I attended an Anzac Day service in Dunedin many years back and during lunch I was told off by a Kiwi girl that I was pro-war. I was taken aback by her rebuke and I have thought long and hard about our Christian response to war, to honouring the war dead and war veterans who are still alive. Until I resolve this issue in my mind I will not attend any ANZAC Day service. The kind and pacifist Kiwi girl might just be right and Christians should not in anyway be seen as supporting wars, even indirectly. That is surely a theological issue that is worth pondering. But my love for New Zealand and Australia is founded not on wars or Anzac Day. Australia was my first “Western” destination when I attended high school in Melbourne as an AFS exchange student.My one year in Australia was exciting as we travelled to a few other cities and it was momentous as it was my most enjoyable time as a teenager in a liberal western democracy along with the sports and culture that come with it. I was hooked on Cricket and Rugby and Melbourne has this peculiar form of rugby called Aussie Rule. I watched a few games live in MCG as a supporter of Carlton Rugby club. Only last week I read that Melbourne had overtaken Sydney as the most populated city in Australia.
Then New Zealand is my first love as the Lord found me there. Not that I know God but I am known by Him (Galatians). What incredible spiritual experiences that I had in the city of Christchurch. Not just for the initial first two months which was my spiritual honeymoon but for the first two years of my Christian life. I composed more than 10 songs within 18 months, seven from the Psalms alone, 2 Cor, Song of Songs and a few Jerusalem songs. I was called into the Lord’s service when I was 18 years old through a series of visions and since I heeded that call when I turned 30 years old and until now almost 29 years later I could testify that I have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision.
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