A good year

Heavenly Father, thank you for the students who have been shaped by your word in JCU this year. May their joy in Christ grow more and more as they see more and more their own weakness and sin and recognise the surpassing worth of Christ in them.

Amen.

Thanks for echoing this prayer as you read, and for any other’s that you have prayed for us up here as we proclaim Christ at JCU. You join in this ministry in a very real way as you do! You are my valuable co-workers and I thank God for you.

Our hybrid in-person / Zoom AGM

It has been an odd year but a good one in many ways. One of the most exciting moments for us as a group this year has been our AGM. Don’t be tempted to think, “What perversely boring people these Cairns students must be!” This AGM means we have finally become an official group on campus, with the blatant and beautiful aim of presenting the gospel of Jesus to people at JCU! It’s something I can remember praying for as a student in Townsville many years ago, and what many others have been asking God for before and since (cue – much rejoicing!) But please also cue – much prayer, because becoming an official group means nothing if we are not a prayerfully dependant group, feeding on God’s word, pointing people to Jesus. We’re small, my leadership is glitchy, the understanding of our mission on campus is limited, we may even collapse as a group one day. But the gospel is still glorious, God’s word is not chained, God’s strength shines out in our weakness, so we’ll keep endeavouring to proclaim Christ at JCU when we can, however we can.

Heavenly Father, may you open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, amen.

Here’s a short prayer from this blog a little while back for our new student leaders voted in at the AGM.

A good year, I say, because I have seen God building up our students and bringing along others (despite COVID and my own slowness in following people up). I rejoice over (and keep praying for) one student who has been investigating Jesus since COVID lockdowns and wants to get to the bottom of what it means to be a Christian. I have been humbled and encouraged by another student who kept coming to a discipleship catch up despite great personal, relational cost. I have been amazed as some I thought the quietest bring their friends along to talks and Bible studies.

Lord, thank you for the new students who have come along. Please keep building up your kingdom, rescuing people from the kingdom of darkness and transferring them to the kingdom of your Son. Please bring redemption and forgiveness to those who are still coming to know Christ. Please enable us to live in Christ, rooted and built up in the faith, amen.

The students have been in the thick of exams recently so we decided to have a relaxing social down at one of the many wonderful beaches of Cairns. A good chance for them to have a rest in the midst of study and also to get to see us as a family together which we haven’t been able to do much of since COVID. Here’s something to pray for the students in the midst of their exams.

Between now and the end of the year is the epic conference called NTE (national training event). This year it is even more epic as we are running it as a separate conference for different states. So all the usual tried and tested logistics gets thrown out the window and new accommodation sites, new caterers, new everything has to be considered. It is though, the same training in the Bible where students dig deep into it for themselves and practice how to read and understand it well; the same great preaching of the gospel that reminds us of our awesome saviour and spurs us on in faith, hope and love. We will also be having some talks online that all the different students from around Australia can listen to together.

I am especially excited that we have two of our students coming along to NTE this year. NTE is a great conference to be trained up and encouraged, but it really helps students grasp who we are as a group around Australia, what we’re on about, and what we are wanting to do on campus.

Father, may our students coming to NTE grow in their understanding and delight of the gospel. May they be encouraged by the many other Christian students from around Australia who want to see Jesus known at uni. May they be spurred on to make much of Jesus in the coming year, amen.

Personally, please keep praying for me and Wendy and the kids. We bumble through child raising. We enjoy it, we feel sick of it at times; we fail much, forgive much, and learn the nature of life this side of the new creation. Perhaps you’re familiar with my perennial plea for patience and more patience, but it is still needed, though I (and you) can thank God that I have seen some growth here. I love God’s word, though sometimes I’m oddly tempted to think that it’s not really what the students actually need so I pray for trust in God’s word. I often doubt myself (and sometimes doubt God’s work despite myself) and need to remember what it looks like to be a faithful, fruitful gospel worker. 2 Timothy is my go to in these times. Pray along with me if you can here, here, or here. In it all, I keep seeing God’s continued grace to me, so it has been a good year!

Please keep partnering with me as we pray for AFES in Cairns and beyond.

5 thoughts on “A good year

  1. Good to see the pics of your lovely family. All growing. Keep up the good work in God’s strength. We are still looking for a Minister at Wilston God bless you in your endeavours.

    1. Thanks Lorraine. Always great to hear from you. Will be praying for you guys. Bumped into Geoff B up here the other day. Hope you’re able to find someone before too long.

  2. Great to hear from you guys. Praying for you as you partner in the Gospel. Amen to His grace in our lives. God with God!!!

  3. Hi Lloyd. Wonderful newsletter.
    Thanks for all the wonderful news ,and prayer directions. Really super to hear of the new believers being discipled, and the people inviting friends along!
    will continue to pray for the patience of parents and the growth of your little people in the midst of this! Carolyn

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