There is a train that leaves Tamworth railway station at 10.27am every day, headed for Sydney. To avoid missing that one train, many commuters get there early. Making the most of this opportunity, a couple of team members headed over there, armed with a coffee machine and toaster and read to chat. Some of our conversations went deep, with people sharing about deaths in their family, sickness and broken relationships. We were able to pray with them, share our hope in Christ, and invite them to seek out love and care at the church.
Another group then headed to Calrossy Anglican School. We met with the school chaplains who shared their philosophy of schools’ ministry and about their vast roles, having hundreds of kids in their care (with 90 percent of those coming from a non-Christian background). We got to sit in a couple of classes and take part in Q&A. The students asked about us, and then some really encouraging (and challenging!) questions about Christianity: why Jesus had to die on a cross, when did sin enter the world, and how did God save people before Jesus was born? It was a great encouragement to see how God is at work in and through the chaplains there.
In the evening, a special Aboriginal Outreach Forum was held for the first time at the church, with more than 80 church members from across the four services in attendance. The night kicked off with testimonies from two local Aboriginal Christian leaders about their experiences growing up. Moore College graduate, Jum Naden also spoke briefly about his life, before sharing about the church’s ministry to Aboriginal people in Coledale.
Coledale is a suburb of Tamworth with 3000 people, of which 30 percent are Aboriginal (that’s twelve times the state average!). Over several years, the church has built an informal gathering from a five-person home group to 30 adults and 50 kids meeting in the front yard of a local elder, where they sing, hear from the Bible and BBQ together.
At the end of the night, the local Aboriginal Christian leaders answered questions from church members about the work of sharing the gospel with Aboriginal people. It was humbling to hear about the pain of the past and hope for the future. In response to the question ‘is reconciliation truly possible?’ the leaders answered with barely a pause: ‘of course! God has done it in Christ’. Amen!
Please join us and pray for:
- the broken-hearted in Tamworth, that they will draw near to God and find the love and security they long for in Christ.
- the two school chaplains as they love their students like Christ and present the hope of the gospel to them.
- God to continue blessing the Coledale ministry and raising up Christian leaders in the Aboriginal community.