It truly is a new season now – what I’d call the picnic season. It’s cool enough now to have a picnic out the back without wilting, so time for another update. It also seems to be rainbow season. We often have showers trapped by the range just as the morning sunshine breaks out. It makes for these frequent and stunning rainbows that seem almost close enough to touch.
We’re hopeful in all God’s promises and thankful for all his provisions. Thanks to your generosity and your prayers my accrued deficit has been reduced to a much more manageable level. It was given in perfect timing as well. I was a week away from having to stop Bible talks and student meet ups to devote more time to financial partnership tasks, but a number of people gave generously and made it possible for me to just keep on going. At this stage I’m at about 100% for the 3 days/week target, so I’m so thankful to everyone’s prayer support and financial support.
Despite that encouraging figure, I’m not quite out of the woods yet, and need to recruit some new supporters to eliminate my accrued deficit and allow the potential for some more contact time on campus.
Mid Year Camp
We’re getting ready for mid year camp! The last couple of weeks have been exam time for the students and MYC prep for myself and the Townsville staff. We’re really looking forward to thinking about the topic of “the last days” with our students. We have a very special guest coming along to preach for us, Richard Chin, our national director for AFES. It will be such an encouraging time for our students to be able to spend time talking with him in this context.
At this stage we have very few students from Cairns registered for the camp though. I’m hoping to encourage a few more to see the value of giving up a week of their holiday break to grow deeply in their understanding of the gospel and to prepare their hearts for semester 2.
A quiet friend & a gospel opportunity
I’ve been so encouraged by one of our students this year who has invited his non-Christian friend along to the Bible talks. He’s a quiet and reserved student who you might not pick as a go-to evangelist. But he simply brought his friend along to the Bible talks and this friend is now really interested in finding out more about Jesus. The three of us are now meeting regularly to read the Bible together!
In semester 2 we are going to have a Mark focus. We were planning to present the Mark Drama and were very close to having the numbers needed to make it happen, but not quite… But the nature of student ministry is that it is constantly changing and so we are used to adapting out plans along the way. I happen to have a stack of Mark’s gospels on my shelf that need a new home, and so I hope to build on the momentum we started with the Mark Drama but just shift our focus a little.
Senior Staff Conference
One of the other key things that happen for me when the students are on break is our Senior Staff Conference. This week I’m down on the Gold Coast, meeting with all the other AFES staff from around Australia. As a solo staff worker, this is absolute gold! We have been praying together, hearing God’s word, sharing stories, being trained, uniting our thoughts on our national mission for 2024. I’m spurred on by this wonderful fellowship together.
It does come at a sacrifice to the family, though. It’s extra hard work for Wendy now at home with the 4 kids, so I’m also very keen to get back home. I’m so thankful to my whole family for their sacrifice to enable me to be here.
…See below – my gospel partners at home, helping me to be at the staff conference this week