I have so many amazing stories. The last 14 months that I’ve been here I have been connected to the right people to meet my needs (or their needs), to give a word of encouragement, to offer a listening ear and to share the gospel. All with random strangers that have in some cases become good friends. 🙂
I’ve wanted to get some professional photos done for awhile. Just some fun ones so I’d have some nice photos to use whenever I needed. I was scrolling through photos in the Explore tab on Instagram and I saw a photo of one of the funky beach houses that Brighton Beach is known for. I read the caption and the person (who’s a photographer) was offering a free photoshoot to someone in Melbourne. The post was a few days old but I figured I’d send an email anyway. Well I got a response from a lovely woman named Tetyana. Her and her husband were traveling around Australia with their six month old son and she was keen to take my photo.
Her family was just lovely! The three of us chatted for a bit and then Tetyana and I took off to take some photos. I only have a sample right now but the rest will be coming soon!
The crazy thing was is that a week or so before we met Tetyana was in a coffee shop with her family and saw a girl that she describes as having the same features as me and she wanted to ask her about taking her photo. However, the timing wasn’t right and she wasn’t able to ask her. Then I come along emailing her about the photoshoot. LOL! AND! I was the only one who messaged her. Things like this happen to me all the time so I told Tetyana a bit about my story coming here and everything that God has orchestrated. It always seems a bit out there to people when I share but there is no other way to describe it! We had an amazing afternoon together and I now have a new friend in Germany.
Another amazing story was while I was puppy-sitting for my old neighbours I met a man in the dog park. It’s funny how when you have a dog everyone will come up and talk to you. The dog park is fair game but I’ve had people approach me on the street when I’m walking Bruno. It helps that he’s pretty darn cute.
Anyway, Bruno was being his energetic self and trying to play with this dog that was not interested at all. So the owner and I started chatting (we’ll call him Tyler). We spoke for less than 10 minutes and in that time I was able to tell him a bit about my story coming here (which I talked a bit about Jesus) and my work situation. He was sympathetic to the work situation so he asked me if I had a business card and mentioned he might have some connections for work. I’ve handed out my business cards to so many people with hopes of finding work so I didn’t get too excited. I was just happy to meet a nice person in the park. He said that he’d make some calls but also suggested that I’d come over for a drink. I got suspicious at that point. LOL! But right afterwards he said that his partner (Frank) would love me and he was actually walking towards us at that point. Whew! Ok, he wasn’t hitting on me so I had a lot more peace about meeting up with them if it actually happened. Fast forward five days later and I have a message on LinkedIn from Tyler regarding some employment opportunities. So we set up a date and he invited me over to their home.
Let’s pause here… So after sharing this story with a few of my friends apparently it’s not commonplace to meet someone in the dog park and then go over to their home a few days later. Especially after a 10 minute conversation! Haha! Things like this happen to me all the time so I just forget that it doesn’t happen to everyone and I just accept it as the normal in my life. LOL!
I was a bit nervous and didn’t know if I should bring anything so I went to my default gift and brought some cupcakes. They went over really well!! Little did I know I’d be there for more than THREE hours! In that time we talked about work for 20 minutes … Maybe 30. The rest of the time they told me their life story (which was filled with adventures and hilarious stories from the last 21 years of their relationship), I shared my entire story of how I came to Australia , what God has done and then THEY started asking me questions about Christianity. Usually I just tell people my story but I was able to share the entire gospel with them. Then asked me the million dollar question… Point blank, “as a Christian, what do you think about a gay couple?” I knew it was coming and my answer was completely the Holy Spirit speaking. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I gave a truthful but loving answer that didn’t sugarcoat the Word and we were able to have a conversation which was so beautiful. I love those two men and I know how everything was orchestrated had nothing to do with me and employment opportunities. I was placed at the right time to cross paths with both of them. It also helped to share about my relationship with my sister and her partner. Unfortunately Tyler and Frank have been estranged from extended family due to their relationship.
My afternoon with Tyler and Frank (and every other crazy encounter I have with someone) reminds me of the book of Esther in the bible. If you haven’t read it you should. 🙂
Esther 4:14 (NKJV) “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
I believe every moment, every situation, every encounter is not a random occurrence. As a follower of Jesus, I have been given the privilege to act, to be a doer and to participate in the ushering in of the hope the Gospel brings and be used as an instrument of God to help those who might need it most.
It’s really an exciting place it be 🙂