There are few places I have been where God's creativity is more evident than in Australia (though South Africa is certainly in the running - I will see the giraffes, zebras and baboons again this fall). Going to see some of the sites with the Samsill family, I have seen koala bears, kangaroos, wallabies, a duck billed platipus, little penguins (their actual name), sharks, sting rays, crocodiles, and other "odd" creations. I have pictures of all of these, and will show them to you if you want. Our God certainly is creative and loves variety. God certainly has created a diverse and beautiful world for us to behold. As I was thinking of how He made these unique and different animals, it reminded me of how much He loves us. Only a loving Father would go to such trouble to create a wonderful world like the one we live in. He didn't have to fill it with such wonders, but He did, and I like to think that He was not only inspiring our faith in creation (Psalm 19), but expressing His love to us all.

I was discussing this with a young man who claimed Atheism this morning as I waited to be picked up and taken to the school where I could work on lessons and write some emails. He said that the religions had convinced him that there was no God, but that creation itself always made him wonder. It was hard for him to believe it all happened by accident (especially the platypus).  I talked to him about Psalm 19 and how God shows Himself through the creation He made and through the Word of God. I talked to him about how experiences with various religions sometimes make us close our eyes to our communication and creative God and that we need to listen to God no matter how confusing man has made things. He has agreed to look at creation again and ponder and look at the Word of God without interference and really try to see what God is saying. It was hard for me to just leave him alone without telling him everything that I think, but God has a lot to say to him through creation and the Word and can no doubt say it better than I can. He's going to email me when he has made some real progress. Who knows? Maybe my new koala friend will teach him about a loving, creative God!  he has certainly reminded me of this glorious God and His love for us.

I leave for Adelaide tomorrow (with Craig Peters and the Samsill family) for a seminar there and then off to visit AIMers and the Auckland mission team in New Zealand (with Dwight Whitsett). Finally, I will return to Sydney to speak at the lectures at the Macquarie School of Biblical Studies. What a blessing to be able to serve God this way!  I am immeasurably blessed.

In Him,



Hey Chris (and Samsills!)

Just got home from New Mexico (Rene) and opened up e-mails.  Dennis just returned from Ukraine tonight.  Been a tough year for us!!  Too much to write about on a blog.  Love the pictures!  Loved the one of Mark preaching.  One of my three favorite pictures of all times is of another one of our new elder's too (Scott Mead in Africa)...the others are of Katie S. with mission kids and of my mom in Africa.  All of them have to do with mission work, go figure.  Praying for safe journey and lots of seed sowing.  By the way, we were discussing Katie's trip in class before she left, she said that her favorite thing to do now is go on mission trips.  She said her favorite trip was "Africa, but now it might be Australia."  "Train up a child..."

Give M, K, T, C, and K a hug and our love.  God Speed. Rene