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WA’S BAPTIST NEWSPAPER

theadvocate.tv

IN CONVERSATION Brian Pickering shares of the early days of the Australian Prayer Network and the impact it has today. PAGE 12 >>

OCTOBER 2019

Author Andrew Hamilton on “what moves us towards place of wholeness in Jesus.” PAGE 13 >>

5 Women flourish

Photo: Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group

Over $600,000 raised at Fresh Conference 2019. >>

7 Bible translated Bible Society translates Luke into Nyoongar. >>

Baptist pastor Sheldrin D’Rozario was awarded Employee of the Month for demonstrating outstanding pastoral care at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Baptist pastor wins award Sheldrin D’Rozario was recently presented with the Employee of the Month award at Fiona Stanley Hospital. “We are extremely proud to have you on board,” Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group Executive Director, Neil Doverty said as he presented Sheldrin with the award. In his citation, Neil shared that Sheldrin went “above and beyond his daily duties and showed a strong commitment to the hospital’s values of care, integrity, respect and teamwork.” “You have been nominated for your tireless work to support staff and patients in their time of need … and you inspire people to find hope in any situation.”

Commencing at Fiona Stanley Hospital in November 2014, Sheldrin, who is also an accredited Baptist pastor, is the Coordinator of Pastoral Care Services for both the patients in the 783-bed hospital along with its 6,000 staff. In response to the citation from the Executive Director, Sheldrin shared of his darkest day in 1986 when his brother died in his arms from an asthma attack. “It was years later as I worked through this grief and depression, I realised that I had never told my brother that I loved him,” he said. “The selfishness of bothers is that we often don’t think about these things at the time.” “I wasn’t a very loving or positive person back then, but through some pivotal moments I’ve had a chance to work

through this and the grief that I had experienced.” Sheldrin credits the people throughout his life who just at the right time would encourage him, often unaware of their doing so. “If that person wasn’t there at that time, where would I be?” he questioned. Though he had been blessed with a high level job in the telecommunications industry, his priorities changed when two boys walked into his store and he prepared to confront them as he thought they were there to steal something. “I remember when they came to the counter buy a phone – a cheap $99 phone … They said it was for their mum who was dying from cancer … I went out the back and sobbed.”

“I asked the Lord to forgive me for the way that I judged people,” he shared. “That day I chose to conclude that part of my career and shortly after that, I enrolled at a theological college.” “In my own life there are things that I have experienced, when I’m at the bedside with patients or with staff, where I can identify with their struggles in this life.” “I can come alongside them and meaningfully say, ‘I get what you’re saying. It’s hard, but hang in there.’” In his concluding remarks to hospital directors and staff, Sheldrin affirmed them in their own roles and encouraged them to continue to be “a community who look out and care for each other”. Author – Matthew Chapman

8 Visit to Nepal Lifting people out of poverty. >>

We are stronger when we work together. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA


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my view OCTOBER 2019

Do you have a ‘secular’ job? Every now and then when I am talking with someone, in the course of the conversation, they will mention their ‘secular job’. I always pause and think about that statement. It actually grates me. Why is that?

Mark Conner Mark Conner is a leader who devotes himself to training, writing and coaching others toward greater fruitfulness.

Unfortunately, many people have created a division between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’. This dualism is a product of Greek philosophy that has so influenced our Western worldview. Life is often seen as a series of boxes – one for family, one for work, one for friends, one for recreation and one for faith (God, or our ‘spiritual life’). As long as we prioritise correctly and make appropriate contributions to each box, life will work out for us.

This results in a compartmental style of thinking. In contrast, in the Hebrew or Jewish mind, and also from a Christian perspective, life should be viewed as one large circle with God at the centre. Everything else is to find its meaning and perspective from that centre. God wants to be involved in every area of our life – not just our spiritual life. All of life is sacred and God is interested in every dimension of our lives.

Brother Lawrence, a French monastic from the 17th century, is well known for writing a little booklet that has touched millions of people’s lives, called The Practice of the Presence of God. It’s about living with a greater realisation that each moment of every day, God is with us and interested in doing life (including work) together with us. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving

thanks to God the Father through him.” [Colossians 3:17] Doing something in Jesus’ name means to do it in His character. It means doing it as Jesus Himself would do it if He were in your place. Paul is saying that our entire lives – from the moment we wake up until the time we lay down to sleep – are be lived out “in the name of Jesus”. Yes, God is interested in our work life. It matters to Him and hopefully, it matters to us too. I hope you enjoy your job this week, whatever you may find yourself doing, and that you see it as part of your meaningful contribution to making the world a better place.

Birds of a feather … Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Turns out it’s true. Given that I’m not an avid bird watcher, you might question if I possess any credentials to verify this proverb. Well, I’ve recently had a writing retreat on the beach in Busselton, and I saw it with my very own eyes.

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

It was a moody day, one rain shower had just passed, another was on its way, and a light breeze was blowing. I was the only one on the beach and had taken a short break from writing my book on apologetics, which was already due at the publishers. I was pondering how to explain human consciousness as one of the evidences for God’s existence. And then I spotted them – two flocks of birds.

I would love to tell you their names (sparrows, storks, whatever), but I’d probably get them wrong, so I will simply tell you that one was black, the other greyish. There were dozens and dozens of each. It was actually quite stunning, and I pulled out my phone from my pocket muttering to myself, “I must get a photo of them.” Though I was creeping forward slowly to get the best possible shot, I wasn’t silent enough.

One of the black birds leapt up and was immediately followed by every other black bird. And here is the thing – every black bird flew away, and every greyish bird remained. Thesis demonstrated – birds of a feather flock together. Interestingly enough those greyish birds were totally disinterested in my presence. They let me get close without even a flicker of alarm. Perhaps they despised their nervous

neighbours who had fled away so quickly, or perhaps they were so busy feasting on whatever it was that had attracted them to this spot that they hadn’t noticed their departure. I took some photos, they kept on eating, and I continued my walk. What strange creatures we humans are. A few days before, I listened while a group of Christian believers told me how awful another group of Christians are. In reality, the differences seemed minor to me. At this interesting time in human history, are we not birds of the same feather? And if so, should we not flock together?

Getting dirt under my nails When I was pastoring a church in New Zealand, there was a small, pithy poster above a doorway leading out of the building that read, “You are now entering the mission field.”

Matthew Chapman Matthew Chapman is the Editor of The Advocate.

As a pastor, that was what I was tasked to do – to help lead people to Christ, whether it was their first ‘yes’ for Him, or their 100th as they drew closer as His disciples. I’m not so sure all of my congregation agreed with the wording on the sign – for some, leaving the church building was to go back into the normal grind of being mums and dads, accountants or vineyard workers, preferring to leave that task to the church’s leadership and mission’s team. Having been in Perth for a decade, I recently reflected

on that sign and considered whether I am out in the ‘field’ sharing Christ with others. With a young family, most of our time connecting with others has been at church, work or with our close group of Christian friends and family. Now that our three boys are older and can be left on their own, we’ve had the opportunity to meet a larger group of people through our local running club. We’re now a part of their mob and I’m loving it! Each person is wonderfully unique in their own way – and we all

have our struggles. I’ve heard ‘f-bombs’ aplenty, stories of marriages breaking up, serious health problems, trials of new relationships, struggles with kids, the mucky dirty stuff of life, and I’m really grateful to Jesus that I’m back into the field getting ‘dirt under my nails’. I’m a typical bloke, and like to find a solution to most problems, but when I’m running around the lake, out of breath, I listen to their struggles and more than once, I’ve breathlessly said, “I don’t know what to do, I wish I could offer

you a solution and I don’t have one – but I want you to know that I’m praying for you and I’m here for you.” I wonder if I could have taken Jesus’ Great Commission a bit more seriously over the last ten years. He tells us to “go” in Matthew 28:19. It’s not a safe command He’s given to me – it means that I have to get out into the field, get some dirt under my nails, and to madly love the people that He’s bringing around me. Have you got some dirt under your nails recently?


