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theadvocate.tv

June 2012

“Social media is underused by churches.” Stan Fetting,

Leadership Ultimately, leadership is developed, not discovered. PAGE 13 >>

Crossover Australia Page 7

4 Mabury awarded

Photo: Kevin Evans

Graham Mabury wins volunteer award >>

Sam Childers, The Machine Gun Preacher, recently visited Perth for the first time. News of his work with children in South Sudan has not been readily embraced by some parts of the community while others applaud his sacrificial work and lifestyle. The Advocate spoke with him to learn more about the man behind the machine gun.

SAM CHILDERS: The Machine Gun Preacher PAGE 12 >>

5 Helping kids

YouthCARE helps schools with refugees >>

Doctors get hate mail Members of Doctors for the Family have been receiving hate mail since the group made a submission to the Senate inquiry into marriage equality outlining the health consequences of changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage. Doctors for the Family, is a group of 150 medical practitioners committed to highlighting the health aspects of marriage and family, and ensuring a healthy future for children. Dr Lachlan Dunjey, convenor of the group, said they expected there could be ‘hate speech’ and vilification if they voiced their belief that marriage as currently defined in the Marriage Act 2004, “… the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life,” provides the best environment for children to grow. “This has already come to pass,” Dr Dunjey said. “Just with a greater intensity than we expected. The hate mail has not let up on several websites

and through email. All the doctors’ names have been put on Facebook and blog sites, and several doctors have been subject to intimidation. Some are distressed.”

The hate mail has not let up on several websites and through email. On the On Line Opinion website, Dr Dunjey wrote of his disappointment and concern

over the response to Doctors for the Family’s submission to the Senate inquiry. “It is disappointing how many interpret our defence of marriage as being an attack on homosexuals,” Dr Dunjey said. “It is marriage that is being attacked and we are simply rising to its defence. In return we are being attacked with abusive language as being homophobic and — ironically — accusations of ‘hate speech’.” Professor Kuruvilla George, a signatory to the Senate submission by Doctors for the Family, resigned his position with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission after calls by gay activists for him to quit. The values of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, held firmly by Australians, are challenged by the fierce response of some in the gay community to the Doctors for the Family legitimate submission to the Senate inquiry. “We realise these attacks probably only come from a section of the gay community, that part which is vehemently

opposed to our right to be heard and any freedom we have to teach our children our values on marriage and family,” Dr Dunjey said. “They see this as a condemnation of their lifestyle and they want to overcome this by ensuring acceptance of homosexuality in schools and charging us with ‘hate speech’ if we dare to say what we believe.”

It is marriage that is being attacked and we are simply rising to its defence. “We are doctors. As responsible members of society we have a right and obligation to express our concerns as we have done in our submission. Others, including other doctors, may disagree with us but for us to be silent would be to fail that responsibility,” Dr Dunjey said.

10 Colson goes home ‘Chuck’ Colson dies, aged 80 >>

Baptist Churches Western Australia is churches working together to do what would be difficult as individual congregations. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA


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my view June 2012

On families and singleness … ‘Alone’ and ‘lonely’ are worlds apart. ‘Solitude’ is restorative, ‘isolation’ destructive. A recent survey of Australians who live alone reveals both realms of experience. Some saw being on their own as temporary, hoping to eventually ‘find someone’. Others have no such expectation, and have adjusted their lifestyle accordingly.

Graham Mabury Graham Mabury is a broadcaster and Pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. You can hear Graham on Radio 6PR (882AM) every weeknight from 8pm to midnight.

It’s not surprising that over 31 years on Nightline I’ve heard from both groups. When those living alone spend time at home, media plays a key role in keeping them company. It’s equally unsurprising that the isolation of the lonely struck a chord with me. My growing years gave me my fair share of that.

I thought we could simply find those feeling lonely and those willing to befriend others and put the two together. Looking back, my naivety makes me blush. The many challenges we encountered led to Appealathon funded groundbreaking research. The findings would fill several more columns — but I learned

just how wide the gulf is between ‘invitation’ and ‘involvement’. Another key aspect of this reality of Australian life is the sheer numbers involved. Currently one in four Australian households is inhabited by one person, projected to be one in three within a decade. Significantly, these ‘households’ feel marginalised. People feel sorry for them seeing them as miserable loners. Advertising images, supermarket specials that emphasise bulk buying, and the political mantra of ‘working families’ make them feel as though they don’t matter. Churches can inadvertently add to this. One of my favourite

Bible verses is ‘God places the lonely in families’ [Psalm 68: 6]. Our emphasis on familial images is both understandable and scriptural. We are the family of God. All fatherhood derives its name from our Father nevertheless the gift of singleness also runs like a silver thread through scripture. We need to celebrate that too. Jesus said when we touch the overlooked or ignored, we touch Him [Matthew 25].

On worship and wonder ... She who must be obeyed recently scored a free ticket to the musical Mary Poppins. I was delighted for both of us, for my wife Rosemary that she got the ticket and for me that I did not! It’s not that I’m adverse to theatre, but Mary Poppins ... there are limits!

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

Rosemary was ecstatic on her return. Apparently the days of musical theatre are forever changed. No longer does the cast bravely croak their way through ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’. Now their efforts are supplemented with stunning visual effects, spectacular scene changes and audio surprises. Given the song, that’s no doubt as well!

Reflecting on the experience, Rosemary commented, “after that, you can understand why so many people think that church is boring. It’s tame in comparison.” Never have I heard so disturbing an analysis of contemporary worship — tame, in comparison to Mary Poppins and ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’! I went into defensive mode.

“It’s easier for Burswood to be spectacular. They only put on 20 gigs a year. There are over a 1,000 churches in Perth and we are on every Sunday — plus special events, weddings and funerals. Given an almost non-existent lighting and sound budget, we don’t do that badly.” Of course the issue goes a lot deeper. So what is supposed to happen on Sunday? Narnia fans will know that CS Lewis chooses Aslan the Lion to represent God in his novels. His often quoted insight is, ‘but he is not a tame lion’. Tame worship, but not a tame lion ... I ask again, what is supposed to happen on Sunday?

Perhaps we’re looking at it the wrong way. Isn’t Sunday the gathering of the saints to encourage and strengthen each another after six days in the world as Christ’s representatives? Do that properly, and you’re hanging out for Sunday. ‘Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere’, wrote the psalmist of his temple experience. Depending on how we spend the other six days we’ll be hanging out for an Aslan encounter, or longing for ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’.

guest contributor

Education reflects our values We place great trust in those who educate our young people to reach their potential and grow to contribute to our community.

John Kobelke John Kobelke MLA is Member for Balcatta.

The values and beliefs of our schools and educators are central to what education means for our young people. Education is always based on the values held by those involved whether they are the parents, teachers, school administrators, support staff or volunteers. Valuing each child as a unique individual is an expression of a value system, whether derived from a Christian faith or some other set of beliefs.

Children learn to be respectful, caring, generous, diligent and other valued traits from the adults who are significant to them. Parents will always be the primary educators, but schools and colleges can play a significant role. While principals play a key leadership role in the development of a school’s ethos and values, it is lived by those who form the school community. School chaplains can make a most valuable contribution to a school community. In

government schools, chaplains show their Christian values through actions, and in doing so, add real value to the school community. Chaplains work to earn the trust of students and staff, who in turn are able to confide in them. Their ability to affirm a student’s worth and offer respect and encouragement, where others may have failed them, is very powerful. Whether it is getting a poor grade in an assignment or having a family problem at home, students can find a sympathetic listener in their chaplain. It is a special and privileged role sharing a journey with students and staff.

