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IN CONVERSATION Bodyguard to Nelson Mandela, Rory Steyn, shares how his time with ‘Madiba’ changed his life forever. PAGE 12 >>

JUNE 2019

“Are you seeking first His Kingdom or are you running the treadmill life ....” JAMES MIDDLETON PAGE 13 >>

5 New pastor Margaret River Baptist welcomes new pastor >>

7 Bringing Joy

Photo: Tom Fewchuk Photography

Japanese volunteer makes a difference >>

11 Church tax Many Europeans are happy to pay church tax >> Transform Aid International trip members met with local field partners to consider ways to assist far north Cambodia early this year.

Working with Cambodia Baptist World Aid Australia Director for Strategic Relations, Karen Wilson, alongside a team of church and business leaders, recently went on an overseas trip to investigate new ways to better meet the need in Cambodia. The team of ten landed at Siem Reap International Airport and immersed themselves in the local community for seven days. Cambodia’s history is one of war and devastation and the country still greatly reflects that. CEO of the Carey Group, David Kilpatrick thought he had a reasonable expectation of what he would see. “What I didn’t expect was the level of social dislocation and level of pain that was evident across the country,” he said.

“I was amazingly impressed with the work of Baptist World Aid – I think you can be confident that they are not only cutting edge in their developmental work, but they work with great humility, integrity and effectiveness in all that they do.” Karen found the challenge came when they were tempted to just give a hand out and be done with it. “However, when we allow ourselves to connect with those of different race, ethnicity and social

standing, we grow and mature and do so in a way that brings health to us and to those we stand with.” “The higher path is to choose to stand alongside and journey authentically. This takes time and it takes a change of heart,” Karen said. The group was comprised of men and women from different sectors who were exploring new partnerships with Baptist World Aid. “A partnership with Baptist World Aid not only helps others,

it is also an incredible way to build culture and strength in the partnering organisation,” Karen said. “As we look outward to the needs of others, it’s amazing how we become stronger and more encouraged ourselves. Businesses improve, churches are empowered, everyone wins.” “It was Jesus who said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ and Baptist World Aid Australia are doing just that,” Karen summed up. For more information, email karen.wilson@baptistworldaid. org.au

Generous hearts committed to building the Kingdom of God. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA


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my view JUNE 2019

Making each day successful I usually interact with pastors and ministers whose congregations put them under pressure to perform their duties. Their congregants expectations are that they should account for the hours they spend each week in the same way you would expect the output of a production line in a factory.

Victor Owuor Rev. Victor Owuor is the Cross Cultural and Indigenous Ministries Pastor for Baptist Churches Western Australia.

This measure of service due to expectations can sometimes be done at the expense of the value for relationships. The downside of having such expectations is that it can take away the joy of service in a minister. In Luke 10:17-20, Jesus receives his overjoyed disciples who have returned from a very successful mission trip. He encourages them to not only rejoice in the success of their mission trip but to rejoice in their

relationship with God which has secured a place for them in heaven. There is no doubt that the beneficiaries of the mission of Jesus’ disciples also rejoiced due to the spiritual service rendered to them. They would have also rejoiced that they were introduced to a new relationship with God. Yet addressing these joyful disciples, Jesus says that every day is already a success for a

believer to rejoice in because of this relationship with God. Christ considers the relationship with God more important than the tasks He assigns the disciples to complete. However, our service is still important because God is glorified through it. Therefore, due to the relationship we have with God, Christians should look for ways of making others rejoice. The question is, how can we daily keep others rejoicing? A prayerful

attitude to have is to daily ask God to help us know that every moment is a divinely appointed time for us to make others rejoice in God. This prayer can help us appreciate every moment as an opportunity to make someone else rejoice. And yes, we can make others rejoice, even in their suffering because of what the divine Saviour has accomplished for us.

The hill is steep Recently I had the opportunity to go to Cape Town and while I was there I decided to climb the iconic Table Mountain. My friend and I started the hike in the middle of the day, after I had just had several vials of blood taken for tests, and having eaten only a banana. Totally prepared!

Sally Pim Sally Pim serves with Global Interaction, working with the Yawo people in Massangulo, Mozambique.

By the time we got a third of the way, my legs had turned to jelly, there was sweat on every part of my body, and I was ready to give up and go home. Except I could barely move, so I thought, maybe just give up and make my bed on the side of the mountain. We stopped and I looked up at the peak. Was it just me or did it look even further away than before? Was it even worth it? I looked down and could see the rooftop of the car glistening

in the sun. Why was I putting myself through this pain, when down there on the ground it’s good enough? Analogies of life started hitting me from every direction, and as I looked ahead to the rocky path with the steep slopes I was reminded of a Bible verse. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” [Psalm 24:3a] Jesus is the way, the path into this hill, where on top we shall see God’s face and be with

Him forever more. I thought the climb would be easy and I was not prepared. Some might think it’s too hard to even start, but Spurgeon’s words can encourage us on this challenging Christian journey we are on. “It is certain that the Alp is high, but higher still is the love and grace of God. He hath borne you, he hath carried you, and he will carry you even to the end: when you cannot walk he will take you in his arms, and

when the road is so rough that you cannot even creep along it, he will hear you as on eagles’ wings, till he bring you to his promised rest.” By the way, we made it to the peak of Table Mountain. And it was worth it. However, we definitely took the cable car back down.

When taking the up lift down … I had an interesting little experience recently. At the end of a day of professional development on new government regulations (‘oh joy’ I hear you say), I traipsed out of the seminar with a small cluster of fellow survivors. We were equally anxious to return home, but the lifts in the building were slow and reluctant to put in an appearance.

Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.

I contemplated the steps, but being on the tenth floor, that foolishness only lasted a moment. Eventually a lift arrived, but indicated it was going up. A selfappointed leader ordered us in. “But it’s going up,” I objected. “It won’t,” our super confident leader proclaimed. “None of the upper level lights are on, so I’ll press ground, and that’s where we’ll go.” “That’s not how it works,” I

objected. “Listen,” he said, “get in or be left behind.” At heart I’m a sociable creature, so rather than being deserted, I got in …. and off to the 27th floor we went. Did I say ‘I told you so’, I hear you ask? No, I’m far too nice – but what did surprise me was that at the end of the trip our fearless leader enthused, “Now wasn’t that a great trip? It was faster than if we had waited for the next lift.”

I almost pointed out that it clearly wasn’t. The lift hadn’t stopped at the tenth floor on the way down as it would have if no other had arrived, but no-one likes to deflate an enthusiast, so I satisfied myself with a diplomatic silence. The experience got me pondering. Who thinks a lift that is going up will suddenly go down, just because we want

it to? And when it doesn’t, who pretends that it was still faster that way? Our capacity to self-delude is exceptional. It’s hardly new. Can’t tell you how many times I have sat in planning meetings with groups who opt for the same old same old. ‘Did it work last time?’ I ask. ‘Not really’ they reply – ‘but it will be different this time.’ ‘Says who?’ I want to object. But politeness sets in and I say ‘here’s hoping’. But actually we all know that if nothing changes, nothing changes … and sometimes that’s too hard to face.


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Dr Parsons inspires graduates

Many of them were supported by sizeable groups from the churches they now pastor. Vose Seminary Principal, Dr Brian Harris shared about the essence of Vose. “Although we are an academic community offering degrees all the way through to the prestigious Doctor of Philosophy award, the seminary is at heart a faith community.” . He added that this was apparent in the enthusiastic worship, and the inspired address delivered by Dr Michael Parsons, a former lecturer in theology at Vose who now resides in the United Kingdom. Many of Dr Parsons’ former students attended and were delighted to hear him remind them again that good theology

Photo: Sarah Wickham, SJ Creative

Over 600 people cheered and applauded the 56 Vose Seminary graduates at their graduation service at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on 21 March.

