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Australia (Pilgrimage Reflection #7)

Posted on August 5th, 2013

Geri and I finished our one month tour with a full week in Australia, speaking in Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane to over 550 pastors/leaders. Each consisted of an all-day Emotionally Healthy Leadership seminar and an Emotionally Healthy Marriage seminar in the evening. How did God come to me/us?

  1. We found Australians warm, winsome, hospitable, direct (like good New Yorkers), and immediately responsive to us. We were deeply appreciative and humbled by the great privilege of speaking to so many pastors here.
  2. We also found that Emotionally Healthy Spirituality meets a profound felt need for deep, beneath the surface spiritual formation here.  A great sense of God’s presence permeated the meetings, even when we found ourselves tired from the travel. A number of denominations (e.g. The Salvation Army) and churches were already deeply engaged with EHS before we arrived. A number had done the EHS Church-Wide Initiative. The Emotionally Healthy Woman book and DVD course along with Emotionally Healthy Skills 2.0 were introduced for the first time. Each sold out, surprisingly, before lunch in each city.
  3. We encountered a strong desire on the part of many key pastors/leaders to be trained as consultants and trainers for EHS in Australia. This speaks to the long-term future of EHS here. Moreover, a number of people had attended our EHL Conference in New York over the past couple of years.
  4. We realized afresh that calling and equipping pastors/leaders to lead out of their marriagesis one of the unique contributions of EHS to the global church. It is paradigm shifting and life changing on many levels.
  5. We are now vacationing for a 5 days on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of Australia before we return home. A fellow pastor kindly gifted us with his family’s condominium in Mooloolaba for the week. Time to rest, to be, to read, and to reflect for an extended time has been a wonderful gift.

I wish we could have captured the countless testimonies we heard while here in Australia in order to share them with you. Thank you for your prayers for us during this time. They are greatly appreciated. A Chinese proverb states: “He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left.” This will be the subject of my next blog. With much love, Pete (and Geri)

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