Love in Full Flight
In 2014 the news of the Yazidi people stranded on top of Mount Sinjar in the wake of ISIS reached me and I was struck to the core. As a young mother I couldn't help but imagine myself in the shoes of the mothers fleeing with their little ones and the atrocities they were experiencing. I was eclipsed by a burden to pray for all those effected by the wide and horrific impact of the evolving Syrian Civil War, all I could do was pray.
Bono says "Stop asking God to bless what you are doing, find out what God is doing and join in... it is already blessed."
"We are assured and know that (God being a partner in their labour) all things work together and are (fitting into a plan) for good to and for those who love God and are called according to (His) design and purpose." Romans 8:28 AMP
Gods love goes ahead and makes a way. In prayer I found myself interwoven in a God thing. A women in full flight partners with God and they labour together for His purpose. God things are birthed in prayer and then translate into the natural.
When news reached Australia that the government had agreed to receive 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq (later increasing to 19,000), I felt they are coming to my Western Sydney neighbourhood and our church is going to play a part in hosting them... But I didn't know how to find them.
August 2016 I was speaking at the clothing room opening of our C3 Cares Silverwater Centre. As I was speaking about being clothed in mercy, in walked a large Armenian-Syrian family. From the moment I met them, I loved them. I said "you are the people I have being praying for", they continue to be dear friends to this day. They are dignified, educated people and I believe they enrich our nation. Our Oxford falls Grammar School had put together hampers for new arrivals, including an invitation to the clothing room opening and this family had caught two buses and walked on foot to attend.
This family lead me back to their temporary accommodation at Bella Vista and I understood this was the first stop for many new families. When we understood hundreds of new arrivals would move through this location, we committed to a regular gathering in the apartment building and the New Life service began.
We booked the function room in the apartment building, printed invitations in Arabic and door knocked the building, inviting the families to come. We served coffee and Lebanese style mezze, presented a message of hope and practical teaching on assimilation into Aussie life, each week we gifted a food hamper and toys for the children.
We could have hesitated on so many fronts; financially, resources, team, the cultural divide. Anything new we build is going to require a leap of faith and obedience, in order to be found in full flight. So often God things are aborted before they take their first breathe because of fear of the unknown . When I first considered hosting the service in Bella vista, I asked Holy Spirit "Will I break if I take on one more thing?", He replied "Go into all the world." I thought okay and I reconfigured the weight of my responsibilities.
We have more margin than we think we do, we won't break, we just re-calibrate. Amelia Earhart says "The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity." In the Australian Christian climate we are less likely to suffer persecution for Christ , but we are called to extend for Christ.
"Let your love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practise with you, (never let it fail). Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers (in the sisterhood - being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously), for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:1 AMP
Please join me in supporting these families by bringing shopping vouchers to the Everywoman Big Night Out this Wednesday, September 20. Every act of kindness restores dignity and together we can make a difference.
About Natalie Taylor
Natalie and her husband, Hartley, are the Campus Pastors of C3 Silverwater and parents to three beautiful children. Ps Natalie is the founder of New Life Ministries and is passionate about building the Church.