The Vose Seminary community celebrated the graduation of 56 students in March.

leads to doxology – or put differently, good theology leads to a way of life that praises and honours God. “Graduates were encouraged to go deeper in their journey with God, being willing to obey and follow Him wherever that journey of obedience might lead,” Brian said. Earlier in the evening Brian spoke of some of the challenges of

being a seminary in the 21st century. Noting the changing landscape, he pointed to some new initiatives that Vose will launch in the near future, including additional regional hubs for Vose’s Certificate IV and Diploma programs. There will also be the introduction of non-accredited training towards the end of 2019. The online training

programs will be suitable for people who wish to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith, but would find a full degree program too daunting. With the addition of these programs, Vose will offer a full suite of programs – starting with non-accredited training for those who want a gentle introduction to study and to deepen their understanding of the Bible, to

high-end degree qualifications, usually for those who want to train as a pastor, chaplain, missionary or leader in a church related context. Certificate and diploma qualifications for those who want to serve more effectively in their local church or workplace are also available. “Vose can now claim to offer something for every church member,” Brian said.

Baptistcare helps Royal Commission On 9 October 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the establishment of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, in response to a number of documented cases of abuse and neglect in Australia’s aged care sector. Baptistcare CEO, Russell Bricknell expressed his thoughts on this action. “Baptistcare shares the public’s sadness and concern over these reports and understands the community’s demand for an open and transparent review,” he said. As part of the Commission process, aged care providers were invited to complete a detailed survey in relation to their services. “Baptistcare provided its submission in early January and we welcome the opportunity to

identify potential improvements to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents and customers,” Russell said. Members of the public are also invited to make submissions. Public hearings have commenced and will be held in all capital cities and a number of regional locations with the final report to be delivered by 30 April 2020. For more information, visit agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au

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Baptistcare provides their stance on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.


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news JUNE 2019

Two lives, worlds apart

“My name is Sharon, I am 34 years old and I have four children.” “When I was young, my life was full of hardships. I never finished school due to lack of school fees. I felt very troubled for it was like I was the only breadwinner in the family, everyone looked upon me, but I had not much to offer them.” “This led me into an early marriage and having children while we were not yet stable. I was struggling to start a life which I was not yet fit for. I was only seventeen years old.” “My husband was not working, and I was going out to look for casual work to help me get food for my children. There was a lot of starvation.” “But when I heard about a development project starting in my area, I thought about how my life would be in the

future … and with courage and determination, I believed this could change our lives.” “I have been able to receive a lot of training that has really transformed the life of my family. We have doubled our household income and improved food nutrition for the family.” “All my children are in school now and I feel very happy. I give thanks to God that I am always able to make sure my children have a good education to avoid future struggles in life.” “I have seen God’s wonders in my life, for whatever I pray for is provided in Jesus name. Always, with great efforts, I see His deeds in my life.” “We are very grateful to them who have seen our problems.” Sharon’s quiet strength taught me volumes about faith and perseverance. Hers has been a life of struggle and poverty, mine is a life of boundless opportunity. How much I have to be grateful for. Not the least of which is this … that I have the privilege of expressing generosity towards mums like Sharon – of actually seeing her and responding in love. Will you join me?

Photo: Agnes Burrell

When I met Sharon in November last year, we were delighted to discover we were the same age as one another … but as I sat in the hot, Kenyan sun and listened to her story, my heart broke – our lives are worlds apart. Here’s what she told me.

For more information, visit baptistworldaid.org.au/ matching-grant Author – Samara Linehan

You can make up to six times the impact for mums like Sharon.

18 years of serving pastors concludes

Photo: Matt Chapman

In April, 205 pastors, chaplains and their spouses came together from around Western Australia for the All Together Baptist Pastoral Retreat.

Pastor Mark Edwards leading the communion at All Together Baptist Pastoral Retreat.

They received teaching from Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries, Pastor Mark Wilson, alongside guest speakers, Pastors Andrew and Leanne Hill from CityLife Church, Melbourne. For one pastor, this year’s event was the culmination of 18 years of service in coordinating the Retreat. Inglewood Community Church Senior Pastor, Mark Edwards decided that this year would be his final year of serving on the organising team. On reflecting over the 18 years, Mark noted that many changes had taken place. “When I first came on board it was at the encouragement of the Baptist Pastors Association and our first major change was moving to Mandurah and to resort style accommodation,” Mark said. He noted that a deliberate action was taken to encourage spouses to come and to leave the children at home.

“This was to be a time where pastors came away, drew away, and received blessing,” he added. “I have always had a love for pastors and churches and encourage those who follow to continue to have a vision for a time where pastors gather together, are blessed and receive encouragement to keep going.” Appropriately, the theme for this year’s retreat was ‘seasons’, with speakers addressing the different seasons of ministry that attendees may find themselves in, from the flourishing of spring, through to the depth and sometimes despair of winter. Andrew challenged those present to look for new ways of helping people to take steps for Jesus and that this might take churches into a season of trying new things for God. Author – Matt Chapman

To find your local Baptist church visit baptistwa.asn.au


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New pastor for Margaret River Craig was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa where he studied a Bachelor of Theology at the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa. He began his learning on the job as an Associate Pastor at Wychwood Baptist Church, South Africa in 2010. In November 2013, the family relocated to Griffith in New South Wales where he became the Pastor of the Griffith Baptist Church. After a ministry of over five years, he and Gen once again felt the Lord leading them on to a new season of ministry. Margaret River Baptist Church begun a search for a new pastor in March 2018. Member of the Pastoral Call Committee, David Holland said that after much prayer and consideration they were led to offer the position to Craig in December 2018 to serve in Margaret River from 2019. “The Church believe Craig displays a deep personal relationship with God and has a passion for sharing the love of Jesus,” David said. “Craig has a humble nature and shows a great love for all

people. He communicates well and brings with him a team building leadership style.” Craig said that moving to Margaret River has been a wonderful blessing for himself and his family. “We are trusting that God will use us here for His glory and the good of this community.” “I really believe that God laid the following two passages on my heart as thematic for the start of our ministry here.” “The first being Revelation 1:6a where the Scriptures say, ‘[Jesus] has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father’ and the following from Mark 12:30-31 – ‘Love the Lord your God ... love your neighbour ...’” The family is looking forward to exploring Margaret River’s natural beauty. Craig is a keen runner and mountain biker and is overjoyed by the thought of living at the coast for the first time in his life. “Our first couple of weeks here have been such a joy – the church has received us with open arms and shown us tremendous love and hospitality!” Craig said.

Photo: Nicolette Lefebuve, Augusta Margaret River Mail

Margaret River Baptist Church recently welcomed its new pastor, Craig Bosman, his wife, Gen, and their two young children, Aimee and Timothy, with an induction service held on Sunday 24 March.

Margaret River Baptist Church is excited for a new season of ministry with Pastor Craig Bosman and his family.

“We are looking forward to being a part of this family and seeing how the Lord is going to use us here.”

David said that the Church members are also excited about this new season and are looking forward to serving the Margaret

Jesus has forgiven Margaret’s sins

Photo: Craigie Baptist Church

At the age of 87, Margaret June Huggins was baptised in late January 2019 at Craigie Baptist Church.