Chaplains make this commitment from their Christian calling. Students and staff who appreciate working with a school chaplain do not have to share this faith to feel supported or affirmed by a caring person. There are many teachers who are similarly committed to their students, but with the many professional demands on them they recognise the special role which our chaplains can play. I am most thankful for the value added to education through the work of our school chaplains and the volunteers who support them.

send us your letters The Advocate welcomes your letters to the editor on topics of concern to you and the community. Send your letters of no more than 100 words to editor@theadvocate.tv by the 10th of each month.


news

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June 2012

Photo: Diana Henderson

Teen mums find support

The mothers and their babies who meet weekly at TEENMOPS at Mandurah Baptist Church.

A group of eight teenage mums meet weekly at TEENMOPS (Teenage Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) at Mandurah Baptist Church. Organiser Heather Kell said the girls are from 16 to 19 years old and each has one or more children. A team of four women run the group with others coming to help from time to time. “We have six more girls waiting to join, but we need more helpers,” Heather said. Referrals come from government organisations including Best Beginnings and Community Health as well as local doctors and the hospital at Peel Health Campus. The group started in May 2011 after Heather and her team saw a need to support and nurture young mums in town. “It’s a wonderful mum to mum opportunity for young mums with pre-school children to build friendships and relationships, in a caring, accepting atmosphere,” Heather said. “Each time we get together, everyone learns a new skill while their children are looked after by great, caring MOPPETS [a child of a mother of pre-schooler] helpers.” “It’s a valuable time for the girls, developing friendships and experiencing time to just be their own person.” Kate Baker (23) had her first child when she was 17. Now

married to the father of her three children, she’s working towards becoming part of the TEENMOPS team.

It’s a valuable time for the girls, developing friendships and experiencing time to just be their own person. “TEENMOPS has helped me be a positive person and deal with the past and the journey I’m going on,” Kate said. “You’re with people who are like-minded. It’s a great social network with girls that completely understand the situation you’re in.” “There’s so much to cope with when you become a teenage mum. You sometimes feel discriminated against by people in the community,

and you have relationships and dreams to deal with. I was planning a dancing career and lost that when baby Malachi was born. But motherhood is a huge privilege. It’s also a juggling act, but I wouldn’t trade it for any career.” “TEENMOPS is a positive place where your baby is safe with people who are really caring. It’s about the only time off you get from caring for your child. You get the tools to handle life in a positive way.” MOPS (Mother of PreSchoolers) began in a Baptist church in Colorado, USA almost 40 years ago. Currently there are more than 3,000 groups internationally, including several groups in Western Australia. Gatherings can include talks on issues about child health and diet, parenting, learning craft skills, tips on budgeting and running a home, and even personal health issues. Heather and her team have many opportunities to talk about Jesus and the difference He can make in a person’s life. “It’s a really great group and we’d love to have some more volunteers so that we can develop the program,” Heather said. For more information contact Heather at heatherkell@bigpond.com.

New director for Sportsfest

Jeff Cross is the new Director of Sportsfest.

Jeff Cross from Morley Baptist Church is the new Director of Sportsfest. The mega sporting event is planned for the long weekend in September. More than 30 teams of young adults aged 16 to 28 from Baptist churches across the state will

converge on the South-West region of Western Australia, from Australind to Bunbury, to compete in more than 40 sports. “I’ve organised the sporting side of the event before,” Jeff said. “I’m excited about running the whole event this year. I’m really glad for strong support from the team at the Baptist Ministry Centre.” Registrations for teams open in June. For more information phone 6313 6300.


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news June 2012

Mabury wins award Baptist Pastor and 6PR Nightline Radio Host Graham Mabury received the Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Award at a gala dinner on 16 May during National Volunteer Week. Graham was recognised for his four decades of work helping the homeless, mentally ill and the lonely. Graham said he was humbled by the generous recognition from those who nominated him, and from those in the volunteering sector. Part of the citation for the award read: He is widely recognised as an advocate for those less fortunate, and through his program provides a forum for public debate and an opportunity for charities and community groups to promote their work. Graham’s greatest volunteering achievement was founding Lifeline WA in the mid 1980s. Among others Graham thanked his producer, Royceton Hardey and his personal assistant

Evelyn Ingram for their tireless work and support. He also recognised his “church family at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, have so selflessly volunteered and generously supported me each step as we’ve sought to be channels of God’s love and compassion to the community”. He concluded his acceptance speech with, “special thanks to my wife Merle who is in every sense the wind beneath my wings, a shining example of authentic faith in action, and has not only unfailingly supported all my efforts, but has a considerable record of service of her own”.

Graham Maybury was awarded the Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Award recently.

Operation Encounter at Wagin Baptist Twenty people from Wagin Baptist Church recently spent a month learning how to engage with their friends, family and people in their community as they explored how to understand a person’s worldview and build friendships.

Operation Encounter, the course Wagin used, is a four week interactive program developed by the late Wycliffe worker, Geoff Morrow. Group facilitator Phil Bryant, Church Health Consultant with Baptist Churches Western Australia, drove to Wagin each

Wednesday afternoon for the two hour training session then drove back to Perth after the event. Wagin Baptist Church Pastor Ben Good said the course takes the fear out of talking to people. “Often people think that they need to preach the gospel or use the four spiritual laws anytime they speak to someone who isn’t yet a Christian,” Ben said.

“That scares people and so they don’t talk to non-Christians, at least not at a deeper level. This course took conversations to a very deep level in a very natural and safe way. People were comfortable talking about this deep stuff because the pressure of conversion was taken away.” Phil Bryant was delighted that people were fully engaged with the training and did their homework each week. “You could sense their excitement as they discovered how easy it is to talk to people when you go with the attitude of learning from people,” Phil said.

digital church Reality, we are not much. Our existence is secondary and

25/05/2012 Gary Molander

www.thegospelcoalition.org

dependent on the absolute Reality

www.garymo.com

Don’t believe the lie that

of God. He is the only given in

struggling always to obey

the universe. We are derivative

God is a worse lot in life than

… we were. He simply is. But we

disobeying Him with peace.

become, ‘I Am Who I Am’ in His

God did not make us to ‘feel

name [Exodus 3: 14].

For me, there is a powerful and illegitimate draw to put my todo list above my people-list. The tyranny of the urgent wins on far too many occasions.

he made us to share in the

13/05/2012 Joel Willitts

sufferings of Christ that we

www.patheos.com

might share in His resurrection.

While it is virtuous to live an

the time this side of heaven;

13/05/2012 Tim Challies

encouraged me to have those important conversations with people I know. It really helped me to know how to begin them, and it really helped me to listen.” “We’ll be encouraging each other to continue the conversations with our friends and I think we’ll be looking at the possibility of doing some social events where we can invite our friends to strengthen relationships and break down barriers, all the while living out and proclaiming the Gospel,” Ben said. The church plans to run a Christianity Explained group sometime in the future.

briefs

10/05/2012 Jared Wilson

good inside’ (or outside) all

“Running the course was a response by the church following a Church Health Consultancy I did at Wagin last year. They realised they needed some help to learn how they could better connect with people in their town and region.” “Listening is so important and yet we struggle to do it,” Ben said. “I watched an interview of John Stott a while back and he talked about ‘double listening’, listening both to the Word of God, and to today’s world, in order to relate the one to the other. Pre-rehearsed speeches just aren’t where it’s at.” “What I really appreciated is that Operation Encounter

Baptisms

Marriage

Jarrod Hood was baptised on Easter Sunday at Lakeside Baptist Church and Natalie Backshall on 29 April. Rob Skupin was baptised on 29 April at Parkerville Baptist Church. Also on 29 April were the baptisms of Chelsie Henderson, Gabriella Jefferson, Lee Render, and Ibrahim, Meriem, Nathan and Sophia Weldegorges at Rockingham Baptist Church.