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OCTOBER 2019

BWA affirms women’s calling The Resolution on Recognising and Affirming the Calling of Women in the Church grew out of a three-day conference preceding the BWA’s Annual Gathering. The resolution acknowledged the 2019 Baptist International Conference on Theological Education, which had the theme Together: ReImagining, Re-Reading HERstory in the Church. The last BWA resolution affirming women’s contributions within the church had been adopted in Nassau in 1988. The 2019 resolution recalled how that resolution had called for Baptists to “celebrate the multiple gifts and sensitivities women bring to the service of Jesus Christ and the work of the Baptist family around the world” and to “commend biblical and careful attention by our member bodies to the enabling of women and their gifts.” The current resolution calls upon Baptists to “repent from the teachings and practices” that “have prevented women from flourishing as human beings created in the image of God

and full members of the body of Christ”, and to be open to the Holy Spirit’s power to provoke transformation so that Baptists might affirm “the God-given calling of women for service in the church.” BWA members should also “learn and then use language that is affirming to both women and men in worship, communications, and publications, including Bible translations,” the resolution stated, and “work intentionally to create equal space for women in all leadership roles in the church, Baptist conventions and unions, and in the Baptist World Alliance”. A second resolution was entitled ‘Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and ReligiouslyMotivated Violence’. The body expressed “deep concern over recent instances of religious intolerance and religiously-motivated violence” during the past year, citing representative examples of attacks on synagogues, mosques, and churches during the past year.

Pastoring persons of concern At the beginning of August, 15 pastors, leaders and administrators came together to review the way Baptist churches in Western Australia minister in the area of ‘persons of concern’. It was a time of learning, mutual support and making a contribution to the continuous improvement of this work. “Baptist churches of Australia have used a robust process to minister to persons of concern for more than a decade,” Baptist Churches Western Australia Professional Standards Officer Sue Ash said. Sue shared that a person of concern is usually defined as someone who has been convicted of an offence against children or is seen to be of concern to the safety of children in a church community. Safe Church Response Officers (usually the Senior Pastor) and a select group of leaders in each church congregation typically negotiate an individual safety agreement with the person of concern. This agreement helps the church proactively provide

a safe environment for the children in church activities and, where possible, provide pastoral connection for the person of concern. “Each leadership team has access to the Church Health team at Baptist Churches Western Australia, including support from the Professional Standards Officer,” Sue said. “Those attending the meeting unanimously agreed that coming together to share the load and learn from one another was a helpful next step in our Safe Church program as Baptist churches in Western Australia,” she concluded.

Photo: Tony Cartledge

Women should be affirmed for their “God-given calling for service in the church” and Baptists should work to promote love rather than religious intolerance, according to two resolutions approved by the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Council meeting in Nassau on 11 July.

Attendees at the BWA General Council affirm women within the church and work toward religious tolerance.

The resolution decries the rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and the persecution of Christians, citing a recent report commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which found that approximately 245 million Christians are endangered by high levels of persecution.

“We stand in solidarity and sympathy with all people who suffer violence, injury and harm, regardless of religion, race, gender, culture or ethnicity,” the resolution stated, calling on Baptists to live in peace with everyone and so “reaffirm that prejudice, hate, and violence cannot defeat respect, love, and faith”.

Such actions, the resolution concluded, serve “as a prophetic response of God’s love against all manifestations of terrorism, violence, and religious intolerance”. Author – Tony Cartledge Republished with permission, nurturingfaith.net

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news OCTOBER 2019

Steward your generosity wisely Despite our broken world, there are many valuable causes, and subsequently, many charitable organisations ask for your support. But how can you be confident that you are giving to a reputable organisation, or that your generous donations are making a lasting impact? I recently sat down with John Hickey from Baptist World Aid Australia to ask him that very question. “As Christians, we see people in need and it moves us to compassion. This then generates within us a passion to act,” John said. “However, the real challenge is acting on that passion in a way which also equates to wise stewardship of our generosity.” In Baptist World Aid’s sector, an organisation’s accreditation through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) are strong indicators that the quality of its work is sustainably high. Baptist World Aid Australia is accredited through both bodies. Out of more than 60 agencies partnering with DFAT, Baptist World Aid is one of the few agencies which received

increased grants funding over the past three years, despite the general Federal Budget limitations. “This indicates a strong show of confidence in our organisation and the impact of our work,” John said. For any agency to be accredited partnership with DFAT, they must also be a member of ACFID and comply with its code of conduct. “We believe these principles set the standard for high quality work, consistent with good, biblical Christian principles.” Baptist World Aid’s accreditation gives them significantly more capacity in terms of funding, and adds to the impact Australian Christians can make around the world by generously supporting the organisation. However, this is not the only way in which Baptist World Aid seeks to increase the impact of donations. “Engaging local partners enables a far lower cost of programming, but this is not our reason for implementing our work in this way,” John explained. “Working with groups who have local and cultural knowledge actually results in more sustainable and impactful work.” “When you give to Baptist World Aid Australia, you can be confident that you are giving

both to a reputable organisation and one which stewards your generosity wisely.” When it comes to choosing how to act on your passion to support other causes, John has this final tip. “Ask a few questions: Will the impact of your generosity be sustained? Is the work vital and necessary? Does it empower the people it sets out to benefit? For instance, have the beneficiaries been involved in the design of the project? And are vulnerable people and communities being put at risk by well-intentioned work?” “It can be daunting to choose where to place your trust – just a little bit of critical thinking can go a long way towards having confidence that your generosity will be used wisely to make the most impact possible.” Author – Matthew Chapman

Health care organisation values the dignity of life

Photo: Cristian Newman/Unsplashed

St John of God Health Care (SJGHC) remains opposed to and will not allow assisted suicide to be carried out in any of its seven WA hospitals or specialist palliative care units.

Catholic health care organisations provide 30 percent of WA’s total hospital beds on offer.

The Catholic group runs some of Western Australia’s biggest health facilities, including a 578-bed hospital in Subiaco and a 511-bed hospital in Murdoch. In a recent report, The Australian revealed that Catholic health care providers offer more than 1,800 hospital beds in WA – about 30 percent of the state’s total. SJGHC Group Chief Executive, Dr Shane Kelly told The eRecord it is essential that “every person has access to the care they need at the end of life,” urging the government to instead support the demands to provide resources that will improve the delivery of quality palliative care services and support the dignity of patients and their families by caring for their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

“All Australians expect and deserve access to high quality healthcare from our first breath, to our last,” Dr Kelly stated. “There are few occasions when a person, young or old, experiences greater vulnerability than when it comes to the end of life.” “We believe that improving the quality of, and access to, palliative care services would alleviate concerns that lead people to expressing a desire to hasten the end of life.” “Palliative care services are currently not meeting demand in Western Australia and there are large disparities in equity of access, with a number of people unable to access the care they need, when and where they need it,” he added.

All Australians expect and deserve access to high quality healthcare from our first breath, to our last.

“More resource is needed and in particular, additional resources to meet the needs of people from Indigenous communities, those living in remote areas and residential aged care, as well as in hospitals and at home are required.” Author – Amanda Murthy Article republished with permission, The eRecord


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OCTOBER 2019

Over 500 women from churches and denominations all over Western Australia attended Fresh Conference held at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in late July. In its 13-year history, the event has had a significant spiritual impact in the lives of many women, and through its partnership with Baptist World Aid Australia, has raised over $600,000 for women and children living in poverty across the developing world. “It was very evident that God’s blessing was over the entire day,” Fresh Conference Director, Yvette Cherry said. Many echoed this sentiment. “I’ve been to a lot of conferences but the anointing all over this event is like none I’ve ever seen,” attendee Mel Burton commented. This year’s conference theme was ‘Flourish’ and each speaker spoke from Scripture and gave personal testimonies to explain what it means to be a flourishing woman of God. “The priorities were to teach from the Bible, worship and experience moments of stillness together in God’s presence,” Yvette explained.