Pastor Paul Sanders (left) and Andrew Huggins help to lower Margaret Huggins into the baptismal waters at Craigie Baptist Church.

Margaret professed that she believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died on a cross and rose from the dead three days later and that He is now her Lord and Saviour. She was raised in a nominal Church of England home, but abandoned her mother’s beliefs from early adulthood. Although Margaret maintained a biblical knowledge of right and wrong instilled from an early age, she later became an avowed atheist until very late in life. Now living at Aegis St Michael’s nursing home in North Perth, her son Andrew visited his Mum on an October evening last year when out of the blue she said Jesus has forgiven my sins. With no prompting she insisted that she be baptised by full immersion and repeated this request many times. In the few months since her new-found belief, Andrew said

his Mum has been noticeably more at peace. She is also more accepting of living in a nursing home and her day-to-day struggles with memory loss and functions. “Mum is now a regular at Craigie Baptist Church and loves the praise and worship singing and the company of other believers there,” Andrew said. “It was a great privilege to help Mum into the water to be baptised and hear her strong confession of faith.” Andrew expressed his thanks to Craigie Baptist Church Pastor, Paul Sanders and all the friends who helped with the logistics of getting her ready and into the baptismal pool in her wheel chair. This special day was witnessed by her two grandsons Isaac and Toby as well as many friends and loved ones, including her former exchange student Jinhee Rue and family, visiting from South Korea for the occasion.

River community alongside Craig and his family.

Have you considered? … following in Margaret’s footsteps by being baptised? In order to understand the reason for being baptised, it is important to reflect on what the Bible says about it. Mark points to Jesus Himself being baptised. “At this time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan.” [Mark 1:9] Baptism is an act of faith and obedience to the command of Jesus found in Matthew. Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus. It is a public confession of your faith in, and commitment to Jesus. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for the Christian life. If you would like to know more about baptism, please contact your local Baptist church.


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news JUNE 2019

Carey opens community hub opportunities for academic, personal, community and spiritual growth.” The next building to be built on-site is a custom-designed Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) building, due to open in 2022. The Campus opened its doors in 2016, expanding Carey’s educational offering across two campuses and providing another option for the growing number of families in the surrounding areas. At the start of this year, Secondary School was launched at the Campus with two Year 7 classes and will continue to grow each year to eventually offer Kindergarten to Year 12. To honour the families who are partnering with Carey as pioneers of the Secondary School, they are offering an introductory tuition fee which is substantially discounted from their normal fee. Interested families can book a tour of the campus or contact the College.

Carey Baptist College Forrestdale Campus Principal, Nigel Wise is excited about the new facilities for the school.

For more information, visit carey.wa.edu.au

Photo: Mark Wagenaar

The new building includes six classrooms for primary students, an auditorium (which is shared by Carey Baptist Church and the College), a maker space learning area, office spaces, kitchen facilities, a café kiosk for College families and an outdoor amphitheatre. As well as the new community hub, the College also opened a new oval and outdoor court facilities for basketball, netball, tennis and volleyball. Forrestdale Campus Principal, Nigel Wise said the new building, classrooms and facilities have come at a great time for their growing school. “The spaces have allowed us to further embrace our natural surroundings and spend more time outside,” Mr Wise said. The Forrestdale Campus is in a bush setting, with wetlands and bush areas intentionally retained to provide high quality, on-site outdoor classrooms. There is a 2,500 square metre area marked on-site for horticultural use and a specialist teacher is working with the primary and secondary students in this space. The area will feature chickens, a polythene tunnel for growing plants, and spaces to promote sustainability. “We deliberately embrace the bushland and outdoor areas to enhance student learning,” Mr Wise said. “Our surrounding outdoor spaces provide unlimited

Photo: Mark Wagenaar

Carey Baptist College’s Forrestdale Campus recently opened a new community hub on their expansive 20 hectare campus.

Carey Baptist College Forrestdale Campus Next Gen Pastor, Shelby O’Reilly with students in the new café kiosk space.

Next generations unite

Over 40 youth and ten leaders from the three churches met together at. The evening came into existence after Como Baptist Church Next Generations Pastor, Sam Bricknell and Riverton Baptist Community Church Ministry Team Leader for Youth, Peter Vermeulen discovered they had similar issues of being a small youth ministry. “Pete and I met to talk about how our ministries were going and agreed about some of the struggles of a smaller youth ministry. We decided to share resources and help each other out.”

We saw a lot of fruit come out of it and a great sense of community

Once Sam and Peter decided to run a combined youth event, they thought about other churches in their area they could invite.

Brad Lewis, formerly from Bentley Baptist Church, thought it was a great idea and brought Bentley Youth to the evening. Peter said a variety of games were organised as an interchurch playoff, with Como emerging victorious. Sam thought the evening was great for everyone involved. “We saw a lot of fruit come out of it and a great sense of community,” Sam said. The churches are now planning their next combined youth night and have decided to bring together their young adult communities in a similar fashion.

Photo: Peter Vermeulen

The youth ministries of Riverton, Bentley and Como Baptist Churches have experienced a growing sense of energy and inter-church community after they merged their regular youth groups together for an evening of games, worship and a sermon.

For support with creating something similar in your local church, please contact Next Generations Pastor Ed Devine on 6313 6300. Youth uniting from multiple local churches.


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JUNE 2019

The twenty-six year old occupational therapist traded his bustling home city for a town of under 2,000 for eight weeks, taking up a volunteer position at Baptistcare Dryandra Residential Care, in the Wheatbelt town of Kellerberrin. Koki participated in the Win Win Culture Exchange Program, a scheme which brings young Japanese and Australian seniors living with dementia together. The Program is the brainchild of Baptistcare Dryandra’s Lifestyle Coordinator, Shizuka Yokoi, who herself moved from Japan to Perth in 2014 and began volunteering at Baptistcare Gracewood Residential Care in Salter Point. Like Koki, the qualified occupational therapist had limited English skills when she started volunteering which made it incredibly challenging to spend even a few hours a day in a new environment. “But the residents, especially those with dementia, accepted me

by showing love and kindness, and Baptistcare Gracewood began to feel more home than the Perth share house I was living in,” Shizuka said. From those very early days volunteering, Shizuka gained an appreciation of non-verbal support, such as hugs, smiles, acceptance and appreciation from residents living with dementia. “I realised those residents, like me, were finding it difficult to communicate verbally and for them the social interaction was much more important than speaking,” she said. Shizuka’s experience was the catalyst for her to establish Win Win and the results have been amazing. “The volunteers spend time with individual residents doing activities the resident is known to enjoy,” she said. “It could be singing, dancing, crafts, playing games or exercising, but the result is the resident’s emotional wellbeing is improved and their daily life is enriched.” Since Win Win commenced in 2015, 15 people have travelled from Japan to participate in the program and learn English in a real-life setting. Shizuka thinks encouraging more young international

briefs Mount Pleasant 60th anniversary celebrations 2019 marks a special occasion for Mount Pleasant Baptist Church as its members celebrate 60 years of church family life in Christ and the many blessings they have experienced over the years. To celebrate this significant occasion, they will be conducting an ‘all in one’ Sunday thanksgiving service, involving the current church family and those involved in the history of church who are able to attend. The celebration service will be family inclusive and include a recapping of some history by past and present members. This will be followed by fun activities for all ages to enjoy and a massive international lunch together, with everyone bringing a plate of finger food to share. The service will be held 10am, Sunday 9 June at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, 497 Marmion Street, Booragoon. All who have been a part of the life of the church are welcome to attend. For more information, please email pauline.hough@ mounties.org.au

Baptistcare Dryandra Residential Care resident Rodney Dyer striking up a new friendship.

volunteers to visit Australian residential aged care facilities has enormous potential. “I believe it is hugely beneficial to elderly people living in residential care and can also help

to create a dementia-friendly world and an inclusive society.” Koki agrees and he is keen to see the care philosophy he has experienced at Baptistcare Dryandra adopted in Japan.

