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“Winning was not my goal.”

OCTOBER 2011

In conversation Annie Hilton helps Indian women escape the sex trade. PAGE 12 >>

MASTERCHEF WINNER, KATE BRACKS

3 Just Prayer Six thousand people groups across the globe have almost no opportunity to hear of Jesus Christ >>

Winner of this year’s Master Chef, Kate Bracks.

Masterchef disciple Winning the Masterchef competition on 7 August rocketed Kate Bracks into the realms of media hyperbole. Television, radio and press journalists hounded her for weeks after her win, but as always she remained true to her Christian faith throughout and following the competition.

Kate used part of her ‘one telephone call a week’ with her husband, Luke, during the competition to give him points for how to pray for her. “The biggest challenge for me in the house with all the other contestants was that I might be over influenced by the others,” Kate told The Advocate. “I’d come from a world that had routine and rhythm – family, school, church and Bible reading each day. Would I be tempted to become like the world I was immersed in?” Kate didn’t ask her husband to pray that she would win; she asked him to pray she would stay true to Jesus, bring glory to God and live a life that pleases Him. Winning was not her goal. “I really wanted to cook the best I could and learn as much as I could,” Kate said.

Now back home in Orange, New South Wales, Kate is working on recipes she will include in her recipe book to be published in April 2012. The publishing contract is part of the prize for winning Masterchef. “I’m trying all these amazing recipes, and of course it’s all sweet and yummy because the book is about desserts. Most of the food I cook we end up giving away to friends and family.” The Bracks family moved to Orange from Sydney five years ago. It was a thought-through life decision on big issues, not just a whim. “The move has been great. Luke teaches at a local school and we get to be part of and to contribute to the life of a vibrant country town. We love Orange and all it has to offer.” Hospitality is a spiritual gift Kate has nurtured for many

years. Their commitment to serving the Kingdom through welcoming ‘brother and stranger’ is motivating the Bracks’ dream to use the Masterchef prize winnings of $100,000 to open a bed and breakfast in Orange. “I’d love to use and promote local produce as much as possible.

There’s a rich food culture in Orange,” Kate said. “Food helps people relax, be comfortable and engage with one another,” Kate said. “Whether it’s afternoon tea for my Bible study group, or a meal for friends, I’ve seen it work so many times.”

Leading the nation Australian Baptist Women announced at the Fresh conference in Perth on 17 September that Karen Wilson is the new National Director. Karen is the Coordinator for Western Australian Baptist Women and also works for Willow Creek International as the Executive Director Asia Global Leadership Summit. She travels extensively in this role and enjoys building and developing leadership teams across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Mrs Tracey Hawke was

re-appointed as National Administrator/Treasurer for Australian Baptist Women. Based in Perth, Tracey is currently the Administrative Assistant for Western Australian Baptist Women. Her primary role is to oversee the general administration tasks that help the leadership team operate well. Both of these key roles are voluntary positions. “This is a great day of rejoicing as we see God anointing and appointing women of His choosing to lead a vibrant and relevant ministry with the Australian Baptist Women team to Baptist women in our Nation,” Pastor Joanne Jarlett, Past President Australian Baptist Women said.

5 Fresh conference The day of teaching, worship and sacrificial giving drew women from around the state >>

10 Voices of Justice Micah Challenge supporters converged on the lawns of Parliament to join Federal MPs in a queue for a giant toilet >>

We provide support to Baptist churches without seeking to take control. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA


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my view OCTOBER 2011

Spirituality, worship and evangelism I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the connection between authentic spirituality, deep worship and humble evangelism in the local church context.

Allan Thomas Allan Thomas is Senior Pastor of Parkerville Baptist Church and Chairman of BCWA Council.

The search for authentic spirituality is at the heart of the Christian message. Jesus taught us that we are to love God with all our, “heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” [Matthew 22:37]. He’s not talking here of a mere passionless intellectual response to God, but a deep whole-of-life offering of all that a human being is — body, emotions, spirit and intellect — to the God who gave everything

for us. Deep worship requires a wholehearted offering of all that we are to the God who gave everything for us. Jesus reminds us in Acts 1:8 that it never stops with us. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” With the assurance of the truths of the first century

ringing in our ears we seek to engage our truth doubting culture as humble witnesses. Gibbs puts it like this: The response of Christian witness to a person enmeshed in postmodern categories must be that of a fellow traveller. The witness walks with his or her companion to the rim of the abyss to face that person’s ‘final nothingness’ and ‘midnight of absence’. There, as an intercessor, the witness cries out to God to intervene graciously and to bring postmodernists to realise their true destinies as unique beings within all creation because they are made in the image of God. The

witness bears the good news that, in Jesus, people encounter God who was made flesh and dwelt among us [E. Gibbs. Churchnext. Downers Grove, IVP, 2000, p 35].

Living as if God exists ... As it’s a few years since my Sunday School days, I thought I’d refresh my memory of the troubled relationship between those two famous Hebrew kings, Saul and David.

Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Senior Pastor of Carey Community Baptist Church.

Lest you’ve forgotten, in spite of David saving Saul a lot of trouble by felling the Philistine giant Goliath with a slingshot, Saul insisted on seeing David as a threat to his dynasty, and tried to kill him on several occasions. David, understandably reluctant to have a spear thrust through him, fled. It’s here that the story gets really interesting. Displaying stunning leadership skills, David

turns a motley crew of followers into a formidable force and keeps at least one step ahead of Saul. On two occasions he has the opportunity to kill him, a delight he declines to the bewilderment of his troops, claiming he had no justification to kill the Lord’s anointed king, and that if God wanted to get rid of Saul, it was up to God to do so. While David sounds a true pacifist at this point, even a superficial reading

of his story proves him to be anything but. Given that Saul is clearly more than an imaginary enemy, why this peaceable stance towards him? For David, God’s probable existence was more than an interesting concept. He staked his life on it. Put differently, he was determined to live as if God exists. If he was to be king, it would be because God opened the door for him, not because he stumbled upon Saul relieving himself in a cave or because he more intentionally found himself alongside a sleeping Saul. All pretty much as we’d expect from the author of the

23rd Psalm, who clearly delighted in knowing God’s shepherding presence in all of life’s seasons. But sometimes it’s easier to say we believe in God than to live as if we do. Wouldn’t it be great to be part of a movement that lived in dependence on God’s power rather than on its own wit and wisdom ... or do we already?

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Share Your Will Power Thinking about your Will? Call 1300 789 991 or visit baptistworldaid.org.au/ bequests for a copy of Baptist World Aid Australia’s ‘Guide to Wills and Bequests’

Gifts tha t really change lives! This Christmas, give a gift that really changes lives Life changing gift ideas like pigs and chickens, access to clean water and medical training will make a real difference to families living in poverty. See the full range of gifts in the catalogue included, visit www.baptistworldaid.org.au or call 1300 789 991 today!


news

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Photo: Jill Birt

OCTOBER 2011

Just Prayer encourages Baptists to pray for the least reached people groups in the world on 14 to 16 October.

Just Prayer Six thousand people groups across the globe have almost no opportunity to hear of Jesus Christ. These are the ones that live in the most remote areas and often have very little public profile. The weekend of 14 to 16 October brings a unique opportunity for Australian Baptist churches. Global Interaction invites churches to spend focused time over these days to pray for leastreached people groups in the world. “This is a great opportunity,” Andrew Duncan, the State Director of Global Interaction and Pastor at East Fremantle Baptist Church said. “There is no cost to people other than their time, and we can make a difference by praying.” “We’re organising an event specifically for young adults on 14 October at Parkerville Baptist. Parkerville and Riverton churches are running the event.” “At East Fremantle Baptist Church on 16 October, both of our services will use the prayer ideas

Global Interaction has developed for Just Pray.” Author and Church Planter, David Garrison, recognises longterm soaking prayer as a vital contributing factor to effective church planting movements. Currently 96 percent of Christian workers and resources are concentrated on the third of the world who already call themselves Christian. A further three percent are dedicated to another third that already have access to the gospel. This leaves a third of the world who have never heard the gospel, with less than one percent of Christian workers and resources. Ideas and resources for activities that local churches can run to raise the profile of prayer for the least-reached people of the world are available from the Baptist Churches Western Australia on 6313 6300.

