When I first saw on my Facebook an ad referring to 'Voices for Justice'' I stopped, read a little bit more and then stated to myself that I absolutely had to be a part of what I had understood it to be. Now having been here for three days I can honestly yet delightedly exclaim that it is vastly different to what I had first imagined. It's been an unexpected journey...
The morning of day three began in the architecturally beautiful St Andrews Church where Eliza Whalley from Baptist World Aid presented us with a phenomenal talk and presentation relating to ‘What's Next?’ and discussing how to host a ‘What We’re For’ event. As she powerfully stated:
Churches, let’s be known by something we are for rather than what we are against.
I left the workshop feeling equipped to be able to approach and offer education to the broader community. I can't say I felt the same way as we approached Parliament House!
As a self-confessed ‘control freak’, I found myself in a land of completely unknowns and variables this entire weekend. Secretly praying "God is in control", "God is in control," I have found myself fully surrendered and leaning toward the wonderful guidance of the gentle, humble and profoundly wise Benton Wecker, our lobby group leader who ushered us into our time at Parliament House. I have to be honest; at that point, the idea of scaling to the top of the flag pole was preferable to meeting with a politician!
We first met with Terri Butler MP who agreed that Australia needed to improve its aid projections and that climate change is a big issue impacting many underdeveloped and developing countries within our region, a very encouraging meeting.
Next we got to meet with Jim Chalmers MP who seemed to be greatly interested in climate issues, specifically impacts its Pacific nations. He also seemed to take a particular liking to the two of our lobby group whom were from his constituency, having a great laugh at the humor of the local church notice board.
Our day finished with the prayer vigil. What an incredible tribute to the love and passion of our God.
Prayer itself is a form of advocacy. When we pray, we cry out from the depths of our hearts to the God of grace and justice.
There is just this undeniable truth that in our own insignificance God’s greatness shines and that there is no other way than to "do justice together."
Ben Thurley introduced this evening and the cameras were rolling from several news crews as we walked the lawns under candlelight, to the front of Parliament House. There we prayers for our leaders, our country, and those living in poverty. We listened, and we symbolically placed candles upon a beautiful crafted map and honoured the people of all the countries of the world that we have gathered for.
The evening finished with a couple of people humming the words to our National Anthem which lead into everyone raising their voices in unity to sing Amazing Grace.
We still have tomorrow to come, but I already know I will leave this place completely moved by what I have experienced and all the more grateful for that one Facebook ad that bought me here to share life with the extraordinary people of Micah Australia.
Bonnie Trevanion is a Social Scientist, Life Coach, Counsellor, Family Law and General Mediation Practitioner, very proud mother who lives passionately to bring justice where injustice prevails.