“There are so many activities for the residents to do here and a lot more freedom and flexibility to incorporate many more activities than we do in Japan,” he said.

English lessons for outreach Baptisms Charis Rice and Mahsa Fourouzesh were baptised at Lake Joondalup Baptist Church on Sunday 10 March 2019. Catherine Hay, Liliana Irambone, Adija Irankunda, Clint Matthews and Libby Redman were baptised at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church’s Coolbellup Campus on Sunday 31 March 2019.

Photo: Bunbury Baptist Church

This year, Koki Ishino left his job and hometown of Osaka and travelled 7,500km to make a difference in the lives of the elderly.

Photo: Baptistcare

Japanese volunteers bring joy

Pastoral and staff changes Pastor Vaughan Pirie has been appointed Associate Pastor at Woodvale Baptist Church. Pastor Aashish Parmar has concluded at Ellenbrook Baptist Church. Pastor Paul Quicke has been appointed as the Senior Pastor at Morley Baptist Church. Pastor Nigel Barnard has been appointed as the Pastor at Cornerstone Community Baptist Church. Amanda Tan has commenced as the new Enrolments Officer at Vose Seminary. Andre Kurniawan has been appointed as the Director of Student Services at Vose Seminary.

Bunbury Baptist Church is seeking to make Jesus known to the nations around them through English conversation.

In late 2017, Bunbury Baptist Church concluded two long standing ministries, taking the opportunity to explore new options for outreach. After a year-long investigation of options, led by the Associate Pastor, Andrew Main, several options were presented to the church members. Guided by principles of Scripture, the options were assessed as to which might prove to be the most effective in

helping community members to come to know Jesus and follow Him. As a result, the decision was made to begin an English Conversation Ministry. “Partly the reason it felt like a good fit for us was not only that the church has capable teachers, but it also has between 15 and 20 nationalities represented within their regular attendees,” Andrew said. “The hope is that this will draw in people from the community and feed into the another ministry the church has recently started, an informal meeting called Eat Connect Explore.”

Participants meet monthly for a time of guided conversations and a short English lesson, followed by the option to read and discuss a short section from Mark’s gospel, meaning each week everyone will be encountering Christians and their Christ. “I am both excited but anxious about this opportunity as I have never led a ministry like this before, but do like the chance to interact with various cultures and point them to Jesus,” Andrew shared. For more information, visit bunburybaptist.org


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Russell, Kerryn and Sam Bricknell followed God’s call to Perth 18 months ago for Russell’s current role as CEO of Baptistcare WA. They reflect on what has brought them to this point, and how God is using their skills, talents and experience in their respective workplaces.

Ministry in the marketplace It is Brisbane in late 1999. Russell is working ‘crazy’ hours in a senior corporate role. Kerryn has just come out of running an events management business and is caring for their two young children, Sam and Ella. They find themselves asking, “Where is the purpose and meaning in what we do?” “We spent time praying, and felt God calling us to some sort of ministry role, but we didn’t know what that looked like. But from the time we surrendered our own ambitions, things started to happen. Opportunities popped up all over the place,” Russell said. Through God’s leading, in 2001 Russell took up the role of CEO of a large church not-forprofit organisation in the aged and community care sector. He saw this leadership role as significantly different to his previous corporate roles. It was clearly evident that God was requiring Russell to step up and integrate a faith-based element to his leadership style. Russell brought a team on board and over seven years, they repaired and grew the organisation. “We were able to get it to a point where it was mission focused, sustainable, self-driving, and where it would never fall back to where it was, and that was our goal. Since I’ve stepped away, it’s doubled in size again which is so exciting,” he said.

“You have to make decisions for the right reasons, intent and for the best long-term direction.” Both Russell and Kerryn believe that it is important not to make any role or ministry about the person but about the greater purpose. “I think the most dangerous words a leader can communicate are I, me and my. If you can communicate in terms of we, our and us, that means it’s not about you, it’s about a purpose. People motivate towards a purpose. They don’t motivate towards an ego,” Russell said. The Bricknell’s have discovered seeking God’s direction may not always be a simple or clear path. In preparation for a move to Sydney when they felt God’s leading for Russell to an aged care role, Kerryn was praying and reading the Bible, and felt God saying that they were soon to be entering into a wilderness period like the Israelites in the desert. Their move to Sydney brought about various pressures where at times they could barely afford to pay the bills and purchase groceries. It was during this time that both Russell and Kerryn knew it was important to seek God with a new level of intimacy and faith. “As we sold assets to pay off loans we were seeking God by prayer, reading our Bibles and

asking others to pray for clarity about our next step,” Kerryn said. “During those seven to eight years we now understand how God built a new sense of purpose, resilience, perseverance and passion for serving God in all areas of our life, including the workplace.” The family’s view of what ministry means has been greatly enlarged over the intervening years. Russell is the Chairperson for Reventure, an organisation that seeks to integrate faith with the world of work. Reventure equips Christians, pastors and theologians to be effective ministers in the everyday life of work. “It’s really important that people have the tools and support to live out that mission,” Russell explained. Kerryn has just graduated from a Master of Leadership at Alphacrucis College, and commenced at Helium Marketing as General Manager early this year. “Over 30 years I have moved in and out of roles either in a notfor-profit, Christian or corporate setting, but when I started my Master of Leadership, I had in my mind that I was working towards being equipped for moving into a ministry role within the Church,” she said. “However, as once again I surrendered my own plans, God gave me this amazing opportunity

that integrates all my experience and understanding to work in a marketing agency owned by a Christian, working with both Christians and non-Christians within different sectors.” “It’s always been a leftfield thing where the door opens through surrender and obedience. God has just brought everything together.” “When I discovered Helium’s core values – thinking big, seeking honour and investing in others – I knew it was a perfect fit,” she shared. “It aligned with my faith values and provides me with a great platform to live out my Christian values in all that I do.” Russell also finds meaning in his professional role. “I see work as a spiritual expression. I think what’s really important is that people tune in to what God has in store for them that best equips and best uses their talents,” he said. “If we say, just because you have a talent in a certain area you would be a good pastor, we’re actually limiting the work of God. Whereas I think what the Church needs to switch its mindset to is, we’ve got these people of talent, how do we equip them to go out into the world and use those talents so they can be an effective witness? l believe that it is a fundamental switch as sometimes


feature JUNE 2019

we get so focused on how can we build the church building or body, rather than how can we show Christ to the world and bring more people closer to Him. In my mind, that’s much more powerful.” Russell explained that for many, there is sometimes an assumption that a Christian organisation like Baptistcare is just like a church – we’re not. “We’re just like any other organisation. We have the same cross-section of society that you see walking past you on the street,” he said. “So then how do we tie those people into the vision and ministry call that we have from senior levels down, where we have people with the skills we need but not necessarily the faith.” Russell believes there needs to be a lot of time spent explaining to the staff and management the ‘why’ behind what the organisation does. “Jesus came to earth to intervene on our behalf, so we can have a relationship with God, and in that relationship there’s a responsibility to go out and demonstrate the impact of God in your lives. It’s not about doing that at church, although church is important, it’s about doing that outside of church as well,” he explained.

