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Coffs Harbour Baptist Church Magazine Dec ‘13

INSIDE: ‘Bapchat’ ‘The Table’ Prayer Wall Testimonials 2013 Memories Combined Burmese Service Connect Group ‘You Version’

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BAPCHAT: It is so easy to become forward focused, looking for the next event or happening, that we can miss the opportunity of celebrating where we have come from and reflecting upon the blessings God has given us over this past year. In this first edition of our New Coffs Baptist Magazine; I would like to share some of the highlights of this last year within our church family.

CONTENTS: Bapchat 2 Rev. Chris Robson Calendar 3 Focus on Ministries Coming messages 3 The year that was 4 Prayer Wall 5 Combined Burmese Service 6 Ray Budge Hymns & Hers 2014 7 Marion Stride Connect Studies option 8 Introducing … 9 Komla Lokpo China Mission 10 Simon Liu The Table 11 Adam Payne Destiny Rescue 12 Page 2

Firstly I would like to acknowledge what a blessing it has been to have Ray Budge come on board as our Associate Pastor. He has not only brought to the table a set of unique skills but has also had a major impact on our diverse Church Community. I would also like to acknowledge Di Budge, Beryl Angwin and Beryl Schramm for their unbelievable support within our multicultural community. This brings us to another important aspect; our Church is amazingly diverse; however within this diversity you can see God’s sovereign hand in the fact that there is such a unity amongst us. We truly are a unique bunch that God has called for a unique work. This year we have seen God bring forth growth financially and numerically; in this we can thank Him for his amazing provision and providence. Some highlights of 2013 to celebrate; firstly our combined gathering of all our different communities; and we will be holding the next combined meeting next Sunday; secondly the establishment of the Healing Rooms (under Healing Rooms Australia) and thirdly our continuing integration of our diverse communities. Another really important blessing I would like to thank God for is for our tireless workers within our crèche, children’s church, teens and Youth Ministries. Thank you so much for your passion and faithfulness. These ministries are often behind the scenes but are crucial to the health of our church and raising up a generation of young people who will bless the lives of many. There has been wonderful growth within all these areas. Lisa and I would like to thank all the faithful people within our Church Family who have contributed in making 2013 a blessed year in the life of our Church. I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful ongoing relationship we enjoy with Christian Community School and Sherwood Cliffs; it is truly an honour to be in relationship with these two amazing ministries. Have a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to 2014 with expectation of God’s continuing outpouring of blessing and direction. Merry Christmas luv from Chris, Lisa, Ethan & Abbey Coffs Harbour Baptist Church:

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CALENDAR

NB:

Dec 2013

Does your group have a need for the use of the Church or hall?

or; Do you have something planned that you want the whole Church to know about? Looking for ALL your contributions for the coming year’s calendar. The next edition of the magazine will be home to the next three months’ calendar and will also inform us all how we can best support each other. This calendar will be printed in January to cover the known activities of the church that will help us as we plan and grow.

All contributions received by Beryl or Ray by mid-December with thanks!! Page 3

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The year that was ! !

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PRAYER WALL

Remember the PERSECUTED CHURCH:

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Combined Burmese Service

November 2013

The Burmese Baptist community has grown significantly over the last few years since the first arrivals became a part of our congregation. Many of us recognise that there are language differences for those who have come here and we should never assume that everyone speaks, or understands another’s language. Over this time we have seen the development of the Coffs Harbour Chin Community Church, the Myanmar Fellowship and the Zomi Fellowship. We were privileged to share together at the end of November within the context of a combined fellowship of praise, worship, performance and food; a celebration of our diversity in Christ and a recognition that we were all blessed by coming together in this way. It was a feast of fellowship and as we look forward to the coming year we will see magazine contributions from the various groups that will inform the whole congregation of what the different groups are achieving in establishing themselves as a part of the Coffs Harbour Baptist Church.

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Hymns and Hers 2014 : Monthly Celebration From the first Wednesday of February 2014 at 10am Hymns and Hers are officially combining with Val’s Wednesday study group and will be worshipping together once a month as a special opportunity to meet and sing our favourite hymns. As we seek to worship together in this combined way, we trust that those who are interested in sharing the songs and hymns of praise, we offer a welcome to anyone who would like to participate. If anyone would like a lift, we would be happy to assist. Please let Derek, Marian (photo at right) or Ray know and we will endeavour to a help you get there.

