Living in the aftermath
Choosing LOVE Loving the unlovable
To RUSSIA with LOVE
One woman’s plight to rescue an abandoned nation
A Full Life
Vivien Wilson’s incredible story Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011 | 1
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7 Let the little ones come 9 Love is a choice 12 Japanese Tsunami: Living Through the Aftermath 16 Supporting a (good) Christian Mission 20 Leadership Strategies 22 The abandoned rescued
23 A story that must be told 24 What opportunities are outside the church? 26 A Full Life: book extract
30 Hope for the future 32 Humble beginnings – profound impact
Welcome! While I was compiling this magazine I thought carefully about what really is the meaning of Christian Missions. It is following Christ’s call: sharing the Gospel with the lost world through God’s wisdom and strength. Christian missions work to obey Christ. This Great Commission applies to Christians today. Rather than a burden, obeying His call brings joy and reward in heaven. We should fulfill our mission not out of duty but love. Christian missions, however, is not limited to overseas ministry. While believers should faithfully support those who go to the unreached, all Christians have the mission to share Christ on the home field with family, friends, coworkers, and the community. The Christian mission of sharing Christ does not end with a sinner’s salvation. The commission was to make disciples – not immature believers. Thus, Christian missions involve not only evangelism but also discipleship. In this issue of the publication there are many stories to inspire you and are thought provoking. You will begin to understand the tremendous work that these missions are carrying out around the globe. In this time in history there are many disasters occurring around the world and missions are crying out for assistance from God’s people. There are a number of ways you can be involved. Financially missions are always in need, but you can help by volunteering and praying where required and necessary, and importantly, going into the mission field. It is gratifying to work for mission organisations and knowing you are showing the perfect love of Christ. I pray you will receive revelation as you consider the amazing stories written for your pleasure and inspiration. Blessings, Lynn Goldsmith Editor
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Let the little ones come
God has chosen us to help one another –
KAREN NORMAN gives an account of her mission work in China, particularly with disabled children and says, “I am so grateful to God for calling me to China and for the privilege of serving Him through serving these abandoned and orphaned children.”
y parents and sister moved to Australia from England six months before I was born. On arrival mum was hospitalised as they thought she was going to have a miscarriage. I was born on the 16th March 1971, weighing 4 pounds 3 ounces. Being so small I spent the first month in hospital. I was not an easy child to feed and whenever I was taken for health checks mum would be told that she needed to feed me more. Her reply was always the same, “If you can get her to feed, you feed her!” When I was a year old I developed gastroenteritis and became severely dehydrated. Again I was hospitalised and again mum had to deal with the frustration of caring for a child who wouldn’t feed when well, let alone when she was ill. I looked so sick with a drip in my head and my limbs tied to the sides of the cot. My parents feared for my life. Though I was tiny, this experience had a great effect on me emotionally. Around this time my mum became so frustrated with me that she felt she was going to physically harm me. Instead she cried out to God. She told God that if He got her through this without her harming me then He could have me for whatever He wanted. I became a Christian when I was nine through Joy Time bible club at my school. The following year I did a school project on China. The project states that I would love to visit China but would hate to live there! At that time being a Christian to
me was mostly about going to church every Sunday. My relationship with God was still in the early stages and whilst I had made a decision I didn’t fully understand what effect that would have on my future. I responded to the altar call to serve God in fulltime ministry. I shared this with my pastor who suggested I tell my parents about it. They were overseas on holiday at the time so when they next called I announced to them that I felt God was calling me into fulltime ministry, possibly in China. My Dad’s reaction to the news was, “Put your sister on the phone! What has she done that you’re running away to China?” Not long after, I came into the kitchen one morning and mum said to me, “It’s my fault you’re going to China.” I was shocked and asked her why. It was then she told me the story of how she had cried out to God when I was little, offering me to Him. This helped me to realise that God was not sending me to China as a punishment, but I was still not that excited about the idea. A couple of passages of Scripture became quite precious to me at this time. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous, do not be terrified or discouraged for the Lord your God shall be with you wherever you go. And Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and He shall direct your path. I phoned numerous mission organisations to find out how I could
serve in China. The response I received from all but one organisation was, “China? You can’t go to China!” The one organisation that didn’t respond in this way suggested that I could go as an English teacher. I knew that wasn’t my calling so they suggested that maybe I could become a registered nurse and see if I could enter as a professional. This was good advice and the next year I started a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of South Australia. I was so grateful at that time to have a pastor who supported my desire to serve God in China. On completion of my nursing degree I started working as a Registered Nurse at a local hospital and ended up working on the children’s ward. One evening in January 2000 my pastor announced that she had a friend who was looking to take a team of ladies to an orphanage in China for two weeks. The date of the team was the exact date of my work holidays! I knew I had to go. God put it on people’s hearts to donate money to me and I found that I was given the exact amount of money I needed for the trip. Before I left Australia God spoke to me and told me that like Joshua and Caleb, he was sending me to check out the land. The trip was with International China Concern (ICC). I worked with a group of children who were not actually under the care of ICC but were within a local Chinese welfare
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I love the quote by St Francis of Assisi, PREACH THE GOSPEL AND IF NECESSARY USE WORDS.
