For those of you who may not know I thought I might let you know about what we are doing in Australia.
Our job here is multifaceted, we are basically doing three different things:
Our church plant
We have started a church in the working class Melbourne suburb of Footscray, with some friends. Our goal is to be a light to the community here, with a focus on the outcasts of society. We currently have 18 people that are coming. We have a breakfast get together on Sunday morning, this takes turns from house to house, with the host planning the breakfast and our worship times. We have a community dinner every Thursday night, and we do a prayer walk in the downtown area on Thursday afternoon.
Our job at FORGE
Forge is a training course for those interested in doing missionary work in the western context. We have realized the need for missionaries not just to the two thirds world, but in our very culture. We are training people to look at their own neighborhoods as mission fields, and equip them to deal with the current cultural issues facing us, including postmodernism, consumerism, modern politcal and racial issues, social justice and so forth. We do this by teaching five day intensive courses three times during the year. These are focused on "Jesus the missionary" "Jesus the disciple" and "Jesus the leader" . My role here is to help plan the conferences, including an alternative worship event, to speak at various classes, and to be a part of the groups that are attending to stimulate discussion and answer questions. We had over a hundred people attend our last intensive including over thirty interns. For our interns, we also provide a year of assignments that they do within their social context and a group of their peers for support. And we provide a coach to meet with them regularly regarding a missions project of their own choosing.
This year I have the honour of coaching a great group of people. Two are running an open house for young people in Torquay. One runs a skateboarding ministry, and a youth group. One works with some of the transient poor in a caravan park ten minutes from my house. Another couple is starting a church in a suburb of Ballarat, and one amazing single parent is running an open home in a government housing building. I am also overseeing the coaching of another church planting couple, a couple that is preparing to go to Cambodia for missionary work, and two young people involved in a ministry focused on the urban poor called UNOH.
Our social work
This area has been hardest. We are currently looking for inroads into a short term housing program in our neighborhood, which is starting to give us some relationships and opportunities. We are serving breakfast to a local public school on Tuesdays. And we are hanging out in the downtown, drug trafficing area trying to make some relationships with these people. It is a bit funny most of the people are a bit distrusting of tall atheltic looking white guys, and I am usually thought of as a cop. But we are making slow progress.
Please keep us in your prayers, and if you would like to talk to us about our ministry or supporting our ministry financially please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org