New Zealand-Australia trip report
Jul 26, 2014
We just returned from a wonderful teaching tour that took us to the north island of New Zealand and then to Brisbane, Australia (and surrounding areas).
We left Minneapolis on July 1 and arrived in Auckland, New Zealand the morning of July 3, having skipped a day when we crossed the International Date Line.
Auckland is unique in that it has two ports, one to the east and one to the west. The city spans the narrow strip of land between two bays. Barry and Elaine, whom we had met at our Quail and Manna Conference in San Francisco in 2011, picked us up at the airport and drove us north to Whangerei.
We stayed at a hotel there for the next week. Our meetings were held in the Community Church in Maungatapere just over the hill from Whangerei. (Pronouncing these names can be a real tongue twister. The Maori were here first, so they got the naming rights.) We met three times a day from July 4-6. About 30 people came to most of the meetings, except for Sunday morning when the local church members came as well. The church was packed with perhaps about 80 people or more as I taught on the topic of Sonship.
Links for the first three of the meetings here have already been posted.
More should be coming shortly.
On Monday, July 7 Barry and Elaine took us sightseeing, and the next day they drove us to the far north of the island for an overnight stay with Dr. Lynley Watson (in the blue outfit in the pictures below). She had been reading my weblogs, if I recall, since 2005, having been a Christian only since 1995. She recently made a trip to Burma (Myanmar), where she taught about 400 women about the feast of Tabernacles. She hopes that we will be able to go with her the next time she goes back, because in that culture very few men will listen to a woman’s teaching.
Some of you will meet her at our Tabernacles conference in October, as she has made a reservation to attend our meetings here in Minneapolis.
A storm had moved in with wind gusts up to 120 kph (or 75 mph), so Darla got her second adventure as she had requested. Once we arrived at our destination, the wind blew down a tree in the driveway, protecting us from any potential intruders. The electricity also went out (for the whole town), so we had a great visit by candle light and a cozy night under the blankets.
The next morning electric power was restored during breakfast, and the neighbor cut up the tree in the driveway. We drove down to the waterfront for lunch (fish and chips). On the drive home, the car hit a large pothole and flattened the two tires on the left side. That was our second adventure, and we got to see how very helpful the local people were.
We got back a bit late, but Barry and Elaine’s son, Trevor and his family delayed the evening meal until we arrived.
The next day, July 10, Darla and I flew to Brisbane, Australia for our next adventure. Mike, Charlotte, and Don picked us up when we arrived late that evening. We stayed at Charlotte’s house. She was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and when the white farmers there were displaced, her family moved first to South Africa, and later she immigrated to Australia.
Our meetings there were held at a room at the Redeemer Lutheran College. About 40-45 attended, though not all could stay for all the sessions on the 12th and 13th. We greatly enjoyed the fellowship. Most of the people were new to us, although many of them had been reading my books and weblogs for some years.
We were unable to meet at the College on Sunday morning, since they were holding their own service on the other side of the wall where we were meeting. So we met more informally at a nearby park, answering questions and then having lunch there.
On Monday, July 14, Mike drove us inland to his farm in Chinchilla, where we stayed for a few days.
The next evening we had a small meeting in town with about 18-20 people, including a preacher from a nearby town. It was interesting to talk to him, and we hope to develop that relationship in the future.
On July 17 Mike took us on a tour of the countryside and nearby towns for the day. We had lunch in a small town café and then went to the top of Mount French overlooking the valley below.
From there we drove to Warwick, where we met with Mike’s good friend, Paul Cairns. We parked in the back and walked into his house through the back door. Mike called out to him and then walked into the kitchen, leaving me in the hallway when Paul came out of the bedroom. He looked a bit puzzled when he saw me. I figured he was probably wondering who this strange man was in his house. But after a short pause he came to greet me and then saw that I was with Mike.
After talking awhile, he asked me what I thought about the divine plan for Australia. I told him that I saw a great outpouring of the Spirit coming. After all, its original name was La Australia del Espiritu Santo. It was named in 1606 by a Portuguese explorer, Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, who was in the service of Spain.
“In May 1606 the expedition reached the islands later called the New Hebrides and now the independent nation of Vanuatu. Quirós landed on a large island which he took to be part of the southern continent, and named it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo (the Southern Land of the Holy Spirit). The island is still called Espiritu Santo. Here he founded a colony which he called Nova Jerusalem.”