centre. Conditions were not good. I remember walking into a room and seeing children who had no expressions on their faces because they were so traumatised. There was another group of children who were loud and boisterous. I didn’t really know what to do, so I took out my flute and started playing Amazing Grace. An incredible peace seemed to fill the air as I played and I felt that I was ministering to the hearts of these little ones. During this time with the team I worked particularly with one boy who was expressionless and unresponsive. With regular attention, love and care I saw him begin to change. He smiled at us and I learnt that he really enjoyed drawing with chalk. Our team spent time walking around one of the parks in the city and again there was opportunity for me to pull out my flute and play. As I played others on the team were given opportunities to share the Gospel with people in the park and a vision one lady had before coming on the team was fulfilled. It was an amazing group of people and an incredible experience. I’d encourage anyone who is thinking of mission to explore that call by taking part in a short term mission trip. Living in China and working in close relationship with the Chinese government means we have to be cautious in sharing our faith. There are moments that arise which allow us to share our hope in Jesus. Often it is a matter of showing our faith through our actions. I love the quote
by St Francis of Assisi, Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words. The vision of ICC is to bring love, hope and opportunity to every disabled child. I believe that through our lives and our actions we are able to communicate God’s love and hope to the children we care for and to our local staff. The Bible says, Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for the orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us. These children are often considered the lowest in society because they have disabilities and because they’ve been abandoned. It is a privilege to be able to come
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alongside them and to care for them. I desire to see these children not only become physically well but I also have a burden to see them receive emotional healing. My prayer is that the scars of abandonment would heal as they come to see they have a Father who loves them and delights in them. It is these little miracles that bring me so much joy. To know that one life has been changed through the Love of God expressed in a very simple and practical way is simply wonderful. I am so grateful to God for calling me to China and for the privilege of serving Him through serving these abandoned and orphaned children. Karen Norman
Love Is A Choice Heidi Couturier writes of her experiences on the mission field in loving those who are unlovable
t’s a simple four letter word that says so much. I like to say that love is not a feeling but a choice. One thing I have come to realize that it’s so much easier to love those who love you back and you get along with naturally. It’s a whole lot harder to love those who you don’t naturally get along with and are harder to connect with. Yes, I’ve known this for a while but the Lord has really been showing me and has been teaching me that I shouldn’t pick who I want to love. I shouldn’t love anyone less or more because of how they act or who they are. The Bible is very clear about the word love - what it means, how to love others and whom I am to love.
God tells us that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all our heart, soul and mind. (Matthew 22:37-39) And to love your neighbor as yourself. He even says to love your enemies. (Matthew 5:43-44) And actually it’s very simple to love! You see in 1John it clearly states that if we love God and abide in Him then love is perfected in us and as we put Christ first loving Him with all our hearts, and that love will flow out onto others around you. It’s a simple four letter word that says so much. I like to say that love is not a feeling but a choice. 1 John 4:7-8 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God;
and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 8 He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. But, choosing to walk out this love is a choice. For instance, being here in India the last three months I have had the choice to walk in love towards the girls on my team. I have had the choice to allow God’s love to resonant from me. I have had the choice to not only love the girls on my team but the women I work
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with - the children I minister to, the Preschoolers, the children at tuition. Even when they don’t listen! I have had the choice to love them. I have had the choice to not only walk in love towards the people I have naturally fallen in love with. But I have had the choice to love the husband who beats the women I adore. I have the choice to love the parents who neglect and abuse the very child that I would want to be my own. I have had the choice to walk in love towards the rude and arrogant men on the buses. I have had the choice to walk in love wherever I go. Every person I come across should experience God’s love through me. But it’s my choice to walk out that love. I will end with 1 Corinthians where it states that without love, anything we ever do as Christians does amount to nothing. And then, it gives the best
But, choosing to walk out this love is a choice. For instance, being here in India the last three months I have had the choice to walk in love towards the girls on my team definition of love there could ever be and how to walk out that love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it
Department of External Studies
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pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end] I’m choosing to walk in love..... ALWAYS Heidi Couturier 8
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Japanese Tsunami: Living Through the
Looking at the recent disaster in Japan LESLIE MACHIN talks about short term mission for relief work in disaster areas
Sickness took my father away when I was just a little girl, and now because of the Tsunami, I have lost my mum also.” Mana and her mother were driving when the water hit them. A tree broke through her side of the car, so she was able to escape from the vehicle. It was snowing, and she was left floating in the water for some time. She was rescued later that day. Her mother is still missing. In addition to losing her mother, Mana’s grandfather and niece were also killed in the disaster. Mana is a 16 year old high school student. She used to live in Onagawa until her house was destroyed. She now lives in an evacuation centre with her grandmother, who is in her 70s. Despite the shocking experiences she has been through, Mana remains cheerful and strong, and continues to look forward to the future. She recently crossed paths with the Jesus Lifehouse team, who are working with many victims of the disaster. Jesus Lifehouse, with support from ACC International, has now established a homestay program. This caters to students 12 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011
When looking for an aid and development organisation... you should look for organisations with a long term presence in that community or country
Sheer and utter carnage of monstrous proportions. Boats, rooftops, apartments and cars, lay smashed, upside down and inside out beside and in the ruins of buildings. Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011 | 13
