We have enjoyed a busy and ministry-filled Australian summer, which is conference season for CMS.
This year I was giving the Bible talks at the conference in Adelaide, exploring the prodigal son, the shrewd manager and the rich man and Lazarus. If you’re interested, you can get the audio here. I also answered questions at an event for potential future mission partners, with over 20 people present. Meanwhile, Rachel was busy at the conference in Melbourne, where she met an encouraging number of young adults who are seriously exploring long-term mission. Rachel is currently having serious conversations with around 15-20 potential enquirers. We are very encouraged to see this interest in mission in Adelaide and Melbourne, and to hear similar stories from around Australia, especially in Sydney which is much the largest of CMS’s branches. Pray that the Lord of the harvest would raise up many more workers to serve him around the world.
Rachel’s dad and step-mum, Denys and Liz, visited us for nearly three weeks in March. It was a joy to see them and for them to meet Ziggy, who is now nearly nine months. We enjoyed a weekend break on the beach for a public holiday weekend.
Tom and Mia are beginning to anticipate Mia’s return to work a couple of days a week when Ziggy turns one. Rachel is planning to help look after him on Wednesdays. Tom has changed jobs and has recently started in a new team focused on suicide prevention.
Sam and Melanie moved house to a lovely apartment that is closer to the station and makes commuting easier. Melanie is working for TEAR and is loving her role with them, recently visiting projects in Bangladesh. Sam continues to work at the University of Melbourne. Jonathan is enjoying working for CARE and revelled in Wales’s grand slam in the rugby. He is happily settled at St Nicholas’ Church in Tooting.
We have a wonderful cohort of 13 trainees at St Andrew’s Hall this semester, heading to every continent except Antarctica. We have been encouraged to see them throw themselves into the many cross-cultural opportunities that Melbourne presents: attending bible study at a Spanish church, telling bible stories in front of stained-glass windows to Asian tourists in the Anglican cathedral, going to ‘language other than English’ churches, visiting mosques, the list goes on. The staff team have also been teaching a mission subject at Ridley College, next door. Please pray that all the students we are teaching would be thoroughly equipped for the good works God has prepared for them to do. We had hoped to be redeveloping the building at St Andrew’s Hall this year, but our plans were delayed. We now anticipate that 2020 will be the year when we operate off-site and redevelop our current facilities. We are very close to our financial target and are amazed at the generosity of God’s people here. Please pray that the final fund-raising push would get us across the line and enable us to move ahead through the rest of this year.
Australia has a wonderful invention called long-service leave. If you work for the same employer for ten years, you receive an extra leave allowance of between eight and ten weeks in your tenth year. This makes up for the fact that Australian annual leave is less than the UK (but more that the USA!). Historically long-service leave allows migrants from Europe to return to see their families. So that’s what we are doing. We will be away from Melbourne during May and June and will have some holiday before spending time with family in England. Pray that this would be a refreshing break for us. It will be our first ever sabbatical or extended time off from ministry.
With our love and best wishes,
David and Rachel.
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