“For me, going to work is an embodiment of my call. Whether that’s in a private business, a public company or a not-for-profit or church organisation, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what the Great Commission is.” “The world of work is full of all sorts of people from all sorts of places and with all sorts of stories. Work is one of the best places to get to know people and being Christ to them. It’s a field to be harvested,” he said. While the Russell and Kerryn’s daughter Ella remained in Sydney to complete her studies, their adult son Sam moved with them. “To be honest, it has been tough moving to Perth. I had to move away from my extended family and re-establish myself in terms of friendships and community. However, as a result I have seen God work powerfully through me in my weakness and vulnerability,” Sam said. While Sam was both terrified and excited, from the time he arrived it was evident God was opening doors to amazing ministry opportunities, in particular with his role as Next Generation Pastor at Como Baptist Church. As a family, they have always had a framework about how they are contributing to the work of the Kingdom. Sam has

seen his parents live out faith through their work, community and church. “It has been valuable in the way I see my ministry role and how important it is to live out your Christian values in everything you do,” Sam said. Sam is amazed at the way God has weaved his family story together over many generations. “The Christian legacy of my family was established in Western Australia and here I am continuing that on!” His Great-Great-Grandfather migrated from Wales and established a small church in Narrogin in the early 1900s. Later, his Grandfather was the WA State Secretary for the Bible Society in the 1970s and preached at Como Baptist Church many years ago. “I love that it is no coincidence how God works all things for good. It’s pretty incredible,” Sam said. As a couple and family, the Bricknell’s seek God on where He wants them positioned to make a difference in the world. They would encourage other Christians to ask themself, “As a Christian, how am I a representative in my world of work, regardless of where I am at, be it a private family company, publicly listed company or

whatever. How do I go in that place and how do I do what I am doing in a way that represents Christ? What part of my business plan represents Christ? To be a person who is a witness, excel at what I do and contribute to the business but also, how am I engaging in that mission field?” Author – Donna Lamount Donna Lamount works alongside Kerryn Bricknell as a Content Strategist at Helium Marketing.

9


10 testimony JUNE 2019

I lift my hands up to Jesus A year and a half ago, I was on my motorbike heading out to a village about 45 minutes from where I was based. I had been visiting people and sharing stories from the Bible, so I would regularly ride past different villages to get to a place near the Malawi border. One day on my way out there, a young man flagged me down and said, “My Dad wants to know where you are going all the time, and he wants you to visit him.” On the way home that day, I stopped at his hut. There were three older men in the backyard, so I greeted them and we discussed who I was and what I was doing. They had recognised me from previous funerals. I learned that the man who had sent his son to flag me down was the village Chief. I explained that I was travelling to a distant village to share the Word. When the Chief heard this he said, “Well you must also come to this village and share the Word of God!” I went the following week and began a series of stories, starting with creation and finishing many months later with Pentecost. As with most places I’ve been, the first story attracted a large crowd as people wanted to see what the white people were doing and whether or not they really could speak Ciyawo. Each week I would visit them and we would share Bible stories, enjoy friendship or learn cultural lessons. There was always an adventure to be had and I never really knew what to expect. I had opportunities to pray for people, visit farms and ride my motorbike on slippery tracks through torrential downpours. I saw a hunger for God’s Word, answers to prayer, and friendships formed. Though the groups varied in size and locations, the constant was always the Chief. In March, I went to the Chief’s village knowing I was going to finish the series of stories I set out to share. I planned to invite him to respond to the good news. In preparation, I spent time praying and discussing this with other experienced crosscultural workers. After stories of the resurrection and ascension, we began to chat and I said, “So now that you’ve heard the stories and you’ve heard of God’s plan, what is your response?”

He paused then said, “I lift my hands up to Jesus and say, ‘Come and forgive what is in my heart.’ I will now follow the path of Jesus.” What a moment for a 68 year old man to come to! He told me of a change in his heart as he heard stories from the Bible. When he asked his son to stop me on my way, his heart was not in a good place, but God had a plan by sending him stories of Jesus. Two weeks later, I went to visit the Chief at his farm. We sat and discussed various things, from the floods down south and farming, to a wide-ranging discussion on God and Jesus. He passionately explained to his wife what it means to be forgiven, the freedom you can experience, and that Jesus is the doorway you must enter through. I asked his wife if she would like to begin a new path and receive forgiveness, and she too said yes to Jesus! The Chief also shared about his second wife who is “holding on to the pathway of Jesus” and that he had four friends who want to come and hear about Jesus as well. A month on from this, he planned to bring them to our house, but each time they planned to come, it bucketed down with rain. One Saturday morning, I was busy working on our building project, when the Chief turned up with, not four, but five friends. They had travelled 18 kilometres by foot and bike, through the rain and mud, to come hear the stories from the Bible. They couldn’t wait any longer so I stopped what I was doing and we went through the stories from Creation to Pentecost. At the end, I asked for their response. The Chief spoke on their behalf and said, “Each of these men want to follow Jesus”, and asked to take a photo to celebrate their decision to start something new. They had come with the decision already made in their hearts after hearing the good news from their Chief. Please pray for these men and particularly for the Chief – they tell me there are many others in their village who now want to follow the path of Jesus the Messiah. To find out more about the Beeck family, Global Interaction and their ministry in Mozambique, visit www.globalinteraction.org.au

Photo: Cam Beeck

Cam Beeck is a Global Interaction cross-cultural worker in Mozambique. Following is his testimony.

Cam Beeck sharing Bible stories in a remote village in Mozambique.

SERVING IN THE KIMBERLEY ACCOMMODATION & BUILDING MAINTENANCE COODINATORS KUNUNURRA WA Reach Beyond is a not-for-profit Christian organisation, serving primarily as a shortwave radio broadcaster to the Asia Pacific region. This is a full-time position based at our broadcast facility in the beautiful Kimberley region of Western Australia. This position would ideally suit a married couple (although it could be managed by an individual) who are seeking to be fulfilled in a ‘second-half’ career. The successful applicant will be responsible for managing and maintaining the accommodation facilities, welcoming and assisting visitors and volunteers, and associated administration. This is a self-funded position for a minimum of three years. Subsidised housing and utilities are provided. For further information contact For further information contact Donna Olney: personnel@reachbeyond.org.au Donna Olney: personnel@reachbeyond.org.au Dale Stagg, CEO: dstagg@reachbeyond.org.au Dale CEO: dstagg@reachbeyond.org.au VisitStagg, the website: www.reachbeyond.org.au www.reachbeyond.org.au 1300 653 853 Call us on: 1300 653 853

