As Mandy and I spent two weeks in the Middle East, we understood how easy it is to take things for granted.
For example, even though I loved the Israeli Breakfast, with hummus, olives, falafel, fish, cheese, and pita bread, it made me crave Vegemite and bacon!
But our time at the GAFCON (Global Anglican Futures CONference) Jerusalem 2018 showed how easily we can take Sydney Anglicans for granted.
Our bishops and church leaders share our same love for Jesus, as he is revealed in the Bible.
They love it when we preach Christ faithfully through the gospel, and they support us when we defend the truth and seek to correct and rebuke people to restore them to godliness.
Yet, in other parts of the world, the hierarchy actively seeks to persecute Anglicans who are simply doing what Anglicans have done and believed for centuries.
Furthermore, these church leaders have evicted godly congregations from their buildings, and continue to pursue legal action against their ministers.
This, then, is why GAFCON exists: to provide a church family for Anglicans who have been thrown out of their church by leaders who no longer follow the teachings of the Bible.
GAFCON also exists to reform and renew the worldwide Anglican Church, and to call upon ungodly leaders to repent of their sins.
By sending Mandy and me to GAFCON as part of the 216 Australian delegates, our local church has given genuine support to worldwide Anglicans who have been persecuted and abandoned by their church leaders.
In doing so, Mandy and I have been reminded afresh that we should never take for granted the blessings of our precious local church and the godly, biblical leadership in our diocese.
We are very blessed!