We are now home but we must finish posting about our trip. So, here is the next turn after meeting Peter and George.
On Sunday afternoon, we were assigned to go sailing in the Sydney Harbour. Again, this was a "random" assignment of groups of 10. We were put with a group of 8 people that we didn't know. Craig had chosen that day to wear his Jeremy Camp shirt (for those of you who don't know - Jeremy Camp is a Christian singer). Anyway, as the day progressed, it warmed up and he took off his jacket, revealing his shirt. I was talking with a lady from Georgia (Janet) about some of the interesting things we had learned about Australia from our tour guide the previous day. One of those things was that Australians do NOT have the right to bear arms. Yes, you read that correctly. They surrendered that right years ago after a major killing spree where 37 people were killed. Of course, people illegally own guns but the average citizen does not. Just remember this fact for later in the story.
As Janet and I were talking, she said "Don't you think it is going to get worse for us Christians? I assume you are believers since your husband is wearing a Jeremy Camp shirt." Immediately, the conversation shifted and we began to share about our beliefs and churches, etc. As we disembarked, I made the comment about homeschooling. She and her husband replied simultaneously, "we homeschool and have graduated two!" So, the conversation shifted yet again to homeschooling through high school (they still have one in high school) and preparing them for life, etc. We talked about college, dating vs. courtship, etc. As we boarded buses to return to the hotel, I had to smile. Was this a random meeting ? I think not. It was orchestrated and designed by God.
But the story doesn't end there.
During the course of our conversations, the topic of Hillsong Church came up. Hillsong is based in Sydney and is where a lot of praise and worship music comes from. Both of us had made the comment that we had wanted to attend a service but didn't know how to work it in with all that the company had us scheduled to do. When we returned to the hotel, we discovered that our big Gala night had been canceled due to a small fire in the grand ballroom and we were free. So, we loaded up on a major adventure of trains, buses, and taxis to get to the church (it was about 45 minutes away).
In route to the church, we had to take a taxi part of the way. The taxi driver was a nice man, originally from Lebanon. He had a different view, much different, re: the right to bear arms. The part of town that he picked us up from he said is called "little Texas" at night due to the number of guns that come out at nighttime. I commented that Australians didn't have the right to bear arms and he chuckled. He said "yes, but they do". He asked us "would you have a gun to protect yourselves ?" To which I replied, "yes, and I do and I don't want the government to tell me I can't."
Now, the significance of that conversation has hit home as we returned to the States and discovered that there is current legislation that would affect our 2nd Amendment rights. It is known as H.R. 45, the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sales Act of 2009. Look it up. I think you might be amazed about it. Craig has said when the people fear the government, it is tyranny. When the government fears the people, it is liberty. Ponder that for a few moments and think about what is happening in the US. Whenever we have traveled outside of our country, it increases our awareness of what is happening inside our country. Don't get us wrong, there is no better place in the world to live then here. We just begin to realize how much we don't want to be like the other countries we have visited.
Stay tuned...............we hope to get some pics posted today........that is, I have to find the camera first !