Australian Christian Churches WA’s Community Engagement State Leader, Pastor Tara Conradt captured the purpose and intentionality in her wrap-up of the day. “What happens when you open the doors and crush the borders that exist between us?” “Some kind of ‘squirrels at a rave’ level of goodness where we come for a women’s conference and leave with handmade, sustainably produced soap and an ethical fashion guide …” “Where hands are lifted and shouts-of-praise kind of worship fills a Baptist church auditorium …” “A Pentecostal powerhouse pastor leads hundreds of women in contemplative practices and teaches Lectio Divina …” “Preachers pray the prayer of St Francis …” “We are challenged to give in the context of sharing resources and restoring equality through empowerment, education and advocacy, and address our own overconsumption and contribution.” “We were offered a radically diverse panel of speakers – complete with accessibility translators – who shared with courage and vulnerability on faith journeys, mental health, wholeness, comparison traps and mindfulness with a Kingdom-

Photo: Sarah Wickham/SJ Creative

Women flourish at conference

Pastor Karen Siggins encourages attendees at Fresh Conference 2019.

focused, good news gospel at the centre; old school altar calls; new decisions to follow Jesus, and it all ends with a benediction!” The Conference raised $45,000 dollars for the work

Impact of consumerism Research undertaken by McCrindle Research discovered that 60 percent of Australians believe that consumerism has a negative impact on Australian society.

Photo: Shutterstock/oneinchpunch

In response to this impact and trending societal values, Seed has partnered with Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT, Baptist Financial

Services, Baptist World Aid Australia, BaptistCare NSW and ACT, Christian Super and City Infield to create a new campaign called ‘Consumed’. “The campaign aims to provide a space for Christians to connect and create solutions to the problems of consumerism that help better align consumption choices with God’s story,” Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT Public Engagement Coordinator, Kelly Crawford said.

“I see the negative effects of consumerism in almost every area of life.” “People [are] saddled with debt and the accompanying anxiety trying to keep up with an ideal for life they think is going to make them happy; people [are] consuming experiences and holidays to try to fill the void in their lives; workers [are] so addicted to success and accolades that they become workaholics. We have a problem, in society and in the church.” The campaign will run through to 2020 and provides opportunities to offer ideas for solutions through a crowdsourcing platform, and to engage in design labs aimed at designing solutions to problems caused by consumerism. “The team at Seed have put together a pack for you to help engage your church in this issue – not just to name the problem, but to help find solutions,” Kelly added. For more information, visit consumed.org.au

Almost two-thirds of Australians perceive consumerism as harmful to Australian society.

Author – Matthew Chapman

of Baptist World Aid Australia, who are helping women and children lift themselves out of poverty in rural communities in Nepal.

Teaching from the day is available on podcast at freshconference.net

Six baptised at Woodvale Sunday 14 July was a day of special celebration for Woodvale Baptist Church, as six people testified to their faith in Jesus Christ by baptism. The group included an 11 year old boy, a former Catholic, two brothers and their wives. The baptisms were the direct result of responses made at Woodvale’s Easter services in April, when over 20 responses were made to the preaching of the gospel, including seven responses for baptism and four first-time commitments to Jesus. The theme for Easter was ‘Jesus – You Decide’, with a clear call for people to follow Jesus as His disciple. “Six of these folk did precisely that when they were baptised last July,” Woodvale Baptist Church Senior Pastor, Rob Furlong said. Each individual spoke clearly about their faith in Jesus, with one mentioning how she had experienced the love and strength of Jesus through a lifethreatening pregnancy.

“It brought my husband and me to the place of complete dependence on God,” she said. “Our desire is to raise our family according to God’s Word.” Rob commented that the baptisms and testimonies made a powerful impact on all those present. “We have another baptism of a new Christian scheduled for October and another young person seeking baptism – we are very encouraged by the work God is doing among us,” Rob said.


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news OCTOBER 2019

Photo: Ed Devine

Making disciples of children

Children’s leaders worshipping at Beyond Kidsmin Conference, held at Warnbro Community Church.

More than 120 children’s leaders from around Western Australia met in August to attend the third annual Beyond Kidsmin Conference. This year’s theme, Reaching, Raising and Empowering Disciples, aimed to encourage all to see children as fellow disciples of Jesus. Beyond Kidsmin was an awesome experience for many reasons. “Networking with other people who are in ministry and encouraging each other through the harder times is great.” “One of the most valuable things I learnt was the ‘Seasons of Discipleship’ that Sarah French spoke about.” “I also valued the input around engaging young people in the digital world we live in from Luke Stevenson.” Pre-primary to Year 6 Program Coordinator, Nicola Hubbard from Austin Cove Community Church said the elective with Kylie Hofer, Helping Every Child and Teenager Feel Known, was a highlight. “Not only are we influencing a child’s journey with God, but we have the real opportunity to build relationships and be a somebody to these kids in our care,” she said. “Even one hour a week can make a huge difference in their lives.” “The quote that stuck with me was, ‘Kids don’t care what you know, until they know you care.’” “It really was a theme that hit home and touched me personally.”

Over 90 Baptist pastors and leaders recently gathered for a Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) Church Governance and Administration Workshop to consider its role in building a healthy church. More than 40 churches were represented at the event on Saturday 7 September, with attendees coming from as far as Kalgoorlie, Gnowangerup and Esperance to hear presenters cover governance, compliance, finance, insurance and financial services. The event’s organiser, BCWA Head of Finance and Administration Greg Holland said that the workshop was a great success. “In an age where churches need to seriously consider how they operate in today’s world,

the workshop achieved what we hoped – providing key people in our churches with valuable information, particularly in the area of governance and compliance,” Greg said. Greg opened the workshop by sharing that BCWA exists to serve its churches, agencies and institutions by facilitating activities that are better achieved when we work together. A key session of the day was a governance panel consisting of BCWA Church Health Pastor, Jackie Smoker and Greg Holland, offering attendees the opportunity

to ask crucial questions around church governance and compliance. The panel further highlighted churches’ significant appetite for assistance in this area. “BCWA’s objective is to equip and support our churches by helping to manage the heavy administrative and compliance burden of churches, freeing up people and resources for ministry,” Greg said. “This workshop is one of the ways BCWA is achieving that and we see it as an ongoing event.” Author – Natalie Coulson

A number of the talks were recorded and are available to watch online at nextgenbaptistwa.com.au/ resources

Photo: Natalie Coulson

The conference featured keynote addresses from Glen Waverley Anglican Church’s Associate Pastor, Bree Mills, who oversees Next Generation Ministries and Missional Discipleship. Focusing on the Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:16-20, Bree shared about growing a culture of discipleship and the importance of helping the young and old in our churches realise that they are disciple-makers themselves. Sarah French from Riverton Baptist Community Church brought another keynote address titled ‘Seasons of Discipleship’, sharing practical tools for discerning various seasons of faith. Along with the keynote addresses, 12 local speakers shared on a broad range of topics helpful to children’s leaders and offered easily implementable next steps. Creating an environment for children’s leaders to connect, support one another, worship together and learn from each other was an important element to the conference. “We want to celebrate the children’s leaders in our state for their wonderful contribution to the lives of children and to give back to what is sometimes a lonely and tiring calling,” Baptist Churches Western Australia Next Generations Pastor, Ed Devine said. “Beyond Kidsmin Conference is starting to feel like a family reunion each year!” he said. Rockingham Baptist Church Youth Intern, Tom Fraser said

Church leaders equipped

BCWA Business Manager, Doug Patching presenting to pastors and leaders at the Church Governance and Administration Workshop.