Chaplains for all schools Minimum qualifications are now required for all workers. All new chaplains or youth workers employed under the program will be required to have a minimum qualification of a Certificate IV in Youth Work. Existing chaplains must have at least completed the Mental Health and Making Referrals units of the course. Schools Minister, Peter Garrett, announced the changes on 7 September. The scheme has been renamed as the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program. Almost 2,700 schools currently take part in the program, however Mr Garrett said in a statement that the government hoped to extend it to a further 1,000 schools. The Australian Christian Lobby’s Managing Director, Jim Wallace, challenged the government’s plan on how they will fund the secular youth workers. “We welcome Mr Garrett’s comments supporting the great work chaplains do in school communities, but believe the government has an obligation to find additional sources of funding for secular welfare workers rather than taking this from the chaplaincy program budget, which was pledged

before the election,” Mr Wallace said. Western Australian YouthCARE CEO, Stanley Jeyaraj, says the announcement sets the framework for the new funding cycle. “We note the tightening of certain mechanisms arising from the recent Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Report. We’re pleased to see an increase in the maximum grants for schools in remote areas from $20,000 to $24,000, and the determination of the Government to give priority for new funding to schools in regional, remote and disadvantaged areas.” Mr Jeyaraj said the extra funding would allow YouthCARE — the largest provider of school chaplaincy services in WA — to extend its successful in-school chaplaincy and support chaplaincy services programs even further.

“We presently have inschool chaplains in 310 schools. A further 198 schools (which previously did not have access to our chaplaincy services) have access to school chaplaincy through our support chaplaincy program, run in collaboration with the Department of Education.” Mr Jeyaraj said YouthCARE’s positive working relationship with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the WA Department of Education, as well as how it has been received in WA school communities confirms that its work is valued and supported. “YouthCARE has been offering school chaplaincy in WA for 29 years. We enjoy wide community support and work in close collaboration with the Department of Education, schools and the community at large,” Mr Jeyaraj said.


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news OCTOBER 2011

Paradox brings life change Church planter, Brad Joss, and his wife Lisa moved to the area about 18 months ago to start Paradox Church. Previously they spent seven years of successful ministry at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. “I believe that the Holy Spirit lead me through confirmation, but also through the heart that He has formed in me to see people encounter Jesus,” Brad said. Mount Pleasant Baptist has been incredibly generous and committed to supporting the Joss family financially, and in many other ways for the first two years of Paradox. Starting Paradox was similar to engaging a different culture. Brad believes, “there is quite a lot of spiritual darkness in Kwinana as well as high levels of social disorder.”

The local community includes a high percentage of indigenous Australians and many New Zealanders. “God is at work in amazing ways. We’re praying for people of peace within these people groups in order that the gospel might spread organically among them,” Brad said. Paradox Church partners with existing secular agencies, serving and loving the people they meet. “We have seen more people come to faith in homes, cars and offices than we have on a Sunday,” Brad said. “It’s not just as simple as presenting the gospel word, but also about demonstrating its power. We have found that some people need to be set free before they can receive the truth.”

Photo: Sara Birt

Each Sunday about 30 people come to the Medina Primary School to meet with God.

Brad and Lisa Joss with Noah and baby Micah.

Ethnic churches help refugees Whatever the result of the Australian Federal Government’s plans for boat people, asylum seekers and refugees, Western Australia’s ethnic Burmese churches, Chin and Karen, are ready for an influx of refugees over the coming months. Paul Kyaw, himself a Karen Burmese, has lived in Australia for two decades and works with Multicultural Services Centre of WA.

“Some of the ethnic churches are doing wonderful work with the new arrivals,” Mr Kyaw said. “The Karen Baptist Church in Katanning and the group that meets at Bentley Baptist Church are already helping bona fide refugees get established in Western Australia.” Mr Kyaw helped to settle several families of Karen Burmese in Katanning. Today 30 families are integrating well into the country community. Western Australian Meat Marketing Cooperative (WAMMCO) Administration Manager, Judy Cameron, speaks highly of the Karen people’s work ethic and friendly nature. “Many of the group have come from years in refugee centres,” she said.

“They’ve taken well to the option of full-time work. They fit in and our managers are extremely happy with having these Burmese people on their teams.” WAMMCO runs a ‘mother shift’ from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at their Katanning abattoir, allowing women to work without interrupting their commitment to care for their children. Eight Karen families have bought homes in Katanning, fulfilling a dream they thought was impossible, and showing the local community their commitment to stay and contribute. With Richard Lwin from the Karen church in Bentley, Paul Kyaw has been negotiating for months with the community in

digital church

Dalwallinu to settle even more Karen families in the Wheatbelt town. “We see many country towns losing their population, so this is a way for country towns to retain services like their school. Most of the Karen and Chin refugees are Christians, so they connect well with local Christian groups,” Mr Kyaw said. The Karen people come from rural locations in Burma and feel comfortable in country WA. The Chin people prefer living in suburban areas. James Tin Kung is Pastor of the WA Chin Christian Church which meets in Girrawheen. They are the only Chin church in Perth. More than 500 people attend services each week.

James has regular contact with Government agencies and regularly meets new arrivals. “We organise a worship and prayer program at each new arrival’s home,” James said. “The Women’s Fellowship gives them one bag of rice.” Church people help the newcomers with how to use public transport, banking (including using an ATM), shopping and the education and medical systems. “Sometimes we go with them to help translate at medical appointments, or government offices,” James said. An influx of new refugees will bring unprecedented opportunities for ethnic Baptist Churches to serve and grow.

briefs

13/09/2011

13/09/2011

13/09/2011

Phil Cooke

Jared Wilson

Bill Reichart

www.philcooke.com “Working with teams is a great idea. I’m a people person, and love to get the team around a table and hash out creative options and ideas. But teams aren’t the whole answer to our problems. While teams are great for brainstorming and developing ideas and options, teams can’t make decisions ... you’re the leader. Man up. Make the call.”

www.gospeldrivenchurch. blogspot.com “Stillness isn’t always slothfulness. In a noisy, hurrysick world, regular silence and stillness is a necessity. Jesus himself ‘often withdrew to deserted places and prayed’ (Luke 5:16). Times of peaceful, un-busy, prayerful meditation on God’s Word are not laziness. God commands us to take the appropriate time to be still and know He is God.”

www.ministrybestpractices. com “Yes it’s true that most of those who serve within the church or ministries wouldn’t be doing so if they weren’t already motivated to a certain degree. But ministry can be hard and demanding, and everyone needs once in a while encouragement and incentive to keep motivated and going. As leaders we need to recognise and reward those that serve alongside us and for us.”

Baptisms

Children pray

Caroline Jurgins was baptised at Rockingham Baptist Church on 4 September. At Parkerville Baptist Church Lorelei Campbell was baptised on 21 August; Oscar Smith, Charis Waugh and Cody-Lee Marsland were baptised on 11 September.

Pastor Anton Cruz works with nearly 8,000 children in Chennai, India, including lepers, gypsies, handicapped, child labourers, babies thrown away at birth and tsunami affected children. They are called the RoyalkidsIntercessor-Praying Children. Trained as intercessors, the children of Royalkids and the Children’s House of Prayer in Sri Lanka are praying daily for the countries of the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings planned for Perth from 28 to 30 October.

Special birthday Dorothy Jamieson from North Beach Baptist Church celebrated her 100th birthday on 13 August.

Pastoral changes Pastor Henry Harding recently started as Interim Pastor at North Beach Baptist Church for two days a week.


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OCTOBER 2011

Fresh rewards women

Organised by Baptist Women Western Australia, the day of teaching, inspiring worship and sacrificial giving drew women from their mid-teens to those in their 80s. The women came from as far south as Mount Barker, east to Kalgoorlie, north to Fitzroy Crossing and 22 country towns as well as suburban Perth. This year the program included child care for mums who had no other option but to bring their children. Newly appointed National Director of Australian Baptist Women, Karen Wilson, and Helen Meyer, from Careforce Lifekeys in Melbourne, taught on freedom and forgiveness. Many women asked for help as they were challenged about the need to give and receive forgiveness to live with freedom. A number of women made decisions to give Jesus control of their lives. A group of women attended from Cyrenian House in Perth, a non-government, not-forprofit group that works for the wellbeing of people suffering from the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. Karen Wilson plans to meet regularly with these women in coming months as they continue their spiritual journeys. Special guest Annie Hilton, co-founder of Freeset, a ministry

Photo: Jill Birt

Five hundred and fifty women from across Western Australia attended the fifth annual Fresh Conference at Churchlands Christian Fellowship in Balcatta on Saturday, 17 September.

