After all the things I have heard and read about refugees in Australia it was a privilege to attend a church service this afternoon with the Perth Chin Baptist Church. From today the church that was started earlier this year, held its first service in High Wycombe, guests of the Maida Vale Baptist Church.
The Chin people are an ethnic people from Myanmar (Burma) and most of the Chin in Australia came here as refugees from Malaysia where they fled because of religious persecution in their own country.
It’s interesting that this congregation of people, who are newcomers to Australia, is bigger than our own church which is acting as host to the Perth Chin congregation. Perhaps that says something about the nature of the church in Australia. At some level it would seem that Australians have had it so good that we fail to appreciate what we have, and we have begun to take our privilege for granted.
We are one of the richest and most privileged nations in the world, but instead of living a life that reflects our appreciation for God’s blessings we squander what we have. We eat too much, drink too much, spend too much money; we waste the resources that are available to us, and we fail to acknowledge the God who has provided for us in the first place.
Spending time with a group of newcomers to Australia and worshipping with them, despite not being able to understand much of what was said, has helped me to appreciate afresh the wonderful land in which we live and the great God who has blessed us in so many ways.
It’s time for us to learn to say thankyou and to live in a way that reflects that sense of appreciation.