Our day began at 3:30 am with VERY loud birds calling outside of our open window…..we laid in bed and prayed for a very BIG cat!!! Queensland (the state that we are in) decided many years ago that they would not accept Daylight Savings Time, so it gets light really early here!!!
We had a breakfast of huge croissants that looked like they had been given a human growth hormone and very tasty fruit slices. The pineapple has been particularly sweet and wonderful. In between bites, we checked the internet to find the continuing score of the UGA / LSU football game and cheered appropriately when we won. Richard and Marilyn gave us a hard time about it!!
We left about 9:45 to go to Christ Community Church in Brisbane, which is a “Mission To The World” church plant from the US. We had emailed with the pastor, David Cunningham, and found that both he and his wife were from Griffin, GA and that he was a HUGE Dawg Fan. He specifically requested that we NOT tell him the score of the game, and covered his ears each time we said anything about it.
The service was great and was organized differently from any that I have seen before. They had the opening worship songs, a missionary report and announcements and then everyone got up and moved upstairs for Morning Tea!!! After about 30 minutes, they re-convened in the sanctuary and continued with the service. Richard and Marilyn went with us and commented that it made sure that people stayed around for the fellowship time!!!
After the service, we drove with David and two of his daughters to their home in Western Brisbane. His wife, Susan, asked “now where in Georgia are you from”. David said “Honey, they are from the promised land” and she immediately responded “oh, I love Athens”!! Rabid Dawg fans are everywhere.
We had a wonderful lunch with their family and enjoyed talking about the US, Australia, their church and their plans for the future. It is amazing how quickly you can connect with people that you meet. We also found that David knew Paul Billy Arnold (the pastor that we stayed with in India), and also Matt Adair who was our former pastor in Athens. Sometimes the world is TOO small.
We caught a taxi back to the Wray’s house and were immediately served afternoon tea…..they are doing a wonderful job at trying to earn all of their stars!!! About 4:00 we drove to a refuge area that was close to their home called the “Tinchi Tamba Wetlands”. There was a 2 km (1.2 mile) walk through the wetlands and it was beautiful to see the trees, scenery and wallaby tracks in the mud.
We then drove to their church and enjoyed their evening service, which is mostly aimed at the young people of the church. The music was great, and the service was truly a celebration, with balloons flying thru the air and party poppers going off!! We had a great time talking with their senior pastor, who preached in jeans, tee-shirt and sandals!!! We had forgotten that Aussie Churches are extremely informal, but today was a fun reminder.
After a quick dinner we sat and talked to Richard and Marilyn until WAY too late. Marilyn and I talked crafting and looked at many of her projects…both finished and unfinished. Michael and Richard sat on the deck and enjoyed a bottle of wine and Michael smoked a Cuban cigar.
Another wonderful day!!!!