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I had the privilege of baptizing Sapphire Ballington, the 1 year old daughter of Brett and Candy Ballington, a few Sundays ago.  Brett and Candy have been walking with us since our arrival.  They are part of the core team.  Brett wrote this and sent it to me recently.  I share it with his permission. 

ON THE SHORE.

The surf breaks.

I sit. I think. I write.

My oldest daughter is out there. She is learning about the waves she will conquer in the coming years, though this learning will only come to her through pain. Fear and mastery at war within her. With which is the stronger yet to be determined. 

There is both chop, and our local beach being Perth's best, breaks that offer up infrequent waves that are good enough to ride all the way in. Even on bad days, we are blessed.

On this day; there is no fear, just the dreams of one who would slay giants from the safety of their bed. 

This is life in Australia. Our riches so abundant we do not realise our poverty. Our land has purchased us a level of individual wealth nearly incomparable. If you are not born Aboriginal, most of your health, education and quality of life metrics are among the world's best, and our raw income places even the poorest of us, in the top 5% of the globe.

It has been 25 years since our last true economic crisis. Even the GFC was a mere blip for us. The conservative government had stored up plenty for winter and the quasi-conservatives who replaced them distributed a sufficient amount of acorns to ensure economic growth and inflation stayed in their target ranges.

Yet, just as our national carrier, the airline Qantas, has an enviable safety record, the longer they go without an incident, the closer the next crash becomes. And so it is with economies and recessions. 

The future is oft in my mind. It is both simple and complicated. I am an accountant and a poet. My waverider out there; is as yet neither. The math of living is simple for her. And I hope my example encourages her to choose a simple life.

And yet, simple can be complicated. I wonder if it is so for our friends the Hinkles? 

To plant a church seems a simple thing.

But how simple is it? To plant a church in Fremantle? To plant a church in the cultural heart of a modern metropolis? The shabby, intellectual, artistic rebel to the chic corporate style of Perth City.

To plant in a place where Christians fear to tread? To scoop up the damaged, disaffected, should-know-better offspring of the Christendom better known as Greater Perth and surrounds?

To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, amidst the gospel of free love, pride and tolerance?

To preach to a generation whose parents grew up Easter and Christmas christians, whose grandparents were Sunday christians, whose great-grandparents believed a Christianity woven into the everyday fabric of society. Christianity was embedded so deep that even today, these children of no faith, are struggling to excise it from their domain.

To make inroads to a culture suspicious and afraid of a Christianity they have demonised. To find fellow-travellers and like cause in a church of conformity to Scripture, but not to the Great Commission. To start a conversation, to be the commonality between both of these. To build relationships across self-centered, insular, silos; both secular and religious.

Yes. To plant a church seems a simple thing.

I don't know the where or why of 5 years time. There is only now. This beach, this sky, my mind's eye. My daughter. Midst the ocean and the shore with her dreams of big waves. She will find her feet. Or not. And in doing so, learn more about herself. And life.

What you are supporting is important. In 5 years time it may have faded to nothing. Or it may have found its feet. The sacrifice upon the altar is not validated by whether the Lord sends famine or plenty. Whatever the harvest, the labourers must work. But, be assured, you are supporting the possibility that, amidst the chop, there might be a new wave in this city. 

Our Video Update will take place on Monday, January 30th at 7:00pm (US Eastern Standard Time)  Be looking for logging information as the day get's closer.  if you want to make sure you don't miss it then you can email me and i will send you the link directly.  Also, if you have any questions you want us to answer, please email us.
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