Ayodele sings of God’s love at the Fresh Conference where 550 women enjoyed the opportunity for focused teaching and worship.

helping women find freedom from the sex trade in Kolkata, flew in from India to report on Freeset’s work. At the 2010 Fresh conference when Annie’s husband, Kerry Hilton, explained the work of Freeset, women gave a staggering $78,000 to help with leadership training in Kolkata. Baptist World Aid Australia’s project officer Jules Parker liaises with the Hiltons and reported to the conference how the funds had helped train leaders among the Freeset workers in Kolkata.

“Western Australia is acting as a catalyst for the whole nation when it comes to women’s ministry and sacrificial giving,” Jules said. Women at this year’s conference gave $85,000 towards Freeset’s goal to start a ministry in the northern city of Murshirabad where many women are recruited for the sex trade in Kolkata. “I’m just gobsmacked,” Annie said. “This will enable us to plant many prevention units in Murshirabad.” On Friday, 16 September,

Youth workers ‘On Track’ Most churches are a hive of activity — and in many cases that activity centres around youth and children’s ministries. So, with all the energy required to serve in this part of church life, how do youth and children’s workers recharge their batteries? Youth and Young Adult Consultant for Baptist Churches Western Australia, Chris Green, explains it’s all about keeping workers in those ministries ‘On Track’. “The ‘On Track’ training that we ran at Serpentine recently came about by recognising that youth and children’s ministry leaders and their teams had developed a strong

culture of autonomy involving unique thinkers with unique experiences.”

... a powerful culture of mutual support, encouragement, respect and empathy.

The one-day retreat was organised to develop basic vision-setting techniques as well as providing strong, intimate networking systems. “Strengthening happens when

people from the same fields of expertise come together, so we sensed a powerful culture of mutual support, encouragement, respect and empathy,” Mr Green explained. In fact, youth and children’s ministries are regarded as so important that Alison Cross, Children’s Pastor at Morley Baptist Church, has now been appointed as Children’s Consultant to Baptist Churches Western Australia. “There is a recognised need for a ‘go-to person’, who has expertise in children’s church resourcing and networking — Alison is that person,” Mr Green said.

150 women who are leaders in their local church or business, soaked up teaching by Helen Meyer, Karen Wilson, Alaine McElroy (Churchlands Christian Fellowship), Anne Galambosi (Rockingham Baptist Church), Lynette Tobin and Annie Hilton at the first ever Fresh Leadership event. “The greatest gift you can give your church is to be a woman of God,” Helen Meyer told the leaders.” “How willing are we to let the Lord shape us?” Helen asked.

“Humility is being open about our humanity. It’s not humiliation.” Janine Daniels from Lakeside Baptist Church said the day was a ‘feast’ and ‘really valuable’ for her work in the local church. Many women pre-registered for the 2012 Fresh Leadership and the Fresh Conference.

A life full of suprises Saying ‘yes’ to God leads to a life full of surprises. Chuck and Alicia Barrett confirm that as they look back over the years and see God directing them to places and tasks they never could have imagined. The Barretts spent many years in Malawi and South Africa before they returned home to the USA. “When we went back to the USA we soon realised we would not be returning to South Africa and we began to wonder what was next for us.” An opportunity came to work as part of the team at Claremont Baptist Church in Western

Australia. Claremont church has responsibility for the small congregation at Mosman Park Baptist Community Church, which needed a pastor. “For it to become reality, however, our USA based agency, Baptist Churches Western Australia and the two churches would all have to agree to the assignment,” Chuck explained. The Barretts arrived in early 2011 and commenced working with people in the Mosman Park community straight away. Chuck and Alicia point to the book of Acts when they speak of their call to be missionaries to Australia. “What is it going to take to reach Australia with the gospel? My understanding of Acts 1:8 is that all believers are commissioned to be missionaries so yes, Australia needs missionaries as does every other nation on earth.”


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news OCTOBER 2011

Woodvale expands “This project started as a dream 13 years ago,” Senior Pastor Colin Lituri said. “As the Global Financial Crisis erupted in 2008, we started fundraising for the new facilities. Some would say that wasn’t a good time to begin a major project, but we believed God was directing things.” Since 2004, the church has run two Sunday morning services to cater for its growing congregation. When the groups join on November they will fill approximately 550 of the 650 seats in the new auditorium. “Our worship team will be pleased to be leading us at a single morning service for a season until we grow some more and need two services again,” Colin said. With carpet already down and theatre chairs in the auditorium, sound and lighting technicians will be next to add their wonder to the space where the church will worship. The project, valued at $3.25 million, is partially funded through a loan from Baptist Financial Services. As well as the auditorium, the project includes new offices for the church’s three pastors, a children’s worker and four administration staff. There is also a boardroom, green room, prayer room, substantial foyer space, a new kitchen and toilet facilities. The old auditorium will become home to Children’s Church on Sunday mornings.

More than 150 children will benefit from the extra space and the technical benefits of sound and IT capacity of the facilities. “Our evening service has been in recess for a while,” Colin said. “We’re planning to start night church once the new auditorium is functioning. It’s going to be quite different; interactive, creative and engaging for people where they’re living life and experiencing God.” When the church started 22 years ago, the building was on the outer fringe of the northern suburbs. Today it still has a bushland reserve over the road, but suburbia has transformed its quiet isolation. The growth has brought changes to the composition of the local population. “We have 35 families from South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as people from Liberia, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka. It’s a great church to be part of,” Colin said. The official opening on 5 November includes a dedication service, spit roast dinner and concert. Past members are welcome to join the celebrations. For more information, phone 9309 4044.

Photo: Jill Birt

With a month to go before the official opening on 5 November, Woodvale Baptist Church is a hive of productive activity as their new auditorium nears completion.

Pastor Colin Lituri outside the new entrance of Woodvale Baptist Church

Leavers team in ‘The Zone’ As Year 12 students prepare for their final high school exams, the Green Team is preparing for the students’ end of school celebrations, Leavers’ Week. Baptist Churches Western Australia contributes more than 240 volunteers to Leavers’ Week events at ‘The Zone’ in Dunsborough from 25 to 28 November and on Rottnest Island from 26 to 28 November.

“We have 121 volunteers registered at the moment and more to come,” organiser Michelle Smoker said. “People over 18 years with a heart to serve students are welcome to apply.” All approved Green Team members need to complete a training session over the next few weeks. Green Team members pay $100, which contributes to accommodation, meals and uniform costs for the event. Since ‘The Zone’ started in Dunsborough there has been a 91 percent reduction in assaults and arrests during Leavers’ Week and 58 percent reduction in clean up costs to the community.

“The Green Team are our biggest single volunteer team, and we wouldn’t be able to run our Leavers’ Week response without them,” Lisa Clack, Project Manager for Leavers WA from the Youth Policing Division said. “They really are the backbone of our management by event response.” “I can’t speak highly enough of the whole team. All volunteers are there to do ‘whatever it takes’ to keep Leavers safe, and their commitment to protecting our next generation is inspiring.” For more information or to apply to volunteer with the Green Team visit www.greenteamwa.org.au.

critically injured. The attack also destroyed the church’s source of income, the Good News Cloth Shoes Factory. Within a month of the attack ten of the church’s leaders were arrested. Five remain in prison.

all over Sudan,” said one text message circulating in Khartoum last month. Church leaders said they fear more persecution as they and their flocks become targets of local Islamists.

briefs Busselton caretakers New caretakers were recently appointed for the Busselton Baptist Camping Centre run by Baptist Churches Western Australia. Andrew and Rebecca Collins are excited about the role they will have in helping campers who use the campsite. “If I help create a great experience for our guests, then I feel I will be making a contribution,” Andrew said. Negotiations with the Shire of Busselton continue for lease holders of campsites along Caves Road in Siesta Park. The decision for allocating leases should be announced within the next month. BCWA Business Manager

Terry Hicks said the lease for the Busselton campsite is expected to be confirmed.

