After a marathon start to mission, day six and seven afforded the opportunity for some much needed rest. Half of our team had Friday as a rest-day, while the other half continued on with scripture seminars, walk-up, and the massive regional ‘Free to Be’ youth event last night at WIN Entertainment centre.
Along with the regular scripture routine, a group of us attended a local high school yesterday to run hour-long seminars for years 7-12. These were a great opportunity for us to spend time with young people, speaking to them about who the bible says Jesus is, who he is to us, and how they would fill in the blank – Jesus is…
We found that many who came along didn’t know much about Jesus or the bible, and John’s Easter egg history as well as Jess’ testimony that Jesus is accepting, lead into some really great group discussions. We also went along to the regular lunchtime group. Three girls from year seven came along for the first time, intrigued by what they had heard earlier that morning in the seminar. Thank God that His Son is captivating, and pray they would be challenged to consider for themselves who Jesus is.
Good conversations have continued throughout the week, including one Jie had with D, a non-Christian. D is studying at the University of Wollongong and was invited to the Civic Centre event by some of his friends at Kiama Anglican. They talked about all kinds of things – including who God is and his character, and what sin was. D thinks there is a God but he doesn’t know what he is like and thought that there wasn’t a lot of evidence out there. Jie then shared some of the evidence for Jesus and his resurrection. Praise God, D seemed keen to check it out further, and the Christian friend that came with him was more than willing to keep chatting to him about it. Please pray for D that he’ll be able to trust in Jesus and also give thanks for his friend who invited him along, stuck with him the whole night, and was encouraging his questions.
As mentioned, Friday night was the Free to Be youth event, which had over 2000 young people in attendance. The band Whitefield played, and Brett Middleton spoke on how God both knows us and loves us, and we don’t have to be afraid before Him because Jesus clothes us. The vibe in the room was great, with many youth making a commitment to trust and follow Jesus. It was great to see so many young people celebrating and praising God together – hats off to the Christ for All team who organised the event
This morning there was a men’s breakfast in Gerringong, with a number of guys from our team speaking or sharing their testimonies. Ask God to use these words and these stories to bring Him glory and impact the lives of those who heard them.
Another group from Moore headed out to Berkeley in order to connect with the community and partner with the ENC church there. Berkeley is a unique place with a unique ministry. They have an op-shop that has become a local hub for Berkeley, and it has been hugely beneficial for our team to hear from Wayne and learn about the Gospel work he has been involved with in the area. The team report that everyone in Berkeley apparently know who Rev Wayne is. The perseverance of his efforts are evident – one lady who is now an avid church attender was visited weekly at her home for 5 years before she finally came along. Praise God for the faithfulness of His people who persist in loving and connecting with the people of Berkeley and sharing who Jesus is with them.
The other half of the team has today as their rest day, with most of them getting together down in Shellharbour for brunch before heading off for some rest and relaxation. After a people-filled week, I was definitely looking forward to a bit of time on my own to recuperate and recharge ready for another full day tomorrow with our host churches.
Mission for us is drawing to a close, but it is uplifting to know that our faithful brothers and sisters down here will continue the work of making Christ known to the Illawarra community. Pray for perseverance in this ongoing work.