SERVING IN THE KIMBERLEY GENERAL MANAGER, KUNUNURRA WA

Reach Beyond is a not-for-profit Christian organisation, serving primarily as a shortwave radio broadcaster to the Asia Pacific region. Based at our broadcast facility in the beautiful Kimberley region of Western Australia, this unique and exciting ministry opportunity is suited to a person seeking to be fulfilled in a ‘second-half’ career with a passion for kingdom impact and a sense of adventure. Ideally the applicant will have significant experience in managing people including the ability to develop strategic partnerships in the local community. We are looking for someone with a strong ministry call and a heart to serve. This is a full-time position for a minimum of three years. Subsidised housing and utilities are provided. For further information contact For further information contact Donna Olney: personnel@reachbeyond.org.au Donna Olney: personnel@reachbeyond.org.au Dale Stagg, CEO: dstagg@reachbeyond.org.au Dale CEO: dstagg@reachbeyond.org.au VisitStagg, the website: www.reachbeyond.org.au www.reachbeyond.org.au 1300 653 853 Call us on: 1300 653 853


world news 11 JUNE 2019

Most Europeans willing to pay church tax people continue to pay the tax is that they believe religious institutions contribute towards the common good. “Many self-reported payers say that churches and other religious institutions strengthen morality, bring people together and help the poor,” the study stated. The majority of people who pay church tax say they are Christian but don’t regularly attend church. In Finland, where 71 percent of adults pay the tax, 90 percent of them say they seldom or never attend church. “Some social scientists have theorised that church taxes could be among the factors driving people away from religious organisations,” researchers noted. “However, a comparison of responses across 15 Western European countries surveyed by [Pew] shows no obvious connection between secularisation and the existence of a church tax.” “If anything, people in countries with a mandatory church tax are more likely to self-identify as Christian than people in Western European countries that do not have any church tax system.” The Pew Research Center questioned close to 25,000 adults in 15 European countries for the purpose of the study.

While European taxpayers can opt out of paying church tax, most people choose not to in order to support the church’s work in the community.

Six die in church attack

Author – Ramona Humphreys

Photo: MattL Photography/Shutterstock.com

While the idea of a church tax may seem foreign to Australians, it is common practice in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland, where most income tax-paying, baptised adults contribute a church tax to the denomination they joined when they were baptised as infants. The Protestant Church of Germany (a federation of 14,000 protestant regional churches with 21.5 million baptised members) received 5.7 billion euro through church tax payments in 2017, making up most of the federation’s income. In Germany, taxpayers pay eight to nine percent of their income tax as additional church tax, which goes towards church staffing, religious education in schools, missions, building maintenance and other social services. Taxpayers can opt out of paying church tax by officially declaring they are no longer affiliated with the denomination that they were baptised into, however a recent Pew Research Center study showed that most people choose not to. According to the study, nearly nine in ten Danes (88 percent) and Finns (87 percent) who pay church tax say they are ‘not too likely’ or ‘not at all likely’ to opt out. Most Swedish (78 percent), German (78 percent), Austrian (77 percent) and Swiss (72 percent) payers say the same. The researchers found that the primary reason why

Photo: Irina Borsuchenko / Shutterstock.com

A Pew Research Center study found that the majority of people in six Western European countries are happy to pay a church tax, even though they don’t go to church.

To find your local Baptist church visit baptistwa.asn.au

An outdoor church in Burkina Faso not connected to the attack in Silgadji.

A pastor and five church attendees were executed after Sunday church in Silgadji, Burkina Faso. According to an official statement by the Assemblies of God in Burkina Faso, the gunmen demanded the pastor and the

churchgoers convert to Islam before executing them. Assemblies of God General Superintendent Burkina Faso, Michel Ouédraogo, told Christianity Today that the church was one of the oldest Protestant churches in the region. Pastor Pierre Ouédraogo had been the church’s pastor since its founding.

“His family and members of the church are shocked, and naturally live in fear. However, we firmly believe that God will comfort them in these moments of pain,” Michel said. Author – Ramona Humphreys


12 in conversation JUNE 2019

One step behind Mandela

How did you come to be Nelson Mandela’s personal bodyguard, and how did this experience change your life? I was literally in the right place at the right time. I was the Commander of the Police VIP Protection Unit, as well as of the Bomb Disposal Unit, in Johannesburg in 1994 when Madiba became our first democratically-elected president. This meant that I was spending 75 percent of my working day performing what we call ‘advance security’ and bomb sweeps at every venue in Johannesburg that he visited; he had both a home and an office (two of each) in my city. This is what happened from the day Madiba was inaugurated as our President and it culminated in me transferring to the Presidential Protection Unit in January 1996 when my predecessor resigned to study abroad. And so began the best five years of my life. How did you become a Christian and develop a faith in Christ? I went to Sunday School from a young age, youth group and catechism classes as a teen and attended Scripture Union camps in the school holidays, but it wasn’t until I went to police college for a year’s training in 1982 that I realised I needed to become serious about the claims that God (who created me) had on my life. On 13 January 1982, I asked Jesus to take over control of my life. I had ‘dabbled’ with Christianity up until this point but there was always that ‘still quiet voice’ of my conscience led by God’s Spirit that told me I had to front up and face those claims at some point in my life. So, 13 January 1982 was that day. How have you grown spiritually and what is the biggest challenge in your Christian walk? We all grow spiritually along our Christian walk and I’m no different, but I am by no means the ‘finished article’. I’m also no different in that my biggest challenge is living a consistent witness to Christ’s presence,

mercy and grace in my life, every day! How did your time with Mandela provide opportunities to share your faith? I don’t recall any specific opportunity, but what I’m absolutely certain of is that I couldn’t have done the job of leading one of Mandela’s protection teams without starting my day in prayer and continuing with God by my side each and every day, providing strength, guidance and a deep sense of comfort. What is your stand-out memory from your time with Mandela? On the day of his inauguration, Mandela went by helicopter from the Union Buildings in Pretoria to Johannesburg to attend a soccer match and greet the two teams – South Africa and Zambia – and a crowd of 60,000 soccer fans. Our team organised the security for the President’s visit. Mandela had to leave immediately after greeting the teams to return to the Union Buildings and host the 184 VIPs present for his inauguration. As he was leaving in his armoured car, our team saw him trying to open the door and get out. No one knew why he was trying to leave, so the team leader opened the door and asked him. Madiba didn’t say anything, but walked toward the vehicle ramp where he should have been leaving from. The only person standing there was an old school, South African Police Colonel. Madiba stopped in front of him, put out his hand and said, “Colonel, I just want you to know that today you have become our police – there is no more you and us. I am now the President of this country, but I want you to know today that you are our police.” The old colonel started to cry and his tears ran down his lined face. The President patted him on the shoulder and said, “It’s okay Colonel, I just wanted you to hear that.” The President then walked back to the car and was driven to the helipad.

These words were like a bucket of iced water on my face. Four years earlier, I didn’t believe the things he said when he was released from jail – South Africa was for all people, both black and white. I was cynical and thought, “That’s the party line. Of course you are going to say that.” When I heard this very private exchange between the President and the Colonel – only about 12 of us heard him say this – I questioned my upbringing. All the input in my life, all my training. While I was growing up the ideology of apartheid was infused into every aspect of South African society – the media, schools, churches. This exchange made me watch him very closely to see when the façade would start to crumble. It also showed me that 184 VIPs could wait because that Colonel needed to hear this from Madiba that day. The symbolism of that has never left me. It taught me to not ignore or forget to do the little things that really matter – to take the time to do the little things that mean a massive amount and do them well. I learned this lesson the day Madiba became our President. What did you learn as the result of Madiba’s death? A couple of months after Madiba’s funeral, Mama Graca Machel (Madiba’s widow) invited his bodyguard – the Protection Unit team members – to tea at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg. She addressed the team and said, “I called us together to say thank you because you were always by my husband’s side. You saw him when he was happy, when he was sad, when he was angry, but you were always there, and I just want to say thank you.” That’s when I saw closure for Madiba’s death. Why? Because someone had just taken the trouble to say those two simple words – thank you. It’s such a small thing but it’s a huge thing. With every South African, I say thank you Madiba for what you taught us. Thank you for teaching us to forgive. Thank

Photo: Rory Steyn

Following the aftermath of the apartheid regime, Nelson Mandela appointed white policemen and women as members of his personal protection teams. One of the leaders of those teams was former Security Branch police officer, Rory Steyn. In February, 23 years later, Rory came to Perth for a City Bible Forum event. He shared his experiences and how time spent with ‘Madiba’, as he is commonly known as, changed his life forever. Vanessa Klomp had the privilege of catching up with Rory after the event.