who have been so tragically affected by the tsunami in March this year. The program provides a much needed break and helps give new perspective. Mana is looking forward to spending time in Australia, away from the distressing sights she is surrounded by every day. She also wants to take the opportunity to increase her English skills. In the future, she wants to major in English at University, which was her mother’s dream. “Through this homestay program, I hope that I will be able to dream again about having a good future,” Mana explains. As well as the homestay program, the Jesus Lifehouse team is also coordinating a relief effort in Sendai. A church plant in that city will commence in early 2012, as the team continues to meet the physical and spiritual needs of that region. Helping Hands in the Disaster Zone Glenn Harvey from Shirelive Church in NSW recently returned from a short term trip to Japan where he
contributed to the relief effort. Coordinated by Jesus Lifehouse and supported by ACC International, this response is reaching many members of the Japanese community. Glenn updates us on his experience: Can you describe the kind of needs you saw? It’s difficult to prioritise the needs that we saw, as there are still so many difficulties facing individuals and whole communities. Evacuation centres are still running, and there are massive needs for accommodation and other basic services. Many businesses have closed, so getting supplies can be difficult. September this year marked six months since the tsunami and many people still have not received direct assistance. People have literally just been waiting and waiting for some kind of help. We need to keep reminding others of this, because the media and even many relief groups have moved on, but the need remains. Could you see the value in having short term teams visit? The importance of short-term teams can’t be overstated, and it’s going to be important for a long time. In many areas volunteer assistance is the only source of help. The main source of volunteers is church groups. The communities really value this assistance. While we worked, local people often came up to us with food and drinks. Connecting in this way was a real highlight. They were always thankful for the work we were doing and wherever they could they would help out themselves. What would you say to anyone considering a short-term trip? It’s a great experience to be involved in relief work. You can encounter difficult working conditions, in terms of seeing so much destruction and hopelessness, but in the midst of that you are working with some of the most amazing people. The connections I made with people were incredible. It’s such a unique environment. On a personal note, it puts a bit of a fast forward on your own journey with God. It’s an interesting and sometimes conflicting situation to be listening to worship in the car while driving through complete devastation. You’ve got to think about what it means to be the
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church in action in a place like this. To be a part of it is amazing. There is really no way you can lose out - you contribute so much to the area and to the people, and you also get so much out of it yourself. How can you offer support in a Disaster? When looking for an aid and development organisation to support in Disaster Relief situations, you should look for organisations with a long term presence in that community or country. The financial support you provide will add to the capacity and influence of this organisation on the ground, bringing great benefit to the long-term development goals already in place. You should also look for organisations that are able to quickly distribute funds. This is a great advantage of partnering with a grass-roots Christian development charity. Local church networks in affected areas often have great connections to government and community leaders, and partnering in this way enables a quick outlay of resource so that basic needs can be met very quickly. Volunteering your time – both to pray and to offer practical assistance – is incredibly valuable. Most Relief Organisations will have a framework for volunteer involvement, whether it is remotely from your home town or overseas where the disaster has struck. Leslie Machin ACC International Relief
ACC International has been serving the ACC movement through Missions and Relief for over 60 years. In this time, we have worked in over 30 nations, planted thousands of churches, and seen many thousands of individual lives changed and transformed. In recent years we have distributed millions of dollars in emergency situations, including the Japan Disaster, Queensland Floods, and Pakistan Floods. For more information contact info@ acci.org.au or visit www.acci.org.au
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Bob Mendelsohn gives some good advice when deciding which mission to support â€“ there are many things to consider!
Supporting a (good) Christian Mission
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hoices are never easy. From the type of ice cream after dinner to the choice of a mate, to clothing for the party, life gives us constant options. This magazine about Christian missions brings us again another choice; that is, finding a good Christian mission. I find this problematic and yet soluble. Maybe this brief article will help you as well.
THE PROBLEMS: Wouldn’t it be nice if this title were redundant? If all Christian missions were good (reliable, fruitful and worthy of your support), then this article would in one way, be unnecessary. In fact, if all things which are titled Christian were just that, an adjective that reflects the person and work of Jesus - that would make life so much simpler. If every Christian church were Christian, and every Christian music group and every Christian speaker and every… you get the idea. But unfortunately that’s not the case. Some Christian missions are barely missions. Some are barely Christian. Some are barely anything. I’ve seen the best and worst of missions in my 40 years of walking with Jesus and of traveling the world, even in the Holy Land. The old saying used to be, ‘there are more missionaries in Israel than Christians’. Just because someone says they are a mission doesn’t make what they do to be mission. THE DEFINITION: Therefore a definition is warranted. A mission in the dictionary is either 1) An important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes, typically involving travel or 2) a group of people taking part
in such an assignment. (Dictionary. com) For our purposes I define Christian mission as an enterprise which seeks to make the Gospel clear to people by providing a service representing or extending the Kingdom of God. Stephen Neill’s quote is so important in this regard: ‘If everything is mission, nothing is mission’. Of course, then there is another problem: that there really are too many good Christian missions for me to support and thus I need to narrow my focus and considerations to the ones I can actually support in a worthwhile manner. One simply cannot be generous to everyone who asks or to every charity and poor person and project that requests our support. What’s a Christian person to do? THE SOLUTIONS (HOW TO CHOOSE): To evaluate a mission, you have to know the field in which the missionaries are working, and measure with sound judgment. A person working among Muslims in Pakistan will not have the same numbers of people attending Bible classes as say, a Spanish-speaker working among Catholics in South America. To measure one of those against the other, without considering the cultural factors involved, would be unfair to both. A missionary who hands out food or medicine will be more welcome in a town than a church planter with a simple evangelistic message of Jesus in a post-Christian European village. Measure against reality, rather than their own measuring stick. For instance, if they are about literature distribution, and want to hand out say 1,000 tracts a month, in the middle of
Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011 | 17
Finding and supporting a good Christian mission is a great
thing to do in these days, and throughout your days