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OCTOBER 2019

When a language is lost or endangered, so too is the culture leading to a deep sense of loss and personal and community grief. The Nyoongar Aboriginal people, consisting of several different clans in the South West of Western Australia, are trying to revive the language of their heart and memory. Very few Nyoongar can speak their language fluently, as the generation prior was forbidden to speak it when they were growing up attending mission and government schools. These elders of the community were unable to teach it to their children as they had forgotten it themselves. Twenty years ago, a group of Nyoongar women approached the Bible Society with the dream of seeing the Bible translated into the Nyoongar language. Fifteen years later, the Gospel of Luke – Warda Kwabba Luke-ang – was completed. It is unique in its presentation. It has the Nyoongar words on the left page, English translated from Nyoongar on the right, and a glossary of words at the bottom. This assists new readers to the language. For non-Indigenous people, who only know one language, perhaps English, French, Spanish or Mandarin, it is hard to fully understand the impact of losing the language of your people. Unfortunately, that is the story of the Nyoongar people. Aunty Gloria Dann, a woman who has seen and suffered

much in her life, does not mince words when she reflects on the importance of language. “When you know your language and your culture, you know who you are,” Aunty Gloria said. Aunty Gloria was one of the translators who spent 15 years working on the Gospel of Luke, now available both as an audio and printed book, for Nyoongar and non-Nyoongar people to read. Tom Little, at 61, is one of the younger ones involved in the original translation and wants to see more translations take place. Through the support of the Bible Society, he is working on a translation of the Book of Ruth into Nyoongar. “Bringing the Nyoongar language to life is such a vital process for us. It is ours,” Uncle Tom said. “We start to become whole again.” Bible Society continues to support this extraordinary and painstaking translation work. Tom recently spent a week in Canberra working through his progress on Ruth alongside Bible Society’s leading expert in Aboriginal languages, John Harris. For more information about this work, visit biblesociety.org.au/ nyoongar, and Warda Kwabba Luke-ang is available at Koorong bookstores.

Photo: Bible Society Australia

Bible translated into Nyoongar

Bible Society staff and Nyoongar translators. Front row: Aunty Melba Wallam, Charmaine Councillor and Aunty Margaret Little. Back row: Uncle Tom Little, Penny Mulvey and Rick Pekan.

Customer experience is key at Baptistcare

Authors – Penny Mulvey and Rick Pekan

Change of church location Western Australia Matu Christian Church have changed their service location to Maida Vale Baptist Church, 24 Edney Road, High Wycombe, meeting from 2pm to 5pm each Sunday.

Pastoral changes James Middleton has commenced as the Interim Pastor at Austin Cove Community Church; Sarah Baggaley as Associate Pastor at Carey Baptist Church; John Pimm as Pastor at Esperance Baptist Church; Paul Quicke as Lead Pastor at Morley Baptist Church; Sara de Souza, Brito Mendez and Ben Smith as Associate Pastors at Perth Baptist Church. Victor Zander has concluded as the Pastor at Slavic Baptist Church.

BCWA 2019 Annual Assembly On Saturday 19 October, the 2019 BCWA Annual Assembly will be held at WA Chin Christian Church,

25 Suffolk Street, Caversham, from 9am to 12pm. Several pastors are being accredited, and Rev. Dr Brian Harris is the guest speaker.

Secrets of WA Baptists Investigate if your church’s story has been saved. Enjoy a display of rare photos and records from the shadows of the past on Sunday 10 November, 2:30pm at Vose Seminary Library. The Baptist Historical Society AGM will also be held during this time.

Disciple making Praxeis is bringing Phil Alessi to Perth in November. Phil has seen remarkable outcomes by making disciples in the United States’ prison system. Praxeis is hosting an event on Saturday 23 November from 9.30am to 12.30am at Mosaic South Perth Baptist Church, where Phil will be speaking about starting disciplemaking movements in hard places. For more information, visit www.praxeis.org

Baptistcare Customer Engagement Consultant, Lisa Iley enjoys assisting one of Baptistcare’s Home Care customers.

Baptistcare has recently expanded its Customer Centre to include a team of Customer Engagement Consultants dedicated to helping older West Australians navigate their options when it comes to aged care. As government policy places greater choice and control in the hands of the consumer, these consultants will introduce new capabilities and processes in order to offer the

best possible experience for Baptistcare’s customers and their family members. Duncan Guy from Baptistcare’s Customer Centre said the consultants will play an important role in alleviating the stress and uncertainty that often comes with making decisions about aged care, including assisting with the transition to residential care if required. “Our Customer Engagement Consultants will take the time to understand an individual’s needs and preferences, offering customers a personalised experience where they feel respected and listened to,” Duncan said.

Lisa Iley became Baptistcare’s first Albany-based Customer Engagement Consultant earlier this year and said she was enjoying the opportunity to give back to her local community. “We understand how complex the aged care system can be to navigate. We are here to help guide customers and their family members through everything from paperwork to assessments,” Lisa said. For more information and to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation, phone 1300 660 640.

Photo: Baptistcare

briefs


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feature OCTOBER 2019

In January this year, I had the privilege of travelling with Baptist World Aid Australia and a team of Australian Baptist leaders to the beautiful country of Nepal, to see their partnership with local organisation United Mission to Nepal (UMN) in lifting Nepal’s most vulnerable people out of desperate poverty.

Learnings fr O

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ur hosts took us to a village high in the hills of rural Nepal to meet women and children who were part of a nine year program, which helped the whole community by providing initiatives in schools, leadership training, essential services and establishing self-reliance groups for women.

e travelled out to the home of one of the children who is sponsored through Baptist World Aid Australia. She lived in a small shack on the side of a hill, with her older sisters and her parents who were both deaf and dumb. It was incredible to speak to her and see the impact that sponsorship had on her entire family.

To get to this village, we drove in four-wheel drives, bumping our way around mountains until we reached the top. We visited a school that was flourishing with the help of Baptist World Aid Australia and UMN and met with a group of teenage girls who ran a club for the children of their community. The club taught children about sanitation, caring for the environment, cooking, growing vegetables, advocating for their needs and protecting themselves from trafficking on the long walk home from school. The club’s leaders are trained by the UMN and when asked about their aspirations, they spoke of their desire to be teachers, lawyers and doctors, and to travel the world. The girls were articulate, confident and loved leading their club. During the trip, we sat down with a group of women who were part of a self-reliance group. All but one of these women were illiterate. None of them had attended school, but with the help of the UMN staff, they learned how to set up and run a loaning institute, enabling them to loan money to the women of the community and establish themselves in business. The women came from homes dotted over the hills to meet and talk with us. We sat together and asked them many questions about their businesses, and what life was like before and after they established their cooperative. One lady shared that she borrowed around $40 AUD five years prior. With that, she bought a goat and a pig, which meant she no longer had to ferment and sell alcohol. Two years later, after lots of hard work and greater loans, she now owns three poultry farms and her children can attend school. These ladies shone with confidence and laughed with ease. They told us how happy their husbands are that they are part of this group. They spoke of their goals for the community – to increase their income; to protect the rights of their children; to defend the rights of women; to support pregnant women; and to make their community beautiful, safe and clean. These women are strong, determined and resolute. My heart sang with joy and love for what they were doing and the way they were doing it. Before the group established, the women had never met each other. Now, they have a very strong sense of community and connection.

The beauty of UMN and Baptist World Aid Australia is that they help the local people get started. They use local leaders, equipping them with the equipment, skills and leadership training they need to become self-reliant. The plan is always to build them up to a point where they can do it for themselves. Right from the start, this is their plan – to lovingly walk alongside them until they are ready to flourish on their own. The community’s women are flourishing. Baptist World Aid have walked alongside them for nine years and they are now ready to stand on their own. Our host, Steph, took us to another village. We travelled out from the mountainous area south, to where the land was flat and much warmer. We were much closer to the Indian border. Steph was taking us to see a community where Baptist World Aid and UMN had not yet been. They were just beginning to assess the needs of the people, with an eye out for the most vulnerable in the community. Walking the littered streets of this village, it didn’t take us long to see who these people were – the women of the town, especially the widows and the girls. UMN had given advance notice of our visit and asked if any teenage girls in the town would like to come out to meet seven women from Australia. Only three were given permission to come, and we sat with them in an open area. Many men came out to look on as we spoke with them. I don’t have photos of this moment as it was a bit tense and really wasn’t the time to bring our camera out. We crouched on the dusty cement floor with the girls and asked them questions. “What do you like to do for fun?” I asked. “We are not allowed to have fun,” one of the girls said, shaking her head. “Do you go to school?” Lara asked. “No, I am not allowed to go to school. I went for one year when I was younger.” “Would you like to go?” Steph asked gently. “Yes, I really would,” she said, as tears welled in her eyes. But even if their parents did want to risk letting them walk to school, they are worth more in the field than the classroom.


