Canberra: Day 2 & 3

Well, much has happened over the last 2 days in Canberra.

Monday was gentle ease into the week – we spent some time getting to know the Crossroads team, doing some walk-up evangelism training with the students at FOCUS at the Australian National University, then in the evening a few of us were able to take part in an open discussion night for people who were thinking about paid ministry and bible college for the future.

Today we put the walk-up training into action as we joined FOCUS for a few hours of walk-up at the ANU. By all accounts so excellent conversation were had and people showed a lot of interested in the other events that FOCUS is putting on across the week. Praise God for the students at FOCUS who are convinced that the gospel is true and boldly took the opportunity to share it today. Pray that those we spoke to will take the opportunity to go the other events and hear who Jesus is.

This afternoon 6 of us went to Turner Primary school to help out with an afternoon kids club called SUPA. The day started with leaders demonstrating Jesus servant heartedness by washing the feet of all the children. Thank God for the 3 kids who came today, for the first time.Pray that kids will remember that Easter is about Jesus, the king who washes our sin away.

But much more is still to come for day 3. Please pray for the 3 events on tonight

  • Cameron will be speaking on God’s grace at ADFA
  • Nick will be answering tough questions at a dialogue dinner
  • Adam will be answering whatever questions are thrown at him at a Q&A session at ANU. Pray especially for Adam who is unwell

Pray that many will come to these events, and be convicted of the truth of the gospel.

 

[republished from here]

Answering tough questions in Canberra

Yesterday was a great start to mission in Canberra. Both morning services went well with Crossroads South having their biggest service yet.

Much of the day was spent meeting and getting to know the families we will be living with this week.

Kate and Cameron were lucky enough to be able to join a family who, in light of neighbour day, had invited their whole street over to the house for lunch. They have 8 neighbours visit, most of whom didn’t know each and yet stayed for over 3 hours. Thank God for the new friendships that were formed, and pray that Ken & Jo (hosts) would continue to work on those relationships, and embrace opportunities to share Jesus’ words of eternal life with their neighbours.

The whole team was together for the first time yesterday at Crossroads in the City, a night congregation that meets at the ANU.

The lecture theatre was just about packed out, and Con preached on the Invention of Dying (for sins) from Isaiah 53. After church, we had areas set up where people could come and speak to members of the team to get answers to tough questions such as

  • Are science and Christianity against each other?
  • Can we believe the Bible?
  • Does God really punish people who don’t trust in him?
  • Is Jesus the only way?

No-one was sure how or if this would work, but it was a great success! Most the discussion groups had a lot of interest – in fact the science and Christianity discussion have to split into 3 groups.

We also had some areas where people could go for prayer and to talk about how to become a Christian. Last night a guy who the church has contact with though ADFA finally made the decision to follow Jesus! Praise God for him and those who have been sharing, & will continue to share, God’s word with him.

Praise God for a great first day and please keep praying for the team’s preparation for various events, interactions with church members (especially our billets) and those doing work with the ANU team.

 

(republished from here)

Behind the scenes: Canberra

Today was our final team meeting before we all arrive at Crossroads Church, Canberra, on Sunday morning.

We’re all really excited about the chance to partner with Crossroads for the week and we would love your prayers as we do so. Please pray for us as we prepare talks, kids programs, for door knocking, walk up evangelism and to answer difficult questions. Pray that we would always be prepared to give an answer for the reason for the hope that we have and that we would answer with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15-16).

Here is a snapshot of our calendar for the week

It’s going to be busy so please pray for the team as we navigate events in multiple locations. Pray that we would work well together, and with the team at Crossroads. Above all pray that we would be worthy ambassadors of Christ and that people would be compelled to consider who Jesus is.

(reposted from here)

 

Mission in the nation’s capital

Once again the time has come for Moore College to send us out into the world (literally) to partner with churches for a week of mission. While many of our teams will be Sydney based, there are a few teams heading a little further.

This year my mission team is heading to Canberra to work with Crossroads Church for 8 days, starting Sunday. Much excitement!

But we’re not the team going the furthest. One team will be on planes this weekend, heading to Hong Kong for the week.

If you want to know a little about what we do on mission read about my last 2 years here.

It’s always a busy week and of course we’d love your prayerful support as we head out. If you’d like to pray for us, or if you would just like to know what’s happening, you can read updates from all the teams on the moore college mission blog. I’ll be over there, keeping you updated on behalf of the Canberra team.

You can also follow the #mooremissions tweets.

When things don’t go as planned…

On Monday morning the team went to the unusual community of Macquarie Links to do some letter box drops. The reason this community is so unusual is that it’s a gated community that surrounds a beautiful looking golf course. House prices in the suburb starts at the $500 000 mark, which is highly unusual for this area of the South West.

There’s one family who attend St Barnabas Ingleburn who live in Macquarie Links. They are very keen to open their home to a small group for the area, and so the letters we delivered on Monday invited each and every resident to one of 2 meetings to discuss and ask questions about Christianity – either Wednesday night or Friday morning.