New York City, and they are satisfied with this number, you need to know that one missionary in NYC can hand out almost 1,000 tracts in two hours, so the question is raised, “What did they do the other 29+ days of the month?” What if the missionary says, “I tried to ring 50 people last month?” That would be great unless you know that ringing 50 people can be done in two hours, unless they REACH 50 people on the phone and have significant conversations with them. So be on guard against words like, “We did a lot of ministry” or “God really moved.” I’m sure they know what they mean, but I prefer raw data to evaluative commentary. Once you have chosen: Give yourself to the mission as well as you can. Be a reader of their literature
and websites. Read blogs and photo journals. Listen to sermons and Bible talks. Be aware of what matters to the team you are supporting. Being informed gives you the heart of the mission and that’s significant. Volunteer to help the mission in ways that you find comfortable in your situation. There might be a prayer meeting in your suburb you could attend, or they might run a thrift store or shop at which you could work fortnightly. They may need someone to tidy after meetings or during special programs they run. A children’s outreach always needs help in a dozen little and big ways: baking, driving, arts and crafts, and so much more. You may be able to fill in a blank the mission didn’t even know existed! Finances are a usual and appropriate method of support for a mission. Make sure you support your local home church first, but if you have extra and want to help the mission of your choosing, then it’s right to do so. Give to a specific
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cause they might mention, or even better, give to their general fund to go ‘where most needed’. That gives the treasurer the freedom to apply your generosity to things as required by the CEO. Speak well to people and to God. Speak to God directly (pray!) about needs and concerns of the mission, of the missionaries, of the projects and personnel about which you read. And speak well to others, in your church, in your neighbourhood, in your sphere of influence, and who knows; you might just be the ‘champion’ of the mission to others. Finding and supporting a good Christian mission is a great thing to do in these days, and throughout your days. Bob Mendelsohn National Director Jews for Jesus firstname.lastname@example.org
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There is more to missions than just deciding to go into the field. JOHN FULLER explains the importance of discipleship and leadership training as preparation
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It presents the urgent need, and shows you step by step how to grow believers to maturity and provides the tools to do it
mega Discipleship Ministries (or ‘Omega’ as it is becoming known), was founded as an international ministry by Australian pastor and author Ian Malins. Out of his experience of 14 years as a Bible teacher in Papua New Guinea at the Christian Leader’s Training College, followed by 10 years of pastoral ministry in Queensland, Ian became convinced that the lack of significant ongoing discipleship training as the hub of church life was a primary reason for weak churches and little growth. He believed that the heart of the Church’s mission is to ‘make disciples’ not just win converts and simply maintain believers. This concern led Ian to develop a cyclical discipleship series of study books to facilitate spiritual growth in an intentional way. The series starts at the ‘seeker’ stage, establishes ‘new Christians’ , then goes on to grow believers into disciples, and then train them to become disciple-makers. Churches can then become part of a multiplying life-cycle fulfilling the call of The Great Commission. This is the heart of Omega’s ministry. These resources are now being used across New Zealand, Australia, United States and many other countries of the world, with translations in part or whole into 11 different languages from India, China, Myanmar, Indonesia and many others. Omega has created a discipleship pathway to enable Christians to reach their potential as followers of Christ, reproducing themselves in the lives of others. To be able to achieve this level of fruitfulness, discipleship training must be intentional and deliberate rather than random or occasional. Jesus told us not only to win converts but to teach them to obey all that I have commanded you. This means evangelism and intentional discipleship must flow together as integral facets of the discipleship pathway. The obvious lack of multiplication of disciples in our churches as taught by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:2, is evidence that this does not happen automatically for most believers despite their involvement in a variety of church activities over many years. Obviously something more is needed. Omega’s concept of discipleship training is that it must be cyclical not linear. Each book in the series is not an end in itself. It is taking people somewhere - it is helping them to grow into disciples themselves, and then showing them how to make disciples of others. In this way any church that introduces the series has the potential to awaken Christians of all ages and stages and release them into an effectiveness they may never have known before. This highlights the fact that these books are designed not just for information, but
for transformation. They do not only focus on knowledge and understanding but on teaching them to obey. For any church wanting to refocus its ministry and get back to intentional discipleship as a foundational core for its overall program, it is vital that the leadership not only understand and grasp the vision but also understand the how to do it. Omega’s Leader’s Manual is a resource designed to show how to do this. It presents the urgent need, and shows you step by step how to grow believers to maturity and provides the tools to do it. This is a book every member of a church leadership team should have. It includes questionnaires for both churches and individuals to evaluate where they are currently, and guidance about how to go forward and become a disciple-making church. The goal for 2012 is to introduce training for more church leadership teams on how to understand and implement the Omega Discipleship Pathway in their Churches. John Fuller Omega-Discipleship organisation email@example.com www.omega-discipleship.com
NEW ZEALAND: firstname.lastname@example.org AUSTRALIA: www.omega-discipleship.com
Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011 | 21
Rescuing abandoned children around the globe who without our help would have no where to call home, no one to love them… SUE VAN SCHREVEN
n 2004 we established our first home in Targu Mures Romania. A home for abandoned children left at the city’s hospitals and institutions. The home affectionately known as Casa Kiwi has become the only home many children have known. Since that time we’ve seen 20 children adopted out to Romanian families and many more provided for in very practical ways. I have recently written details of the establishment of Orphans Aid International in my just launched book Rescue-Pursuit of The Ultimate Dream. I tell the story of Alex. Christmas 2009 I travelled with my family to a hospital in the Transylvanian region. Alex age two was living at the hospital; he had been abandoned by his family who were unable to care for him. He was crying and sweating as I
Above: Sue and Alex