Nigerian deaths Muslim youths hacked a Christian family of eight to death in Nigeria’s volatile Plateau state in early September. This followed a week of religious violence where more than 40 people were killed in the ethnically and religiously mixed area. The violence started when Christian youths attacked some Muslims as they gathered to celebrate the end of Ramadan in the city of Jos. Plateau state is the middle ground between Nigeria’s mostly Muslim north and the

predominantly Christian south. President Goodluck Jonathan is also dealing with regular attacks by the Islamic Bako Haram sect in the north-east of the country.

Chinese released Chinese Christians rejoiced at the release of five house church leaders from a labour camp on 30 August. The four women and one man released were arrested for their involvement with the Fushan House Church in Linfen. ChinaAid reports the Linfen church was destroyed in September 2009 in a one-day attack led by 400 police officers, government officials and hired men. More than 30 people were

Sudan threats Compass Direct News reports Muslim extremists sent text messages to at least ten church leaders in Khartoum saying they are planning to target Christian leaders, buildings and institutions, Christian sources in Khartoum said. “We want this country to be purely an Islamic state, so we must kill the infidels and destroy their churches

Pacific violence “Levels of violence against women in parts of the Pacific are ‘horrific’ and must be addressed if development is to have any chance in the Pacific region,” CEO of Anglicord Misha Coleman reports. “Women in many parts of the Pacific are especially vulnerable to gender based violence because few of the countries have effective laws specifically to


news

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OCTOBER 2011

Kids stories a smash hit

Photo: Rebecca Clark

Australian author, Paul Clark, believes the stories that he created in his Car Park Parables series are a great way to tell the stories of Jesus in a language that young children and today’s adults can ‘get’. “I was sitting down to read a Bible story to my two year old son, and he was more interested in playing with his toy cars than listening to me!” That was what revved-up Paul to create the Car Park Parables series. “I wondered how I could get cars into the Bible when there was an obvious historical problem,” Paul explained. “The idea of a bunch of bored cars in a church car park, who are slowly transformed as they hear the stories of Jesus came to me and after developing them for my son, I realised this was too good an idea to keep to myself.” Australian-based publisher, Rochelle Manners (Even Before Publishing) says Paul originally

produced a DVD introducing the concept of Car Park Parables. “I thought they had a huge potential so we started working together with his overall plans for the book concept,” Rochelle said. While the books are primarily for the Christian market, both author and publisher agree the messages in the parables are open for anyone. A total of five books have now been produced. Brisbane based illustrator Graham Preston has almost finished the sixth in the Car Park Parables series — expected to be released early next year. For more information visit www.carparkparables.com.

life control problems including shopping, gambling and food addiction is documented at 86 percent, making this one of the most successful drug rehabilitation programs in the world. Teen Challenge strives to help the ‘whole person’, not just the substance abuse. They teach students a whole new way of living by addressing family relationships, work attitudes, self image, peer pressure, temptation, community relationships and more. “Current students range from 16 to 50 years of age. There are professionals and tradies and others who have never got that

far in life,” Heather said. “The program is very structured, but there is plenty of time for people to do the thinking they need to dig deep and look into their lives at the issues that have caused them to need to come to Teen Challenge. Prayer is hugely important.” Churches in Esperance, 30 kilometres to the south, are very supportive of the staff when they have time off and of the students. Some families offer students accommodation in town during the latter stages of their program. The opportunity to experience a balanced family life and Biblical community is new for many students.

Author of Car Park Parables, Paul Clark playing ‘cars’ with his son.

Teen Challenge a success Teen Challenge’s Grace Academy is currently the only residential rehabilitation and detox program in Australia that offers places to women. Located at Gibson, near Esperance, Grace Academy is situated on 100 hectares of land and has a 40 bed facility, with male and female single accommodation, classrooms, dining room, chapel, gymnasium and offices. The property also has

tackle it. This violence leaves women vulnerable to poverty, homelessness, trafficking and HIV/Aids infection.” Agencies like Anglicord are working with churches, highly influential in society throughout the Pacific, to reduce gender based violence.

Peace meeting Leading Australian and international experts discussed issues of peace and conflict resolution in Canberra on 20 September. The panel discussion, Build Peace, End Poverty: What Can Australia Do? highlighted the role Australia can play in building global peace and security. In 2001,

a 20 hectare lake, some cattle and sheep. Jamie McNeill is the Director of the Academy. His wife Karli, is Principal of the Vocational Intensive Program (VIP), an intensive program that focuses on life skills in preparation for students returning to the mainstream of community. Students can work towards a Certificate III or IV in Community Services through the VIP. Staff members Aaron and Heather Miles have been at the Academy since January mentoring students. Aaron is also the Property Manager of the Academy. “It took me about six months to really feel

the United Nations established 21 September as an annual, worldwide day of non-violence and ceasefire. International aid and development agencies Act for Peace and TEAR Australia, organisers of the panel discussion, say it is crucial to recognise the fact that conflict is a root cause of major global challenges like entrenched poverty and increasing numbers of asylum seekers. Act for Peace Executive Director, Alistair Gee, said, “It is time that the asylum seeker debate in Australia focused less on political posturing and more on what Australia could be doing to help reduce the push factors.”

at home and comfortable with the program and the students,” Aaron said. “You grow to really care for the students. It’s been amazing to see God at work so clearly in them. Great things are happening!” Several of the other eight staff members are past students. Teen Challenge is a Christian based organisation which started caring for troubled youth in New York City in 1958. The program now has over 1,100 autonomous locations in 90 different countries worldwide. The success rate of men and women who complete the course and find freedom from drug and alcohol dependence, and other


8

feature OCTOBER 2011

People believe what they want to believe, often in defiance of fact and logic.

Art of persuasion not so simple By John Dickson

When the CSIRO launched its Changing Atmosphere website, research leader Paul Fraser insisted the timing was not in response to recent criticism of climate science. Rather, the peak scientific organisation simply wanted to let the facts speak for themselves. However, a rather inconvenient truth needs to be borne in mind: recent research shows that ‘facts’ alone rarely persuade us to change our minds on anything significant. In fact, they frequently entrench a contrary view. Numerous studies underline how impervious to evidence our strongly held convictions are. Whether on political, religious or ethical issues, it seems our minds have an unusual power to reorganise contrary facts in order to support our beliefs. In You are Not So Smart, journalist David McRaney teases out what psychologists call the

‘backfire effect’, where counterevidence, far from changing our views, actually strengthens them. He cites a study by Brendan Nyhan of the University of Michigan and Jason Reifler of Georgia State University. They asked subjects to read mock news articles that reported as fact certain politically contentious claims: for example that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were found in Iraq. Participants with strongly ‘liberal’ political biases tended not to believe the ‘facts’. Those with strongly ‘conservative’ political leanings accepted the facts readily. No surprises there, perhaps.

However, when the conservative subjects were later given articles claiming the opposite – that no WMDs were discovered in Iraq – they reported stronger levels of belief in the claims of the original mock articles. The study concluded, “Results indicate that corrections frequently fail to reduce misperceptions among the targeted ideological group. We also document several instances of a ‘backfire effect’ in which corrections actually increase misperceptions among the group in question.” The backfire effect is a kind of self-protection mechanism. When you are confronted with data that threatens your convictions, your mind works overtime to defend you. It reorganises information and reestablishes arguments allowing you to continue believing what you already believed. Similar ideas are explored in one of the most insightful and disturbing books I have ever

read (or three-quarters read, since I had to put it down). In his superbly titled I Told Me So, Philosophy Professor Gregg Elshof explores the ubiquitous nature of self-deception in public and private life, in secular and religious communities — or what he calls “the amazing human capacity to break free from the constraints of rationality when truth ceases to be the primary goal of inquiry.” Elshof cites research from Thomas Gilovich, Professor of Psychology at Cornell University, revealing that 25 percent of American high school students thought their ‘ability to get along with others’ was in the top one percent and 94 percent of college professors thought they were doing a ‘better-than-average job’. It seems that most of us do not let the facts get in the way of a strong belief. It would be easy for liberals to use these insights against conservatives and for sceptics to use them against believers. But

no one is immune to the buried power of self-deception and the backfire effect. Take the following contentious ethical-religious examples. Conservatives are very resistant to accepting the growing body of evidence revealing physiological factors behind sexual orientation. No ‘gay gene’ has been found, but many specialists think the data suggests that homosexuality, bi-sexuality, polyamory and other sexual orientations are natural inclinations not simple lifestyle choices. However, instead of grappling with the data and developing other arguments for traditional sexual ethics, some conservatives simply deny the evidence, dismiss it as a conspiracy of the gay lobby or cling to the absence of evidence for a ‘gay gene’. What about liberals and secularists? There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that religious people contribute more to society than the non-religious.


