Heavenly Father, thank you for the the way you have been growing our students this year. Thank you for their boldness in pointing others to Jesus. Please help them to keep recognising the all surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. May they soak up what they have heard in your word at NTE, delighting in the beauty of your gracious character as the God whose mission it is to see all nations find their delight and salvation in you. Help us to see that we are part of this mission and keep speaking of Jesus here and everywhere.
National Training Event in QLD !!
I’m just taking a moment out from the bustle of NTE to thank God and reflect on what he has been doing this year in Cairns. As I type there are over 300 people sitting together proclaiming the good news of Jesus to each other as the culmination of a weeks worth of training how to handle there word of God faithfully and speak it to others. There have been people learning about the tools of exegesis, biblical theology, systematic theology, and ethics. They have heard Gary Millar preaching to us about God’s wonderful, all encompassing, all embracing mission to see all nations come to know, fear and adore him as our loving Lord and saviour. They have been challenged, equipped and enthused to live out this mission by speaking of Jesus to those who have not heard.
I had the task of looking after the main sessions and it was a real pleasure to work with such a capable team who made things run so smoothly. I’m very thankful for out MCs Kathryn and Christian (pictured below), Tim Sparks looking after tech, and Peter Yock who organised the music team. They put in a huge effort to serve others so that we could think about and hear the gospel well. I enjoyed the role and it involved a lot more behind the scenes stuff which I really appreciated. However, I did miss (as tiring as it is) leading a strand group and seeing the students really engaging with the Bible, being obviously shaped by it over a week, and rally their thoughts together to preach it to the rest of their group.
Please pray that the students who came to NTE will continue to be transformed by the gospel, to use the training that they received, and to be eager to cross every barrier, as people on a mission to make Christ known to the ends of the earth.
The week prior to NTE we took small crew up to Atherton to help with the Tablelands Presbyterian Church. It was such an encouragement for us, and I we pray that it was as much so for the church. We learnt a lot from the faithful witness of so many up there and were able to encourage them with our energy and effort helping out with kid’s ministry in a variety of contexts. On of the highlight for our team was just the unstructured things like being able to talk with graduates from JCU (and the AFES group at Townsville) who are now working in the Tablelands. It was a lot of fun and grew us in patience, self discipline, joy, and faithfulness.
Please thank God for the faithful witness of the church in the Atherton tablelands and pray that they will be able to continue steadfastly in Christ to the end. Pray that they will be able to keep proclaiming Christ to many, especially in their up-coming Christmas services. Pray for the Foster’s particularly, that they may rest well of the Christmas break.
Some encouraging Bible talks
Our regular bread and butter of o the ground ministry on campus has been our weekly Bible study but this semester we have held a couple of intentional Bible talks where I have preached some evangelistically focused sermons based on Luke 16. Despite being messed around with room bookings and having to postpone, God was very gracious to bring many students along. Our regulars showed real boldness in inviting their fiends along, and it was amazing to see about a dozen people there, and half of them students who were new. Some of these were students who had heard nothing or very little about Jesus. We’re following up a couple of these to connect in further with the group. I’ve been able to meet with one student who is asking a lot of questions about Jesus and the Bible.
Thank God for the boldness of our students to talk to their friends about Jesus. Pray that we will be able to have good follow up of those students who were asking questions about Jesus.
It has been an interesting year for us. We’ve grown a lot in patience, but this, as with most things is a life-long lesson for us. Grade 1 has been a year of growth in more areas than academic knowledge for Bryn. His emotional resilience has been tested somewhat and I thank God for his love of Jesus and his hope in the new creation that has buoyed him along at many times. The girls are like little twins at home, playing and growing up with lots of laughter (as well as shouting).
We’ve really enjoyed connecting in with our neighbours and our little ones spend much time playing with the other kids in the street and inviting them along to church and telling them about Jesus (which is completely natural to them). It has made us realise that it’s really not that hard to be sharing the important gospel truths that shape us so much with our friends and neighbours, and that you never know what people might say.
Thank God for the year of growth and ask that he would continue to grips us with the goodness of Christ that we might be willing to cross every barrier for the sake of the gospel.