carried him out of the old, run down hospital. He knew something was up and he was obviously very unsure of what was going on. He sat on my lap with a bottle of juice for the long drive back to Casa Kiwi. I tried to calm him with some gentle singing. Once arriving at Casa Kiwi he interacted very quickly with the other children who lived there. He obviously knew how to interact with children. He followed me around for the first couple of days but soon began to connect with the ‘Mums’ at our home. I returned home to New Zealand anxious to know how Alex was settling in. He was doing well and was loved by all. The staff at Casa Kiwi spent many days completing formalities with the local authorities for sometime we didn’t know if Alex would be able to be adopted or if he would remain in our care indefinitely. Such a gorgeous wee boy we were keen for him to find a permanent family before too much time went by. The great news was approx 18 months later Alex was adopted to a Romanian couple who really love him. Once Alex was left, abandoned, loved by nobody, now he is a cherished son, firmly settled in his own family. I regularly receive photos
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of him and updates and I look forward to visiting him in his new family. He is an example of many children we have been helping since 2004. Since that time we have expanded to Russia and India. In Russia the children are not as young but the needs nonetheless are just as important. We’ve been holding annual camps for children who are institutionalised and would not have the opportunity to leave the city they live in. The experience can only be described as life changing. The mandate of Orphans Aid International is James 1v27 to care for the orphans and widows and those in distress. In 2012 we will continue to expand our work in New Zealand through our Op shops and local community work. We have a proven track record and wish to continue to build on this. We have recently connected with fantastic people working with orphans in Uganda and are committed to increasing our reach to this part of the world. Uganda alone has 2.7 million orphans, the need is huge. We’re seeking individuals and partnerships to help us to increase our reach even further. Please join with us www.orphansaidinternational.org Sue van Schreven Orphans Aid International
A story that must be told. DAREN WARD stresses the generosity of Kiwis in helping those
facing poverty and those who are disadvantaged
ew Zealand is a generous country. It is heart warming to see how often we as individuals and organisations reach out with a helping hand to those in need both here and overseas. One charity that richly deserves our attention and our support is cbm. A dynamic international aid agency, cbm makes an incredible difference in the lives of some of the most marginalised people on earth. cbm supporters make a unique difference by breaking the cycle of poverty and disability. What makes cbm different? It is the world’s largest organisation focusing on poverty and disability. The two go together in a vicious cycle. Poverty increases the risk of disability. In turn disability affects livelihoods of people, families and communities. So poverty gets worse and leads to even more disability (and death). In some countries 80% of children with disabilities may die before the age of ﬁve. cbm’s inspiration is the example of Jesus. When everyone else rejected those who were poor and disabled, Jesus welcomed them and healed them. This year, thanks to their supporters, cbm has helped more than 20 million people who live in the world’s poorest places but also face the risk or reality of serious disability. In over 70 countries cbm currently supports more than 700 projects. These cover disability prevention,
medical treatment, mobile clinics, training in skills and livelihoods, as well as social education so that children and adults with disabilities will be accepted back into families, schools, work and communities. New Zealand supporters are funding projects across the Pacific, Asia, Africa and Central America.
cbm’s work covers all forms of disability, including sight, hearing, physical, mental and intellectual. Sixty-four percent of our work is sight related. In fact every 47 seconds a blind person’s sight is restored through a cbm cataract operation. It is estimated that 10% of the world’s population or around 1 billion people have a disability. Over 80% of these people are in the poorest countries, where their poverty, disability and social isolation forced them to become what Jesus called ‘the least of these brothers and sisters of mine’. Thank you for helping them. As a nation we have some insight into what it means to go through tough times. An amazing fact is that despite our hardships, New Zealanders have never given up on their generosity towards those in the greatest need of all. In fact, cbm’s incredible supporters have actually increased their giving for those who face both poverty and disability. To their supporters, cbm says a heartfelt “thank you” for creating new hope and giving the world’s most disadvantaged men, women and children their chance to shine. And to those who read this and consider giving their support, you could be making one of the best decisions of your life. Join today. Daren Ward cbm
Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011 | 23
What opportunities are there outside of the church?
Missions are needed everywhere in the world, whether on your doorstep or overseas, people everywhere are needing food, clothing, housing and more importantly, the love of God
ny service that reflects Jesus’ love is Christian service. From giving a cup of water (Mark 9:41) to dying for someone (John 15:13), there are as many types of Christian service as there are needs in the world. Very few directly involve the four walls of the church. The Bible does give specific examples of Christian service: show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2), remember those in prison (Matthew 25:36), provide for the needy (Matthew 25:35), mentor others (Titus 2:2-8). Some of these examples speak to our day-to-day living: care for children, tend to families, treat employees fairly, deal honestly with customers and be diligent with employers’ resources As long as the
act is done ‘in Jesus’ name’—that is, it is motivated by the love of Jesus—it is Christian service. There are thousands of organizations outside the church designed specifically to serve others. Homeless shelters, housing builders, and food banks always need help— both volunteering and donations. Internationally, organizations like Compassion International provide food, clothing, and education for children in sometimes dangerous situations. Others provide water, micro-loans, or resources such as farm animals which enable the child’s family to generate income. The world outside the walls of the church also offers opportunities for those specifically educated in
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theology. Chaplains serve hospitals, military members, and shipping ports, and travel overseas to train indigenous pastors. Parachurch ministries provide Biblical guidance for families and others in need. And internet ministries like Got Questions are always in need of those who can explain the truth of God in a loving, easy-to-understand way. The world is in desperate need of Christians willing to show who Christ is with their actions. Jesus said the second greatest commandment was to love others—not sentimentally, but tangibly. Every action performed out of kindness, powered by the understanding of Christ and His love, is Christian service.
Inspiring stories from REAL people serving
BOOK 2 IS OUT NOW!
The second book in the ‘Inspiring Stories’ Missions series - From The Field compiled by Lynn Goldsmith is a collection of inspiring stories from REAL people in the mission field. Missionaries often lead an extraordinary life, with highs and lows experienced along the way. It is a life totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom and one that the missionaries in this book would not swap. Mission work is for the young, the young at heart, and those who have raised their children and are reconsidering their life’s work. With stories from NICOLA GIBB, PASTOR BRIAN UNTERRHEINER, ELIZABETH GUNTRIP, PASTOR JAYARAJ SEPHEN and more, From The Field will captivate and inspire you as you read about these missionaries following God’s calling for their life.