feature

9

OCTOBER 2011

Robert Putnam, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and a non-believer, has recently concluded research, based on huge samples, revealing that “Religious Americans are better neighbours than secular Americans – more generous with their time and treasure, even for secular causes.” At a recent lecture in Sydney, Professor Putnam admitted his surprise that ‘religious people are frankly nicer’. I would not want to endorse such language, but as C.S.Lewis said decades ago, while Christians may not be better than non-Christians, they are certainly better than they would be without their Christian faith. In the Australian context, the 2004 report on Research and Philanthropy in Australia, by the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, found that people who say they are religious are far more likely to volunteer in the community and give money to charities than those who say they have no religion. Moreover, 19 of Australia’s largest 25 charities (by revenue) are Christian. Ardent secularists are unlikely to accept this evidence, just as conservatives struggle with the sexual orientation research.

of religious persuasion, that the Galilean teacher named Jesus gained a reputation as a healer, showed scandalous openness to ‘sinners’, clashed with the elite in Jerusalem and was crucified by Pontius Pilate before being hailed by his first followers as the risen Messiah. Yet ardent sceptics are able to maintain a straight face when declaring that Jesus probably didn’t live or that, if he did, he was nothing like the figure in the Gospels. Their faith is as impervious to evidence as that of the most fundamentalist Christian. In the end, people’s prior beliefs will remain unscathed and perhaps even enhanced. The historian in me can’t resist saying that Aristotle worked all this out 2,350 years ago. In On Rhetoric he argued that there are three controlling factors in persuasion. Logos is the intellectual dimension. He said that as rational beings we like to know (or think) that our beliefs are grounded in reality. But logos alone does not move people to adopt new beliefs or behaviours. Pathos, the emotional or psychological dimension, also plays a role. Beliefs are formed not only by rationalisation but also by ‘attraction’. Arguments we ‘like’, whether because they are

A half-plausible argument will sound implausible from someone we dislike, and yet the same argument will seem fully plausible from someone we trust.

They will either dispute the data outright or find an interpretation that somehow makes religion an even greater evil than previously thought – perhaps the old chestnut that because Christians are trying to earn their way to heaven, so the sceptic wrongly assumes, their good deeds are actually rather selfish! Other, specifically religious, arguments provide further examples of the powerlessness of facts to change minds. The evidence for biological evolution is good, but my sixday creationist friends seem to get stronger in their beliefs with every new peer review article from the scientific mainstream. Counter-evidence does not conquer belief. The shoe is frequently on the other foot, too. The evidence that Jesus’ life unfolded pretty much as the Gospels say it did is strong. Leaving aside the miraculous elements of the story – which historians tend to ignore anyway – there is no substantial doubt in the community of specialists on the historical Jesus, regardless

presented beautifully or because they resonate with our hopes, will usually be more persuasive than ones we find unpleasant. I think this partly explains why, despite having some great minds in the cause, atheism continues to be an important minority viewpoint. Whatever its intellectual credentials, taken seriously it offers a very bleak outlook. However, logos and pathos do not fully account for why we believe what we believe. Aristotle reserved a special place in his theory for what he called ethos, the social or ethical dimension. Not only do we tend to believe ideas we like, we also tend to accept the ideas of people we like. We now call this the ‘sociology of knowledge’ but Aristotle put his finger on it centuries ago: “We believe goodhearted people to a greater extent and more quickly than we do others on all subjects in general and completely so in cases where there is not exact knowledge.” A half-plausible argument will sound implausible from someone we dislike, and yet the

same argument will seem fully plausible from someone we trust. How this works in practice is that our social context – where we grew up, the education we have received, the friends we hang out with and the community we choose to be part of – influences the beliefs we will adopt. Ethos is at the core of how beliefs work. What counts in debate is a combination of intellectual, aesthetic and social factors. I find it interesting that Christian believers will very often admit that their convictions emerged in this threefold way; that their faith rests on the holistic basis of logos, pathos and ethos. For Christianity, indeed, satisfies all three dimensions of our existence. But what is especially interesting to me as I reflect on Aristotle and the research on the ‘backfire effect’ is the way sceptics rarely admit that their scepticism rests on the same combination of reasons. Typically, my atheist mates have protested that, for them, it is entirely a matter of evidence. “If there were more proof,” they say, “I would readily believe.” I don’t

believe them for a moment. Yes, evidence is important, but it is not the only factor. I have spoken to too many atheists over the years who start out with a ‘proof’ line of argument only to eventually admit that their reasons for rejecting religion have equally to do with some painful event in the past that called into question God’s existence or some ugly encounter with a religious hypocrite that caused them to distrust religious claims. Personal and social factors prove as important as intellectual factors in the formation of belief and unbelief, whether on religious, ethical, political or social matters. I applaud the CSIRO for putting its 35 years of data online. I hope a few climate change sceptics will read it and be challenged. But I do not think the ‘facts’ will speak for themselves. Whether on climate change, politics, religion or ethics, we do not change our minds on the basis of facts alone. Indeed, they may even bolster contrary views. What environmental campaigners, refugee advocates, gay rights lobbyists, atheist

evangelists and churches need if they are to be persuasive are not just more facts, but a narrative that stirs our hearts and a social movement that wins our trust. Used with kind permission of the Centre of Public Christianity, www.publicchristianity.org. John Dickson is an author and historian. He is director of the Centre for Public Christianity and a senior research fellow at Macquarie University. The views written in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Advocate or Baptist Churches Western Australia.


10 news OCTOBER 2011

Voices of Justice in Canberra

Photo: Micah Challenge

Hundreds of supporters of Micah Challenge converged on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra to join Federal MPs in a queue for a giant toilet.

Alana George on the giant toilet used at this year’s Voices of Justice.

The gathering aimed to raise the awareness of the 2.6 billion people around the world who still have no access to a toilet. Each year Micah Challenge supporters visit Federal MPs during ‘Voices of Justice’, four days of lobbying politicians to ensure global poverty stays on the political agenda. This year’s event ran from 17 to 20 September. Gershon Nimbalker from Baptist World Aid Australia took hundreds of rolls of toilet paper made from recycled paper and printed with astute messages about the dire needs of people in poverty who have no access to a toilet. “We gave each politician we meet a roll of this special paper,” Gershon said. “It’s a bit of a gimmick, but it had a strong message. Can you imagine what it must be like to not have access to a toilet?” Cathlin Barrett, Kylie Hosking and Lachelle Vandersteen, from East Fremantle Baptist Church’s Catalyst group flew to Canberra for the event. “Being an effective advocate

was what it was about for me,” Cathlin said. “We had two days of training and then two days at Parliament House meeting politicians.”

Can you imagine what it must be like to not have access to a toilet? “Advocacy for the poor and marginalised is really important. And we impressed on our politicians that aid money must be spent properly. It can make a significant difference. Our focus this year was on water and sanitation.” The links between access to decent sanitation and global deaths are clear – particularly in children under five,” Micah

Challenge National Coordinator, John Beckett said. “Approximately 25 percent of the 8.1 million annual child deaths could be prevented by sanitation interventions. That’s two million kids who could be saved.” Mr Beckett said the Australian Government has taken some significant steps in the effort to alleviate global poverty with the aid budget increasing despite tough economic times, and poverty is present on the political and media agenda more than ever before. “But Australia is still not doing its fair share in international efforts to fight poverty,” Mr Beckett said. “We can’t afford to relax our advocacy efforts now — we must continue to take the cause of the world’s poorest people into the halls and corridors of Parliament House.” At last year’s Voices for Justice gathering, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd referred to Micah Challenge supporters as ‘nagging prophets’ for their persistent effort lobbying politicians to care about global poverty. He urged them to continue.

