Victoria V Bran ch Mat t ers
Oct O c ob er 2 0 1 3
Vol 7 No 9
Celebrate Church Youth Camp with Inpa and Vana Eliezer
A long time coming
MS Victoria is in the midst of change. A year ago our Branch Council appointed me to lead change that would position us for the next decade or more.
Please pray that through this sale the Lord will provide more funds for the future work of CMS.
Critical to that change is the successful recruiting of two new senior staff, a Chief Financial Officer and a Missions Operations Officer. Please keep praying for the selection committee of Pam Thyer, Graeme Chiswell, Kirsty Brown and myself – all members of Branch Council. Pray especially that simply excellent appointments would be made for both these roles.
Second, the CMS office will Wei-Han Kuan be moving from St John’s Blackburn. Our current lease was entered into twenty years ago and expires in May 2014. Rents have increased markedly over that time, as have office standards. Most offices are now open-plan, with dedicated meeting spaces and a welcoming, professional and fresh look.
Bill Austin (chair), Len Firth, Fiona Oates and Glenn Scott are helping me to lead change as part of our Property Review Team. We have been asked by Branch Council to look at our property and accommodation needs into the future. These include the office in Blackburn and the missionary flats in Mont Albert. The team has been hard at work for several months now. Here are two developments: First, the CMS house in Forest Hill has been put on the market for sale. Branch Council has taken the policy decision that CMS will not own a house for the State Director’s use, but instead lease a house or preferably provide a housing allowance towards the purchase of their own home. I’m looking for one in the Glen Waverley area, if anyone is selling!
The new normal in East Timor SUTS 2014 Diary
Put simply, the present office is not able to facilitate the kind of team dynamic and work environment that the staff and volunteers need to function at their best. It is unlikely that it can be refurbished to suit. Please pray that God would provide a suitable new office, with a favourable new lease agreement. I would be happy to talk to you about these changes and happier still to know that you are praying that our mission work in the name of Jesus would be enhanced and multiplied by these changes. CMS VICTORIA 9-13 QUEEN ST BLACKBURN 9894 4722 email@example.com cms.org.au/vic
A long time coming...
July Gi vin Gi gN vin g R eed e ec eiv ed
Inpa and Vana have been serving in Cambodia for 17 years. The Celebrating Church and its Community Service arm, Nummanna, ran its first youth camp in May. Inpa and Vana report on its success.
Praise God for his generous provision and your faithful support. As of the end of August we are only 3.2% behind our support goal. Please continue to pray for support for the work of CMS and our missionaries. Also please consider giving regularly as this assists us in planning. Here are three easy ways to set up regular giving: 1. Go to http://www.cms.org.au/ vic/give/directdebit, download the direct debit form, complete it and send it to the office. 2. Give with your credit card at https://give.cms.org.au (we pay a credit card fee on each transaction). 3. Set up direct giving into our account. Please indicate your name and if there is a missionary/ fund you wish to support in each transaction. Then email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details. Name: CMS Victoria BSB: 063107 Account: 10105716 Please ring the office if you need assistance.
ince Celebrating Church was founded 11 years ago, a lot of effort has gone into trying to grow the youth in number and maturity. These efforts have met with countless disappointments, but this year the church held its first youth camp. CMS missionary Inpa Eliezer writes: The Camp We encouraged the fifteen youth from the Nummanna community who join either Celebrating Church for Sunday worship or weekly Bible studies to invite one non-believing friend each to camp. Only about five out of the fifteen were professing Christians.
“I have a black heart and I want Jesus to make it white (pure),” said Melin, a first year uni student. She was invited by one of her friends who lives in the Nummanna dormitory. Having heard of her struggles, the pastoral team had been praying for her. On the first day of the camp she showed little interest and didn’t engage in the group discussions. At the end of camp she shared, “I got interested when Lokru Inpa shared about his youth and how Jesus changed his life!” Melin has been a new person since she stood up to commit her life to Jesus.
Sitha, a university student, said, “The session on ‘Temptation’ encouraged me to When the loaded want to be with God, bus left for the camp because every day I face with 30 youth and temptation but now I five leaders, it was Coming home from youth camp where know that God will help clear that the Lord had several people gave their lives to Jesus me because of his love.” heard our prayers. Throughout the three days, God Almost all the youth acknowledged assured us of his presence through that they learnt how to work as a team good weather, but most importantly and they enjoyed it too! Group work is by the way the young people engaged a challenge in this culture where ‘trust’ in discussions. The ‘question box’ was is a big issue. constantly full to the extent that we The next step had to leave out one of the talks to Our loving God has proved faithful. answer their questions. Follow up Bible studies have started. The camp theme ‘Living a Life of As expected, some are very regular Excellence’ was based on John and a few of the youth attend 10:10, where Jesus said, “I came that regularly, while others need reminders. you may have life and may have it Celebrating Church held its sixth abundantly”. The talks covered God’s Baptism Service on 15 September. Six Story from creation to the coming of of the people who were baptised were Jesus and there was also a session on from the youth camp. ‘Friendships’. Please pray for Pastor Sreytouch and Lives impacted for Christ for Inpa as they do the teaching for “I was moved and excited to the Bible studies, and Sitha and Dany acknowledge God,” said Det, a high as they help in other ways. school student who committed his life to Jesus. Det is part of the NaCE youth Thank you for your partnership. drop-in program and has been joining the evening worship of Celebrating To support Inpa and Vana as they Church and playing guitar. He publicly mentor and disciple Cambodian acknowledged his faith in Jesus. church leaders and youth go to give.cms.org.au/iveliezer
The new normal Chris and Grace Adams arrived in East Timor two months ago to serve the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste (EPCTL). They received a warm welcome but have had many things to contend with. Chris and Grace write about their first impressions.