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feature OCTOBER 2019

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e walked down to the school where UMN had given a general invitation to any women in the town to come and chat with us. They were very shy, reserved and uncomfortable with us, and it seemed they were a little uncomfortable with each other.

I had the privilege of being the group photographer, so as the group chatted, I was able to move among them and take photographs. With permission, I took a photo of one older lady. After I showed her the photo, she tried to tell me something. She didn’t seem to realise that I didn’t understand her and was quite insistent that I heard what she was saying. An interpreter came over and translated. “I’m sorry my face is sad. My husband just died, and because I am a woman, no one really cares,” she said. I looked back at her in shock and my heart ached for her. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was. I took her hand and held it in mine, and all three of us – the lady, the interpreter and I – had tears spilling over. We sat and held hands for what felt like forever. I looked into her face, wanting her to know that I cared and that she mattered. The women in this group shared that they felt their lives were hopeless. They felt they were of little value to their community. None of them had gone to school. They work all day in the fields. They expressed great fears for their daughters. There is a Hindu saying, “To raise a daughter is to water your neighbour’s garden.” To educate a daughter was to saddle yourself with great debt. This community practised arranged marriage, where a dowry had to be paid to the husband’s family. The women explained that often you would need to buy the husband a motorbike and give his family a large sum of money. We also heard the heartbreaking revelation that if the daughter was educated, the dowry would be higher. It was devastatingly unfair.

would have walked away from my conversation with those women full of despair, but I knew what was coming for them. UMN and Baptist World Aid were coming to help them lift themselves from poverty.

They were coming to teach, train, lead, encourage and empower. In this area, they will establish children clubs like the one we visited. The children will be sponsored, allowing the girls to go to school. The women will begin meeting in self-help groups and start their own businesses. I am confident that with the help of UMN and Baptist World Aid Australia, they will go from being despairing to rejoicing, just like the women in the hills. I am so excited for what is to come for the women, especially the widows and the young girls. I came home from Nepal quite changed on the inside. I looked around my home and thought about the woman who changed her whole world with just $40. I talked to my husband and we decided to sponsor two girls from the area I had visited. I started selling items on Gumtree to put aside for them – a coffee machine, a juicer, a tent, a piano, a birdcage, a treadmill and my trombone. I made a commitment not to buy any clothes or books for a year and to use that money for my Nepali sponsored children. I haven’t been great at that, but I have significantly reduced my personal spending. We get to help change the lives of people living in poverty – just like the women and girls I met in that village. Can I encourage you to consider the part you might play in that? In this edition of The Advocate, you will find Baptist World Aid Australia’s The Little Book of Big Hearted Gifts 2019/2020 – it’s full of gifts that mean more! More for women and girls who live in poverty, right across our broken, hurting world. Order your ‘big hearted’ gifts today to help bring lasting change for those who need it most. Fill out the coupon in the catalogue or order online at baptistworldaid.org.au/big-hearted-gifts Author – Yvette Cherry Yvette Cherry is the Women’s Leadership Pastor at Baptist Churches Western Australia and serves as the WA Representative for Australian Baptist Women.

9


10 world news OCTOBER 2019

Sally’s house in Mozambique “They have so much experience in local language and culture, in building relationships, and sharing God’s story with people,” Sally said. “It will be great to continue to live with them and learn from them.” Global Interaction crosscultural workers have been living in Massangulo since 2013. It is part of a strategy to connect with Yawo people not only in the cities and towns, but also in remote areas. Living in the rural village setting has created exciting opportunities to tell stories about God. Recently, Sally was involved in sharing God’s story for the world during the local girls’ initiation ceremonies. The new house has been funded by donations from generous people in Australia. “I am so grateful to those who have supported my new house,” Sally expressed. “Supporting the house supports me to live here, form relationships with local women and share God’s story at initiation ceremonies.” If you would like to donate to Sally’s house project, visit globalinteraction.org.au Author – Dan McGrechan

international briefs A no-deal Brexit gambles with the poorest Leaders from seven Christian denominations, including the General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, have written an open letter to the new United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson to express their concern that failing to agree on a Brexit deal will “hit those held back by poverty very hard indeed.” Their letter states, “At a time when increasing numbers of families have difficulties putting enough food on the table, we believe it is irresponsible to consider a course of action that is expected to make that situation worse.”

Formation of alliance for religious freedom United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced the establishment of the International Religious Freedom Alliance in late July, hoping the issue of persecution becomes a top priority for countries around the world. “We hope that this new vehicle – the first-ever international

body devoted to this specific topic – will build on efforts to date and bring like-minded countries together to confront challenges of international religious freedom,” he said. US Vice-President, Mike Pence also spoke at the event. “The United States stands with all victims of religious persecution and the American people have them in our hearts – and in our prayers,” he said.

Religious freedom is decreasing The Pew Research Centre, based in Washington DC, have released their tenth annual report on religious restrictions around the world and the way they have changed from 2007 to 2017. “The latest data shows that 52 governments – including some in very populous countries like China, Indonesia and Russia – impose either ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of restrictions on religion, up from 40 in 2007,” the report stated. The report stated that Christians remain the largest community that is harassed for their faith.

Local builders with Mark Chambers outside of the new Global Interaction house in Mozambique.

Planned Parenthood’s revenue stream dries up The Planned Parenthood Federation of America declared in August that it would not follow the Trump administration’s new ruling that prohibits the use of federal family planning funds for organisations that perform, promote or refer abortions. The decision to not accept the ruling means that the Planned Parenthood will forfeit upwards of $60 million a year in order to conduct business as usual as the United States’ largest abortion provider. While forfeiting the funds, Planned Parenthood will not officially withdraw from the Title X Family Planning Program until all legal challenges that were underway are resolved. In their 2017-2018 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood stated that it received around $500 million from Medicaid, with the abortion giant performing more than 332,757 abortions in the same reporting period. President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission from the Southern Baptist Convention, Russell Moore

Photo: Danielle W Gagnon/Shutterstock.com

The house will become home for Sally Pim who moved into the rural village of Massangulo in 2018 to join the Beeck and Falconer families in ministry. Sally is currently living in a guest house. The house project has been managed by Cam Beeck and Scott Falconer. Team members and many local men have assisted in the building of the house, along with Alan McGrechan from WA and Mark Chambers from NSW who travelled to assist with the electrical fit-out and general building. The new house has two bedrooms, allowing space for Sally to host visitors and volunteers in the future. Most exciting for Sally are the opportunities for ministry that the house will enable. “I often get invited into the homes of local women,” Sally explained. “It will be great to return the hospitality.” “This will be my home, a place to invite others into, to build deeper friendships with those in our community. Nothing beats doing life with people.” Sally is also excited to live in close relationship with the Beecks and Falconers.

Photo: Dan McGrechan

A new house for Global Interaction cross-cultural workers in Mozambique is in its final stages and is due to be completed next month.