Melissa Wood, daughter of Roger and Yvonne Wood from Mount Barker Baptist Church, married Andrew Le Cras, son of Garry and Julie Le Cras from Bunbury Baptist Church, on 14 April at Riverton Baptist Community Church.

introspective life, to seek to know

Change of date

the real reasons we act, I think

The Baptist Historical Society’s Public Meeting has changed from 24 June to 1 July at Perth Baptist Church. Pastor Bob Clark is the meeting’s speaker.

we need to think differently

www.challies.com

about the role motives play in our

We are not God. So by

actions as well as our assessment

comparison to ultimate, absolute

of their rightness or wrongness.


news

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June 2012

Refugee kids get chaplain David, who fled Southern Sudan with his family in the 1990s, currently works amongst the Sudanese and Burmese population groups at Greenwood Senior High School, Koondoola Primary School, Mirrabooka Primary School and Balga Senior High School. He has become a valuable resource for schools and reaches many kids each week. “I am acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities that come into play when one tries to settle into a new country,” David said. “As a support chaplain, I am able to serve the pastoral needs of my cluster of multicultural schools, linking them with the appropriate community based organisations.” “I still remember how different and difficult it was when I arrived in Australia in 2003. No one seemed to care very much about someone else. In the train, people would be concentrating with their reading and headphones listening to music rather than showing any interest in getting to know the person sitting next to them.” “Africa is so different. We knew our neighbours by name. We shared food with them,” David said. “In Perth we lived in a street for two years and none of our neighbours took the initiative to know us and we were too afraid to approach them. I know the things

new families have to adjust to.” “Refugee communities really matter and YouthCARE is helping,” David said. Migrant children from refugee backgrounds (Africans) face many issues when they start schooling in Western Australia. Many have spent their first years in refugee camps with very limited resources so literacy and numeracy skills are usually lacking. There is a general knowledge gap where children have missed out on learning many basic things during years of isolation and focusing on survival. The transition from the Intensive English Centre, where children spend the first two years of their education in Australia, to mainstream schooling is often stressful. All the members of a child’s family are adjusting to a new culture in different ways. There is anxiety about family members left behind, complex family dynamics and lack of knowledge of pathways to employment. “I provide pastoral care to the migrant children from refugee backgrounds at the schools and also provide support for their families in linking them with services in the community that can provide support for them,” David said. “I am a resource person for teachers as some

Photo: YouthCARE

David Ayambo is the first Support Chaplain employed by YouthCARE to serve a cluster of schools where former refugees and English as a Second Language speakers attend.

YouthCARE Support Chaplain David Ayambo works with young refugees in Perth schools.

are dealing with very complex cultural issues with these students.”

58ers protect the poor Baptist World Aid Australia held a training event in Perth during April for 58ers — a new group of volunteers from several Baptist churches. “They are voices for the poor in local churches to let people know what their church can do through Baptist World Aid Australia,” Robin Carter, Church Relationship Coordinator (SA/ WA/NT), said. “Our goal is to have one in every church. So far we have six in WA.” A 58er adopts the mandate of Isaiah 58: ‘to protect the poor and vulnerable, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless’. Terry Greenhill is a 58er at Toodyay Baptist Church. He’s been involved with Baptist World Aid Australia for more than 20 years and enjoys being a voice for the poor in his local church.

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Albany Baptist Church and Joondalup Baptist Church also have 58ers.

We are excited about the impact this program will have in churches ... “We are excited about the impact this program will have in churches all around Australia,”

Shelley Taylor, Baptist World Aid Australia Volunteer Program Coordinator, said. “Our vision is to see people in Australian churches inspired toward a whole-of-life approach to poverty alleviation that recognises that helping the poor and vulnerable is central to our Christian discipleship.” 58ers engage with people in their church about issues of poverty in a personal way, assisting them with resources and opportunities they may be interested in and ways to follow through on their heart and intentions. “At this point WA has taken up the challenge more than any other state,” Shelley said. For more information visit www.baptistworldaid.org.au/58ers.

“Everyone’s got a story — some happy, some sad. It is important to remember that life

is a journey and that we must embrace second chances and opportunities.”

Learning about prayer Kathy Sinclair, Children and Families Pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, accompanied a mother and her two children to Jakarta to attend the Children’s Stream of the World Prayer Assembly from 14 to 18 May.

Liezl Breytenbach and her children Este and Carrie travelled with Kathy to attend the meetings. In October 2011 the Breytenbach children were deeply impacted by the Children’s Prayer Workshop run by Australian Jane Mackie at Shine, the Commonwealth Prayer Initiative, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth. Attending the Jakarta Assembly was a unique opportunity for the girls to learn more about prayer. The first International Prayer Assembly in Seoul, Korea, in 1984 was the catalyst for the presentday global prayer movement.

Today people across the globe are asking God to transform nations, governments and people. Indonesians have more than 200,000 trained child intercessors crying out to God to transform their nation. On Thursday 17 May, an estimated 100,000 children and adults gathered with 600 leaders in the National Stadium to celebrate what God is doing in the world today and to pray for the nations. The event was simulcast to 378 cities across Indonesia. “More than 2.5 million Christians in Indonesia will pray and cry out to God, asking Him to send His Holy Spirit to the nation,” Dr Bambang Widjaya of World Prayer Assembly said.


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news June 2012

Esther changes Maddisyn

Photo: Jill Birt

Maddisyn Latham arrived kicking and screaming at The Esther Foundation in South Perth when she was 15. Her life was out of control and she knew it, but she didn’t want help.

Maddisyn Latham’s life changed for the better at The Esther Foundation.

The Esther Foundation is the largest young women’s residential recovery program of its kind in Australia. Over 15 years, it has grown from a small drug rehabilitation program to be an award-winning young women’s residential health, development and leadership program. The Foundation provides intensive support for young women to overcome lifecontrolling struggles and issues in a safe, structured and supportive environment. It currently operates 11 residential premises housing more than 42, young women, young mothers and children. The broadly structured program facilitates specific groups and individual counselling to help manage socially prevalent issues and concerns faced by young women, including substance abuse, sexual and emotional abuse, domestic violence, mental health, pregnancy, self-harm, family breakdown, bullying, depression and eating disorders.

Maddisyn checked several items on that list. She was convinced nobody loved her and saw no reason for anyone to be interested in her. She was racing towards self-destruction at high speed. Her mum had exhausted all she could to reign in Maddisyn, so she dropped her off at The Esther Foundation and left. Maddisyn’s story was a litany of trauma and pain which started very early in her life. Frequent relocations through country WA nurtured instability and opportunities to be bullied before they moved to Perth. “We stayed with my grandparents first,” Maddisyn said. “By Year 5 I was lying and stealing to buy cigarettes and alcohol. We moved around quite a bit.” Violence and homelessness drove Maddisyn further into trouble. “By Year 8 I was smoking weed, taking pills and in trouble with the cops. I can’t remember much. I was wild.” The spiral of self-loathing and

being out of control accelerated until Maddisyn arrived at The Esther Foundation. “I reckon they saved my life,” Maddisyn said. “I’ve been here 21 months now. The course is great. I’ve learnt so much. I couldn’t believe that people would love me. I had no idea I needed to love myself! I’ve met Jesus and He’s helped me so much.” “Now Mum and I are good friends. I’m still working on some issues. I want to be a chef and I’m so excited because I’ve just heard that I’ve got an interview for a job.” Maddisyn helps look after new girls when they arrive at The Esther Foundation and visits Rangeview Remand Centre each Wednesday where she shares her story with the girls. “Last Sunday night at church I heard Jesus say, ‘I’m proud of you Maddie. You’re all I want you to be’,” she said. The Esther Foundation receives much-needed support from the corporate sector and public donations to assist the young women of Western Australia. For more information visit www.estherfoundation.org.au.

