Well, it’s the first season of the year for us up here: the wet season, so time for a quick ministry update.
Excited and crippled
Some truly encouraging and exciting things have happened for us in the last little while. For starters, our dear little Harvey arrived 2 weeks ago, cutting it very fine (arrived at the ward 12:45am – born at 12:55am). Here he is …
Obviously labour was quick, but it’s always such an intense experience for Mum, and a new normal of madness now needs to be found in our day to day life. Oddly, I had some random crippling back pain and after the physio sorted that out, some random gastro bug, right when I needed to be most hands on. God has been very kind in giving us an otherwise smooth 2 weeks to mitigate any of that.
A crippling 7% (actually 17%)
Most of you will remember my appeal in the last update was to reach my target of 3 days a week, which meant I needed 15 new supporters to be able to join in with giving $50/month. Here’s how we stand at the moment. I thank God for providing 5 new supporters, as well as many others who have increased in their regular giving. This has in fact brought my regular monthly support level to 93%. I’m so encouraged and thankful for this generosity!
I’m asking God to keep this momentum going to reach the goal… because the last little bit is still enough to cripple (well, hobble) my on the ground student work.
Unfortunately, I’m still less than my target and therefore have accumulated, and keep accumulating a fair bit of deficit ($11,000 to be precise), Our policy requires me to reach 110% of my regular support target to ensure I reverse this deficit (so the pie graph should have 17% to go, really). I’m also obligated to stop on the ground work like Bible talks, mentoring students other than the exec, writing any training material, and devote 40% of my time to raising support. That’s really hard when Bible talks are our one key event, and there are quite a few new students I’m wanting to catch up with…
But I can’t loose sight of how much God has provided in the last little while, and I ask that you do not either, and join me thanking him and asking him to continue providing the ministry partners we need.
Bible talk encouragement
It has been a great encouragement to see record numbers at our weekly Bible talks this year. The start of the year always sees more people involved, but this is twice as much as this time last year. The difficulty has been keeping track of people and staying in touch. We know as much or more than any that God’s work is not dependent on numbers though, and so we keep looking to him, and longing for him to work through his Word in every circumstance.
It’s also been a great encouragement to me to see the students so involved with getting the Bible talks and other things up and running. So much so, that even while I was away on baby duties, the students just took everything on with very little warning (and with great eagerness for the gospel). I would be very sad to have to step out of this aspect of the ministry, but even so, glad that if I am crippled for whatever reason, God will work through his people, for his glory, here at JCU.
Kick off Camp
Kick Off Camp starts this weekend. Our students will be joining in with Townsville at a little place called Kennedy to have some great fun and great time under God’s word. Dave and Cathy Walter are up to preach and share their life with us this year. We have about 10 students from Cairns who are able to make it along. New baby life means I won’t be able to be there this time, which is rather disappointing, but will just mean lots of opportunities for our students to, yet again, jump in and talk about how their experience was.
As an AFES group, we value the local expressions of the church around Cairns. We love our students getting involved as much as they can in their local church and have been looking for ways to be serving our local church partners. We’ve visited a couple of different churches recently and gathering prayer points for our group to be praying about. We were also able to help look after the kids at Tablelands Presbyterian while they had a congregational meeting. It was such a great way to partner with them.
In all, I’m looking forward to this year and the anticipation of running some special Easter events, Mid year camp, (hopefully) the Mark drama in August, and the general regular discipleship that comes my way.
Thanks again for your prayers!