Books with Purpose
in the mission field
ins pir ing stories
from the field compil ed by
lynn gold smith
Get your copy now at www.arkhousepress.com
VIVIEN WILSON begun her journey as a preventative health care nurse working in Aboriginal communities in QLD. She spent the next ten years working for World Vision in developing countries including Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Liberia and Central Australia. Vivien is now a Minister and is the Director of Teen Challenge Centralia where she works with Indigenous youth caught up in substance abuse. The following is an extract from her best selling book A Full Life...
n September 1954, I was born in Brisbane, Australia, the third child of a typical white, apparently middle-class family. Our family, however, bore some differences that probably account for my unusual career choice. We children knew that all men were equal, regardless of race or background. Mum bought us books about Aboriginal history and legends not taught at school. She had been brought up on farms in Kenilworth and Maleny, north of Brisbane, and was aware that the land had belonged to Aborigines. Her mother had told her about a dilly bag found on the creek of their property, although she herself had not met any Aborigines. Mum told us not to forget that certain white Australians had taken the land by foul means. Long ago, there had even been such atrocities as the white people placing arsenic in the flour rations given to Aborigines. On the other side, Dadâ€™s uncle, Erle Wilson, had written a couple of books on Aboriginal and South Pacific legends, Far Away Tales1 and Churinga Tales2. Dad was a highly intelligent man but was unable to cope with the pressures of life, after being in the Battle of the Coral Sea as a seventeen-yearold. He manned an anti-aircraft gun on board the flagship HMAS Australia and witnessed the first, and countless more, kamikaze attacks. He had seen mates burn to jelly and many sailors eaten by sharks in feeding frenzies that turned the waters red with blood. Dad suffered a severe war neurosis and found that no one, unless they had been there, could ever understand. His continual tormented grinding of his teeth was enough to impress upon us the horror of war: not only the loss of many young lives but the severe damage done to those 1 Far -Away Tales, by Erle Wilson (Angus & Robertson Ltd 1954) 2 Churinga Tales, by Erle Wilson (Angus & Robertson Ltd 1950)
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who returned. Their sacrifices remain largely unknown. When the pressures and responsibilities of family life mounted, Dad turned to drink for comfort, which only worsened the situation. Even as a little girl, being the middle child of the family, I took on the role of mediator to try to stop the everincreasing verbal fights. Dad never physically abused Mum or any of us but it made me ashamed that our neighbours knew all was not well at the Wilson household. Dad would deliberately open the windows and shout abuse, blaming Mum for something or other. Eventually my parents divorced, but not until my siblings and I were grown up. One sad event etched into my mind, is when the ambulance called to say my father was lying in the gutter, not far from the Returned Servicemen’s League (RSL) Club, which he frequented every day from 10am onwards after his early retirement. This time he had fallen over and cut his head. The pathetic sight tore at my heart. The local shopkeeper was also there, telling those gathered around how disgusted he was with the RSL, allowing this man to get into such a state every day. He feared for Dad’s life as he watched him staggering daily across the busy street. Naturally this dysfunctional family left scars, but God works for good to those who are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Dad’s sufferings developed a great compassion in me for the ‘down-and-outers’, and taught me first hand the need to forgive and love unconditionally. It was a lesson forged into me with much pain and anxiety. My one enjoyable outlet was ballet. I attended classes at least twice a week and found it a wonderful way of expressing myself and forgetting about everything unpleasant. Reaching the Advanced level, I was certified to teach the lower grades;
but my love was really in performing, particularly character dancing where I could put my heart and soul into it. By the time I reached fifteen, however, I started to lose interest. Suddenly boys seemed a more attractive option. But between my own shyness and Mum’s tight reins on me, I didn’t get far in my desire to fill my growing emptiness with a romantic relationship. Nursing was never my dream profession. Mum had been a matron of a nursing home and liked our home also to run under the same discipline. Career guidance tests in my senior years at school revealed that I was a ‘people person’ and that nursing and teaching seemed to be the professions most suitable for me. The reason I chose nursing over teaching was not motivated by a desire to help mankind, but more for personal freedom - to get out of the house! At seventeen in 1972, I moved to the nurses’ quarters at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane. Being a Wilson, I was designated to live in the basement of the nurses’ quarters along with Rush and Sang, and all those other fortunates whose surnames were at the end of the alphabet. What a ball we had, as it was far enough away from those in authority that we could have all sorts of fun. We scooted up and down the corridor, pulling each other along on those lovely starched white sheets, and generally had a lot of fun. But all was not well with me emotionally. During these training years I suddenly ‘cracked’ during lectures. One day I burst into loud, inconsolable sobbing, which lasted all day. The Tutor Sisters, not knowing what to do, sent me to a
psychiatrist, as we had easy access to all sorts of professional medical care living on site. However, he was unable to help me with my troubles, as I barely understood them myself and was unable to tell him anything really helpful. Only later was I able to gain understanding and insight into my emotional dilemmas. Before class, the other nurses always shared how they enjoyed their days off with their families, where they had been given breakfast in bed and thoroughly spoilt in every way. Comparing these reports to my own days off at home where there was constant quarrelling, I would become silent and bottled everything up while the other girls chatted happily about their families. There was hardly any love in our household at that time just anxiety and fights. I was finding it difficult to eat, feeling as though I had a large lump stuck in my throat. I soon learned smoking seemed to alleviate some of the tension. Desperate for some relief, during this period I made a Christian commitment. After visiting a church in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, I was surprised at the love they showed the long-haired, bare footed hippies who came in. Teen Challenge, a Christian drug rehabilitation program, encouraged their students to go to this church. After the services a cup of tea, coffee and biscuits were available. How pleasant it was to see little old grandmas happily chatting
