Perth is a beautiful city with breath-taking scenes of water and beaches nearby. It is not what I envisioned before I arrived. I expected to find an isolated modern city stuck out in the middle of a huge desert with nothing but dry harsh terrain lapping up on its borders. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, there are sky scrapers, and the horizon of the downtown is bright and shiny with modern new high rises.
|Bank West Building|
But the surround is not barren and desolate. There are trees everywhere, shrubs, undercover, and parks to preserve much of it.
The beaches are world-class. Here’s a beach with few people, but most we drove by that day were filled with thousands of sunbathers and children.
|City Beach, Perth|
The city is overrun with money from thriving mines and oil development nearby. Signs of financial prosperity are everywhere. Unemployment is nonexistent. I understand thousands of new workers fly in every month for work and easily find it. Wages are high. But despite the material prosperity, there is still a hunger for spiritual answers and ideas, as evidenced at the lectures I gave.
My second lecture on Monday was held at the branch church because it was a holiday and the library where it would typically be held was closed. But attendance was grand anyway.
Remember the guy I told you about yesterday who was going to leave if I said “the wrong thing?” He came to the 2nd lecture on his own. Hooray!
Another fun incident…about 20 minutes before the lecture started a young man with a backpack, 18-20 years of age, I suppose, ambled into the foyer, looked around uncertainly, picked up a Sentinel, sat on a bench and began to read. He looked very unsure whether he should be there or not. Three minutes before the lecture, the foyer was empty except for this guy sitting on the bench wondering what to do. An usher started to coax him into the auditorium, but he wasn’t budging. I saw the encounter, so walked over briskly and enthusiastically said to him, “I’m the speaker, and you’re most welcome to come on in.” He asked, “What’s the talk about?” I said, “It’s about relationships and family; finding the love that makes it all work. It will last about an hour.” He brightened up, and replied, “Okay, I’ll come.” And he did. He sat in the back row next to the exit door, but stayed the whole time and paid close attention.
The lecture went well, and it was a very attentive audience.
With the people who talked to me afterward though, there were several who poured out accounts of personal tragedy, suffering, and emotional pain that would make your head swirl. They were telling me their stories because, after hearing the lecture, they had conviction that they could be healed, which is good. But the multitude of questions that came pouring out of their mouths would take hours to answer. And there were always more people right behind them wanting to talk, too. I could not keep up with it all. “These people need help,” I silently pleaded to God. I did not feel desperate, for I was helping them. But they would need more guidance and support in the future.
When you hear the stories I hear, you can’t help but know that there are soooooo many people in our communities silently crying out for aid. The emotional and mental pain is frequently not obvious on the surface. It’s well hidden. But they need healers. They need people who care, people who will listen, respond and pray for them.
Are you one of those people?