Tuesday, July 19, 2011

From Texas to Tasmania

2009 Texas team visit a Tasmanian Devil Zoo
Okay, so on my own blog our last few posts there have been about our Texas friends visiting our church in Tasmania and helping us try to reach out into our community. My heart and thoughts have been consumed with this great couple of weeks we've just enjoyed and thought I might share a little with you about this wonderful fellowship we have experienced again now for the third year.

 Back in 2009, we prayed and planned and prayed as our new, small fellowship prepared with excitement and anticipation for that first team from Texas to arrive. Only our Craig and Rochelle had met the leaders, Chris and Heather Horton, about fifteen years ago and before Craig and Rochelle were married. Our son was then living in a small rural town in New South Wales where his church hosted a Texas team ministering with them. Two recently married young Texans stayed at Craig's house, became friends and kept in touch over the years. The internet and Facebook helped them even more a few years ago. The end result was the team Chris and Heather brought with them from summer in Texas to winter in Tasmania. Together we made special efforts to try and reach out into our community with the message of Christ and His love for us all as shown so clearly on the cross.

The drama of the cross by the 2009 team
 For a fortnight we shared many times together, meeting with groups in the community, holding evening worship meetings with great items and messages. Over the days there was a family concert, special programmes for children, a men’s dinner and evening and day fellowship times for women. Always we were challenged to commit our lives to Christ to serve Him, to honour and glorify His name. God certainly worked in our community that year!

There was a special blessing added to Ray and I in 2009. 

ACFW 2009 book-signing

2009 We are guests at Lark Fork church
 Before plans for the Texans to come, we had already booked our trip to the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Colorado. Having had contact with other writers in Texas over many years I tried to organise meetings with them after the conference. Dallas became a possibility and so Ray and I had included a flight from Denver to Dallas in our international flight tickets. As we know, Texas is a large state and not until just before the team arrived here did we realise how close their church was to Dallas. End result? The minute we mentioned we would be in Dallas several weeks after they returned home, wheels were set in motion. We met the members of that team again at their own church! What a privilege! Their generosity to us was amazing and an absolute delight to share fellowship and ministry with them again and meet their friends and family. 

2011 team
At our house with Caitlyn and Lillian
- and two of our grandchildren

In 2011 Ray Adams presents
farewell gift to Chris
Ben Fisher continues to train and grow through
his Christian Fusion course
We were thrilled when the Horton family was able to return last year. We again reached out to our community for Christ, but we all thought that extra blessing would be the last time. God had other plans and through the faithful prayer, generosity and support of their church once more, we have been so blessed by the ministry by Chris, Heather, their growing children, Dempsey and Jace, and the two friends that joined them, Caitlyn and Lillian. 
I hope you enjoy the photos. There is so much more I could share but perhaps it would take a book?
We certainly enjoyed those times of blessing and challenge. This year we could see the changes in lives such as the older gentleman, Ray Adams and the young man, Ben Fisher, who committed their lives fully to Christ that first year. We know there will be more “fruit” become evident here in the days that lie ahead.
Praise God for our links with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Lark Fork Baptist church near Alba, Texas.

Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author.
A Queensland farmer’s daughter, she became a registered nurse before going to Bible College. She and her minister husband have three adult children and five grandchildren, enjoyed over 46 years of ministry including church planting in Australia, two years in England, three short term mission trips to Africa and now live in Tasmania, Australia's island state. Her 19th title, Justice at Baragula was released May, 2011. Do watch out for book giveaways here and also on her own blog http://www.maryhawkins.blogspot.com


  1. Love the pictures, Mary. Thanks for sharing this special time.

  2. There's nothing quite like Christian friendships. You may not see each other for years but you can take up where you left off! I'm glad you all enjoyed such a great time of fellowship, Mary.

  3. It was a very special time, Donna, and couldn't resist sharing the photos for our Texan friends especially.

    You are so right, Rita. Even though we have seen far too little of you and George over many years, it is always fellowship in christ that makes it so easyt to pick up the threads of our lives when walked together with Him.