Day One of Illawarra mission has kicked off with a beautiful, hot and sunny morning down south. All of our team were spread across a number of churches throughout the Illawarra region, with many of our more senior students preaching God’s word to the local congregations here.
For those of us at Harbour Church in Shellharbour, we heard 4th-year student Andrew West teaching us about the prodigal son, calling us to consider our own response to a loving and gracious Father. After morning church, we headed down to the village for fish and chips in the sunshine, followed by a refreshing dip in the local ocean pool. Coming from the inner west of Sydney, this was a very different sort of post-church activity to what I am used to. It was such a joy to see everyone laughing and splashing about together, with my billet host, Jodie, even getting pulled into the water by the kids – fully clothed! Quiet afternoons with our generous and hospitable hosts left us feeling encouraged and re-energised for the 6pm service.
Across other churches, we had members of the team at Gerringong, Stu Jansen preached at Oak Flats today, Jack Wong at Jamberoo, Peter Blair at Kiama, Chris Townsend at Shellharbour City, Andy Bootes at Berkeley, Antony Weiss at Park Rail, and YC Tang at St Paul’s Shellharbour.
For Jack Wong, today was actually Day Two of mission, as he joined Jamberoo last night for their Saturday evening service and youth group.
The team is feeling excited for the week, anticipating the many opportunities we will have to encourage our brothers and sisters who we are partnering with in mission, as well as the potential of gospel-focused conversations with members of the local community. Praise God for the local members of the church who are excited for this mission and have already been using resources to start conversations about Jesus at work.
Tomorrow is mostly a day of training and preparation for walk-up and the plethora of school scripture seminars we will be running across the region throughout the week. Pray we can prepare well and rejoice at the privilege of sharing the good news that Jesus is Lord with people in the Illawarra region, both young and old. We will spend the afternoon/evening connecting with the local communities and spending time with our hosts. Ask God to help us speak about Jesus winsomely and with conviction, and pray we will be willing listeners, eager to hear other people’s stories and be of great encouragement to them.
For now, I’m off to bed to try and get some sleep before heading to the train station at 5am tomorrow to invite commuters to come to the events on throughout the week 🙂
Thanks for your prayerful support! We look forward to keeping you updated on how we see God at work throughout the week!