One Magnificent Obsession: Australia

G’day Mate! One Magnificent Obsession on September 3 featured the country of Australia. Thai and Adam, both students from Southwestern shared their experiences growing up in Australia and how faith in God has played a role in their lives. Pastor John Pirrotta from Australia also spoke to our group through Skype about his current ministry.

We learned that a majority of the population in Australia are the Aborigines – the native Australians (much like the Native Americans in our country). Though it is easy for English speaking peoples to be reached, it is harder to get the Gospel to this native people group. Of those that are Christians in Australia, they allow the “culture to critique scripture, instead of scripture to critique the culture.”

A recent study shows that the fastest growing religion in Australia is Hinduism. Unfortunately, the non-religious population has grown by 27%. Christianity is the ONLY religion that has shown negative growth.

Prayer requests for the country include:

  • Pastor John Pirrotta and his church
  • That workers will be sent to Australia and new churches would be established
  • For revival in the country
  • That God would soften the hearts of the Aussies and they would be open to conversations about Him
  • For Lauren and Jarrod (two SWBTS students who feel called to ministry in Australia)

We were also able to experience a little Australian culture. Adam read to us the birth narrative of Christ from what is called the “Aussie Bible:”

Message for Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
When Libby was six months gone, God sent the same angel this Gabriel bloke’to a backblocks town called Nazareth, in the Galilee shire, to a nice young girl who was engaged to the local carpenter, Joe Davidson. Her name was Mary.

The angel said to her, ‘G’day Mary. You are a pretty special sheila. God has his eye on you.’
Mary went weak at the knees, and wondered what was going on.
But the angel said to her, ‘Don’t panic, don’t chuck a wobbly. God thinks you’re okay. You’re about to become pregnant, and you’ll have a son, and you’re to call him Jesus. He will be a very big wheel, and will be called the Son of God Most High. God will give him the throne of his father, your ancestor, King David, and he will be in charge of the whole show forever.’
‘But how’? said Mary. ‘Joe and I have done the right thing, we’ve never’ well, you know. I mean to say, I’m still a virgin.’
The angel answered, ‘Leave the mechanics up to God. This is heavenly stuff. God’s Spirit will come upon you, and the Big Brain behind the Big Bang will manipulate the necessary molecules to make it happen. So this little kid of yours will be as special as it’s possible to be, and he’ll be called God’s own Son. Look, even Libby, your old cousin, is preggers’ at her age! God can do these things. In fact, Libby is in her sixth month because nothing is impossible with God.’
‘God’s in charge,’ Mary answered. ‘If that’s what God wants, then it’s what I want to.’
Then the angel nicked off and left her alone.

(You can find more from the Aussie Bible at http://www.theaussiebible.com.au/samplechapters.html.)

We also sang together an Australian song titled “Please Don’t Call Me A Koala Bear:”

I’m a koala not a bear
And I don’t think it’s fair
The way that people always add a word that isn’t there
I’m a marsupial and proud of it
And there can be no doubt of it
I’m closer to a kangaroo than I am to a bear

So please don’t call me a koala bear
Coz I’m not a bear at all
Please don’t call me a koala bear
It’s driving me up the wall
If your name was Tom
And everyone called you Dick
Perhaps you’d understand why I’m sick, sick, sick
I’m simply a koala
And I want the name to stick
So please don’t call me a koala bear

I live here in Australia
In a eucalyptus tree
I’m as cuddly, cute and charming
as an animal can be
I don’t understand fair dinkum
How anyone could think them
Grizzly bears and polar bears
Are anything like me

Lastly, to add to the fun, I have a video of a student playing the Didgeridoo. It’s not the best quality because it was taken with my digital camera and it’s a little difficult to hear, but the humming vibration you hear is the music coming from the instrument. Hope you enjoy!

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