love him as much as he loves them. There is little verbal communication, but much is said. There is one lady that Zion always borrows her walking stick and pretends it’s a hunting gun shooting kangaroos or a bow and arrow etc… 

Saturday morning, I went into another hostel where a lady was staying who was also unable to attend the service on Friday. Church is one of the highlights of the week. They get to go out and see their friends and sing so when they miss out they sometimes are quite sad. So we went in to visit this lady, and she was in so much pain she was shaking and couldn’t focus. She said “my head, my head”. I prayed and then we poured communion and partook of the emblems. As she ate the bread and drank the juice the shaking stopped and she began to look clear. She smiled. I asked her if the pain had left and she said it had! I tell you, there is NO power in the juice and NO power in the bread, it is what that communion represents.

There is more to tell of Resurrection Sunday and my findings but it is for another time. Let me just say that once again. I was undone, broken and moved to love how Jesus loved. And was grossly made aware of what we consider necessities and what we take for granted. We need not leave our country to find the poor and undernourished and neglected. It does not take much to befriend the lonely, the unloved, the weak. But it does take some pride swallowing, and some soul-searching. We need more people who are willing to lay down their lives to share Jesus and instil a hope for the future right here in Australia.

 See we can try to fill a physical need, but unless we couple that with the hope for the future and an assurance of better things to come then it is like sticking a band aid on a festering wound. It will only do a temporary fix. I do know this is where some of you will tune out and say Rebekah is on her soap box again. aah, did I ever get off it? 🙂 I have seen many feel good, self-healing, fix-the-world things happening, and they are good… but I have seen nothing that transforms a person’s life, like one that has been touched by their Creator’s hand.

The power of the blood of Jesus is alive and well. It heals the sick. It brings emotional healing. It can restore families. I know that this is just the beginning of things to come. I would love to see whole families transformed, and I tell you they are BIG families here. God is not interested in lording it over people… He just wants people to be in relationship with him and experience freedom. He said in John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it to the full“.

Categories: My journey | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting back my song

No matter what language barriers, music has the ability to bring people together. I had a most lovely experience on Thursday evening. As a family we go into a local hostel weekly to visit some of our church. They are in Alice because they are not well enough to go home and they miss their families and community greatly. We are supposed to go to bring them encouragement, but it is us every week who leave uplifted. The joy their faces show when they greet us is lovely… and this week, we brought in the guitar and djembe (African Drum) and gave it our best shot to sing a song in Pitjantjara. As I stumbled through with the chords and words, I could hear them begin to join in and sing with me. Only a couple at first and then more and more residents began to join in. Even people who do not attend our church came and grabbed a chair and sat near.

When we finished the song, Ben asked if they would like to sing more and if they could teach us. So one of the ladies went and got an old hymnal and so we began to sing. The harmonies were beautiful and I at times had no idea what I was singing but I didn’t dare stop as one of the ladies was watching me carefully and if I stopped she would point to where we were up to and nod until I started again. Do you know how long some of their words are :-).

The songs were peace to my heart and sitting on that grass in the middle of the hostel grounds next to some beautiful sisters I understood why we were in Alice.

To get back our song.

And to help others find theirs.

Now, we were literally singing but I began to see that “our song” is a picture of our spiritual and mental wellbeing as well.

I was at a concert once in the Adelaide Town Hall watching the Soweto Gospel Choir and they were explaining how Africans sing through all occasions. They sing when they are happy, they sing when they are down, they sing when they are in chains, they sing when they are free.

If you can steal the song in people’s heart then you have defeated them. If they can sing, even in their darkest hour, then they are strong and no matter how much you bind them, you will never break their spirit. I think of the story in the Bible of Paul and Barnabas in chains and how they sung praises. They were not broken. They refused for their song to be taken away from them, and so no matter what they were going through they were conquerors.

Many people in Alice Springs have lost their song. Indigenous and non-indigenous alike. They have lost touch with their Creator who gave each a song to sing and one that is sung over them. Imagine if we can be vessels to release people to hear and see, not just physically but spiritually as well. I have seen God change lives through His Son Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, these people have got their song back.

I want to never dull my song again and I want to be a vessel that allows others to find theirs again.

The ladies that we sang with would be passed by and thought of by many as the poor of world with nothing much to give. But to me they are possibly some of the richest, for most of them, have not lost their song. You need only look in their eyes to see that.