On Wednesday night 6 people from the community turned up. They’re all Christians and very glad to have contact with other Christians in the area. A great night of prayer and testimony was had and there are plans in place to continue to meet up with this group.

Today was the second of these meetings. Jacque, Dan and I went over ready with gospel presentations and testimonies and hopefully some answers to people’s questions.

Sadly, it seems that Friday mornings is not the best time for this obviously very hard-working community. Even though we had no guests we chatted about the gospel and shared testimonies with our host, Jenny and her daughter Sharon. It was an amazingly encouraging time listening to Jenny share her story and to spend time in prayer with her, for her, her family and thanking God for Jesus.

Jacque shares her testimony

This meeting didn’t exactly go as planned but God is good all the time, and he gave us a great gift of encouragement this morning from a faithful woman who loves Jesus and seeks to love others and he would.

Jenny shares her home & her life

Jenny is the kind of woman that everyone wishes they had at their church and it was a pleasure to share her life with her today.

Thinking about church planting

Yesterday our team spent some time hearing about a church plant gone wrong from the minister who eventually made the decision to shut it down.

It was interesting listening to his reflections on what may have gone wrong and how it do it better but the most striking statement for me was his warning to us not to fall into the trap of thinking MTC needs more practical subjects. Practical things are best learnt as we get out there and do them. Theological study is important because it shapes our doctrine, which in turns shapes why we do what we do. We must get our doctrine right first.

Mission 2010

It starts on Sunday.

I both love and hate it at the same time. The fact that the timetable we got last night looks strangely different to the one we got last week frustrates me. The fact that we have 3 women’s groups running simultaneously on Thursday is an interesting development. One of the biggest frustrations is that the one big women’s event has no gospel talk.

But all that aside I’m excited about lots of opportunities to tell people about Jesus. (If you don’t know him read about how he will change your life here)

It’s sure to be a busy but great week. Looking forward to sharing some stories in a week!

UPDATE: each mission team will be sharing some stories throughout the week on a blog set up especially for Moore College mission. Read about our time at Ingleburn, along with the other teams’ stories here

If you’re on twitter #MooreMission is the hash tag you want to follow for the week

Mission – Day 8

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Well we have come to the last day of mission – and it has been quite a week!

Friday was all about Barker College. We went and hung out at year 10 chapel – Steve Blyth preached up a storm and Andrew gave a great testimony. We they hit up their lunch time group where Gus – the MT-er at St Andrews Wahroonga – challenged the kids on being workers for the harvest, and I gave a testimony. (Want to read it? Check out my about page.)

After that we tag along to some Christian studies classes. I went to a Year 7 boys class where the teacher gave the kids 30 minutes to grill me and my team mate on any questions they had about the bible, God etc. That was a tough 30 minutes!

Friday night I left my mission team to tackle the youth at All Saints Waitara while I headed back to my church (St Augustines Neutral Bay) to speak to 30+ primary school girls about what is better than chocolate. They were a tough crowd but I know at least one girl left understanding the gospel so praise God for that!

Saturday was the Family Festival at All Saints. Despite not the best weather a heap of people from the community turned up and seemed to have a great time – many stayed for a few hours. I have a blast walking around giving people ‘The Essential Jesus’ (Luke’s gospel) and free Colin DVD’s for their kids. It was a great day and the church raised $4000! It was a great day and the church did an awesome job!

This morning I hit up 8:30 church (after a much appreicated extra hours sleep) and 10am church. Pretty soon I’ll be heading off to get ready for 5pm cafe church and then pizza and trivia night. After that a brief team meeting and then i’ll hit the road for Newtown and I much anticipated LONG nights sleep in my own bed.

Read more about earlier in the week here and here.

What to hear about other missions? Mike has a stack here.

It has been an amazing week! Praise God for his work through us and the 2 churches we have been serving. Pray that many seeds will have been sown onto ground of deep soil that will produce a crop.

I had many hesitations before mission but it has been an awesome week and God has given me many opportunities to serve that have help me think hard about my future after college. It has been a week that has started to cement my thinking about what I will do. Please pray for wisdom as I think through what to do over the next few years while I’m at college to best equip myself for the future.

Mission – Day 6

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So here we are at day 6. What a great week it has been!!

Wednesday was about the best day of my life (slight exaggeration but it was a good day). Chapel at Abbotsleigh seemed to go well. I had fun, girls seemed to be listening, lots of good feedback was given.

Following this a group of 6 of us went to Hornsby Girls High to do a Q&A withe the Christian lunchtime group. This group of girls was amazing! They usually have anywhere between 30 – 60 girls (50 showed up on wed) and it is run by a group of year 11 girls. I was so encouraged by the work that these girls put into running this group and they do a great job! We had some amazing questions to answer and didn’t get through anywhere near as many as we would have liked. It was a great time of interaction between the team and the girls. Thanks for having us ladies :)

I then had the afternoon to chillax which is always nice.

At night we had a ladies coffee and dessert at All Saints Waitara. It was a lovely privilege to be able to hear my wonderful friend Megan preached on the greatest makeover ever. On of the greatest things about mission is to be able to serve alongside your college friends and its always great to hear them preach. Megs did a great job!