“This book will inspire men and women to take risks and put faith into action like Vivien Wilson.” STEVE GRACE CHRISTIAN ARTIST
Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011 | 27
away with these ex-drug addicts. It impressed me so much that I too eventually saw my need to ask Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour. An incident that showed positive change in me occurred one day at work. An obnoxious complaining patient needed dealing with. I came up with a plan. Further down in the ward was a dear old blind man who loved to sing with great gusto. I led the cranky old complainer down to visit him, to be entertained. Later that day the complainer came to me crying. He asked if I was a Christian as he said he could see it through my action. During my second year, in nursing, I was deeply traumatised by a sad event. The painful memory was to stay with me for years, until I received healing through a similar situation. One of the babies I was nursing was bleeding from the mouth and needed frequent suction to keep his airways clear. For a few days he had been assigned a private nurse, but the doctors decided the case was hopeless, said there was to be no further aggressive treatment and sent the mother home to rest. I was on night duty and in charge of a ward of sick children. Anxious about the baby, I went back to him as often as I could and cleared his airways, but it was not enough. That night, the baby died. The mother returned and I looked sadly at her, only to recoil from her furious face. “You’ve killed my baby!” she cried, distraught, and proceeded to give me an angry diatribe. I held myself together to the best of my ability, but when I had completed my shift, I cried and cried. I wondered if I should resign. One of my friends encouraged me to talk to the doctor about the case. With some trepidation, I approached him the following day. He looked at me soberly and said, “Vivien, the baby died of a
subarachnoid haemorrhage. There was nothing you or anyone else could have done to save his life.” I was comforted, but the mother’s words had knifed a wound into my emotions. A wound that I would live with for many years. Nursing school was at last completed, but I had only enjoyed parts of it. I still have nightmares of giving out the 6am pills on night duty, or turning up late for a shift still wearing slippers and pyjamas! Straight after general training there was twelve months’ midwifery at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Brisbane. Mum had convinced me it would be essential to work in hospitals overseas, and I was really looking forward to that and was keen to prepare myself for it. I loved working with babies. Seeing a baby being born is a wonderful experience and delivering one is even better. Usually I really enjoyed it, but one incident upset me. I was scolded loudly by a midwife during the delivery and told to have more control over the baby’s head when it was coming out. This upset me so much I went and cried in the toilets, upset at my poor technique and shocked that the mother had heard the midwife say this. I felt ashamed to know the mother had an incompetent nurse to care for her and her newborn child. An Aboriginal midwife came in. “What’s wrong?” she asked me. I sobbed as I recounted the incident, and the midwife gradually calmed me down, talking me through to seeing it in perspective. “Don’t worry about it, Vivien,” she told me. “Women have been having babies since the year dot with no midwives around to help them!” After completing midwifery at the age of twenty-one, I set off to conquer the world, free at last to go wherever I wanted to go and do whatever I liked. My younger sister Lorraine had given me a pair of gym boots
28 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011
for my twenty-first with a message, “Have an adventurous exciting walk wherever you go.” The first port of call was South Africa. I had met a South African nurse in Brisbane who encouraged me to start with Africa. In Durban I found work in a small private hospital, second in charge of casualty. What an honour! Australian nurses had a good reputation, which must have helped, considering my age. The year was 1976, a momentous time in history. Mandela was in jail, and the Soweto riots had just rocked the world. Having had an intrinsic love for dark-skinned people since my childhood, I was in for a shock. St. Augustine’s, where I worked, was a ‘white’ hospital. Racism ruled, and it shocked me to be immersed in this segregation system - ‘white’ buses, ‘black’ buses, ‘white’ toilets, ‘black’ toilets. The biggest shock came when I noticed a black servant girl, one of the hospital staff, lying on the hospital grounds shivering. I pushed her in a wheelchair to the Casualty Department and placed her onto a bed. The ‘black’ ambulance was contacted to send her to the ‘black’ hospital. A South African nurse noticed what I had done and told me in no uncertain terms to “get that black woman off that bed”. Horrified, I transferred the sick woman to the wheelchair, making sure she was comfortable...
To read more of Vivien’s incredible story visit www.arkhousepress.com to purchase your copy of ‘A Full Life’.
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HOPE for the
Sonya Hemsley gives us insight into the work carried out in Africa. There are more than 60 million orphans and vulnerable children within that continent
or I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer 29:11) The younger members of every country are, in a sense, their investment for the future. They are the ones to whom the baton will be passed in years to come, and who will become captains of industry and leaders of churches and government. When this capital is not utilised, it works to the detriment of the nation, in terms of lost opportunity, but it can be worse than that. It can mean a body of disaffected angry young people who actively fight against the very society they are part of. This is often the case in Africa. Africa is a predominantly young continent, and the demographics show that the majority of the population are aged fewer than 30 in many countries. Currently, 44% of the populations in sub Sahara Africa are under the age of 15. It is currently estimated that there are more than 60 million orphans and vulnerable children within Africa. These are children who are orphaned as the result of the AIDS pandemic, or may be affected by AIDS themselves. Others are the result of conflict or abandonment because they have a disability.