Rory Steyn was in an incredible position to learn life lessons from Nelson Mandela as his personal bodyguard.

you for teaching us that to talk to your enemy is always going to be superior to fighting with them. Thank you for teaching me personally that I now have a responsibility to do this, whenever I can, wherever I can, in whatever way I can. What is the South Africa of today like, compared to the one you envisaged when you were working for Mandela? While serving Madiba, I bought 100 percent into his ideal of building a united South Africa, one that is for all her people – black, white and every shade in-between. That was largely achieved thanks to his leadership, but there are things that rankle in the South Africa of 2019. For example, the way that the poorest of South Africans are let down by the government that elected them when public funds and resources are wasted, mismanaged or stolen instead of delivering the services that those South Africans so desperately need. I also find the ‘quotas’ that still exist 25 years into democracy in both business and sport to be as artificial as apartheid was. The time has come to move on from that, I think.

What are you involved with now and what are your aspirations for the future? I am still a director and shareholder of the security business that I started, with the business partner that I started it with on the day after both Madiba and I respectively, retired! Aspirations for the future involve seeing President Ramaphosa succeed in fixing what has been broken for the past ten or more years (he is the person Madiba wanted to succeed him), seeing my boys grow from strength to strength (in every respect, including faith), seeing our economy grow and create jobs. Every single day I see ordinary South Africans doing extraordinary things and that inspires me. There is a lot of goodwill and I thank God for that. Essentially though I’m just a family guy trying to make a difference wherever and whenever I can. I owe Jesus and Madiba both that much!


growth 13 JUNE 2019

On learning to walk

Today, being a Wednesday, is an important day in my week. It is one of two days I have to work on the most pressing projects. For me it is usually a content day. I’m studying my final two units for my master’s degree which means I have many assignments and much classwork to do. I also have sermons and studies to write, presentations to prepare and a myriad of both big and little tasks to complete. Like I’m sure many of you, I have a to-do list a mile long. So, how did I spend my day today? I went for a walk. Yes, you read that right. Amidst the tyranny of the urgent tasks I decided what I needed most today was some time with God. I grabbed a water bottle and some lunch and headed up to Yanchep National Park, a favourite for Kelsey and I. I also deliberately left my phone at home, no matter how much my inner voice tried to justify bringing it, ’just in case’. I know that voice.It’s funny how often, when I actually allow God some uncluttered time, that He comes through and speaks clearly. You would think I would have learned by now, but I can be a slow learner. There were two key aspects to my time away today I’d like to share, hoping they may be an encouragement to someone else. Time Here’s the truth, there is rarely a good and easy time to do the important, but not urgent things. In our fast paced Western culture, only the seemingly ‘urgent’ tasks (like checking Facebook 36 times) get priority. I want to be clear, I didn’t actually have the time to go away today. That will cost me somewhere else. I will lose time at another juncture (probably 8pm to 11.59pm the night my assignments are due). But I was very acutely aware today, I had to rekindle my relationship with God. The so-called ‘greatest commandment’ in the Bible is to love God with everything we have, first. This is too easily dismissed in the frenetic pace of life. And yet

Photo: James Middleton/Shutterstock.com

Lately I’ve been feeling a little discouraged. Though progress is being made with our church plant in Wanneroo … it is not at the pace I would like. If I’m honest, not even close. At times it feels a little like one step forward, two steps back. I find myself asking uncomfortable questions, usually ones I have no answers for.

it is almost like Jesus already knew this because He once said: “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? [Matthew 6:25-27, NLT] Then in verse 33 He says “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” If we can get our relationship with God in the right focus, it amazing how so much else falls into place. Easy? No. Exactly as we want it? Absolutely not. But it’s amazing how easily even followers of Jesus let this get out of sync and then wonder why we feel distant, or that God is seemingly absent in our lives. How about you? Are you seeking first His Kingdom or are you running the treadmill life of never ending worry and anxiety, trying to solve all your own problems? Might I suggest you ensure you spend time doing the things that help bring God close in your life, not because you have the time, but because you know it is what you need.

Roll, crawl, walk, run My second take away today was a picture that I sensed from God as I was walking. I’ll be honest, I was pretty frustrated with God. I wanted to know in no uncertain terms why He was not following my agenda (ha!). I wanted to know why the things we’ve been trying haven’t ‘been working’, at least not in the way that I measure ‘working’. Then, ever so gently, I saw a picture in my mind of a child learning to walk. I’m about to become a Dad and lately a lot of communication has been coming to me in parental terms. I’ve also been reading a lot in this area. Anyway, for those who may not know, the stages of learning to walk, they start with the child learning to roll over, move to crawling, then to walking with help and finally walking unaided. Here’s the catch, along the way to mastering walking, a baby has many falls, tumbles or missteps. As I was thinking about this I felt a gentle whisper say to me, ‘a baby’s falls and missteps are not a sign that they’ll never walk, they’re just part of learning to walk’. I felt this was a word to apply to my tensions and challenges in church planting. Though things have not gone as I’d like them to have, we are making progress. Our missteps, if I may call them that, are not a sign of pending failure, we’re simply learning to walk. The great thing about learning to walk is that, once mastered, the

world becomes your oyster! The possibilities become endless as the world opens up for exploration and adventure. But first, we must learn to walk. Today, even though I didn’t have the time, I needed to spend time with my heavenly Dad and I am ever so glad I made that my priority. Now, about those assignments … Author – James Middleton

James Middleton is a Baptist pastor in the northern suburbs of Perth and along with his wife Kelsey, they are in the process of planting a church in the City of Wanneroo. For more information, visit wanneroochurch.org.au


14 arts JUNE 2019

Lauren Daigle wins Grammy Lauren Daigle’s latest album has won her two Grammy awards – Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for her track, You Said and Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for her third album, Look Up Child. Other artists nominated in these categories include MercyMe, Bethel, Cory Asbury, for KING & COUNTRY, Elevation Worship and Jesus Culture. Her song, You Said was co-written by songwriters Jason Ingram and Paul Mabury, who previously live in Perth and attended Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Although these are her first wins at the Grammys, Daigle has been nominated twice before. Her album How Can It Be was nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album and her song Trust In You for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. Since 2015, Daigle has won two American Music Awards, five Billboard Music Awards and seven GMA Dove Awards, along with many other award nominations. Daigle explained her goals for the album and discussed how it came to be. “There’s so many things in life as adults you get completely overwhelmed by,” she said.

For more information, visit laurendaigle.com Author – John Igglesden

Photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

Collis releases new album Recently released To the Least of These is Australian singer/songwriter Rachel Collis’ third, and perhaps, most important album. Lauren Daigle at the 61st Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on 10 February in Los Angeles, California.

