This will be my last post about Australia, and it's about the reason we went.
Hillsong Colour Conference, Sydney, 2012
Some sisters we met at our hotel in the Sydney suburbs.
Mom being a goose.
I LOVE this picture.
Donna (from Hillsong Sydney), Vera (from Hillsong Kiev), and Mom. Incredible ladies.
Three cheers for Brooke Fraser! Beautiful inside and out.
Pastor Bobbie introducing her granddaughter. The whole Houston family is heavily involved in the church, which was very cool to see.
Mom and me with JD from the worship team. He is such a neat guy who loves Jesus. He's the one who jumps around and dances a lot, in case you've ever been to a Hillsong Live/United concert.
Pastor Bobbie facilitating discussion. She is wonderful! I loved her.
Chris Caine bringing it.
This was like Day 13 in Australia and the Texans were really hurting for some Mexican food. We were introduced to Mad Mex and it effectively held us over until we could get some cheese enchiladas at home. It was very similar to Chipotle.
A view of the community around the Hillsong main campus (Hills Campus).
Mom speaking for the last time.
Mom and Priscilla at the after party. It was bittersweet! There was so much to thank God for, but we fell in love with the people of Hillsong and hated to say goodbye to them.
Mom with our host, Tom Bachtle, who is a great man of God, a humble servant, and a skilled leader.
There's no way I can describe what it meant to me to have two weeks with my mom. I had the best time with her. We loved, loved, loved getting to hang out with Priscilla, Christine, and Pastor Bobbie. I can't even count the number of meals we got to share. One thing I regret is not taking notes during all of our conversations! Ha! I tried really hard to soak in all the wise (and crazy and hilarious) things they all said. Each one of those women took time to speak into my life and encourage me. One thing God showed me in Sydney is that I was trying to give Him parameters for what I was okay with Him doing with our lives and in our church. (It doesn't work that way, does it?) I was also carrying a large burden of fear that was hindering my faith and stealing my joy.
Lastly, Christine and her husband lead an incredible organization called A21 Campaign. They are rescuing and providing aftercare for victims of human trafficking and also seeing traffickers prosecuted. Frankly, they are kicking butt. I was literally sitting next to Christine at dinner one night when she got news that more traffickers had been sentenced. I will never forget her visible reaction of gratitude to God and relief for the women who had been hurt by them.
God is doing all kinds of things all over the world with all kinds of people. Aren't we glad the picture is a lot bigger than what we can see around us?