Categories: My journey | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

first trip to the ocean

A lovely older lady was reminiscing to me about her childhood days. She was telling me about her first trip to the ocean.

She was 15. The lady has lived in Alice all her life, one of 12 children and is of Afghan/Aboriginal descent.

An Anglican mission used to take “the outback kids”, as they were referred to, for a trip to the beach  

She was frightened, when she first saw it and then said “these people will never die”- she had never seen so much water and assumed that the people had all of it to drink :-). She decided she’d take a big drink, so bent down and scooped it up into her mouth with both hands, which of course, overcome by the saltiness spat it straight back out and exclaimed “they’re all gonna die”…

I was with her and her sister about 40 minutes and I heard the most amazing stories, I could’ve listened all day… but we all had places to be…The last thing she told me was about her list… “you know, the bucket one”(with a glint in her eye)… she has never been to Sydney- she’d like to see the opera house. Her sister said she better get onto it, being so old already :-). I would love to see her face when she does.

I could’ve talked to her all day… she had a wealth of stories… I do hope to come across her path again… if you could only see the glint in her eye as she spoke.

Categories: stories | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Who’s who because of what they do?

I decided to go to this government forum today. A tad nervous to rock in by myself into this event at the Crowne Plaza, but I drummed up my old acting skills and walked confidently in… looking around, I seemed to be the only person who had come on my own… not really my preference, but I didn’t have much choice (it was a women’s forum to draft the policy for women in the territory) so I think Ben wasn’t really going to fit in.

Anyway I make it past the woman at the desk, who was very pleasant and I thought this is going to be ok, i’ll go find myself a seat. I found a table with only a few women on it, and some of the women only seemed a little younger than me so I thought that I might give it a whirl (I usually sit with older women, as I find they have much better stories). I introduce myself and ask if I can sit down and they nod and ask “where do you work?” Which I reply with “Nowhere”. Well the look on their faces was gold. They managed with one look and a just audible oh to make me feel as small as a linseed (by the way linseed is really good for you) they then return to their conversations as I suppose they didn’t know what else to say. Another lady walks in and decides to sit on our table. She notices I am not talking to anyone and so says Hi, What job do you do? I say a little reserved “I’m a stay at home mum” to which she smiled that wonderful smile when someone is talking a foreign language and doesn”t understand you but is too polite to say, and she turns away from me and asks the other girls “do you work”which they reply affirmative and then continues conversation with them, disregarding my presence once again. I wanted to scream out my credentials to be there, that I have a double degree and some, and tell them all about my experience in every job I have ever done, but I realised that although that was important to them- that did not make me important. I was just trying to impress them, with what? some letters after my name? I actually was qualified to be there without any education. The invitation was extended to “all territory women” to come and have their say about a new policy being drafted for women. ANd guess what? I am a woman, who has happened to stay at home with my children for now. I must say I was close to leaving, feeling a tad overwhelmed when in walks this lovely woman. She heads straight for our table and sits down next to me and begins conversation about how she nearly didn’t make it and was glad they were starting late and then we talk about ourselves. She asked how long I’ve been in the territory and what brought me here and I tell her about Ben’s job and she asks about the boys school and I say I home school and she smiles genuinely and says it is nice to meet me… ah I said and you don’t know how nice it is to meet you!

Whether we choose to work, stay at home, further our education, or what it does not change who we are…. it is  a part of who we are, but it’s not everything…

What we value as society can sometimes be back to front. We say that we promote wellbeing and yet we say the quicker we can get children away from their parents the better. Our children are being “nurtured”by people not their own and we are proud of it. The policy was how quickly can we get the women back into the workforce so they can be successful. My greatest success story will be if my children become giving, sacrificial caring people… but I’m easily swayed by wanting to sound important in other people’s eyes…

I never want to be confined by what I do, or box other people with the same prejudice… we all have a journey and it’s all unique… it’s our ability and willingness to learn from others from diverse backgrounds that will make us more successful and whole.

And of course if you are a follower of Jesus you know that our greatest sense of identity comes that we are coheirs with him. That we are now adopted into sonship (or daughtership) with the Creator of the Universe…!! What credentials are greater than that!

PS. During the course of the day, the other women warmed to me, when I was able to give answers that were half intelligent- we’re funny creatures aren’t we? 🙂

Categories: My journey | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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