There’s a fourth Moore College team going overseas this week – Team Hobart have taken off over the Bass Strait and met up in the Eastern Shore suburb of Bellerive. As a local of this beautiful state, and one half of our blog team (the other being the wonderful Susan) my aim is by the end of this week to convince you of the wonders of the Island State – and of course to encourage you about the faithful gospel work going on down here, and let you know about how you can be praying for the ministry here.
Upon arrival in Hobart Airport (proudly boasting on its website to be “Australia’s ninth busiest domestic passenger airport”), our team were met with the unique airport experiences of a quarantine sniffer dog to ensure that no ‘mainland contaminants’ were brought in to the state, as well as a plastic seal on the luggage carousel promoting boat tours around the south east corner of the state. It’s evident from the moment you step out on to the tarmac in Hobart that Tasmania is fiercely patriotic, if you can be patriotic to a state; everywhere you look things are being labelled as Tasmanian to distinguish them from ‘imported’ products from the ‘mainland’. This is just one half of the Tasmanian mindset in regards to the rest of Australia – fiercely proud and patriotic, but on the other hand, desperate not to be left out or excluded (see this article for some examples: https://goo.gl/gsWYQD)
But onto more pertinent matters. We arrived on Saturday evening at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Bellerive, just around the corner from the iconic Bellerive Oval. So close is the oval that the light towers are visible over the main church entrance. The tagline for the church at the moment is “hope found here”, and that is also the theme for this mission week; the hope found in Jesus Christ. During the week we will be partnering with this great church, fitting in with their events and joining them in their mission to the local area, holding out the message of the gospel which offers the only real hope for people to have a future after death, and we would treasure your prayers as we take part in this task by God’s grace.
Despite the cool temperature on Saturday evening, we were warmly welcomed at the church by our hosts (and hot pizza) and I think I can even speak for the non-Tasmanians on our team when I say that we felt at home at the church very quickly. It has already been a great encouragement to us to see the faithfulness of the people here in the church and their desire to see the message of Christ go out to their community.
During the week we will be helping with the church’s three services (8:30, 10 and 6, including preaching, testimonies and kids ministry), visiting nursing homes, doorknocking and leafleting, joining bible studies, running youth group, and helping with a mens breakfast and a womens dessert night.
Please be praying for:
- Team unity for our small team of 12 people
- Continued good relationship with those at the church who we are partnering with
- The events that the church has planned during the week as outlined in the last paragraph
- Locals in the community who we come into contact with:
- That many would take up the invitations to come to church and various events during the week, and
- That God would use these opportunities to open their heart to the gospel truth and the hope found in Jesus, and
- That those who do come along would feel welcomed at the church and form good lasting relationships with church members.