After telling Paul that I was seeing a great move of the Holy Spirit coming to Australia, he then told me why he seemed so puzzled when he first saw me in his house. He confessed that he thought that I was Smith Wigglesworth who had appeared in his house. “Smithy,” as he was affectionately called, was the great Pentecostal evangelist of the early 1900’s, who had ministered in both Australia and New Zealand. Countless thousands of people had been healed under his ministry, and he had even raised 20 people from the dead.
Paul then told me that the city of Warwick was Smithy’s northern headquarters when he came to preach and heal in that area. It was his northernmost stop in Australia. In fact, the Wesleyan Church (Methodist) where he had preached was still standing, although it had been purchased by a religious college and had been moved stone by stone to a new location across town.
Paul’s revelation was that the prophetic words of Smith Wigglesworth about Australia were now like the dry bones of Ezekiel 37:1. There was no flesh on those bones any more, and Australia was fully dead spiritually. The bones needed to be revived and brought back to life (Ezekiel 37:4, 5).
I felt that we needed to go see that church and make such a declaration. So we drove to the church and prayed to revive the words of Wigglesworth that were recorded in the stones of that church. Afterward, we received revelation that God was going to pour out a double portion of Wigglesworth’s anointing, for even as he had been sent out under the anointing of Pentecost, so we are being sent out a century later under the anointing of Tabernacles.
Shortly after this, six time zones away, MH Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 283 passengers and 15 crew members. The incident took place about 1:30 pm in Ukraine, 7:30 pm in Warwick. Flight 17 took its first flight on July 17, 1997, and was shot down on the same day 17 years later.
The number 17 is the biblical number of Victory. The downing of Flight 17 does not look much like Victory. I see it as an evil response to the Victory that was established at the Wesleyan Church in Australia.
By the time we left Warwick it was getting dark. On the way back to Chinchilla, we had our next adventure. About half an hour from Mike’s house (about 9 pm), the car ran out of fuel. This was unexpected, since the gauge showed more than a quarter of a tank of fuel, and the fuel light had not come on. Even the mileage counter showed that the car should have been able to go another 200 kilometers on that tank.
It was a dark night, and no one would stop on the highway. But we had coasted to a stop at a road entrance, so Mike walked down the road to a nearby house to get help. The family living there knew Mike’s son, so armed with a large canister of fuel, he drove Mike back to the car where we were waiting.
I suspect that God had a reason for linking Mike with this new friend. Anyway, we had enough fuel to get back to the farm, where Mike could fill the tank.
On July 19 we had two sessions at a park in Toowoomba, morning and afternoon. About 35 people showed up for the meetings, including a number of people that I had met years ago when I last came to Australia. Some had flown from as far away as Melbourne on the south coast. It was fun seeing them again. Of course, we also made many new friends.
We spent that night at a hotel in Toowoomba, and then were driven to Caboolture as guests of Don and Sue for a few wonderful days. On Tuesday, July 22, we spent much of the day in Brisbane visiting Dr. Watson again, who had flown to Australia on business for a few days. Don and Sue were able to meet her. Later, we took a walk along the beach and found a sea worm and other interesting items.
Then on July 23 we spent the day at the Australia Zoo, which was established by the “Crocodile Hunter,” Steve Irwin. Crikey! The Zoo was obviously planned by an animal lover, because it was as close to a natural habitat as one could imagine. I thought it was a wildlife refuge masquerading as a zoo.
We got to see a bird and crocodile show in their stadium. The birds were too small to photograph, but I did take some pictures of the crocodile show.
Here are some other photos of the Zoo. Darla found a friend in Roo Heaven (below). We also saw some roo poo lying around on the grass. Further West, over in India, they have roo pee, which they spell rupee. I hear they even carry it in their wallets.
Then we got up at 2:45 a.m. on July 24 and took the 6:30 flight from Brisbane to Auckland on the first part of our journey home. Since we had about six hours layover in Auckland, Barry and Elaine again picked us up at the airport. We were able to meet another couple from Auckland who had been unable to make contact with us earlier. They all took us on a tour of Auckland, and we went up the volcanic cone to the obelisk overlooking Auckland.
We then took the 12-hour flight to Los Angeles. We left at 9:30 pm and got to Los Angeles at 2:30 pm the same day. It sure is tiring to go back in time. After a 4-hour layover in Los Angeles, we flew to Minneapolis, arriving just before midnight. That was a long 36-hour day with little or no sleep.
We slept late the next day (yesterday), and I caught up on some priority items that afternoon at the office. Today is my first full day back at the office.