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“I feel like I’m honouring my own journey and truly rounding out the repertoire of my own life for

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“There’s new pressures. You take on opinions of others … we become labelled. And it gets really difficult the older you get.” “And I was like, you know what? I don’t want to live like that. I want to be carefree and wild.” Daigle uses the analogy that if you give a child a lollipop, they think they are going to Disney World. “It’s like the most exhilarating thing, right? So I was like, ‘How do I embody that in the midst of what I do?’ And I think the challenge has been maintaining that, keeping that joy and that zeal alive through all of the obstacles that come with just simply being in the music industry.” Lauren Daigle has previously performed with bands like Hillsong United, for KING & COUNTRY and NEEDTOBREATHE.

the first time. It feels authentic and honest in a way no record previous has,” Rachel wrote. “There are songs about love and loss, about friendship and healing, as on my other records, but also some about my own unorthodox and messy spiritual path.” Songs such as To the Least of These, the honest All I Really Need is You and the tender Speak to Me presents an intimate expression of Rachel’s own journey and personal faith experience. A classically trained pianist and vocalist, she brings great skill into the vocals and composition of her songs. For more information, visit rachelcollis.com

To the Least of These is Rachel Collis’ third album.

Author – Gilbert Siahaan


intermission 15 JUNE 2019

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Mud, Sweat and Tears Bear Grylls Mud, Sweat and Tears captures the rawness of Bear Grylls’ life. It encompasses countless inspiring true stories of adventure and sacrifice that Bear has survived through to become the man he is today. Written with a personal flair, this autobiography recounts Bear’s time in the legendary British SAS until his parachuting accident and subsequent hospitalisation, to then climb the world’s deadliest mountain. Through it all, Bear shares what got him over the summit of his pain and struggles was complete trust in his Saviour and a quiet faith that with Him all things are possible.

Background William Kennedy was born in rural Victoria. His parents were both active in their local church. Kennedy learned farming skills before being called to fulltime ministry. He trained in Victoria, and then came to Western Australia to minister in rural and regional areas. His ministry in WA commenced with his marriage to Ada Greenslade, a trained missionary. Ada’s call to WA included ministering to Aboriginal people. They had two children, Irene and Norman.

Photo: Baptist Churches Western Australia

William Kennedy (1868-1929)

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William Kennedy was a pioneer of the Baptist movement in Western Australia.

Church involvement “Where the people are so the missionaries must accompany.” (Blazing the Trail, 1935) From 1898 through to 1913, Kennedy pastored and established churches in the south of Western Australia. The Great Southern Railway was the conduit for church planting. Kennedy worked with various local and visiting church members to establish churches and preaching stations in and around Katanning, Narrogin, Wagin, Pingelly and Woodanilling. Seven churches and 20 preaching stations were functioning by the time World War I commenced. There were 377 members attending these churches amounting to 35 percent of the total membership of Baptist churches. Later he ministered in the Boulder Baptist Church and the outer metro Perth Hills area. In 1909, the emerging union of Baptist churches defined denominational distinctives. Kennedy argued for open church membership, a strong commitment to believer’s baptism by immersion, active engagement of members in the decisionmaking of the local church, and involvement of women in preaching and leadership of church activities. He also argued for local churches being led by a team of people with the pastor teaching, preaching and involved with administration of the church. Kennedy was renowned for only spending money that the church had. He was an innovative church planter including setting up a mobile ministry, later undertaken by Harold Tranter. Kennedy left pastoral ministry after a dispute about support for pastors of small unviable rural communities. Legacy within the Baptist Churches Western Australia One hundred and twenty years on, most of the church buildings he established are still visible. Ada Kennedy’s support for literacy education for Aboriginal people remained focused on individuals. However, the Noongar people of the Great Southern still only had access to the Gospel of Luke in their own language. Thanks to Kennedy’s efforts, the farming communities of the Great Southern have access to a choice of denominations in their communities and remain a vibrant part of the Baptist churches in WA. This article has been drawn from academic research required for the completion of the Baptist Distinctives Unit at Vose Seminary by Sue Ash AO.

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Illustrating Bible DaySpring The Illustrating Bible is the Bible journalist dream. Published by DaySpring and Illustrates Faith, this Christian Standard Bible is designed with large margins perfect for filling with notes and art. The spiral-bound design means it lies flat, making it possible to reach every part of the page. With thicker paper, colours will not bleed through the page. It also means they will not rip easily and be strong enough for the use of Bible journalling stickers. Bible journalling is a good way to reflect on God’s Word and spend time with Him. This beautiful Bible has a soft metallic pink cover and gold filigree. It also comes with a keepsake box for storing so it can be kept safe for many years. Alison – Customer Service Assistant

listen United Newsboys Newsboys past and present unite for an epic new album. In January 2009, former lead singer of Newsboys, Peter Furler, announced he was stepping back and settled into a support role for the popular band, only making guest appearances while the band was on tour. During the year, Micheal Tait, formerly of dc Talk, became the lead singer. In 2010, Newsboys first solo album featuring Micheal as lead was released and soared to number four on the Billboard 200. In this new album, United, Peter Furler and Micheal Tait unite for ten amazing new songs – making sure to thrill all the Newsboys fans past, present and future. This impressive album features hit song Greatness of Our God and more. Alison – Customer Service Assistant


16 sport JUNE 2019

The faith of Israel Israel Folau’s Australian rugby union career looks to be over, after a three-member panel announced their decision to terminate the Wallaby’s four year, $4 million contract as punishment for his “high-level breach” of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct. 2GB radio broadcaster Alan Jones also criticised Rugby Australia’s actions and the unwarranted uproar it has caused. “What is the kerfuffle? … He has merely repeated what his religion has held for thousands of years.” “They’ve destroyed his employment and internationally destroyed his name for quoting a passage from the Bible … He hasn’t slaughtered anyone, he hasn’t insulted anyone and he hasn’t even tried to push this stuff down anyone’s throat.” Hillsong Church’s global Senior Pastor, Brian Houston admired Folau for standing up for his beliefs, but challenged his methods of sharing it. “In 40 years of telling people about the good news of Jesus, I have seen that the ‘turn or burn’ approach to proclaiming the message of Christianity alienates people – scaring people doesn’t draw them into the love of Jesus,” Houston said. “The world doesn’t need more judgemental Christians.” Houston encourages all Australians to give Folau grace. “We have all made mistakes when it comes to speaking too quickly, judging too harshly or being blinded by our own stubbornness ... we can extend the same grace to him as we’d like others to show us,” he said. Author – Gilbert Siahaan The content of this article is current at time of print.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

Folau was “deeply saddened” by the decision but was honoured to represent Australia and his home state of New South Wales. “The Christian faith has always been part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s Word,” Folau said. “Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.” Folau was dropped by the Waratahs after posting that unless they repent and turn to Jesus Christ, hell awaits “… drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators.” Soon after his sacking, one of the Wallabies’ young prospects took to Facebook to support his then-teammate and said all Pacific Islanders “might as well just be sacked” because of their religious beliefs. “Seriously ?????????? Might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs ?????? I will never apologise for my faith and what I believe in, religion had nothing to do with rugby anyways ???????? #TYJ,” hooker Taniela Tupou posted. Folau’s comments have stirred up a mixed response from those inside the church and out. World Cup-winning former Wallabies Coach Bob Dwyer has blasted Rugby Australia, describing the ordeal as “incredibly badly handled by the Australian Rugby Union”. “I think he’s a massive example for good in our society. At a time when we’re seeing some of the worst behaviours in sport, we’ve got this guy who’s the exact opposite,” Dwyer said.

Israel Folau’s contract has been terminated after a hearing found that he committed a breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct.

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The Advocate June  

The Advocate June