Had a great time with St Andrews Presbyterian in Townsville, participating in the service, with a significant group staying for a presentation afterwards. Some keen questioning followed, with evident interest in our PNG plans. The Barbers hosted us for lunch, where we caught up with some grey-nomad friends from Wauchope, NSW.
Finally…. had the opportunity to speak to our home church. Around fifty folk from Willows, together with a number of friends from other churches, enjoyed a light lunch before our presentation. Encouraging to receive a number of prayer partner requests on the day, and several expressions of interest in ongoing support.
It has acted as a bit of a springboard to the next four months, which will see us away from our church family for all but two weeks. We’ll update soon with our calendar of church speaking events, as we hit the road on our way to Christmas with family in Toowoomba and northern NSW.
Please be praying for our adjustment to absence from close friends, and leaving behind the structures of support and accountability.
A trip to Brisbane provided the opportunity to meet with the Queensland Committee of APWM. It was a great encouragement to receive such genuine support, and an unexpected blessing to renew some twenty year old friendships! Everywhere we go, we keep meeting older folk who have served in PNG, and elsewhere, decades ago – and the passion for mission still burns bright and clear. [ wish I had thought to grab a photo] I pray that we may have such passion for decades to come.
On the Sunday, we visited our previous church family in Brisbane, and were warmly welcomed. Had we been more prepared, we would have had photos of the two little girls they remember fondly – now 21 and 19 years old. A return visit has been pencilled in for early 2014, with an opportunity to share our ministry plans at a church dinner. God continues to encourage us on this journey, and we are very thankful.
We had our first opportunities to speak to Nth Qld churches, and a Christian uni student camp in July. In spite of first-time nerves, the presence of many familiar faces and the overall warm welcome made the task much easier.
We are grateful to the folk of Atherton Presbyterian, and The Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Cairns, for the time to speak during the services. We had several good conversations afterwards, and look forward to building relationships with these congregations and their members.
Speaking to the JCU Christian Union (CU) students at Mid Year Camp (photo attached) was a bit more relaxed, as we have been catering for the camp since 2006 – keeping the hungry hordes satisfied guaranteed us a good reception I’m sure. It was encouraging to have several students comment on the presentation during the remainder of the camp.
We are still coming to terms with our role as ‘misso speakers’. Please pray that we can remain focused on the eventual goal, and patient with God as He builds a partnership team to get us there.