Memories connect North Beach Baptist A dozen people, mostly in their 80s, meet monthly at North Beach Baptist Church as part of a new group called Afternoon of Memories. Helen Ellery, Pastoral Carer at North Beach Baptist Church, and Linda Jackson, came up with the idea after attending a seminar on Spiritual Care for the

Aged run at Vose Seminary in 2011 by Hospital Chaplain James Ward. “We wanted to help older folk see their stories are valuable,” Helen said. “So often I hear

people say, ‘Well I’ve never done anything much’, when in fact their lives have been full of rich experiences.” Each month three people from the group have ten minutes to tell part of their life story. A helper takes notes on a laptop and later Helen writes up a summary for each storyteller. Another segment of the gathering has everyone in the

group answer questions on a theme. “So far we’ve explored early childhood, education and work,” Helen said. “I like to explore the spiritual journey people have taken too. It’s been really helpful to better understand and connect with these folk and others I visit in our community.” “We’re still learning the best way to run the group,” Linda said.

“We’ve met with everyone sitting in a circle, but we discovered hearing one another was an issue. This month the group was smaller and we sat around a table. It worked much better.” Following the 90 minutes of conversation and questions, the group enjoys afternoon tea together before heading home. “I sense we’re really onto something here,” Helen said.

briefs China developments Compass Direct News reports China’s government plans to eradicate Protestant house churches, according to a statement released on 20 April by the China Aid Association (CAA). The government’s strategy was clearly outlined in a document released last September during a training class for Patriots in the Christian Community run by the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Local authorities will firstly investigate house churches nationwide and create dossiers on each of them. In the next phase authorities would strongly encourage unregistered churches to affiliate with the government-

approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM); within ten years, churches refusing to comply would be shut down, according to the CAA.

Church closures Reports say churches not operating under Sharia (Islamic law) in parts of the Aceh province, Indonesia, have been given two weeks to disband or face forced closure. The authorities in Aceh Singkil district have given the blunt ultimatum to all local churches — and have closed at least 16 churches already this month. Reports say that officials are claiming that these churches no longer have ‘legal permission’

to operate. Sharia or strict Islamic law was imposed in Aceh from 2001. Twelve of the churches are from the Papak Dairin Protestant Christian Church. One church, based in Mandupang village, has already been forced to meet outdoors in a palm plantation for months.

The administrator is responsible for overseeing administration, student processes, property maintenance and the financial requirements of the seminary. This role requires strong interpersonal, written and oral skills as well as the ability to manage teams and work independently. Previous experience is required. If this sounds like you, visit the Vose web site www.vose.edu.au for an application pack, including selection criteria and job description. Applications close Friday 15th June 2012 and no late applications will be accepted.

ENQUIRIES OR MORE INFORMATION: PHONE: 63136200 FAX: 63136299 EMAIL: office@vose.edu.au WEBSITE: www.vose.edu.au

come, grow


news

7

June 2012

New church launched

The celebrations included a worship service where Orlando dos Santos, Principal of Austin Cove Baptist College, told the amazing story of the College’s beginnings. 1Church Senior Pastor Hans van Asselt added to the narrative by telling how 1Church is expanding to three congregations with the formation of the Austin Cove group before Lead Pastor Sarah Baggaley talked about overcoming fear. Following the formal part of the launch everyone enjoyed a free sausage sizzle and drinks. Entertainment included a bouncy

Photo: Kim Baggaley

More than 120 people from the local community and nearby churches attended the Funday Sunday Community Launch of Austin Cove Community Church on 29 April at Austin Cove Baptist College.

castle, zorb balls, face painting and Sparky the Dog, the 1Church mascot, made a surprise visit. The new group is the third congregation of 1Church, led by Senior Pastor Hans van Asselt. The other congregations are Mandurah Baptist Church and Lakelands Community Church, which meets at Mandurah Baptist College. Lead Pastors Kyle and Sarah Baggaley both work at Austin Cove Baptist College. Together with the core team of the new church they are connecting strongly with the local community. “We run Austin Cove Kids Community on Fridays for 45 children in Year 1 to 6 and also a Student Leadership Development Program for 20 children in Year 7 to 9. We’ve had to cap the numbers because the interest has been so strong,” Sarah said. “Since we started the church on 12 February, we’ve developed a strong core group of about 22 adults meeting at 10am on Sundays.” Summer-Lea Christie and her family were among 120 people who attending the Funday Sunday Community Launch of Austin Cove Community Church.

Churches on Facebook More than 30 leaders from Baptist, Church of Christ and Uniting churches met in Perth recently to talk about social media during a Leadership Link gathering. Stan Fetting from Crossover Australia spoke about the church’s engagement with social media. “Social media is underused by churches,” Stan said. “Facebook is used far more than Twitter.” Facebook, the social network launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, has 800 million members worldwide. Each day there are 500 million posts on the network. “Facebook can now create a landing page and you can turn it into a mini-website. Many churches are moving their online presence into Facebook to reflect their values and connect with their members and community,” Stan said. “There are good examples of how people are using Facebook to create conversations about important things — John Sweetman, Tim Costello. Mark Broadbent, Pastor of Life Point Church in Brisbane, uses Facebook for all communication with the church. The website is a landing page to get people onto Facebook not the other way round.”

Crossway Baptist in Victoria has their own application — it’s a portal for their podcasts, but it also has a calendar of events, you can read blogs and donate to Crossway. The application is for people who are already part of the church. The network connections between groups and individuals are immediate and Stan suggests those using social media be clear and simple.

Facebook is used far more than Twitter. “Some people are observing us online, sometimes for a long time, trying to build up a picture of us,” Stan said. “What picture does our online persona reflect about our community of faith?” “Share your life. Be normal. Use self-deprecation, humour. Be

authentic to give a real picture of your life or group. Post comments that invite engagement. Things like, ‘this weekend I’m speaking on love. What’s the most compelling story of love you know?’” Social media gives churches opportunities for pastoral care: a birthday greeting, a comment to encourage a person, an invitation to join an event. Merely having a presence in the arena is not enough. “We need to be driving it,” Stan said. “Otherwise we’ll be telling people we’re inefficient, we don’t really care.” Pastor Mark Edwards from Inglewood Community Church has been seriously engaging with people through social media for a few years. “I found Stan’s encouragement to use pictures to tell the story of what our churches are up to particularly insightful,” Mark said. One group remarked that attending the Leadership Link event may have saved them $10,000 in their budget. Organiser of the event, Director of Vose Leadership Monica O’Neil, said she had seen some very helpful directions that are open for Vose Seminary and her personally to explore using social networking. The next Leadership Link event is planned for early June.

Celebrities spread hope A group of Australia’s leading singers, including Grammy award winner Olivia Newton-John and Australian Idol winner Stan Walker, recently came together to produce the album Hope: Songs of Faith and Inspiration.

The album, a collaboration of 12 songs celebrating the concept of hope, ran at number one on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Classical Chart for three weeks when first released around Easter.

I reach out for hope as it’s the branch to hold onto in a storm.

Produced by Dancing With The Stars Musical Director, Chong Lim, the album’s theme of spiritual and psychological rejuvenation through the joy of music offers a fresh view of timeless, uplifting classic songs.

Album Co-Producer Andrew Hagger says he’s very excited that each of the artists who contributed to the project wanted to be part of this journey to inspire others. “When I think of difficult times in my life, I reach out for hope as it’s the branch to hold onto in a storm. It’s God’s gift to us all,” he said. “I hope people will discover the threads of hope in these songs.” Hope: Songs of Faith and Inspiration is a partnership of ABC Music, Universal Music and World Vision. Part proceeds from the sale of the album go to World Vision. For more information visit www.hopeinthislife.com.


8

feature June 2012

Photos: Ji

ll Birt

Made for creativit

The rich colour and texture of life does not grab the attention of some people, but God’s shaping and forming of others means they yearn to express life through their creativity. For Michelle Allen, a watercolour artist, the desire to capture light and form through the medium of volatile paint is something she engages with every week. Eliot Vlatko can’t escape the cadence of melody he hears in daily life and turns those notes into songs: heart-felt worship anthems, witty little ditties for kids and songs to tell stories. Poet Miriam Wei Wei Lo (Lochore) captures life in words. Carefully chosen for metre and rhythm, describing, exploring and finding meaning in life. All three are followers of Jesus and see their creativity as a God-given gift to be used for joy and encouragement in their own lives and to share with others. “There is a huge connect with painting and my spiritual life,” Michelle said. “I truly believe that when God created us in His image, He included what was an enormous part of Himself … and that was creativity itself.