WATCH THIS (Training) SPACE: 2014 is shaping up to be a great year for our faith community in regards to personal and Church development. Keep some space in your diary for the January release of this magazine as you will most likely find that there will be a course for you. Please note also that our training space (to be created in December) will be open for you to use as well. If you have a training opportunity: craft, cooking skill (there are a lot of new arrivals that would love to know how to cook a cake), computer skill, or other skill, please see Ray or Beryl about inclusion of your course in the calendar.

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Individual or Connect Studies Suggestion:

Each fortnight the CHBC Multicultural Connect Group has been able to use the application for personal study and group questions have led to great discussion. We get the verse for the Sunday service prior to the service and are preparing ourselves for the sermon. After the sermon we have an opportunity for reflection within the group.

How it works for us !! Read the scriptures in my own version / language.

Watch a video ..

Think about the Topic of Sunday’s message

Some relevant discussion point that we can use to discuss the topic at our connect group

How should we pray for this ..

You may find this to be useful for you !! While there are The Bible is available in French, English (many versions), Hakha Chin, Myanmar etc. and it is probably the next revolution for the spreading of the Gospel. Some have described it as significant as the Gutenberg Press and when you use it you get a sense that this is the Bible literally in the hands of the people. As we use this together … it has the potential to keep us on the same page (so to speak!!) If you would like to try the app and use our group preparation and resources go to http://www.a.youversion.com/live/all and find the LIVE button on the side bar. You will find our Group if you type CHBC Multicultural in the search for Groups box. Page 8

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Introducing:

Komla Lokpo: My Journey

My journey began in the early 90s in my homeland Togo. This narrow strip of land on the West African coast was embroiled in a desperate struggle between an iron-fisted dictator and opposition

supporters. In January 1993 the military went on an 8-hour rampage in the capital city Lomé,

firing indiscriminately and killing innocent civilians. Over 300,000 people fled in fear for their lives. I was amongst them.

Then a 26-year-old student, I had left my rural home to earn my Bachelor degree in the capital and found myself in a city ruled by political chaos. If you were from my ethnic group you couldn’t live in Togo. The soldiers would kill you. I simply walked the short distance into neighbouring Ghana and began life as a refugee – never to

return to the country of my birth. The Catholic Church and the Ghanaian government provided support and I worked in a high school, teaching Philosophy and Physics.

A year later, when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced scholarships for refugees, my hand shot up. By March 1994 I was studying for my Masters in Sociology at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

For the next 17 years I lived in Burkina Faso. I studied, served in the Baptist Church, worked, met my wife

Alimata, and had 3 children. But I remained always a refugee, a man without a country. On completing my Masters degree I worked as an education research assistant with NGO’s and research institutions. In 2007 I took a position with the Foundation for Community Development, responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of community schools established to educate disadvantaged children.

While working for communities, I was studying for another Masters degree in Adult Education at the University of Ouagadougou. Despite

my joy in my work I was increasingly concerned about the safety of my family. I still feared the soldiers in Togo. Togo is the neighbour of

Burkina Faso and the heads of state of the two countries are friends. It was very easy for the Togo soldiers to come to Burkina Faso.

Even without the threat of Togolese soldiers, life in Burkina Faso felt

unsafe for a refugee. If the gangs knew you were a refugee they tried to provoke you. One man claimed publicly that he could kill me and nothing would happen.

Increasingly nervous, I contacted UNHCR in 2008. I wanted to see if it was possible to find me another country where I can feel better. In January 2011, I and family arrived as UNHCR refugees resettled in Coffs Harbour. I arrived with a plan.

Step one was to learn English and I enrolled immediately in English classes, earning my

Certificate 3 within 3 months. Next I needed to gain skills that would help me find employment. I enrolled in Business Administration at TAFE, earning my Cert 3 by the end of 2011 and my Cert 4 a year later.

Coffs Harbour is a difficult place to find a job, but there is no need to rush. Since early 2012 I have volunteered as an office assistant at the Coffs Harbour Baptist Church, worked with a local Mentoring for Men group and

helped out at the Neighbourhood Centre every Thursday. This year I was shortlisted for a job with the North Coast Settlement Services, and when I missed out due to limited job experience, I volunteered there as well.