Amid this mass of change in almost As I write, it is a little over two months every category of life we have taken since Grace and I left Australian shores great comfort and confidence that the and made the short trip across the foundation of our life has not and will Timor Sea to Timor-Leste. They say ‘time not change and still remains normal. flies when you’re having fun’. We have The covenant we have entered into found the opposite. The two months through the blood of feels more like two years. Christ is eternal. It does Don’t get me wrong. This not change, nor does is not because we have our Shepherd change, not been ‘having fun’; nor does His purpose we have. Or because change. He is faithful in life has been terribly equipping us, His sheep, bad; it hasn’t. Or even for our unchanging because we have been purpose, to do His will. missing Melbourne; to be This is His ‘normal’ honest we haven’t had a One of the blessings Chris and activity. The end of chance. Grace have received has been Hebrews reminds us; Abrao, their language helper. It feels like such a long time because of the sheer quantity of new experiences we have 20 May the God of peace, who through negotiated in just a couple of months. the blood of the eternal covenant Our little minds have been constantly brought back from the dead our Lord whirring, processing and adapting to Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, the changes, big and small, of living in 21 equip you with everything good for our new context. I now understand why doing his will, and may he work in us babies sleep so much. They and we in what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Timor-Leste are getting used to the new Christ, to whom be glory for ever and normal. ever. Amen. The new normal means living in We have seen our Shepherd equipping constant vigilance against mosquito us in answered prayer. Before coming bites and mosquito borne diseases. to Timor-Leste we asked for prayer in Seeing people around us being three practical ways; finding a suitable knocked down with malaria or dengue. language helper - on our second day With the only place of complete safety we started meeting with Abrao who we in our mozzie tent. The new normal have been meeting with almost every means potential earthquake, 24hr day; a good relationship with Pastor blackouts or water outages. It means Daniel and broader church - we could living in a cardless cash based society hardly have asked for a better start; and having currency of $10 or above and adapting to the tropical climate rejected at point of sale. It means especially for me – I’m handling it fine. sleeping with dog fights out our window Please do continue to pray for us. at night, and cats jumping around in our roof. The new normal means being Check out their recent video at their viewed by everyone as wealthy and CMS webpage: http://www.cms.org.au/ constantly being in the dark sociomissionary/southeastasia/christopherlinguistically. It means songs and Bible and-grace-adams readings in three languages at Church. Getting used to the new normal means To support Chris and Grace Adams go that all these things and many more to: give.cms.org.au/cgadams are neither good or bad. They are just normal.
What is it? Mentac is a two-year training program for cross-cultural ministry. Who is it for? If you’re interested in serving cross-culturally, this is a course for you. Who runs it? Mentac is facilitated by people experienced in ministry to other ethnic and religious groups. How does it work? It involves handson ministry, formal training, informal learning and an immersion component in different cultural contexts. Contact: email@example.com
Summer Under the Son Latest SUTS News • Register today at summerundertheson.org. • Our public transport official has let us know that if you come from the city it is easiest if you either catch a train to Glen Waverley Station or to Nunawading Station and catch a bus along Springvale Rd. • If you need a billet or can offer a billet please contact the office. • We have appointed a SUTS Kids’ Coordinator, Sarah Harding, who is the Director of the Brimbank SUFM. Sarah brings lots of experience to the position and is putting a team together now. If you are interested in being a part of the kid’s team, please contact the office. • Church promotional material is available here: www.cms.org.au/vic/summer-under-the-son/churchresources. There is a poster for SUTS2014 as well as slides and a Promo Video. Please encourage your friends at church to come with you to SUTS2014. • We still need volunteers in many different areas. Let us know if you are willing to help. We still need a food coordinator, food servers, ushers and carpark attendants among other roles.
comings and goings
1MPG (First Monday Prayer Group) Monday 7 October, 12:30pm Prayer for God’s worldwide mission. All welcome. BYO lunch. Contact Hugh Prentice on 9014 0968.
CMS Victoria Inc. AGM Sat 16 November AGM then Afternoon Tea 2.30pm @CMS Centre Date is a week after CMSA AGM.
Missionary Care Fellowship (MCF) Wednesday 9 October 10:15am start with morning tea. Speaker: Lynn Pryor All welcome. BYO lunch. Contact Maurelle Thompson on 9850 6850.
MMA Springfest 15 October @ 10:00am St Mark’s Camberwell Hear about “Nepal Today” with Iain Payne and Sam Williams.
Arriving October by car! Tavis and Kate Beer with Beka and Fin Departing 11 October PB
Articles by Inpa and Vana Eliezer, Chris and Grace Adams and Wei-Han Kuan