When I’m painting I feel very connected to God in a way that’s hard to express.” “What He has made, the natural world, never ceases to take my breath away and I feel His pleasure, somehow, when I at least attempt to paint these things in my own way, with the gift He’s given me. This is very precious and I treasure these moments.”

from an explicitly Christian point of view, or to write about explicitly Christian things.” For Eliot Vlatko the connection to God is as strong as breathing. “Music was a lifeline for me as a teenager and young man who did not know God. Then at the age of 23 I found Jesus and have walked with Him ever since. I’m now 45

to follow Him. His reply has consistently been ‘I want you to do both, you dummy — and I want you to work ten times harder at being the best you can be for my glory!’ ” Eliot sees a strong connection to his music being used by God as music was when David played the harp for King Saul and the king’s troubled soul found rest and peace [1 Samuel

I truly believe that when God created us in His image, He included what was an enormous part of Himself … and that was creativity itself. “I used to be a little afraid to write about God — afraid I would not do Him justice, afraid people would laugh at me,” Miriam said. “I’ve gotten past this. I’m no longer afraid to explore topics

and over those 22 years I have experienced some huge ‘crises of musical confidence’, where in desperation I have asked God if He still wants me to be a musician or if He wants me

16: 14-23]. As an Associate Pastor at Inglewood Community Church a significant part of Eliot’s work involves music. “I lead our Worship and

Creative Arts Team and am still involved with Toddler Jam, our early childhood music program. I’m now supporting Quentin Gribble at our Toddler Jam sessions, along with writing and recording original songs for Toddler Jam.” “I love song writing because it continually stretches me,” Eliot said. “I believe that God gives us creativity and inspiration, but we still need to work at it — even sweat over it! I’m actually collecting and storing away ideas and concepts (‘germs’) for songs all the time — but the actual writing process would probably average out to an hour or two each week, with definite ‘spikes’ along the way.” Miriam spends time each week writing poetry at her dining room table. “Now that my three children are all at school, I have set aside Tuesday as my writing day. If I need to, I also write into the


feature

9

June 2012

ity

night but I’m not so good at this now I’m pushing 40.” Like Miriam, Michelle schedules blocks of time each week to paint. “My dream would of course be to paint everyday but the reality is about one and a half to two days a week,” Michelle said. “I dream of a studio, but the reality is that I paint at the kitchen table in our Glen Forrest home.” For Michelle painting is a wonderful balancer. “As you engage your mind in that creative process and express what essentially is a part of yourself, you are making room for equilibrium between the busy hubbub of life and that quiet, private place of creativity,” Michelle said.

It’s this unpredictable spontaneity that I just love!

“Having said that, I often find it very challenging and frequently oscillate between excitement and frustration depending on how a painting is going, which is I guess all part of the process.” “The most beautiful part is the paint itself. Watercolour is a unique medium in the way it has a ‘mind of its own’ and mixes and merges with the other colours. It is this quality that completely captivates me. I’m crazy about colour and watercolour allows me to splosh it around, controlling it to only a certain extent, yet never being totally in control! It’s this unpredictable spontaneity that I just love!” While Michelle started painting during high school,

Age 14 I have a strong desire to investigate the claims of Jesus Age 16 I have decided to follow Jesus. Age 18 I’m at university reading philosophy and anthropology. it’s near my sweet spot. Age 22 There’s more to know, there’s deep truths I want to explore. I want to dig deep and keep digging. I want to explore the unfathomable. Age 23 I love theology. There, I said it!

At Vose Seminary, no two stories are the same. Vose Seminary offers certificates, diplomas, degrees, masters and doctoral studies. www.vose.edu.au

Age 24 I enrol at Vose Seminary and begin a new journey of learning, growth, equipping and discovering Jesus in community. Pretty excited... Age 34 The journey continues...what’s next , Lord?

come, grow

Miriam has been writing poetry since she was a five year old. “Poetry is language with an interior music. Poems, good ones, pay attention to rhythm and sound. I love hearing and reading poems out loud to hear the music of their language.” “I love the tight economy of words that some poetic forms encourage: 14 lines of a sonnet, for example, or the brevity of haiku. Every word counts, and then some. I love the challenge of writing in a way that has to compress meaning.” “I also like the obliqueness of poetry — I like poems that come at things sideways, that take you by surprise.” “In my twenties, I wrote a lot about my family, especially my grandmothers, as a way of coming to grips with my mixed ethnic heritage and transnational journey (ChineseMalaysian on my father’s side, Anglo-Australian on my mother’s, plus life spent in three countries — Canada, Singapore and Australia).” Crafting meaning with words is just part of song writing for Eliot. “I usually write using a ukulele. If a song works on that, it should work with just about anything else. Songs come from ‘germs of ideas’ like riffs or lyrics that I hear or think of. Occasionally a new song will just drop into my lap, but that is a bonus.” All three artists have a business side to their creative expression. Miriam recently published her second book of poems, No Pretty Words (Picaro Press). Eliot has a blog (www.emvlatko.com) and has produced a number of CDs. Michelle sells her work at exhibitions and has a new website coming online soon (www.michelleallenart.com).


10 news June 2012

Watergate prisoner dies

Photo: AP/Wally Fong

Prison Fellowship Ministries Founder Charles Wendell ‘Chuck’ Colson, aged 80, died on 21 April from complications resulting from a brain haemorrhage.

Former White House counsel Charles Colson died on 21 April after complications resulting from a brain haemorrhage. In this photo from 8 June 1973, Colson talks to reporters after testifying for the Los Angeles County grand jury investigating the Watergate break-ins.

Colson rose to prominence as special counsel to USA President Richard Nixon in 1969, but fell from grace during the Watergate scandal in 1972. As one of the ‘Watergate Seven’, he was the author of the President’s infamous ‘enemies list’, and later said he was willing “to be ruthless in getting things done”. He was indicted for covering up the Watergate break ins. While the charges were pending against him, a friend gave him a copy of the CS Lewis book Mere Christianity — forever changing the course of his life. Colson became a committed Christian, which led him to plead guilty to obstruction of justice while a judge was considering dismissing the case against him. He served seven months of a one to three year prison sentence. After his release, he became a noted Evangelical Christian leader and cultural commentator. He founded Prison Fellowship International in 1976, an outreach ministry to prisoners, exprisoners, and their families. Prison Fellowship Ministries currently operates in 113 countries around the globe. Colson personally visited 600 prisons in the USA and 40 other countries over the last four decades of his life. The organisation grew to include the Angel Tree program, which coordinates with

churches and volunteers to care for prisoners’ children; Justice Fellowship, which advocates for criminal justice reforms; The Centurions Program, an intensive Bible study program for people seeking to leave their stamp of faith on the culture; and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, a resource ministry. Focus on the Family President Jim Daly said of Colson, “I’ve lost a dear friend and mentor who, most importantly, modelled for me how to stand for God’s truth with Christ’s heart. Chuck was an endlessly selfless man, whose love for and ministry to those in prison made him one of the great modern-day lions of the faith”. At his memorial service on 16 May at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC, Colson’s daughter Emily described her father’s commitment to his family and spoke of the conviction he shared while he was still alive, that “death is the culmination of life; it is a homecoming, a celebration”. Colson wrote 30 books, selling more than five million copies in total. In 1993, he won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and donated the $1 million prize to Prison Fellowship. The bestseller Born Again was made into a feature film, and to date, more than 600 Christian leaders have completed the Colson Center’s Centurions Program.

War hero honoured at Bentley Baptist

Photo: Jill Birt

Major John Hla Shein was honoured for his military service with the British Army during World War II at a gathering in Bentley Baptist Church on 17 March.

