Today, 23 July 2013, marks the day three years ago, that the Canberra Declaration was launched. The launch event was hosted by an Indigenous Christian Leader, Ps Norman Miller from Cairns in front of Parliament House, Canberra. Dr Graham McLennan, head of the National Alliance of Christian Leaders spoke along with Barbara Miller, International Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. All those who were gathered knelt on the sunny lawns of Parliament House to commit the Canberra Declaration to God in prayer.
23 July 2010 on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra
Today also marks a very important military milestone from World War II. 23 July 2013 is the 71st anniversary of the first engagement of the Australian troops with the advancing Japanese troops on the Kokoda Track.
Coincidentally this is also the 71st Canberra Declaration Good News Update!
Please find below a copy of a letter I received from a signatory of the Canberra Declaration back in August 2010.
Dear Canberra Declaration Team,
I write to let you know that the date of the release of the Canberra Declaration at Parliament House on 23 July 2010 happened to be the 68th anniversary of the first engagement of Australian and Japanese troops on the Kokoda Track during WWII.
As I reflect on this I wonder if the Kokoda campaign has something to say to those of us who have signed the Canberra Declaration.
The Kokoda campaign proved to be one of the bloodiest of WWII. The initial contact at Buna was the start of a long fighting withdrawal over the Owen Stanley Ranges as the unexpected Japanese invasion greatly outnumbered the small Aussie “Maroubra Force”. But it was heroic fighting that eventually brought the Japanese force, who outnumbered the Australians 5 to 1, to a halt. This was at Ioribaiwa on 28 September when it became evident the Japanese were beginning to withdraw. Then after almost four more months of heavy fighting the Japanese were driven back to Buna and defeated in “The Battle of the Beaches”. It was a great but costly victory.
Like the Japanese invasion the recent election campaign came upon us very suddenly and it seems to me we are in a fighting withdrawal until more believers are alerted to join the battle for Australia. The Canberra Declaration has helped many Christians to understand what is at stake for our nation and to join the fight which I believe will be won or lost in the place of prayer. And so I was greatly encouraged to see on your website that one of your stated hopes is to “encourage prayer and action” to address the issues we are currently facing.
It seems like God is already orchestrating prayer as the day the Canberra Declaration was released was the first day of a call to ’30 Days of Prayer’ by Pastor Graham Sercombe of Southern Cross Ministries 23 July, 2010 also happened to be our church men’s fellowship half-night of prayer for Australia. Personally I feel burdened more and more to pray and to encourage others to pray for Australia.
And so I am wondering if the Canberra Declaration is looking for anyone to co-ordinate prayer for its network. I have had a career of 10 years in the Canadian military and 24 years as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. I have been married 27 years and have 3 grown daughters. I have only been to Canberra once and that was in 1988 for the National Gathering with 50,000 other Christians to open the new Parliament House with prayer. I would be very happy to send my CV if you thought appropriate.
I close with the concluding words of Jesus from the parable of the persistent widow. Jesus said “And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?” (Luke 18:7)
I pray that God will use the Canberra Declaration as a powerful weapon in His hand.
Yours in Christ,
Since that time the Canberra Declaration has gathered 44,278 online signatories with up to 4,500 signatures still awaiting entry.
The Canberra Declaration has played a vital role, along with many other groups, in the following areas:
Preserving the best interests of Australia’s children in important pieces of legislation.
Preserving marriage between a man and a woman.
Defeat of the so-called ‘Bill of Rights’.
Defeat and removal of anti-family and anti-Christian national leaders.
Protection of Australia’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
Support of Graham Preston, jailed for his firm but compassionate stand against abortion.
Support of Senator John Madigan’s Bill against ‘gender selective abortion’.
Advocacy for family friendly viewing on TV and in other forms of media.
Active promotion of several national prayer and fasting initiatives for Australia.
Prayer and practical support for Queensland flood victims and other national disasters.
None of the above would have been possible without your help and support over the last three years. Thank you.
It has been a long hard battle, and in many cases we have lost ground. At times it feels hopeless. But many of us believe that through prayer the tide is beginning to turn. As David Rowsome has pointed out, the similarities between the battle for Australia that was fought on the Kokoda Track and the current battle for truth in Australia are striking.
The good news is that the writer of the above letter, David Rowsome, along with his beautiful wife Marilyn, have joined the team at the Canberra Declaration as full-time voluntary missionaries in the battle to see this nation turn back to God.
We write to you today for three reasons:
1. To celebrate our third anniversary and thank you for your partnership in the battle.
2. To ask if you would consider supporting David and Marilyn Rowsome with both your prayers and your financial assistance where possible. Please check out their website to better understand their heart and mission and/or make a donation.
3. To ask if you would consider helping the Canberra Declaration in some practical way. We need help with promoting, campaigning, coordinating, Facebook, website, submissions, data entry, fundraising and in many other areas.
Just as Australian troops volunteered to fight against the overwhelming forces of the Japanese, so we are asking for volunteers like David and Marilyn, to donate some of their time to helping out. Click here for Our Volunteer Application Form
Thank you for all you have done over the last three years in the battle for our nation. Together we are making a difference!
Yours for our nation
Canberra Declaration Team
PS. David Rowsome has today released a free devotional e-book titled, ‘Up the Track with JESUS – Reflections on KOKODA for Men’. This small 50-page booklet is in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the first engagement of the Australian troops with the advancing Japanese troops on the Kokoda Track and the third anniversary of the Canberra Declaration. Download here.
PPS. Continuing the note of celebration, it is reported that 1.2 million tuned in at its peak to see ‘The Bible’ Series on Channel 9 last Tuesday night. Thanks for watching. It may not be as accurate as we would like but if thousands are hearing these stories for the first time, we can celebrate. Pray it will draw them to find out more. Episodes 3 and 4 are on at 9 pm tonight.
From the Archives
This 2 min video clip is from the ceremony which launched the Canberra Declaration on 23 July, 2013. The words of the speakers in this video are still relevant for us today.
Canberra Declaration Launch
David Rowsome, back in 2010, recorded this 3 min video clip at his home in Brisbane when he first became the voluntary prayer coordinator of Canberra Declaration. His message is still relevant for us today.
Canberra Declaration Prayer Coordinator, David Rowsome
The Canberra Declaration is the work of many people and organisations. The administration of the initiative is being supported by the Australian Christian Values Institute and Australian Heart Ministries.
A big thank you to those who have already contributed! Every donation makes such a difference.
Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Please click here to donate.