In 1972 as a young journalist for The Courier Mail in Brisbane I encountered a group of people who loved Jesus. I didn't believe a word they told me. But I was so impressed by their love for others so I prayed: "I don't believe you exist but if you do please make yourself known."
God made Himself known.
In 2016 I now live in Rockdale, Sydney. Forty-four years in between has seen me live on four continents seeking to serve Christ.
So why Rockdale?
On returning to Australia after 30 years overseas I chose to live in a multi-ethnic area. Rockdale is a suburb of over 70 nationalities. It is an immigrant community. Over 85 percent of children at a local primary school do not speak English in their home.
God is bringing the nations to our doorstep.
Each person I encounter on the streets is made in the image of God. But most of them have no idea who God is.
So I spend lots of time chatting and hanging out. Chatting with my IGA owner's family - from China. Chatting with my fruiterer's family - Marionite Christians from Lebanon. Chatting with the Charcoal Chicken family, and my hairdresser, or my coffee shop owners - all Muslim from Lebanon. Chatting with the Greek coffee shop owners...
Many will never get to church as they work 6 or 7 days a week.
As a result of my chats I've had two "refugee families" live with me. One was Muslim from South Asia, the second was Coptic Christian from The Middle East.
What a privileged people we are in Australia. Our Lord Jesus wants us to be involved in seeing newcomers to Australia and the next generation of young women flourish.
And central to that flourishing is being shaped by the story of Jesus. I will never forget one dear Muslim friend saying: "Mary, you must tell the Imams all these Jesus stories. They don't know them."
Chattering about Jesus is not hard. We have all those Jesus stories from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And ultimately how will they hear if we don't chatter the stories.
And then it is the Spirit's work to change hearts.
Postcode 2216 - God has brought the nations here and I am so grateful for the chance to tell folk there is good news. It's about Jesus.