Protesters gather outside of Albany State Capital Building in New York to protest abortion laws.

said withdrawal from Title X showed what is truly important to Planned Parenthood – care for women is expendable, but abortion is not. “At the same time, this new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services is a welcome move not only because it reveals Planned Parenthood’s sad business model, but also because it is an important step in separating taxpayer dollars from the abortion industry,” Russell

commented to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Baptist Press. “Since its announcement, we have worked to make sure the rule remained strong as we continued to call upon Congress to take legislative action,” he said. “We will continue to be tireless in our witness for life, praying for the day when we as a country repent of ever propping up this storefront of death.” Author – Matthew Chapman


world news 11 OCTOBER 2019

Kids Bible paints bigger picture VeggieTales co-creator Phil Vischer has released a new children’s Bible, the Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids, in order to help children see the bigger picture of the Bible, including its challenging parts. Phil aims to tell the whole story of the Bible – not just the Sunday School highlights – and provides a resource for family devotions. “That’s what I’m really motivated to do, to tell the big story and help kids find their place in it so they don’t have to find meaning from a fictitious story.” “Kids are running to The Avengers, they’re running to Harry Potter, they’re running to Star Wars.” “They want to be a part of a big story, and we’ve lost the ability to excite them that the gospel is a big story.” “That’s what I’ve been trying to do with my most recent projects – let’s tell the big story of the Bible and get kids excited about it again.” The Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids is expected to be available in Australian bookstores this month. Author – Ramona Humphreys

Photo: FaithWords

According to the publishers, the Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids retells the stories of the Bible in an engaging and meaningful way, while tackling challenging questions like “What is sin?” and “What is the Trinity?” Each Bible story is vividly illustrated, takes around five minutes to read, and includes a family devotion paragraph to encourage family Bible study. “It’s hard for kids to make sense of a book as big and complex as the Bible – that’s why we often just tell our kids a few of the simpler stories, and then skip the rest.” “But kids need more than snapshots from the Bible – they need to see how the whole Bible fits together to tell one amazing story,” Phil explained. In an interview with Christianity Today, Phil expressed his concern that using Bible stories to merely teach moral values, without explaining the bigger picture, is missing the point. “I wanted to actually explain the whole faith to kids.” “Rather than just saying, ‘This is how the Bible wants you to behave,’ saying, ‘This is the story that the Bible places you inside of, which is the gospel.’” “It’s better for the long-term health of the church and it’s better for kids and their sanity,” Phil said. “It’s the trickier stories – and the tissue that connects those stories into one big story – that quite often we kind of glaze over or skip entirely.”

The Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids is written to help children understand the bigger picture of the gospel.

Ask the pastor on YouTube While churches throughout Europe struggle to combat decreasing attendance numbers, one German pastor is pioneering new ways to engage church members using YouTube and social media. Gunnar Engel, the Pastor of a small Lutheran church in Germany, successfully uses YouTube to address spiritual, practical and curiosity-driven questions by his congregation and the wider community.

Pastor Gunnar’s YouTube channel has more than 5,000 subscribers and features tips on how to read the Bible, behind the scenes insights into a pastor’s life, and questions that were sent to him by Instagram.

Pastor Gunnar said that the YouTube channel is no substitute for regular church attendance, but rather an encouragement to dig deeper and understand that following Jesus involves more than nominal church membership.

He enjoys the widespread opportunities for conversation that the digital realm offers, and so far, his online engagement seems to have had a positive impact on ‘real life’ attendance – the pews of the 800 year old church are filled. Author – Ramona Humphreys

NEXT GENERATIONS PASTOR Maida Vale Baptist Church is seeking a ‘Next Generations’ Pastor to oversee the ministries that interact with, and are relevant to people, from babies all the way through to young adults.

Position Available

Associate Pastor 3-5 days per week Enquiries to Warick ws@claremontbaptistchurch.com

We currently have an established foundation of family ministries, and we are seeking a key person to guide us to the next level in our church’s growth and ministry. Messy Church is central part of our family ministries and the successful candidate will be committed to this fresh expression of church. The Next Generations Pastor will have great leadership and communication skills in order to build and equip our ‘Next Generation’, so that we as a Church family can continue to serve Jesus through the wider community. The successful candidate will be working towards accreditation with the Baptist Churches of WA, or willing to commence the accreditation process, and will work alongside the Senior Pastor. Position Details ▪ This is a paid role for 3 days per week. ▪ Pay will be based on qualifications and experience as per Baptist Union of Western Australia (BUWA) stipend guidelines. ▪ Initial Contract will be for 3 years. For more information please call Pastor Rob Douglas 0448 473 513 or mvbcteamleader@gmail.com. Applications close Friday, October 18. Please provide a CV and relevant documentation along with a written application to mvbcfinance@gmail.com


12 in conversation OCTOBER 2019

Praying for Australia Brian Pickering is the National Coordinator of the Australian Prayer Network, which facilitates, trains and encourages people to pray for Australia. He also coordinates the National Day of Thanksgiving. In September, Brian was the guest speaker at the annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. Vanessa Klomp had the privilege of catching up with Brian before the event. forms of Christian ministry and expression, one of which was prayer. The stated vision was to commence a national prayer network in every nation. Pastor Ben Gray was approached as a possible candidate to do that, but as a church pastor he did not have the time to undertake such a task, however he offered to find the right person who could. After a 12 month search, he asked me to take on the role of National Coordinator of an Australian prayer network and offered me a list of some 200 names of people he knew were interested in prayer. Prior to this I had conducted my own prayer ministry, known as Spirit Alive, on a part-time basis for a number of years, while continuing my business career as a banker.

How have you grown spiritually and what is the biggest challenge in your Christian walk? From the time I committed my life to the Lord, I have grown continuously from the reading of the Word, and by placing myself under the influence of people and leaders who have been further along the road of ministry and life than I have been. The biggest challenge I have faced was when I suffered a debilitating physical condition in my mid 20s, which was diagnosed as the premature ageing of my spinal discs. This was now 50 years ago, but I was told then that if a fusion of my spine did not work, I would be confined to a wheelchair and have continuous pain for the rest of my life. This created a faith crisis in my life. After a struggle of six to nine months of seeking healing through prayer which did not correct my condition, I had an encounter with God in the kitchen of my home. There He invited me to reach out to Him, and in a moment of time He granted me a mustard seed of faith to believe my healing was possible through Him, so I reached out and I was instantly healed. As you can imagine this changed my life completely and set me on a path which has led to where I am today.

Describe the breadth of the organisation today. What role does it play in the church community? Today the Australian Prayer Network has some 700 churches and 2,000 prayer groups representing virtually every Christian denomination affiliated with the Network. We also have tens of thousands of individual intercessors so our reach today is approximately 100,000 people. We communicate regularly with our members through weekly newsletters covering international as well as Australian news, which provides the material for our members to use when praying for the many issues facing Australia and the world. We also have a National 24 Hour Prayer Watch, consisting of several thousand people who cover our nation in prayer 24/7, and have done so since the year 2000 when the Watch began. We would like to believe that the constant non-stop prayer going up over our nation has in part kept our nation safe in the midst of many national and international threats.

You are the National Coordinator of the Australian Prayer Network. How did the network begin and what led you to become involved? The Australian Prayer Network began in 1993. At that time a worldwide movement known as the AD2000 Movement had a vision to raise up many

What is a highlight that’s come from the Australian Prayer Network? The greatest miracle we have encountered within the network is how God has grown us from virtually nothing to tens of thousands of members, without us needing to promote ourselves or make an appeal for money in 30 years. As a prayer ministry, we do not have any paid staff, including myself, however our ministry budget each year would equate to the size of a

medium-sized church, but God has been continually faithful in providing for our needs. We have undertaken many prayer initiatives and assignments over the years, some costing into the tens of thousands of dollars to conduct, however the Lord has always provided through the giving of His people through gifts and offerings, not by fundraising. To a former banker that is a miracle. We have obviously had many answers to prayer over the years, but they are too numerous to mention in an article this size. What do you think is the biggest pressure facing churches today? Undoubtedly to be relevant whilst maintaining the truth of God’s Word. There are many issues today where popular opinion is going against the truth of God’s Word and people are finding it increasingly more difficult to explain why they believe aspects of biblical truth, which not many years ago was accepted almost universally without question. However, today everything is questioned. Nothing is accepted as truth unless it aligns with an individual’s particular worldview. The passing on of our faith to the next generation is also a great challenge in a rapidly changing world, where methods of communication have changed so much in such a short period of time. Why do you believe collective prayer is so important? Collective prayer is important because when anything is done in unity with others it increases the authority and integrity of prayer. The Bible says one can put a thousand to flight but two can put ten thousand. Prayer on your own can be lonely, but with others you both draw life from those praying with you but also contribute faith and hope to others. Just as a battalion in war can achieve more than an individual soldier, so too it is in the spiritual battle of prayer. I believe it is also much easier to hear God when you are praying as a collective as a single person cannot understand all that God wants to reveal to His people. Prayer is a deeply personal activity at one level but a powerful corporate activity when undertaken on behalf of cities and nations. What are some opportunities for the future? The membership of our Network is higher than it

Photo: Southland Studio

How did you become a Christian and develop a faith in Christ? I was born into a Christian family, in fact my father was a Methodist minister, so I have known Christ all my life. After my father died in my mid-twenties, I made a personal decision to follow Christ which resulted in continuing along the path that my parents led me on, but at a deeper and more personal level. I have served the Lord in almost every position there is at a local church level, as well as in the wider church at State, National and International level. Such wide experience opens your eyes to God at work in so many different situations that it is faith building and expanding as the Word of God comes alive in all manner of situations.