A group of young people from Riverton Baptist Community Church are about to embark on a steep learning curve when they experience a new culture on a short-term exposure trip. Preparations ahead of a visit to Africa next year are in full swing and to help them on their way, they organised Mic Up! (For a Cause). Sally Pim is on the Global Exposure Trip team and said the fundraising event held in early September was a fantastic gathering of some of Perth’s most talented musicians. “People of all ages got together to see the musos perform live, in a relaxed cafe style setting.” The Global Exposure Trip team is heading to Malawi and Mozambique for two weeks next January. “The trip — under the banner of Global Interaction Australia (GIA) — will allow us to experience a different culture,

expose us to cross-cultural work that is underway and learn from the people already working in the communities over there,” Sally explained. “GIA is all about empowering communities to develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus through the various cross-cultural workers that are sent to Africa, Asia and outback Australia.” “In Mozambique, we will be working mainly with the Yawo people, a predominately Muslim people group,” Sally said. The Yawo communities across Eastern Africa face severe disadvantage because of diseases and famine. Their beliefs revolve around traditional African beliefs and Islamic teachings. GIA’s teams work with local followers sharing the Gospel and developing faith groups where communities will gather together to address the issues such as education and health. “One such family who are in the process of becoming cross-cultural workers in Mozambique are Kath and Cam Beeck, also from Riverton Baptist Community Church,” Sally said. “Together with their three young children they will be heading to Africa early next year

Photo: Jack Wilmot

Musos ‘Mic Up’ for Africa

Matt Nash and Alyssa Davis performing at Mic Up! (For a Cause).

on as long term workers where they will explore how their gifts can best be used to serve God in that very different environment.” Sally believes Global Exposure trips, such as the one

she is part of, are a great way for young people to see the realities of life in a cross-cultural setting. “It is exciting to see young people so passionate about serving God in this way and

wanting to be challenged — maybe even becoming crosscultural workers themselves someday.” To find out more visit www.globalinteraction.org.au.


news 11 OCTOBER 2011

Photo: David Ringer

Bible translation time cut

A member of the Vanuatuan team checks Bible text to be translated into the native language.

“Translation used to take as long as 45 years, but with advances in computers, the average New Testament takes only 12 years now,” said a Wycliffe translator. Kenneth Nehrbass believes that everyone should be able to read the Bible in their heart language. “My wife and I joined Wycliffe, and we started a project in Southern Tanna, Vanuatu in 2002 to translate the Bible into the local language,” Kenneth said.

Translation used to take as long as 45 years ... “When we started in 2002 our only communication with the outside world was a short-wave radio. To use the internet, we had to drive over the 4WD trails to a public phone and plug in for a dial-up connection.” “It was no real help to the Bible translation process itself.” Technology changed so

rapidly that six years later Kenneth could get satellite internet in the village. The arrival of internet access on the remote Vanuatu island where the Nehrbass family worked had a big impact on the translation project. “Our translation team no longer had to wait for months or even years for feedback from experienced translation consultants. Now consultant feedback was almost immediately available. I simply synced my Paratext program with the Paratext server and up came the consultants’ comments on each verse. Timely feedback like this is a great encouragement and practical help to a new translation team still finding its way.” Thirdly there was the little matter of peace of mind. “Vanuatu can be subject to massive cyclones and so each day we automatically backup the daily translation in cyberspace, so we don’t have to experience the nightmare of losing all our work to fire, flood or hurricane.” “Technology has played a big part in helping our translation team complete the New Testament in Southwest Tanna, not in 12 years, but just nine.”

Carey branching out After 14 years consolidating the campus at Harrisdale, Carey Baptist College is expanding to a new 22.5 hectare property seven kilometres away at Forrestdale. On Sunday 21 August, a group from Carey Baptist Church, which includes many staff from the College, gathered for a barbecue at the new property. They planted several saplings symbolising the hope of growth and prayed at the venue, asking God to use their plans for his Kingdom’s progress. Government planners expect the area’s population will expand quickly over coming years with 50 percent more places for education needed within a decade. The new school will start with Kindergarten to Year 7 in 2013. When fully developed, the school will cater for up to 600 in the Primary School and 900 in the High School. “We’re very excited about this,” Brian Harris, Senior

Photo: Simone Jubb

Developments in technology, including an integrated computer software package called Paratext, especially developed for Bible translation, have made a significant difference for translation teams around the world.

David Haddy, Joshua Austin, Jaiden Jubb and Kim Chidzey plant a sappling at Carey Baptist College’s new property in Forrestdale.

Pastor of Carey Baptist Church said. “We have just advertised for the first principal of the Primary School, so things are really beginning to move.” “The new college is a way we can serve the community with excellence,” Mr Harris said.

Carey’s Jump Early Development Services at the Harrisdale campus, offers childcare and out of school care to the local community. It is hugely successful and will be the model for another community service at the new campus.


12 in conversation OCTOBER 2011

issues – STDs, HIV, TB, even heart conditions and there are always infections and burns. We make sure everyone has medical checks.

God’s Son was bought and sold for a price. It just hit me so hard. Jesus has experienced what our girls go through. He knows. That’s why He can help. It’s not just His power, but He knows what it’s like.

What does Freeset produce? We make quality jute bags and organic cotton t-shirts, but our business is freedom! I’m in charge of product development at Freeset. I’ll look at our new designs – I’ve just been working on a yoga bag for a woman in the USA and a clutch purse. I actually deconstruct the product and work out how our girls at Freeset can make it. Each girl does just one step. Marking up fabric to be cut, a single line of stitching, printing a single screen of a screen print, attaching a piece of trim. Some products can take 20 or 30 steps.

What in your life prepared you for this work before going to India? I was born in New Zealand, but went to India when I was a couple of months old. My parents spent 20 years doing medical work in India. I was 11 when we returned to New Zealand. You know I was so glad God spoke so clearly to Kerry about Kolkata being the place for us. It didn’t come from me. I didn’t want to go. But I did say, “Why does it have to be Kolkata?” There are other places in India that are far more beautiful.

Why do you think Jesus can help you in your ministry in Kolkata? He has to help us! He was there long before we arrived. Look, I’ve seen him at work. Kundula had been trapped by prostitution; beaten and feeling she was of no value. She’s now one of our key girls. I just have to smile when I hear her telling people how she can walk with her head held high. She has no shame now. She’s forgiven and it’s changed her life.

How do you keep your relationship with Jesus fresh and vital? I get encouragement from seeing the little things our girls are grasping about God. Kerry and I don’t need to be hand fed each Sunday to keep growing. I guess you’d say we’re self-starters. I’m more a Martha type – busy doing things. But last year I read

Freedom from the sex trade Annie Hilton and her husband Kerry have worked in Kolkata, India, for the past 12 years. They started Freeset, a fair trade business offering employment to women trapped in Kolkata’s sex trade, a decade ago. Annie arrived in Perth to speak at the annual Fresh Conference the weekend Freeset celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The Advocate talked with her soon after she stepped off the plane. Did you go to Kolkata to work with prostitutes? We were youth workers for quite a few years before New Zealand Baptist Churches sent us to work with the poor in Kolkata. We rented an apartment in the Sonagacchi region of the city. We knew it was a poor area, but it was only after we moved in that we realised we were in the middle of a huge red light area. Just around the corner from our place there are literally thousands of women lining the streets, waiting to be bought for sex. How does that affect your family? When we arrived our four kids were aged four to 12. Yes, it has been hard at times. There have been difficult stages, especially for our daughters, Jessica and Rachel. I home schooled them all for the first year. They’ve attended an Indian school since then. Taking them to school each day on public transport was one of my jobs. Now just the younger two are still in Kolkata. The older two are in New Zealand, Jess is teaching and Josh is at Bible College. I really miss them both so much.

