The meaning of life in 8 words...

Know Christ. Know Life. No Christ. No life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If you don't stop swearing, I'll dump you off this jetty!!!

Top: Lying on the Jetty (boy in background getting ready to jump off)
Bottom: Climbing up the ladder of the Jetty to jump off again...

Bareback brumby (wild Australian horses) riding. Barge in the background that comes over from Ingham.

The Jetty a common place for fishing, swimming, and jumping off the poles...

Lying on the Jetty - boy in the back about to back somersault of a Jetty pole into the ocean below.
(*Photo's by Helena Lumme & Mika Manninen)
Sorry - been heaps busy. But all good though, have more updates on Palm Island... Jesse got back home last week Tuesday nite (Sept 9th 08). And one word - WOW!!The amazement of God's greatness, God's goodness was so intense that for many people God became real.One example of the life changing...well...changes...that only Jesus can do to a person is with a group of boys Jesse met on the Palm jetty...

He had been ministering during the day and was gearing up for preaching that evening, with a couple of hours to rest in the afternoon. Jesse went down to the jetty to do a bit of fishing, relax in God's creation and contemplate the evening. There was already a group of boys (~10 boys) aged around 10-15 years old...and swearing profusely. is important to understand that for these kids and numerous others out there, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, kids in a remote community or those growing up in a mainline city, swearing is not a "bad language" that is only used when someone is fumingly angry. Conversely swearing, although still considered "bad language", has become a normal part of convesation. Walk into any state school (and even private schools), university, and practically every worksite (from offices, law firms and hair salons through to building sites, gyms, and factories) and swear words are commonly used in common conversation even though many know that swearing is offensive. So these kids are not an isolated case. Swearing unfortunately has become an almost integral part of many families. And children brought up in these environments, are not "bad" but simply following older examples.

However one of the boys (about 15 years old) approached Jesse and started up conversation as follows...
"What's your name?"
"What's your wife's name?"
The kid proceeded to ask what Jesse's mom and dad's names were etc...and then got to this question...
"So what are you doing here?"
"I am an Evangelist. That means I am a preacher of the good news about Jesus."
"So you're a Christian?"
"So you're a don't swear do you?"
"No I don't."
"WOW - you know I am a Christian, but I don't go to church much...and I swear. That's it I don't want to swear anymore."

Some of the other boys on the jetty were swearing away at the own content. This boy however hearing them swear got really upset and yelled out at them,
"Hey stop swearing! This man here is a Christian and he doesn't swear!!"
The boys kind of gawked a Jesse, who was still fishing. But they stopped swearing.

However another group of boys (about 5 boys) about the same age rode their bikes up onto the jetty to see what was going on...and yes they were swearing profusely. This newly convicted non-swearer hearing them swear with Jesse still there reared up and yelled out at them the same as to the first group. But one of the new boys was a bit of a smart alec, and continued to swear (more to reinstate his authority more than anything else). The non-swearer however would have none of it and confronted him angrily, "Hey stop swearing!! This man here is a preacher and is a Christian. And He doesn't swear. So stop swearing!! If you don't I will dump you off the jetty!!"

All the while Jesse watching these kids thinking to himself "What? Because I am a Christian and don't swear, these kids are getting told off for their a boy who was just swearing as much as the rest of them not even 5 minutes ago! What the???" and getting ready to intervene if things got nasty...

The non-conforming ignored the non-swearer and continued swearing. That did if for the non-swearer. Grabbing the boy still swearing, he pulled him down the jetty stairs and dunked him, clothes and all, into the ocean, all the while reiterating that swearing is bad. And Christians don't swear....etc...

...Okay just to paint another picture about Palm Island...all the kids are A+ swimmers and many could jolly well take on some of the world's best in diving. Diving of the Jetty is a favourite pastime with the kids from the time they are able to walk. And the Jetty is not shallow at all. The above picture of the barge shows you what "pulls up" at the jetty. It is a VERY VERY high Jetty with very deep water so that barges and Catamarans (that often ferry people to and from Palm) can come into shore. But although it is very deep, with sharks and jelly fish, the Palm Islander kids are legendary at swimming and diving and getting wet - clothes and all!
The dunked boy, wet to the core came up the stairs complaining that he would tell his brother to which the non-swearer simply retorted, "He shouldn't swear too. Christians don't swear!! And if he swears, I'll dump him too!" But this dumping provoked the kids to have a massive interest in Jesse for some reason as they all converged around him asking questions...
"So you're a Christian?"
"So that means you don't swear?"
"So what do you preach?"
"I tell people about the good news that God sent to the world."
"So what what does God look like?"
"God is a spirit - not like a physical person, who is only here, God is a Spiritual being. But you can know God through the way He sent to us through Jesus His Son."
"So are you God's son then?"
...and to this Jesse first thought was "Where did that just come from??!!" But just as quickly he replied, "Yes I am. I have become a son of God. And you can too. You want to know how you can be a son of God too?"
"Yeah! Will this make us Christians and then we don't have to swear too?"
...and so Jesse told all these kids about Jesus, the Saviour of the world, and why He came to earth, and what He did, and how He died, but how He rose up from the dead too. And what He is doing now.

They were so interested the group decided they would come to the rally that nite. And so they did...Some came in but some also sat outside the building instead of coming inside because they were shy. Yet they listened to everything being preached. And when the alter call was made, some gave their lives to Jesus inside, but those sitting outside asked someone if the preacher could come outside to them, because they want Jesus too, but are too shy to do it in the building in front of all "those other people".

However when Jesse came outside, a group of adults followed him out which frightened the kids, who took off running. Unfortunately Jesse didn't lead them to the Lord that nite, but the seeds were planted. And more importantly some of their friends got saved, which has allowed Pastor Ron to follow up these boys further.

Also for the first time in Palm Island history, the high school now has Years 11 & 12. Before highschool education stopped at Year 10, and if kids wanted to further their education, they had to leave the Island and move to mainland away from their families. But now they have Year 11 & 12 taking kids further in their educational career. But also because of these inquiring boys amongst other things that God did, Jesse has been requested by the high school (kids and teachers) to come and talk to Year 11 & 12 about life, about career, lifeskills etc and (most important) the importance of God in a person's life and how to know God personally.

...And this was just one example of Jesus doing what no-one else can and working in the lives and hearts of people in Palm. So many things have happened and I will post more of God doing's in Palm Island September 08 shortly. Thanks heaps for the prayers. And please don't stop! The wake of these meetings and encounters with Jesus has definitely had a marked change to the atmosphere of Palm and the Christian, especially Pastor Ron Geia, are "overloaded" in a good way with the work. And it is slowing up either - which is even better!And please pray for the people of Palm. Jesse will be back up there in October as they want to hold more meetings to other parts of the Palm Island community.

All I can say is this...truly "How Great is Our God. The Name above all Names. He is worthy of all Praise." (Adapted from How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves & Ed Cash). He alone is "The Lord. The Famous One. Great is His fame in all the earth." (Adapted from Famous One by Chris Tomlin & Jesse Reeves).
:) anneline

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