Brian has witnessed incredible growth in prayer over the last 26 years.

has ever been. The interest in prayer is demonstrated by more than 13,500 people attending the Foundation Level of our Watchmen Schools of Intercession in the past six years. I see an increasing level of prayer beginning to emerge at the local community and church level, which augers well for the future. I see more and more businesses, organisations and ministries

understanding the power of prayer and inviting intercessors to link with them in praying with and for them for the success of their work. I also think we are at the very beginning of exploiting modern technology as a means of bringing people together across the world, even to pray at very short notice when required.

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


growth 13 OCTOBER 2019

You are in the driver’s seat When my car is in top gear and going strong, it sits on around 1800RPM. It’s motoring along at a steady pace, but not putting undue strain on the engine. Occasionally when overtaking, I need to plant the foot and hit 3000RPM – maybe even 4K if I am towing the caravan. But those are short intervals and for a specific purpose. When driving a 4WD, I push my car hard and regularly hit the red line when we are in soft sand. Again, it’s okay for a designated period of time, but if I drove my car like that every day it’d blow a motor pretty quickly. The same thinking applies to how we live day to day. When we are in full-time work, it’s good to know how to settle into ‘fifth’ and get the job done – but with minimal unnecessary exertion. I tell people who work with me never to dig a trench

deeper than it needs to be – it’s wasted energy. It’s important to live at a steady pace because there are times when we will need to do a bit extra. Living at ‘1800RPM’ means that when the 3K situation comes we’ll have the capacity and the reserve to cope. Not so for the person who lives all of life close to the red line. When you’re already under stress, what happens when you need to go harder? Something has to give! Sometimes our employers may cause us to live in the ‘red line zone’, expecting far more than is reasonable, but too often we live there because of our own insecurities and struggles with inadequacy. We live busy, sometimes frantic lives, not just with work but often with family obligations, church commitments and sporting activities and then complain that life is out of control. But it’s not life – it’s us. We allow ourselves to enter a way of life that is unsustainable and then we feel trapped. If we

live at 4000RPM every day, perpetually worn out, with no buffer for the unexpected, then it’s no wonder we ‘blow a gasket’. I don’t think this is what God had in mind for any of us. I have lived on the red line in the past and very nearly blown things up. These days I like to keep it to a steady 1500. You could say it’s a waste of my capacity, but I don’t think it is. I probably don’t get quite as much done when I live at a steady pace, but I do stay married, find joy in life and I have time for friends. I rarely resent the life I am living. Perhaps it will help you to think of your life in RPMs and to consider how you approach it. One thing is for sure – living in the fast lane might be sustainable and maybe even necessary for a brief period, but for most of us, we find life in the steady lane, where we can pause and enjoy the space in which we live and the people we share the road with.

Photo: Alexander Lasch/pxhere.com

I have a theory that life is supposed to be lived somewhat like a car is driven.

Author – Andrew Hamilton

Something about bomb shelters

The bomb shelter is the room in the house that is a victim to the excess of all the other rooms. It becomes a destination for all the junk of the house so that one room, preferably lockable (!), can be the repository of all the mess. So long as no-one enters that room, the rest of the house appears clean, and the bomb shelter has fulfilled its purpose. From time to time, we have two on the go: a guest room which, when unoccupied, is a haven for every sort of musical instrument and piece of sound equipment. My office also seems to become a temporary bastion for random furniture or bulky items on a Sunday morning when it’s time to gather for church. On Monday mornings, I restore order, and it’s back to business as usual. The bomb shelters of a person’s life are more problematic. We can lock away all we want, but containing the mess is complicated. It tends to ooze out in dysfunctional, unexpected ways because we weren’t created for compartmentalisation. Granted, it’s a reasonable coping strategy in the short term, but only

for the sake of preserving the illusion of function. There’s no assumption of fault-free, incident-free lives going in the early church. Paul spots and addresses all kinds of crazy antics in the thoughts and actions of individuals and their relationships with others. His encouragement is never to hide nor contain but to be hidden in Christ – carried by Him. His heart is for ‘mendedness’ in us. Shalom. Wholeness, not disintegration; healing, not hurt preservation; function over dysfunction. In all that, the church is where we figure out and give life to that wholeness. Not the only place, but the starting place. It’s where we live with transparency as ones forgiven and grace, yet still works in progress. Jars of clay encouraging other jars of clay. Excoriating a bomb shelter is not a whole lot of fun (not nearly as fun as using the word, ‘excoriating’), but living a life free from the compartmentalisation of emotional excesses, is a sweet thing. It moves us towards places of wholeness in Jesus as we rid ourselves of bitterness, regret, pain and guilt. Of course, we don’t

Photo: S and S Imaging/Shutterstock.com

Most people have bomb shelters. It wasn’t until my sister married that I encountered a bomb shelter firsthand. My mother could not have countenanced such a thing. That’s another conversation altogether.

do this by dumping our baggage on the front lawn, or in the Sulo bin, but alongside the Holy Spirit and trusted people who journey with us as we “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind … [and] grow up in [our] salvation” [1 Peter 2:1-2].

If this paints an easy, comfortable picture, I’ve described it badly. It’s often hard. But ‘hard’ is a bad measure of ‘good’. It’s worthwhile because it brings us to places of strenuous wholeness in Jesus. Author – Simon Elliott

Simon Elliott pastors The Big Table, a church-planting community in South Perth, and manages a design and advertising business, The Globe. Republished with permission, writesomething.org.au


14 arts OCTOBER 2019

Hillsong to release new album

Editor: Managing Editor: Production: Creative: Advertising: Distribution: Editorial deadline:

Matthew Chapman Andrew Sculthorpe Gilbert Siahaan Vanessa Klomp Peter Ion Sally Phu Sally Phu 5th of each month

Hillsong Worship’s Brooke Ligertwood on a recent tour across the United States.

With previous members, including Geoff Bullock and Darlene Zschech, Hillsong Worship has been through multiple iterations since its inception in 1983. The multi-platinumselling group will be touring with Casting Crowns and Elevation Worship in November commencing in Memphis, Tennessee.

Netflix star in new bio film

For more information, visit hillsong.com/worship Author – John Igglesden

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The album has twelve new tracks including King of Kings and No One But You. Awake is the latest of more than thirty albums from the Grammy Award winners, previously known as Hillsong Live. Already released, the single King of Kings is led by Brooke Ligertwood. The single has already amassed 4.5 million streams on Spotify, and over two million views of its live music video on YouTube. “We asked God to show us what He heard, then did our utmost to sonically depict what He showed us and go where He led us,” Brooke said. “We worshipped and pressed record – Awake is the result.” “A sound that invites and calls forth a lyrical journey that declares, exults, exalts and prophesies a worship experience that invites the worshipper to go deeper, rise higher, love harder and awake to what God – who is not finished – is doing on the earth and to how He is inviting all of us to be a part of it.” In a post on their Instagram account, the group said they are excited to share these new songs and this new season with their followers. Hillsong Worship is currently led by Brooke Ligertwood and she features heavily on the album. Other group members on the album include the son of Hillsong founders, Joel Houston, Aodhan King, and Hillsong United’s Taya Gaukrodger.

Photo: Carlos E Santa Maria/Shutterstock.com

On 11 October, Hillsong Worship will release their first studio album in almost two decades titled Awake.

