August 17, 2008 — It’s our last day here in Australia, and we’ve been reflecting on this amazing experience our family has had over the past 16 days. We’ve patted wombats, kangaroos and koala bears at the Australian Zoo (home of Steve Irwin, the dearly departed Crocodile Hunter). We went scuba diving off the Gold Coast (and froze our pattuties off) and have collected seashells of various shapes and sizes. We’ve sampled the traditional fare, including a Vegemite sandwich (an acquired taste if there ever was one). And today we’re packing up all of these precious memories, along with 7 suitcases full of fresh laundry and souvenirs, and getting ready to fly on to New Zealand in the morning.
But even better than the things we’re bringing back home with us are the things we’re leaving behind here in the Land Down Under — tons of books, as well as lots and lots of SEEDS! Over the past 2+ weeks, we’ve sown seeds of healthy sexuality and spirituality into 15 lively and incredibly receptive audiences…
· Junior high, senior high, and university students have gotten big doses of preventative medicine to help them say “no” to premarital sex, but “yes” to healthy relationships.
· Single women have been encouraged to look to God to meet their emotional needs rather than looking for love in all the wrong places, and to focus on becoming Mrs. Right rather than searching so hard for Mr. Right to complete them.
· Married women have been better equipped to instill sexual values in their children, as well as keep the home fires burning, connecting with their husbands mind, body, heart, and spirit so that extramarital temptation doesn’t creep in and destroy their family and self-esteem.
· Churches and schools have been challenged to continue boldly addressing the topic of sexual integrity and sexual intimacy in marriage so that there is a reliable voice of reason in this sexually unreasonable world we live in.
We’re so very thankful for these seed-sowing opportunities we’ve had in the Sydney, Brisbane, and Gold Coast areas. We’ll continue to cherish the memories we’ve made, and the dear friendships that have been cultivated along the way. I get the strong feeling that although this was our first speaking tour through Australia, it definitely won’t be the last. The spiritual soil is too rich here in the Land Down Under not to keep sowing seeds of healthy sexuality & spirituality whenever possible.
We’re off to New Zealand — please pray for travel safety and that a major heat wave would melt the blizzard that hit Queenstown yesterday!
Shannon, Greg, Erin & Matthew