Today was hot in the Shire! But despite the unseasonal heat, Jesus was at work building his church.
Our Sunday in 5 points…
- We partnered with the local Anglican church in Jannali and Sutherland
- Team members preached and gave testimonies at 7 church services (8 including Saturday night)
- We served in kids and youth ministries at both churches
- We welcomed new residents of Jannali to the area, inviting them to church
- We interviewed confirmation candidates at Jannali, encouraging them to take steps forwards for Jesus
Our Sunday in 3 stories…
Jannali has five-weekend church services. The first of these meets on Saturday nights and this was the first taste of mission for several team members. Last night, two people responded to the sermon that they wanted to place their trust in Jesus. Praise God! Pray for wisdom for the pastoral team at Jannali, as they follow up this response. Ask God that this response would prove to be the response of good soil to the scattered seed.
The 8am service of St John’s Sutherland was the starting point for other team members and the church members who opted for that service proved to be wise before the heat escalated throughout the day. When the team left church at 8pm, it was still sweltering outside! Chris Gray (4th year) and Paul Young (4th year) did preach up a storm, and whilst this didn’t materialise in refreshing precipitation, more importantly, it left a powerful challenge for those who were there – Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Pray that those from all age groups who heard this challenge will trust Jesus as Lord. Ask God to sustain and energise the saints at Sutherland, as they plough for the lost in God’s harvest field.
My personal highlight for the day was a great picture of mission supporting the work of the local church. It began at 3pm with a meeting between 7 members of Jannali Anglican and 8 members of our team. There we prepared for an afternoon of welcoming – welcoming those who have recently moved to Jannali or surrounding suburbs. So armed with a bit of information about the church, I was paired up with Irene who had been eagerly anticipating this day for twelve months. When I referenced the heat, she said “yeah, but we can’t cancel this! It’s too important!” Her eagerness was infectious. The first house we visited was in the suburb of Como, down the hill from Jannali. When we got to the front door, the owner of the house called out ‘welcome! Welcome! Come in! Come in!’.
Never, in the history of Moore College mission, have doorknockers been welcomed so eagerly.
So, Irene and I walked in. The female owner then asked, “what number do you guys live at?” Slightly puzzled, we explained that we were paying a visit on behalf of Jannali Anglican to welcome them to the area. She responded, “oh, so how did you hear about the afternoon tea?” Our increasingly puzzled faces prompted an explanation from our hospitable host. She had planned an afternoon tea to begin at 4pm and she had invited the whole street in so was expecting guests and eager to talk. By this stage, her husband had joined us and as we realised the coincidence*, we got talking about church and this lady explained that her two teenage sons attend local churches and that one of them goes to St John’s Sutherland. There was little interest in revealing their own attitude towards all things Christian, which was fine – we didn’t push. We spoke for 5 or so minutes and continued on our way.
Three hours later at Sutherland’s evening service, I spoke with their son Cameron who was amazed to hear that I had a conversation with his parents that afternoon (it is strange* to think that someone who is coming to do mission at your church had a random* interaction with your non-church going parents before they had met you). He was excited at this opportunity to talk to his parents about the information they had received from a local church. Pray for Cameron as he speaks to his parents about Jesus. Ask God to give him an other-worldly love for his parents which will bear witness to the saving work of Christ in his life. Praise God for the mysterious ways in which he works!
*This word could also be conveyed as the working of the Sovereign hand of God. Let the reader understand.