Down Under - Maribeth Benson
Aye, matey! We just came back from the land of kangaroos, cockatoos, and sandy beaches, what an awesome time my husband and I had down under! After an 18 hour flight, including the connecting flights, we finally arrived looking a bit ‘down under’ but exhilarated that our feet were finally on Australian soil! Our wonderful Australian friends met us at the airport, resuscitated us, propped us up on the baggage dolly, intravenously fed us caffeine, then took us to their home, spoon fed us our dinner, and tucked us into bed.
We woke to the sound of a flock of cockatoos that, let me tell you, must have been the original alarm clock in the Garden of Eden. We instantly fell in love with all of the Australians birds (even the squawking ones) and the aesthetic beauty of Australia that surrounded us.
Besides all the exotic birds, what struck me the most about this entire trip was, although we traveled halfway around the world, there is actually no distance at all in the Kingdom! We all want the same thing from Him; we want revival in our respective countries, we want healings, we want to learn to love the unloved, we all want to see His Kingdom manifest on earth as it is in Heaven so that when someone sees us, they see Jesus.
The night before our outing to Sydney, my husband spoke to a group of Intercessors and imparted seeds of revival and a spirit of reconciliation between the Aboriginal people and the people of Australia; which I actually was able to put into practice the following day!
After a fun day of souvenir shopping, touring downtown Sydney and having lunch with our friends, we boarded the train for the ride home. An Aboriginal family boarded the train right behind us and the husband was very angry when he did not obtain the seat he wanted. There was some rude language in English and in his own dialect that was obviously directed towards us. Instead of judging him, I tried to comprehend what his day must have been like. He most likely experienced some discrimination and disappointment, I would also put money on it that he did not have a day of fun, touring downtown Sydney, go souvenir shopping or have lunch with friends.
His family never spoke or moved as they sat on the seats across from us. His wife and three young girls kept their eyes downcast the entire journey. I prayed in tongues under my breath to diffuse his anger and to break the bondage that the family appeared to be under. I let the Holy Spirit do His job, I only came into agreement with Him, and the situation was diffused.
The Holy Spirit reminded me it’s not up to me to ‘fix’ people. (I admit, I have a wee tendency to try and fix people...always in love, of course! lol) The Holy Spirit said He was well aware of the situation and their needs, and to just allow Him to do His job through me.
I did. And will continue to do so. I promise.
We also had the opportunity to minister at Nowra Healing Rooms and the Padstow Healing Rooms near Sydney where Tom prophesied on how Australia will be an anchor to the Western Church in the coming days. That was good news since it seems our western church is experiencing a tsunami of change.
When we returned home, we bought a cockatiel (a small version of the cockatoo) that would remind us of Australia. We named him Sydney, quite appropriate don’t you think, mate? And, yes, he reminds us constantly of our awesome trip to Australia! (And will continue to do so for another 15 to 20 years! In fact, he may outlive us! Squawk!) We are enjoying stewarding this little creature God made, all 3.17 ounces of his chirping, whistling little self. This bird of the air neither reaps nor sows and he certainly does not gather in a barn! He already has us wrapped around his little birdie finger (claws)!
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
We do value our cockatiel, Sydney, and especially the memories and friends we made in Australia. Also, my husband is very grateful I fell in love with the birds... kangaroos apparently aren’t the best house pets!
Back in the USA, and back to work!
Maribeth Benson is our prayer side receptionist at Spokane Headquarters and resident comedienne.