In the African Enterprise ministries across Africa, these children have long been a concern. In countries like Uganda, there are children who have been forcibly seized and forced into rebel groups. This applies to many other countries as well. Through support, in Rwanda and Kenya, AE has been able to help many thousands of disadvantaged children, supporting them through education programs on reconciliation. The project in Rwanda has impacted nearly 40,000 children. The primary aim is to bring healing to the victims of the genocide and initiate forgiveness of the perpetrators of the crime and thereby establish peace in Rwanda. In Ghana, our street kids’ program takes children who are in and of the street, and enables them through training programs, to learn skills in areas as diverse as hair dressing, tailoring, mobile phone maintenance, refrigerator repair and car mechanics. The children are apprenticed to master craftsmen for periods of one - three years, depending on the subject being taught. At the end, they are given the tools of their trade, and helped to sit for government based exams so that they can become accredited in their particular field. We deal with 100 children at a time because cost is a limiting factor, but nevertheless over the years it has
30 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011
OUR WORK The integration of word and deed is the heartbeat of the AE ministry. Words alone can’t fully convey God’s love in a context where people are struggling to survive. We wholeheartedly believe that the gospel calls us to meet needs in both
The primary aim is to bring healing to the victims of the genocide and initiate forgiveness of the perpetrators of the crime and thereby establish peace in Rwanda
the spiritual and physical realms. AE is involved in long-term development initiatives in a variety of areas, the local community determines the needs and AE equips the community to respond to those needs. www.africanenterprise.com.au
enabled us to assist many young people who will be good citizens of that country. Yet this is just a drop in the bucket. There are an estimated 10,000 plus children on the streets of Accra, the capital of Ghana, alone. Our concern for young people meant that we started programs such as our Foxfire program, which you may well know about; this enables young people to reach their peer group with life skills and understanding of God’s plan for their lives. Indeed, in all that we do, we seek to not only build up practical skills, but demonstrate the love of Christ and share about his love and concern for each one of us. Support from the community will ensure this important work continues. There is a generation at risk in Africa today. A generation that yearns for a hope and a future that you and I know is found in our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Support of our Youth Projects will help make this possible. This support involves praying for these children, giving and perhaps even going to Africa and participating in one of our missions or visiting one of our projects. For further information on any of these projects or the wider work of AE contact us now. It is vital we invest in the future of Africa – it’s Children. Sonya Hemsley African Enterprise
Staying the Course: A Guide to Finding a Good Mission Today, there are over 4,000 known evangelical mission agencies sending out 250,000 missionaries from over 200 countries. It’s no wonder it’s a minefield at times. It’s always difficult to know; who should I support? Whilst most causes are worthy, there are four key factors to look for when selecting a mission: 1. First and foremost any good Christian mission will follow Jesus’ last great command from Matthew 28:19. Sharing the Gospel with the lost of this world will be paramount and is a fundamental biblical principal. 2. Has an inherently indigenous aspect to their ministry. In the 21st century indigenous ministry has to be seen as central and the most critical approach to reaching people in our diverse world. 3. Works in partnership with the local church and communities, bringing people together. Mission is about empowering others to sustain long term change for their communities, towns and cities. It cannot be a quick ‘in-out fix’. 4. Will have a holistic approach to ministry. God’s love and mercy isn’t one dimensional. It is hard to preach that message in a context where people are struggling. People need spiritual, social, economic, emotional and physical needs met. Lastly, mission is not just about programs but about passion. It’s about a group of people coming together in community to reach out to others in love and mercy. It’s not just about dollars and cents but relies fundamentally on the power of prayer and a team of dedicated volunteers, supporters and partners.
Humble Beginnings. Profound Impact. Brother Andrew, known as ‘God’s Smuggler’ has been responsible for bringing Christ to the Persecuted Church… CHEREEN MOREAU
n 1955 a young Dutch missionary discovered that Christians behind the Iron Curtain desperately needed the Word of God so he began to transport suitcases full of Christian literature to them. In the late 1960s Brother Andrew, the young missionary, came to be known as ‘God’s Smuggler’ after the title of his best-selling biography which is now available in 27 languages. This one book has helped to redefine the boundaries of modern missionary endeavour and has aroused millions to an awareness of the suffering church in areas of limited access. This one-man operation, formed in humble beginnings, has now become a profound, life changing and giving worldwide ministry by the name of Open Doors. Now, over 50 years later, Open Doors has gone where most Western Christians dare not go. With Brother Andrew still leading the way, his underground network of indigenous Christians has aided in the secret distribution of millions of Bibles each year worldwide, trains thousands of pastors and church leaders, provides spiritual and legal support for Christian prisoners and brings economic relief for their families and the families of martyrs. The reach of Open Doors is also expanding in Central Asia, where 12,500 people received training in 2010, up from less than 3,000 in 2009. And it’s because of the prayers and support of Open Doors friends, prayer and financial partners, that persecuted believers can say, “Through this discipleship training,
we’ve been so encouraged to know that people all over the world know about us and pray for us.” In 2010, Open Doors put 3.4 million Bibles and training materials into the hands of suffering believers in almost 50 countries worldwide. One distributor came back saying, “We have seen people weep out loud when they receive their Bible.” Today Open Doors has many co-workers in over 50 highrisk countries. As persecution increases, Open Doors will continue to go where faith costs the most, to equip and encourage Christians who are suffering for their faith.
Open Doors NZ works as part of a global effort to strengthen the Persecuted Church and to advance the Kingdom of God and this can only continue through the prayer and support of vital partners. As for Brother Andrew - he’s now in his 80s and lives in Holland with his wife Corrie. They have five children and four grandchildren. He still travels extensively with that same passion for making Christ known. His ministry has brought him into regular meetings with Yasser Arafat and with leaders of the Hamas and Hezbollah, and also with various armed groups in Latin America. With the support of friends here in NZ we can come alongside the most persecuted people in their gravest hour of need. From our humble beginnings we’ve been able to have a profound impact worldwide.
Chereen Moreau Projects Manager Open Doors
NEW OPPORTUNITIES SCHOOL CHAPLAINS SU QLD, a Christian interchurch youth and children’s agency, invites applications for full-time and parttime State School Chaplaincy positions across Queensland. Due to the release of NSCSWP funding, a range of new positions are available in both primary and secondary schools. Applicants need to demonstrate their suitability to provide support and care to young people. There is significant need for Chaplains in rural and remote communities of Queensland. More information and apply online at
32 | Find a Christian Mission Magazine December 2011
If you would like to know more about Open Doors NZ, please visit us www.opendoors.org.nz
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