Port Macquarie is idyllic. At risk of sounding like a sponsored travel blog, this coastal town has a whole lot going for it. It is easy to become enamoured with the views and wonder much at when to sneak in your next beach trip. The pace is slow and the open space invites you to stay. This could not have been more true for my hosts who, after making a stop in Port on their way north one weekend, bought a house here on the return journey the following Saturday. To one degree or another, we have all felt the appeal of Port Macquarie this week.
For anyone who resides in a town as enviable as Port Macquarie, what more would there be to seek in life? It’s all here right? When so much to enjoy is at your beck and call, it could be easy to ignore any deeper yearning to know life’s meaning. The mentality of having found heaven on earth is the real challenge in our mission field.Yet in this environment that can feel close to paradise, we have seen a hungering for truth, for finding out what more there is to life. At each junction, team members have fielded questions about the Bible and their own faith, engaging in discussion about the person and work of Jesus. From feisty back and forth over Sunday lunch about the way God heals people, to questions on creation from new and not-so-new Christians at the forum night, the interactions we’ve had with those met through Trinity Church have discovering the truth on the agenda.
One of these people interested in considering the truth did not start out that way, but God brought him unexpectedly into the team’s path. Before a primary school scripture lesson at St Columba Anglican School, Steve got chatting to a teenager in the room. This high school student undertaking work experience in the junior school brought with him zero interest in the Bible. No doubt he was just hoping the class spelled a free-period for him and the classroom teachers.
But after hearing the lesson, he approached Steve and asked, “So this stuff about Jesus, does it make a real difference in your life?”
Monday night was spent at a forum on creation, at which George spoke on whether the Bible can be trusted in an age of science. After preaching on the Bible’s validity and purpose in accounting for creation in Genesis 1 & 2, the Q&A time rolled around. As questions were taken from the floor, audience members pushed further on the topic. Some questions came from new Christians trying to navigate their beliefs in detail, with the curlier ones being lobbed George’s way from both mature Christians and non-believers.
A church member reflected on how helpful she found the night. The topic was one she had mused upon for years but never with much affirmation or even confirmation of her conclusions about the Bible and creation. Hearing George’s teaching left her feeling affirmed in her beliefs and more certain as she thinks about discussing the Bible with her friends, ready to give a defense for the hope she has.
Praise God with us for the encouragement we have found in chatting through the truth with people at Trinity Church Port Macquarie, and pray that we will boldly proclaim this truth in whatever ministry we are involved over the next few days.
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