Read more about my team’s mission here.

About to hit the road for chapel and lunchtime group at Barker. Pray it goes well

Abbotsleigh Chapel – 1 John 1:8-9

Thanks for all your prayers for my talk at Abbotsleigh.

For anyone who is interested here is my talk. This was for high school girls, most of whom are not Christians, but who hear the gospel in chapel every week. If you have feedback you would like to give feel free to email rather than post it here. Thanks

If you could be anywhere right now where would you be?
If I were you I‘d want to be almost anywhere but in chapel.
I would especially not want to listen to who ever was doing what I’m doing right now.
My mind would probably be wandering, thinking about all the better ways I could be using my time.
I could be hanging out with my friends, lying on the grass in the sun sleeping or getting a tan, I could be planning my weekend; I could probably even find some school work to do that would be better than this. Perhaps I’d even be wondering would any one notice if I fell asleep right here.
So if your thinking that – first let me say – I’m onto you!
Now the reason I can say all this is that if I had chapel when I was at school, that’s exactly what I’d have be thinking. I didn’t have chapel at my school, but my parents took me along to church every week – which I think was worse cause it went for twice as long! And I have to get up early on Sunday mornings!
Every week I went and heard the same story – Jesus died blah blah blah
And I would think – I know this, I hear it all the time. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand, I’m not stupid, I got it – I just didn’t care, I wasn’t excited by it!
So you can imagine how happy I was when I turned 18, had a car and a licence and some independence – it wasn’t long before I stopped going to church – after all I knew all the answers.
So no church meant I felt free to go do what I want – so that’s exactly what I did.
I went out and partied as much as I could, got drunk all the time and basically didn’t care about anything.
But gradually I would hear a little voice in the back of my head saying – what are you doing? This is the ‘sin’ stuff you have been hearing about all your life. And I slowly realised that I was completely ignoring God and this was hurtful to God. And it was hurtful to me as well. It was not a good way to live.
And more and more I realised that this was what sin was and it was putting a barrier between me and God – a big one!
Then I started to worry about this. I thought that God would never be able to forgive everything that I had done, and remove that barrier.
I knew that Jesus had died so that God could forgive me – but I didn’t think it was enough to forgive everything.
But one day someone read something to me – it said

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I was amazed that this didn’t say he will forgive us our sins to a certain point, or he will forgive some of our sins. But it didn’t say that – it said he will forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness.

Why does he do this though? Its so beyond what I would thought God would do – I had ignored God, so why would he forgive me for everything?
It tells us why – because he is faithful and just.
God showed his faithfulness to us by sending Jesus to die on the cross.
Jesus died to take the punishment for ours sins and this is what enables God to forgive us for everything.
Jesus says that if we believe in him we won’t be punished but instead will have eternal life.
God is faithful to that promise – so when you hear that he forgives ALL your sins you can trust that he can and will do that, no matter how bad you might think your sins are.

And this sentence also tells us what needs to happen for him to forgive us – it starts by saying ‘if we confess our sins’.
So God is faithful and will forgive EVERYTHING but we need to be prepared to admit and confess those things to him.

There may be some of you thinking that this has no meaning for you and that you don’t need to confess anything to God.
Let me read the sentence before this one to you.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

If you think you don’t have sin that is a barrier between you and God, you’re kidding yourself.

If that’s you – I want to say two things to you.
First is that God is faithful. He loves you and you have no reason to be afraid that he won’t or can’t forgive you. He has told us that through Jesus he will forgive us and he is faithful to that promise – and that is great exciting news!

The second thing I want to tell you is that you’re not alone. Your Christian friends and Christian studies teachers have all been through this too. If you want to confess your sins to God I’m going to give you a chance to do that in a moment and then your friends would love to celebrate your forgiveness with you.

Forgiveness is a great thing! But God doesn’t just forgive us – he also promises to purify us from all unrighteousness. God cleans us from the stain of sin and guilt, so that we are acceptable to him. Because he shows his goodness to us we need to stop ignoring him, and instead start following him.

The truth is that everyone in this room has sin between them and God.
If you have admitted your sin to God, you have been forgiven…. Completely and for everything.
Everyone else is deceiving herself.

If you want to be in that first group of people I am about to pray a prayer that you could pray with me.
First I tell you what I’m going to say and then I will pray one line at a time so you can repeat it in your hearts and minds after me.

Here’s what I will pray.
Dear God,
I am sorry that I have sinned. I know that this puts a barrier between you and me.
Please forgive me.
Thank you for sending Jesus so that I can be forgiven.
Amen

If you would like to pray that then you can do that with me now. If you don’t want to pray that’s ok but I’m going to ask you to bow your head and close your eyes anyway.

Lets pray.

If you didn’t pray that with me but you have questions then your Christian studies teachers would love to hear your questions and help answer them, or I will be here for a while and would also love to talk to you.
If you prayed that prayer that’s great and I know that your friends and teachers would love to hear that, and I would like to encourage you now by reading again what was once read to me –

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.