Major John Hla Shein was honoured for his military service recently. He is pictured at home with Lily Pino, President of the Karen Welfare Association of WA Inc.

West Australian Federal Member of Parliament for Cowan, Luke Simpkins, a former member of the Australian Defence Force, presented a plaque to Major John Hla Shein on behalf of the Karen Welfare Association of WA Inc. Lily Pino, President of the Karen Welfare Association, said the group wanted to honour Major Shein publicly for his courage and bravery during World War II and for his role

among the Karen people in WA since he arrived in Perth in 1972. Major Shein was awarded the Military Cross in 1944 for his courageous work as a scout with the British Army during the Wingate campaigns. Now aged 95 and increasingly frail, ‘Uncle John’ as his friends and family call him, lives alone in the home he shared with his wife Lillian until her death a couple of years ago. Surrounded by family memorabilia in his lounge room, Uncle John spends most days in solitude, reading from the scriptures and waiting for visitors. “I’ll stay here til the end,” he said. Born of the Karen people group in the Irrawaddy Delta, Burma on 12 August 1917, John joined the British Army in Burma in 1938. With several Karen friends, he was part of a regiment

based in Mingaladon, Rangoon until the British withdrew into India in 1942 as the Japanese took control of Burma. This was the early days of guerrilla warfare, with teams dropped behind enemy lines to cause disruption and focus the enemy’s attention away from their main target. John paid the price for his subversive activities with the British when he was sent to a Burmese government reeducation camp for three years after the war. Since coming to Perth he has never returned to his homeland.


feature 11 June 2012

Photo: Kevin Evans

Struggle for peace in Sudan

Children are some of the most vulnerable as relations between Sudan and South Sudan remain strained.

Thousands of Christians are stranded and homeless in Sudan even though Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan have agreed to peace talks. In early May the two nations signed up to a road map intended to avert an all-out war between them, but the agreement looks increasingly fragile as attacks continue. Hopes of a ceasefire, after weeks of border clashes, were

raised when the two countries endorsed the African Union’s (AU) seven-point plan on 3 May. This called for the resumption of stalled negotiations and gave Sudan and South Sudan three months to reach an agreement. They need to resolve outstanding

Prayer on request Travis Norvell, a Baptist preacher in New Orleans, got the idea for a prayer experiment after hearing a story on National Public Radio about a street-side poet who writes poems for people on a street corner. “Why not prayers?” he thought. With a sense of concern about a general absence of meaningful prayer in society, Travis decided to go to the streets and set up a prayer table at the gate to the New Orleans Jazz Festival. With a sign that read, ‘Above Average Prayers @ Below Market Prices (Donations)’, he pulled out a working manual typewriter and got to work. He was hoping to earn enough for a ticket to the Festival and some of the fabulous food there, but there was more. “I’ve often thought prayer is one of the church’s greatest gifts and it is a shame more people do not know about it,” Travis said. “Maybe that was my real impetus.

What would happen if you offered prayers in a non-traditional way? Would people respond to it in a positive or at least interesting way?” People liked Travis’s off-thegrid presentation. Aside from a few nay-sayers accusing Travis of trying to profit from a religious exercise, many people wanted prayer. There were people looking to bless a special occasion like a wedding, but most just wanted a connection with God in the midst of their daily lives and to know He hears and cares.

disputes over the border region, citizenship matters and oil revenue. The agreement followed a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution on 2 May that gave the two nations 48 hours to stop fighting, threatening sanctions if they continued hostilities. Sudan welcomed the resolution but warned that it retained the right to defend itself against ‘aggression’ from the South. Both sides continue to

accuse the other of being the aggressor. Christians in the predominantly Muslim nation of Sudan continue to be at risk from attacks and threats. In late April, a Christian compound in capital Khartoum was attacked by a throng of Muslim extremists armed with clubs, iron rods and a bulldozer which set fire to the Gerief West Bible School and the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) building sources told

Compass News by telephone. Reports continue to be confirmed that Khartoum plans to destroy houses in the remote Nuba mountain region, a strongly Christian area. South Sudan said on 9 May that Sudan had targeted several areas within its territory in air raids over the last 48 hours, violating the UN resolution. South Sudan’s Information Minister said, “Khartoum is bombing civilian targets, killing women and children and destroying the property of very simple people in these areas”. After several weeks of fighting, there have been growing fears of a return to the civil war that devastated the mainly Christian South and left more than two million people, mostly Southern Christians, dead. While the AU roadmap and UN resolution represent some progress, this remains a tense and dangerous time for Christians, both those in Sudan, where they are treated with great suspicion and hostility, and those in South Sudan whose memories of the brutal, decades-long civil war are still raw. On 14 May church leaders from South Sudan met together in Yei, South Sudan and promised to ‘stand committed to do all in [their] power’ to realise an end to war between Sudan and South Sudan. They issued a ‘Message of Peace’ which laid out their hopes and plans for an end to conflict. They asked Christians around the world to pray for peace between the two nations.

Phone hotline for poor Indigenous missionaries in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh recently opened a prayer hotline for poor, rural farmers. Called the Prayer on Phone Ministry, it has proven wildly successful.

People are phoning in from several Indian states, say the missionaries who are assisted by the USA group, Christian Aid Mission. The new call-in phone ministry has the potential for being a powerful evangelistic and church planting tool in a state where Christians make up less than one percent of the population. If it were independent, Uttar Pradesh would be the fifth most populous country in the world. Although desperately poor, mobile telephone technology

is already a fixed part of everyday village life in Uttar Pradesh. Both believers and nonChristians are calling in for prayer, seeking God’s intervention in their lives for healing, family problems and emergencies. Uttar Pradesh is located in the strategic heartland of the Ganges River Valley. It is 81 percent Hindu and desperately poor and undeveloped — yet mobile phones are everywhere, even where electricity is almost non-existent. There are more mobile phones than toilets in India. The first mobile phone arrived in Kolkata in 1994.

Sister Esther Dass, who organised the phone outreach, says that her mission team is organising Five Day Prayer Meetings to reach the new friends and contacts that have come from the phone outreach ministry. Twenty to thirty Dalit families praised the Lord and listened eagerly as the evangelist preached during the first five day event.


12 in conversation June 2012

Photo: Kevin Evans

go to — that’s the King. But things are smooth now. My wife and my daughter Paige are both involved with our work with the children in Sudan.

Sam Childers: The Machine Gun Preacher Sam Childers with a victim of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Sam Childers, The Machine Gun Preacher, recently visited Perth for the first time. News of his work with children in South Sudan has not been readily embraced by some parts of the community while others applaud his sacrificial work and lifestyle. The Advocate spoke with him to learn more about the man behind the machine gun. What was your childhood like? I grew up in the hills of Pennsylvania. My parents were decent, honest people with strict rules about how Christians should live. You got into plenty of trouble while you were still young. How did your life change? I was pretty deep into violence and crime. One night I almost got killed while I was working as an armed guard for drug dealers. On the way home that night I realised I didn’t want to do that stuff anymore. My wife, Lynn, and I moved right away from the area — 1,500 kilometres away — and we started again. I stopped running away from God and started living for Him. Since that time we’ve always chosen to put God first. I started a construction company

and we settled down learning to live a life without crime. What took you to Sudan? My pastor asked me to go on a mission trip in 1998. We visited Yei, in what’s now South Sudan. Back then the whole area was in the middle of a dangerous civil war. I went to repair huts damaged through the war. One day I came across the body of a young child torn apart by a land mine. I was devastated. I remember getting down on my knees and making a pledge to God that I would do whatever it took to help the people of Sudan. What happened after that first trip? I learnt a lot about life in Sudan. God spoke to me while I was in Sudan that first time and I

decided to build an orphanage in Nimule to help the children. The Lord’s Resistance Army, a brutal rebel militia that had kidnapped 30,000 children, murdered hundreds of thousands of villagers and mutilated thousands more, was laying waste to the area. The local people thought I was nuts, but I was sure this is what God wanted, so I returned to the USA, sold my business and used the money to build the orphanage. How did you get your name? Once the orphanage was finished, I led a number of armed raids to rescue children from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The Sudanese people started calling me ‘The Machine Gun Preacher’. Back in the States, and here too, it sure gets people’s attention. Things at home weren’t always easy while you were making long visits to Sudan. We’ve had some hard times. In my marriage we’ve always chosen to put God first. Sometimes that’s had consequences that have been difficult. You know my son died of a drug overdose when he was in his teens? That’s a hard thing to bear. I’ve made mistakes. Every time I mess up I know who I got to