You must see injustice, deep pain and suffering every day. How do you cope emotionally? Sometimes I’m as hard as hard can be. It’s like self protection just to cope. My constant prayer is ‘soften my heart’. We normally only help beggars in our immediate area. There’s often a ‘Lazarus’ sitting at our front gate. But there’s a young girl near where I shop. Her name is Puja. She’d be about 12 years old now. I first met her when she was about six. I’ll buy her food, or take things to her. She’s part of a ‘pavement school’ – an NGO (non-government organisation) worker gathers a little group of kids and teaches them on the footpath. That’s probably the only education Puja will have. What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you? I’m up early each morning, handle emails and household things. I usually go to the bazaar early to buy fresh fruit and vegies each day. Then I’ll be at Freeset before 10:00 am ready to start the day with devotions. One of my roles is looking after devotions each day. There are about 200

Freeset girls now and there’s a group of them who can speak at devotions. I’ll work with them, helping them with what they’ll say. Sometimes we’ll have guests to speak. How do women get to Freeset? Mina, one of our girls from the early days, is brilliant. She’s like an evangelist/social worker. She walks the streets visiting prostitutes as they’re standing in line waiting to be bought; she goes to the brothels and brings the girls to Freeset. Her story is compelling. “I was like you once, now look at me. I’m free.” Sometimes girls just come to our door and want help. We’ve been in the area for ten years now. People know us. Many of these women have medical and psychological needs. How do you deal with that? My background training is physiotherapy. I do what I can. At the moment we have a nurse on our team. I’m loving having Pip with us. Most of the girls have major chronic health

We see some demon possession and we see God intervening and setting people free. Some of the girls will pray with us for freedom. The Hindu religion emphasises spirits and ghosts so this is all around us all the time. The church William Carey started when he arrived in India more than 200 years ago isn’t far from us. We have a good relationship with the three pastors there. Last Easter, Pastor Jack, (he’s an Englishman) was speaking to our Freeset girls. He pulled out of his pocket 30 silver Rupees and dropped them into his other hand. Then he talked about how Jesus,

through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation one book a day. It took me three days to read the Psalms, but I caught up later with the New Testament books. It was so refreshing to see the whole story again. And I noticed the Old Testament ways of dealing with things like suicide. There are some similarities with Hindu rituals for cleansing. What has surprised you about God in the past year? I’ve been learning to appreciate little things. Yes he does incredible things, but His faithfulness is there every day. He shows himself more and more.

Open Night 7PM, MONDAY 10 OCTOBER, 2011 The Vose Seminary Open Night is a great opportunity to explore our campus, to investigate course programs and to meet with lecturers and current students. If you’re considering studying in 2012, this is a brilliant opportunity to see what the future may look like!

20 Hayman Road, Bentley Visit www.vose.edu.au or call us today. T: 6313 6200 F: 6313 6299

come, grow IN 2012


leadership 13 OCTOBER 2011

Benjamin Franklin once said, “There is perhaps not one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”

By John Maxwell Another of America’s founding fathers, John Adams, battled against arrogance as well, “Vanity, I am sensible, is my cardinal vice and cardinal folly; and I am in continual danger, when in company, of being led ... by it.” Most leaders have an abundance of ambition, talent and confidence, but few possess the humility necessary to sustain influence over time. Many shun humility, seeing it as a sign of weakness or self-doubt. Yet, in reality, humility is the pinnacle of wisdom and assuredness. Here are seven qualities humility brings about in the life of a leader. 1. Responsibility Humble leaders readily accept responsibility for failure. When things go wrong, they instinctively look within to understand what they could have done differently instead of looking outward for someone to blame. Willing to take ownership of mistakes, humble leaders are quick to fix them; they do not wait for someone else to solve a problem. 2. Objectivity In the words of Ezra Taft Benson, “Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” Humble leaders do not consider their own ideas and projects to be sacred. They do not insist on having their way, but on following the best course of action — regardless of who suggests it.

3. Open-Mindedness Humble leaders have awareness of how much they don’t know. As such, they’re inquisitive, quick both to listen and learn. Secure in their abilities, they are unthreatened by the input of others. Not only do they welcome feedback, they solicit it. 4. Flexibility Whereas prideful leaders rigidly adhere to an initial strategy long after it proves to be unfruitful, leaders with humility nimbly switch courses as soon as warning signs appear. Unafraid to admit having made a bad decision, they’re able to adjust quickly. Humble leaders have no qualms about abandoning a product that’s past its prime — even if they personally had created it.

Seven hallmarks of a leader

5. Inspiration Humble leaders are appreciative people. When they experience success, they’re quick to shine the spotlight on others. Mindful of their dependence on others, humble leaders regularly express gratitude for the contributions of their teammates. Their thankfulness inspires those they lead and boosts team morale. 6. Respect Humble leaders heed John Andrew Holmes’ advice: “Remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.” They see life as far bigger than themselves, and add value to other people by serving them. By committing

themselves to the success of those within their sphere of influence, leaders gain respect and earn loyalty. 7. Connectedness Humble leaders embrace the Law of Significance: “One is too

small of a number to experience greatness.” They recognise that their vision cannot be accomplished in isolation, so they invite others to join them in pursuing it. They cherish relationships and intentionally cultivate friendships. They view

life, not as a quest for individual glory, but as an adventure to be enjoyed in the company of fellow travellers.

up our idea. The internal energy needed (I told you we are midlifers) and the cost of tickets. The decision to invite friends was a decision not to have the evening alone. Ideas need developing. If we haven’t squashed the idea, generating options and expansions on the idea is next. The original shape might be expanded, shifted, reduced or rejected as we engage its possibilities. Then decisions need to be made. Each choice for one option is a leaving behind, a rejection, of the other options. Choosing to see The Help meant we were not going to see Captain America that night.

Then it is time to engage others in the idea with enthusiasm and clarity. The invitation was to join us and other friends to see that movie at that time in that place. In other circumstances we might have planned and negotiated together, but we would still need to engage, communicate and clarify. And then we each had to leave what we were doing to make the idea a reality. And sometimes it is the right idea for the right people at the right time. Ideas can become reality. Hmmm. Wonderful.

Used with kind permission from The John Maxwell Company, www.johnmaxwell.com.

Ninety minutes ... By Monica O’Neil “The world doesn’t fear a new idea. It can pigeon-hole any idea. But it can’t pigeon hole a real new experience.” D.H. Lawrence. It had been a full few days and it was 4:00 pm on Thursday. It occurred to us that we would like to go out. There was a spark of energy about the idea, which is not always common, late in the week, when you are middle aged. We had a quick chat

about it, checked our diaries to make sure we could go and gave ourselves the green light. Within moments we determined that we wanted to see a movie. We both wanted to see The Help. Session times were checked and we decided on the early session. This was like a perfect storm brewing for ‘a big night out’ for the two of us. It was then that we had another idea. Why not share our ‘big night out’ with some friends? After quickly assessing that we still probably had some friends, and that we both wanted to invite friends to join us that night, we got moving. Texts and calls were made. Details of session time and location and who else was

possibly coming were shared. In a flurry of smart phone activity a group of friends who rarely get a full night to be together converged on the cinema. It was a marvellous little moment. For some wonderful reason, a bunch of us were free that night, at that time, and felt like going out together. Ideas disturb the status quo. We could have done what we usually do on a Thursday night. The idea had to be compelling enough to lure us out of our comfy zone of a night at home reading, studying, preparing or watching TV. Following ideas costs something. There was a moment when we weighed

Monica O’Neil is the Director of Vose Leadership.