I want desperately to earn my PhD in Sociology, but I know I must find a job first. I am confident that paid work will come as I gain experience and local contacts. I have found a place where I can feel better. My eldest child is doing well in high school, my wife is well networked within the African and church communities and we have

welcomed a fourth child. The community has supported my family and in return I have supported the community with voluntary work and advice.

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Mission Focus: Simon Liu Hello, dear brothers and sisters:

My name is Simon Liu. I am a Mathematics Teacher at Toormina High School. I have been attending

Coffs Harbour Baptist Church for about 2 years. Most of you will recognise me as the Chinese man who always plays the piano in the church hall on Sunday after the service.

China Mission:

I will be going to an orphanage in China to work as a missionary for a few years. The orphanage is called Refuge of Grace Christian Care Centre. It is Located in Luxi County, Pingxiang City, Jiangxi

Province, China. It is one of the 6 orphanages and 2 hospitals operated by China Mission (http://www.china-mission.org/).

Each orphanage cares for about one hundred orphans and a few elderly. I worked there as a volunteer for 1 week in January 2013 and I saw so many needs in the orphanage. Since then I decided to give

up my job in Australia and serve as a missionary in China. I will be teaching English, Maths and Computer skills to the children, and most importantly sharing the gospel with them. I will need your prayer to do this.

If you feel called to

help us, please visit http://www.china-mission.org/ for more information.

My email is simonfollowjesus@gmail.com, you can also search my name or “Chinese

Foundation”

Agape or

“China Mission” on Facebook. The

Bible

says:

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT) Let’s work together, share our love and bring the Gospel to the orphans in China. Thank you very much.

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God bless you. ^_^

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Introducing the Table: Adam Payne The communion meal we celebrate is different to how it was undertaken in the days of the early church. It was about the breaking of bread with others in memory of Christ – a full meal, rather than our highly miniaturised snapshot of the communion table we experience today. So when Jesus said “do this in memory of me” what aspect is the “do this” we are to participate in? The “Table” is the 21st century+ version of the communion table. It is the tool that can help the church fulfil many of its mandates that is difficult in our cultural setting. • • • • •

Bare each other’s burdens – Gal 6:2 Pray without ceasing – 1 Thess 5:17 Encourage in love and good works – Heb 10:24 Make meeting together a habit – Acts 2:46 Continual devotion to Scripture – 1 Tim 4:13

The Table facilitates all of the above with sections for prayer, sharing and serving and discussions. So when you think of the Table Project – forget the technology – it is a table of Community that Jesus would be happy to sit at with you; Because our focus remains on Christ and him glorified.- Mat 25:35 If you wish to get in early on this significant event and join the growing community already on the Table then please email me atadamp@groundup.com.au

.

ARE YOU A YOUNG PERSON ? Young people: 12 – 18 years of age are welcome to attend every Friday night !! Meet others and develop your personal and social skills. Have fun and make a new friend. If you are interested, please call David Stone on 0405011241

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David Stone: Destiny rescue David Stone wanted do to raise awareness and money for Destiny Rescue, so on the 17th November he shaved off his dreadlocks as a fundraiser. Our church was great in supporting David with over $3000 being raised for Destiny Rescue (over $2500 of which was from this church) and it came when the need is great. Every night, Destiny Rescue teams undertake undercover activities in red-light districts with the goal of rescuing children and assisting police to prosecute offenders. Destiny Rescue then provides aftercare, counselling, housing & vocational training for children rescued empowering them for a hope filled and sustainable future. Part of the sustainable living program is training rescued girls and women to make jewellery, which is then sold to provide these girls with an income. This jewellery was also sold during the fundraiser; raising over $150, thanks to the ladies who pitched in and sold these on the day. Destiny Rescue also has a prevention program and is currently assessing the situation and planning the urgent set up of a rescue operation in the Philippines. For the sex trafficker, tragedy brings opportunity and a huge supply of desperate, vulnerable children for exploitation. Destiny Rescue is seeking to cut them off and ruin the plans of these traffickers and save these kids from the horrors of sexual slavery. To further support Destiny Rescue, go to www.destinyrescue.org. David would like to say a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who supported this fundraiser.

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BAPCHAT Coffs Harbour Baptist Church magazine