Tell us what’s happening in Sudan now. Well, we’ve got a home in Gulu (Northern Uganda). That’s my home in Africa. There are 15 children there. They’re all damaged by war. In Kampala (Uganda’s capital) we’ve got another 15 kids, and we run a school with 770 kids. The school is mainly a feeding program, making sure the kids are fed each day. At Nimule (South Sudan) that’s where The Children’s Village is. We’ve got 170 children there. They’re all victims of war. There’s a school and a library. We focus on vocational education — auto mechanics, woodwork, training seamstresses. We’re trying to help the kids be ready for life so they can make a contribution to the community. We’re looking at building a second school, so I’ll be going back there in late May. In Ethiopia we’ve got an AIDS orphanage for children whose parents have died because of HIV/ AIDS. We’ve built a school from the ground up and run a feeding program. Did you have all of this in your mind when you started The Children’s Village in Nimule? I never dreamed it would go like this. Currently we’re providing 3,500 meals every day. We’re looking at starting a feeding program in Somalia. There are hundreds of kids who aren’t being fed. You know we need people to come and get involved with us. We’ve got work for people to do. How do you maintain faith and hope with so much suffering all around you? I’m doing God’s work. That’s enough for me. One thing: don’t be satisfied with what you’re doing today. My goal is to provide 10,000 meals a day in Africa. You’ve got to have faith for that. Don’t be concerned about making mistakes, get up and do it. Feed off the satisfaction of doing what God wants you to do. The final judgement is coming. Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army has been in the news lately. Kony needs to be brought to justice. He’s an international war criminal. He’s a brutal dog hiding out in the jungles of the Congo. He’s spent. In Gulu there’s been no one killed in the streets for the past four years. And there’s been no ‘night commuters’ (children leaving their homes each night to go and sleep in places where there is armed protection so they can avoid the LRA’s raiding parties that abduct children to be LRA recruits) for five or six years. But I believe he’s not the main problem. It’s Sudan’s President Omar alBashir. He’s stopped the flow of oil from South Sudan. They’re losing

revenue from 350,000 barrels a day. He’s involved in genocide and war crimes. Every four minutes a child is killed. Why isn’t he being stopped? Are we afraid of President Bashir? How can he get away with it? What are your plans for your visit to Perth? I believe the Lord has anointed me to be an evangelist. It’s not something of my choosing. It’s something I can’t get away from. My name, The Machine Gun Preacher, attracts people. They want to know about this guy. What’s he been doing? Why’s he got that name? This is my season. I get to show the way to Jesus. My message is of hope. Hope is through Jesus Christ. I’ll be speaking in some churches and some schools while I’m here. You know sometimes there is too much garbage in the church: rules, laws. We need to remember the first time we met Jesus. The joy and freedom. It was exhilarating, wasn’t it? You talk with school students about drugs and addiction. In the States if I asked a class of eight and nine year olds if they have ever been offered drugs, 100 percent would say yes. I don’t think your problem in Perth is that bad. Why do kids get involved? When I started as an 11 year old I just wanted to look cool and look older! By 15 I was addicted. It’s not cool. Sometimes people treat God like He’s a genie — just make a wish and He’ll do it. God is all about freedom. He wants you to say, ‘I’m done with living this life style.’ When you make up your mind, then God can bring freedom. Editor’s note: During his visit to Perth, over 700 people responded to Sam Childers’ invitation to follow Jesus. People gave over $250,000 towards The Machine Gun Preacher’s work in Africa.

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’


leadership 13 June 2012

How leaders develop and listening is not learning. We learn to do by doing; training must be interactive. Equipping continues with teaching. The reward of a teacher is a changed life. Success comes through achievement, but significance results from helping others to grow. Practically speaking, the equipping process can be broken down into five steps. • Say it: explain the task. • Show it: demonstrate how to perform the task • Assign it: let the other person attempt the task. • Study it: observe how the person performed the task. • Assess it: offer feedback based on the person’s performance.

Leadership is not an exclusive club reserved for those who were ‘born with it’. The traits comprising the raw materials of leadership can be acquired. Link them up with desire and nothing can keep you from becoming a leader. Some people have a more intuitive grasp of how to lead than others. These ‘naturalborn leaders’ will always emerge, but their influence hinges upon their ability to supplement inborn talent with learned skills. Ultimately, leadership is developed, not discovered.

The three Es of leadership development 1) Environment People accustom themselves to their environment and take cues from their surroundings. In the 1980s, social scientists came up with the broken-windows theory which indicated that the physical appearance of a community

affects its crime rate. Rundown properties, widespread graffiti and trash strewn about in a neighbourhood invite crime by signalling that no one is watching and that no one cares what happens. Oppositely, a clean and wellkept neighbourhood gives the impression that people are monitoring their community and willing to take action to ensure its safety. Every organisation is permeated by an invisible culture which communicates an unspoken message that shapes its people. As has often been said, ‘Leadership is more caught

than taught’. Be attentive to the influence of the following five elements of your organisational environment: habits of social interaction, physical design and decoration, morale/emotional tone, level of intellectual stimulation, and spiritual wellbeing. 2) Equipping Equipping begins with expectations. Namely, that leadership is influence, that leadership can be learned, and that leaders can multiply their influence by equipping others. Equipping succeeds with training. Telling is not teaching,

Clarity not simplicity By Steve Ingram Most of us yearn for simpler times yet we have a sneaking suspicion that simple answers are not enough. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with complexity. Many people love the Apple iPad because it is so simple; many people also dislike the iPad because in its simplicity it robs you of more complex functions. Although we gravitate towards simple answers and quick fixes, the reality is that when it comes to leadership, simple answers are not enough. Dealing with complexity is part of healthy leadership.

So how do we lead in a complex environment? We know that we can’t eliminate complexity (it is intrinsic to the world around us); we know we can’t settle for simple answers (they don’t work); and we know that ignoring it will leave us out of touch with those we are leading and trying to reach. The solution: aim for clarity rather than simplicity. The ability to explain the complex in simple, clear terms is an essential leadership skill. Complexity can actually provide much satisfaction and flexibility when combined with clarity. For example, the first digital camera I ever used seemed to be able to do so much and it took me

a while to experiment and read the instructions. I became quite good at using the camera and after a while I wanted to upgrade to a more complex camera with more features. I did so and managed to make good use out of it because I had good instructions and someone to help me. Without the clarity of printed instructions and tuition it would still be in a drawer and I would still be drawing crayon pictures! Complexity can lead to greater satisfaction when combined with clarity. Church leadership is complex by nature. Mostly, we lead through influence not power and so we spend much of our time investing in relationships, collaboration

and processes that allow large amounts of diverse input. To make our leadership role sustainable and enjoyable we need to work really hard at introducing clarity. Think about how you can make your decision-making processes clear. Think about how you can make people’s roles and responsibility clear. Clarity is the much needed remedy to complexity. Steve Ingram is Leadership Development Consultant for Baptist Churches Western Australia.

3) Exposure A little exposure trumps a lot of theory. To develop leaders, expose your people to expert practitioners. These real-world educators model how to lead; they set a living example which serves as a source of inspiration. Whereas equipping delivers job-specific training, exposure provides a vision or picture of what successful leadership looks like. Application exercise Grade your organisation, from A to F on the three Es of people development. For each, list one thing you’re already doing well as well as one way in which you can improve. Used with permission from The John Maxwell Company, www.johnmaxwell.com.