14 news

the facts

OCTOBER 2011

events calendar October 10 October

Seminary Open Night, Vose Seminary, 6313 6200

14 to 16 October

Just Prayer, www.globalinteraction.org.au

14 to 16 October

Keswick Spring Convention, Wattle Grove, 6103 8226

15 October

Masters Games, Warwick Leisure Centre, 9247 2266

16 to 22 October

Anti Poverty Week, 1300 797 290

21 and 22 October

Commonwealth Christian Assembly ‘Shine’, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, 9329 1777

22 October

Annual Assembly (9:00 am), Gosnells Baptist Church, 6313 6300

25 to 28 November The Zone at Leavers’ Week, Dunsborough, BCWA, 6313 6300

23 October

Churchtogether 2011, 9416 000

26 to 28 November The Zone at Leavers’ Week, Rottnest, BCWA, 6313 6300

23 to 24 October

Diploma of Management Intensive 4: Financial Management, Vose Leadership, 6313 6200

28 to 30 October

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Perth, www.chogm2011.org

November 5 November

Opening of Woodvale Baptist Church Auditorium, 9309 4044

6 November

Day of Prayer on Climate Change, Hope for Creation, www.hopeforcreation.com.au

21 and 22 October

Keswick Women’s Convention, Wattle Grove, 6103 8226

21 October

Funerals Professional Development, Vose Leadership, 6313 6200

11 November

Remembrance Day

16 November

International day of Tolerance

Jazz at the Wood, Inglewood Community Church, 0406 073 690

19 November

Jazz at the Wood, Inglewood Community Church, 0406 073 690

22 October

PROJECT OFFICER HOUSING (COMMUNITY) (0.6 FTE) Under the direction of the State Director, the Project Officer’s primary responsibility is to oversee the process of sourcing, securing and maintaining appropriate accommodation for vulnerable clients. This role will include: • Development of sustainable accommodation strategies • Overseeing the implementation of National Housing Standards in services in both Perth and Geraldton. • Networking for program strengthening and support. Expressions of interest should be made to: Fusion Australia (WA) on 9355 1159 or rosemary.braun@fusion.org.au

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Jazz at the Wood, Inglewood Community Church, 0406 073 690

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intermission 15 OCTOBER 2011

browse

watch

Home Beyond the Sun www.facebook.com With a reported 750 million active users, Facebook has become a must visit site for many people. Whether it is staying in touch with friends and family or supporting causes, Facebook is touching lives and keeping people connected. It is not just for young people either; the average age of users is 38. Facebook pages can be very useful for churches and ministries to connect with newcomers, as it presents a familiar, unthreatening experience. Facebook pages are free and can have multiple administrators who can post content. Does your church or ministry have a Facebook page?

win

Belle and the Beast: A Christian Romance

Furious Love and Finger of God

Eric Landry is a cold-hearted man that people have nicknamed ‘the beast’. Years of anger and bitterness have consumed him, turning him into a selfish man. But Belle Watson is the exact opposite. She’s caring and kind. She works hard to help her family, often sacrificing her own wants and desires to satisfy the needs of others. When her father accidentally breaks a valuable work of art at the Landry mansion, Belle is thrust into the life of the beast. Trying her best not to be intimidated by his meanness, Belles agrees to work for Eric in an effort to repay him and save her father’s job. She discovers there just might be more to Eric. Will she find the man within the beast?

In the Finger of God, prepare to go on a dizzying journey around the world, from the streets of Northern California to the mud huts of Africa; from the underground church in China to the Gypsies in Eastern Europe, you will be challenged and encouraged by the extraordinary things God is doing in our world today. Furious Love, the sequel to Finger of God, chronicled Darren’s journey into the heart of darkness, as he travelled to some of the darkest spiritual climates on the planet to see if there were any limits to God’s love. Almost entirely through word-of-mouth, these two films have become an underground phenomenon the world over.

Out Live Your Life

A Lineage of Grace

One.Life

Max Lucado Sometimes we can think our lives are simple, limited and God is not at work; however Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado encourages us that no matter our circle of influence, we are positioned to impact these select people for the glory of God. So right where you are, help another, encourage someone, choose to bless and help those who are in need. Maybe if we all daily made this choice; poverty and homelessness could become history.

Francine Rivers True stories are one of the greatest places we can draw inspiration for our own lives. In A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers we take a look into the lives of five women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary) who changed the course of history. Rivers paints a believable picture of what it could have been like to walk a day in these women’s shoes. Written as a fiction novel with scriptures throughout, we can’t help but see the greatness of who God is and the way He moves through people’s lives.

Scot McKnight “A Christian is someone who follows Jesus,” Scot McKnight’s answer to the question: “What is a Christian?” McKnight has taken this answer and unraveled it into One.Life, a fantastic book that delves deeply into the many facets that we face through our walk with Christ. Covering aspects from justice to church to our careers, McKnight lays out how we can live our lives for and with Christ.

This extraordinarily moving feature explores the social and political realities of China today. The Christian motion picture Home Beyond the Sun examines contemporary China’s dilemma of unwanted daughters in an overpopulated land of more than a billion souls. The compelling story of one of the children, the ‘found forsaken’, finding familial love is told against the background of the continuing clash of cultures that pits Christianity against godless Communism.

Start Your New Life Today Joyce Meyer A brand new start; isn’t it something we all hope for? Joyce Meyer encourages us in Start Your New Life Today that no matter what you have walked through or where you have come from, it is still possible to start afresh and anew today. Taking us step-by-step through the basics, Joyce’s unique style shines through and delivers her core message … the importance of an intimate relationship with God and the manyfold ways that will change lives. Step into the new today and embrace the life Jesus has given freely for you; it may just contain everything that will fulfil your deepest hearts desires! The Advocate, in conjunction with Word Bookstore is giving you an opportunity to win a copy of Start Your New Life Today. To be in the draw, simply answer the following question:

read

Question: Who is the author of Start Your New Life Today? Entries close 19 October and all winners will be announced in the November edition of The Advocate. Colouring competition winner: Y Ripley Your Own Jesus competition winners: M King, H Williams, E Strong The Jesus Storybook Bible competition winners: H Saiby, C Armstrong

competition Answer: Name: Phone number: Please complete this form with your details and post it to: Start Your New Life Today Competition 11 East Parade East Perth WA 6004

Reviews and competition kindly supplied by Word Bookstore. Website: www.word.com.au Locations: Morley - 4 Wellington Road, phone 08 9375 3722 Victoria Park - 359 Albany Highway, phone 08 9361 7899


16 sport & youth OCTOBER 2011

Demon chaplain inspires

“On my first day there, I was introduced to the players by Danny Corcoran, who was the Football Manager,” Cameron said. “Danny said to them, ‘Guys, I want to introduce you to ‘The Rev.’ Cameron Butler, who’s here for your spiritual wellbeing’. All the players’ eyes rolled back in their heads.” It wasn’t the introduction Cameron was hoping for. It took years for some of the team to relate comfortably to ‘The Rev’. For about eight hours a week, he goes to training and he’s there on game day, meeting people, listening and supporting. Each week he travels with the team and manages the interchange bench on match days. The chaplain role at MFC is voluntary, just as the chaplain role at most sporting clubs. “This year there’s been a lot of sadness around the club — illness, death and disappointment,” he said. “There’s Jim Steins battling cancer and there have been issues with suicide. Often in the middle of the dirt of life you’ll find me, helping people navigate in the dark valley.” “The chaplain role is important. Most of the people at a football club are A type leaders — driven and opinionated. A club has to manage that. Highperformance sports people have unique pressures on them. They experience very high highs, but also very low lows, and we’re there for them through all of it.” “You need to be a good listener, a good carer. Love Jesus,

Photo: The Weekly Times

Cameron Butler, ‘The Rev’, has been the Chaplain at the Melbourne Football Club (MFC) for the past 14 seasons.

National Director of Sports Chaplaincy Australia, Cameron Butler, believes being a good listener, a good carer, and loving Jesus, sport and people has been the key to his success as Melbourne Football Club’s Chaplain.

sport and people. It’s a good fit for me.” “When you become utilitarian, when you’re there to get something out of sport, you’ll have limits. But if you’re there to serve, to bring God’s grace and mercy to people, you’ll bring the Kingdom,” Cameron said. He believes chaplaincy is modelled in Christ. “Jesus made time for people.

When we give time, people stop and listen. We so undervalue and underrate or discount that. First of all it’s about making time to listen and care.” Cameron was Associate Pastor at Doncaster Assemblies of God Church before he started as MFC’s Chaplain. As the National Director of Sports Chaplaincy Australia, he’s fulfilling his deep desire

is to bring the reality of God’s goodness and mercy and grace to those outside the four walls of the church. “Who do Aussie blokes go to when they need to talk about issues of the heart? I get to do that with confidentiality and care.” “We don’t allow any of our chaplains to wear religious garb and they can’t identify in any

way with the church because they’re not there to be religious. Our chaplains aren’t there to ram religion down people’s throats.” “The AFL is talking seriously about helping footy clubs throughout New South Wales and Victoria to get chaplains for their clubs. There’s not a club in WA that couldn’t do without having a chaplain too,” Cameron said.

The Advocate October 2011  

Western Australia's Newspaper for Christians