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Riverdale star, KJ Apa will feature in new Christian film from the Erwin Brothers, I Still Believe. PUBLISHERS GENERAL DISCLAIMER All the articles, comments, advice and other material contained in this publication are by way of general comment or advice only and are not intended, nor do they purport to be the correct advice on any particular matter of subject referred to. No reader or any other person who obtains this publication should act on the basis of any matter, comment or advice contained in this publication without first considering and if necessary taking appropriate professional advice upon the applicability of any matter, advice or comment herein to their own particular circumstances. Accordingly, no responsibility is accepted or taken by the authors, editors or publishers of this publication for any loss or damage suffered by any party acting in reliance on any matter, comment or advice contained herein.

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KJ Apa, famous for playing Archie on Netflix’s Riverdale, has been announced to play the lead role in the biographical drama titled, I Still Believe. Due for release on 20 March 2020, the film is the story of the early life and first marriage of Christian singer-songwriter, Jeremy Camp.

The film tells of Jeremy’s first marriage to Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before their marriage. Melissa passed away four and a half months into their marriage. With the release of the movie’s first trailer, KJ will be starring alongside Britt Robertson (Jeremy’s wife), Gary Sinise (Jeremy’s father) and country music star, Shania Twain (Jeremy’s mother).

The film is directed by Christian directors, the Erwin Brothers, who recently released another biography on the life of Christian singer-songwriter Bart Millard titled, I Can Only Imagine. Author – John Igglesden


coffee break 15 OCTOBER 2019

Australian Christian Book of the Year

A minute with ... Cam & Kath Beeck Global Interaction

The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740-1914 by Stuart Piggin and Robert Linder is the 2019 Australian Christian Book of the Year, winning the prize from a short list of ten books.

What made you decide to move to Mozambique to share Jesus with the people there? We had cross-cultural mission exposure trips to Malawi and Mozambique through short visits in 2000 and 2007. After the 2007 trip, we felt that crosscultural mission was not for us. Then, in a complete reversal, in 2010 we both felt a strong call to sign up with Global Interaction for the long-term. This was not an easy decision, but once we started relooking at missions, the call and sense of God speaking to us about going was overwhelming. We resonated strongly with the deeply contextual philosophy of Global Interaction, and felt the call to the vision of seeing Yawo people in Mozambique one day worshipping and following Jesus in a truly Yawo style.

The award was accepted by Stuart Piggin, Conjoint Associate Professor of History at Macquarie University, and David Groenewegen from Monash University Publishing at the annual awards ceremony on 15 August. Judges described the book as “a seminal and epic contribution to Australian Christian history, thoroughly researched, deeply insightful and a pleasure to read.” They noted the book’s critical function in correcting the general ignorance of the enormous influence of evangelical Christians in the development of Australia. “It is a challenge for the historian to make visible that which has long been invisible. Australia’s Christian heritage has not so much been lost as never found. Evangelicals’ prescription for a Christian civilisation promoted policies where justice, compassion and prosperity for all flourished, and made a major contribution to the development of the Australia we know today. Understanding the fountain from which our present prosperity flows is the first step in reimagining a future for Australia.” “This gripping and impressively researched book puts evangelical Christianity at the centre of the Australian story, from the 18th century through to

What has been the most effective way you have found to share Jesus to the people of Mozambique? It seems the best tool we have in sharing Jesus with people is spending time with them so that we can form deep friendships. It’s also important to trust that God will lead you to the right friendships that will open doors to the good news. Once we have the opportunity to share, we find that sharing stories is the best way of telling people not only about all the different parts of the Bible, but about God’s big story that finds its culmination in the death and resurrection of Jesus. You’re back in Perth on home assignment. What is one thing you missed about Perth while in Mozambique? What are you missing about Mozambique while in Perth? We find that we really don’t miss too many of the mod cons of Perth … it’s really the people that we miss when we’re away – family and close friends who we’ve shared decades of life with, and the activities that you do with different groups of people. It’s also the thing we miss most about Mozambique – we miss special people who have shown us so much grace and welcomed us into their families and allowed us to share the good news with them. We also have many special friends there from other mission agencies around the world. We have many shared experiences and sacrifices with those guys.

World War I. It begins by recounting the friendship between a First Fleet officer, Lieutenant Dawes, and some of the Indigenous Eora. It goes on to introduce female suffragists and missionary workers, Chinese evangelists and moral reformers – a wide range of people who imagined their community and its future through the eyes of faith. Professors Piggin and Linder have devoted decades to unearthing the story of ‘Christlike citizenship’ in Australia, and the result is a fluent work of national and international importance. Offering a radical revision of some of the received wisdom about our nation, it can be read from cover to cover, enjoyed in sections and revisited as a reference. A landmark account of the enormous influence of evangelicals in shaping modern Australia.” The Australian Christian Book of the Year Award is given annually to an original book written by an Australian citizen. This award recognises and encourages excellence in Australian Christian writing and is administered by SparkLit (The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Australia Incorporated and the Australian Christian Literature Society). Author – Michael Collie

Photo: Cam and Cath Beeck

Photo: Monash University Publishing (Cover)

What does the future hold for you? We are aiming to head back to Mozambique for another term – after learning two languages we want to spend some more time using those hard-won skills! Also, God has been doing amazing things over the last year. We really want to go back and be a part of what He is up to!

What's the dentist's favorite hymn? Crown Him with Many Crowns. Described as “a seminal and epic contribution to Australian Christian history”, The Fountain of Public Prosperity won 2019 Australian Christian Book of the Year.

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16 news OCTOBER 2019

Photo: Steve Fraser

Remote pastors gather in Derby

Pastors Mark Wilson and Paul White after landing from an evening flight in Derby during a remote pastors retreat.

Derby Baptist Church Pastor, Paul White and wife Laurel hosted pastors and their families from Broome, Karratha, Kununurra and Tom Price, with 20 adults and children attending. Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries, Mark Wilson together with his wife Karen facilitated the time together. The intention of the retreat was to bring remote pastors and their families together for a purposeful time of ministry input. “Being in a remote church brings many challenges, often including isolation from friends and family,” Mark said. “Bringing together the pastors for a time of input helps to enable them to better serve and equip their families, churches and communities to say ‘yes’ to Jesus.” Tom Price Baptist Church Pastor, Gavin Douglas made the 12-hour drive with his wife Alana and their two children. Gavin said that pastoring in the North West can get lonely at times and that it was great to share, pray and listen to each other.

“Although each of our churches are very different and we face different opportunities and challenges, there was this sense that we are in this together,” Gavin said. “I remember going to a remote pastors retreat when I was a kid in the early 90s, and this retreat felt like a ‘full circle’ experience.” “It’s great to see how our North West churches are flourishing.” Karratha Baptist Church Pastor, Nick Martin echoed Gavin’s sentiments. “Having other families that experience the dynamics of pastoring a remote church provided the spouses and children with the perfect space to freely discuss those dynamics with other people who ‘get it’,” he said. “Pastoring a church impacts the whole family, and so having the families be part of this retreat with the opportunity to be encouraged and prayed for was the perfect formula for a wonderful time together.” A key success of this year’s retreat was the daily activities run for the children. Baptist Churches Western Australia Leader of Campsites, Events and Special

Photo: David Wager

Pastors and their families from the remotest Baptist churches in Western Australia recently came together in Derby for a three-day 2019 remote pastors retreat.

Matthew and Edward Wager enjoying the view from their flight over Derby.

Projects, Ross Daniels and wife Janine were on the first part of a holiday in northern Australia and based themselves in Derby during the retreat. “We were stoked that they were willing to not only look after our kids while we met with the other couples, but they empowered and engaged them by creating a movie,” Gavin said.

“Sometimes children of a pastoral family make many sacrifices while their parents serve others.” “During our time together, our children were loved, and this made our time as parents more encouraging.” Both Nick and Gavin said that alongside the invaluable ministry times, being flown by Paul White

in Kingdom Aviation’s Cessna 172 Skyhawk for a sightseeing tour of surrounding areas, and then enjoying the Derby tradition of eating fish and chips on the wharf while watching the sunset were highlights for the families. Author – Matthew Chapman

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The Advocate - October 2019  

The Advocate - October 2019