14 the facts June 2012

events calendar June

July

5 and 12 June Safe Church Workshop, Lakeside Baptist Church, 6313 6300

10 June

Teaching Skills to Work for God, St Barnaby’s Church, 9383 9066

10 June

11 June

Quiz night, South Perth Baptist Church, 9368 1479

Safe Church Workshop, Karratha Baptist Church, 6313 6300

1 July

Baptist Historical Society’s Public Meeting, Perth Baptist Church, 9458 1684

9-19 July

Juniors and Inters Camps, BCWA, www.baptistwa.asn.au

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intermission 15 June 2012

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FreeBibleImages.org If you are involved in any aspect of Church ministry, then undoubtedly you have come across an occasion when you needed to illustrate a Bible story. FreeBibleImages.org is the vision of a group of Christians from the United Kingdom who found that there were limited visual resources to help parents, teachers and preachers illustrate Bible passages. They have attempted to capture scenes as though someone with a digital camera was there at the time and are the work of experienced professional photographers and digital artists. Each set is available to download as PowerPoint, Keynote, PDF and JPEG in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio. These high quality images will provide a genuine focal point and context to your next message.

win Flourish By Catherine Hart Weber Are you languishing rather than flourishing? You weren’t designed to merely exist and struggle to survive, you are meant to thrive and prosper in the abundant life that God offers — to flourish. Dr Catherine Hart Weber, a licensed marriage and family therapist and adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, integrates the best in faith-based positive psychology with biblical wisdom to show you how to thrive. She provides practical ways to cultivate positive emotions, leading to wellbeing, spiritual growth, strong relationships and a deeper intimacy with God, while addressing why we lose our grip on the flourishing life God intended us to live. Discover how to have more love, joy, gratitude, peace and hope — and less disconnection, stress and worry. Learn to flourish — to be the person God created you to be.

Treasures of the Snow

Courageous

12 Ordinary Men

Be transported to the beautiful Swiss Alps and meet the character of Lucien, a lonely, frightened boy aged 13. Lucien is overtaken by catastrophic events and finds himself as an outcast. Impelled to escape, Lucien finds peace high up in the forest, where he meets an old woodcarver. Accepted and encouraged by this mysterious character, Lucien begins to have hope. But when rejection comes again, he discovers the hard way that a price has to be paid for forgiveness before there can be any reconciliation. Highly recommended family viewing.

Law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes and their partners willingly stand up to the worst the world offers, yet at home, they face a challenge they’re not truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best at work, they soon discover their children are beginning to drift away from them. When tragedy hits, they are left with a newfound urgency to renew their faith and reach out to their children. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those they hold most dear?

In a world of uncertainty and fear, 12 ordinary men were touched by God in a way no one else had ever experienced. In their quest to spread the gospel message, the Apostles would witness many amazing miracles and yet also endure unspeakable cruelty. Despite overwhelming forces aligned against them, these men would go on and change the course of history in a single lifetime. This investigative docudrama dares to look beyond the peaceful image of saints in stained-glass windows to reveal the true and stirring stories of Jesus’ closest followers.

Days Like These

Choose Joy

By Kristian Anderson with Rachel Anderson Days Like These is a moving account of a young Sydney father of two who faces cancer. Capturing the pivotal moments through his blog, Kristian invites readers into what a day in his shoes feels like; the challenges, the victories and, above all, keeping the faith. He stops at nothing to declare his love to his wife. This story inspires us to not only be grateful for every moment but to treasure the very preciousness of life.

By Kay Warren Choose Joy by Kay Warren shatters common stereotypes about joy and uncovers unsatisfying sources of joy that many of us depend upon. You may be surprised to discover that joy isn’t at all what you expected it to be, but rather something deeper and richer and accessible to everyone — to those who live with the constant companions of discouragement and depression, as well as to those who greet each day with a singing heart.

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The Advocate in conjunction with Word Bookstore is giving you an opportunity to win Flourish. To be in the draw, simply answer the following question:

Do Yourself a Favor … Forgive Question: Where is Dr Catherine Hart Weber a professor?

Entries close 15 June and all winners will be announced in the July edition of The Advocate. Winners from A Great and Terrible Love: J Dolling, O Stanley and R Van Leen.

competition Answer: Name:

By Joyce Meyer In her latest book Do Yourself a Favor … Forgive, Joyce Meyer explains the importance of forgiveness and what happens when we do forgive. Building on her signature message of using the mind to master complex emotions, Meyer details the most destructive emotion of all: anger. Meyer understands that life will never be fair, but that is not a reason to let anger destroy our wellbeing and health. This is her guide to navigating that thorny territory and finding true peace.

Phone number: Please complete this form with your details and post it to: Flourish 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 June 2012

Perth dancer Amy Mak and her dance partner David Ellis recently came second in the Masters Division of the Victorian Modern Jive Competition (VMJC), the top level in the country, during competitions in Melbourne. This places them second in Australia. “This achievement gives me national recognition as an accomplished dancer,” Amy said. “I’ve now taught one training workshop in Melbourne and I hope to have more interstate teaching come my way in the future.” Amy started ballet classes once a week when she was seven years old. “I got into dance the same way that most little girls do,” Amy said. “I liked pretty pink things and wanted to be a ballerina.” By the time she was 15 Amy was fitting in seven ballet classes, two contemporary dance classes and a jazz class every week. All that was on top of studying for her Tertiary Entry Examination. The realisation in her late teens that ballet would not be her career was tough for Amy. She continued classes for her own enjoyment and recreational pleasure. After 15 years of training, she stopped ballet classes when she was 22. “In 2007, just as my ballet was on the decline, I was introduced to a style of dancing called Modern Jive, also known as Ceroc. I was invited to go to classes by some new friends I met at a Scripture Union Beach Mission. I loved it!” With dance sessions four nights a week, Amy’s life is

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a balancing act. Married to Simon for three years, she is in her final year of a Carpentry Apprenticeship, working on a 22 storey apartment block in Perth city. “I’m part of the team that does the formwork for the concrete. It’s the less girly more practical side of me. I really enjoy my work and it’s so rewarding to have such an impressive thing to look at that my hands made — well part of it.” Dance holds many attractions for Amy: movement, music, exercise and new friends. “Most of all I love the benefits it has for my mind. It is a kind of meditation for me when I’m stressed, and a healthy outlet for my perfectionist nature.” “Fitting dance into our home life is a delicate balance, and not without the occasional conflict of priorities,” Amy said. “I know the physical exertion and time commitment is not sustainable in the long term.” Being a follower of Jesus permeates Amy’s whole life. She and Simon are part of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. “A few people say that they notice something that’s different in me than other people, and whatever that difference is it appeals to them.” “When I am really engrossed in worshipping God I enjoy feeling the opposite of what I get all day — I enjoy worshipping and feeling still.” “Rather than being a form of worship, dancing opens an avenue for me to engage with people. Dance, by nature, can become very self-focussed and egocentric.” “I feel that my skill is in encouraging people to do well, but to keep a realistic judgement of their self at the same time. I strive to teach and give feedback in a way that is true and accurate; in a way that doesn’t dishearten anyone, but lifts them up.”

Photo: Tom Jancik

Jiving success for Amy

Amy Mak and dance partner David Ellis at the Victorian Modern Jive Competition in Melbourne last month.

more lives = imPACteD

matching grant fund

Your gift, when matched with government funding, will go further to make a life-changing impact for people like Sati! See the envelope included or visit www.baptistworldaid.org.au to give today! Baptist World Aid Australia receives funding from the Australian Government to support our overseas development projects. For every $5 of government funding, Baptist World Aid must provide at least $1 in supporter donations. Donations must be received by 30 June 2012. Gifts of $2 and over are tax deductible.

The Advocate June 2012  

The Advocate June 2012

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