What He has done and is doing

Base Camp

Our first camp of the year is from a Friday night to Sunday afternoon. It’s aptly called base camp because it’s short, focuses on getting to know one anther and  leads up to our  longer, more involved mid-year camp, Summit. This year our president Emily organised Base Camp, praise God for her commitment and ability – I am so blessed to do this work with her.

Base Camp this year was fantastic. Rob Miller from Melbourne CU joined us and spoke on Jesus’ sacrifice and how we are to live sacrificially in response. He’s message was clear and powerful. We had discussion groups that allowed us to unpack and apply what we had heard. I was in a group of ladies and really enjoyed this time, we were real and honest with each other. We also had a student on camp who isn’t yet a Christian, pray that we would faithfully present the gospel and life with Jesus to this student and others who are involved in CU who haven’t given their lives to Jesus. I thought it was a great opportunity to share with this student that following Jesus involves sacrifice, and that this is a worthwhile sacrifice

The majority of student who came on camp were first years or new to CU. Over the weekend students got to know each other over meals, board games, basketball and our games night. Pray that this would continue so that students would make lasting friendship with one another so that they will challenge and strengthen one another in their faith now and after uni.

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J-Day 2017

IMG_7471J-Day or Jesus Day is our evangelistic event in semester 1. It runs on the last day before Easter break. We hand out hot cross buns in a paper bag with Mark 10.45 stuck on the bag. Our goal is to remind people why we have national public holidays at this time of the year and let them know there are people, including part of their student body who believe Jesus was the son of God who died and rose again. IMG_7466It’s also an opportunity for students to ask questions like, “why are you doing this” and for people to discover that Swinburne has a Christian Union on campus. IMG_7469
Over the break we’ll be working on evangelistic strategies for next semester. Please pray for us as we do this, and generally that we would grow in having a culture that is evangelistic, where students are confident and bold to share Jesus simply because knowing Him is a major part of who they are.

Discipleship

Each Friday I get trained with other ministry trainees who are in universities around Melbourne. The program is called eQuip and is designed to complement our on campus involvement. This semester we have began with discipleship, Deb Sugars has been teaching us about effective discipleship, including one to one ministry. This has been really helpful to think through and have a solid Biblical foundation to this part of our ministry.

I’m currently meeting with about seven young women who are Swinburne students to intentionally disciple them. With some of them I amreading a book of the Bible and discussing what it means for our lives, for others we’re working through training material in sharing the basics of Christianity with new Christians or those interested in Christianity. With others we’re working on a spiritual discipline together.

Please pray that each of these times would be valuable for the growth of these ladies. Pray that God would give me wisdom in discipleing them and would grow me through this work.

I don’t take photos of one to one times so here’s a photo of the eQuip ministry trainees. Please be praying for them also in their roles on campus and specially their discipleship of students. IMG_6678

Week 2

We are well and truely underway. Core groups began this week- these are our Bible study and prayer groups that meet for an hour each week of semester. We have 65 students meeting throughout the week in 13 core groups, all of which are starting out in the book of Matthew.

We also had our first Thirst (Public Bible Talk) and Much (Monday lunch, a chance for us to hang out and an easy introduction for those who aren’t Christians) which we’re both well attended.

Please pray that our events wouldn’t just be religious gatherings but where people would meet Jesus and grow in their faith. We want to be raising up a generation of mature Christians to go into the world and make disciples.

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Munch – Monday Lunch in the park

O-week and welcome back week

The start of semester is the primary time when we meet new students and make it known that there a group of Christians on campus, ready to encourage Christian students in their faith, meet with students who have questions about Jesus and love our campus. 17035513_1450425405007941_871956700_n
You can praise God that as of writing this update we have had 60 new students sign up to Christian Union during o-week and welcome back week and we still have one day left. This is quiet a remarkable number for Swinburne, and it’s really encouraged our group. Pray that the students who signed up would find a home in CU, that we would faithfully point them towards Jesus and that students we met and didn’t sign up would hunger and thirst after our God. 17005946_1450425111674637_1863484053_n
Please also pray for the students who have signed up in the past who haven’t yet been involved in Christian Union, that they too would find a home in Christian Union, so that they would be built up in their relationship with God and be equipped to be disciple makers in their lives now and following their graduation from Uni. 17006148_1450425928341222_1471016915_n

Gear Up

Melbourne Uni Christian Union runs a conference prior to semester to train up and equip their students and staff for the coming semester, GEAR UP. They kindly invited myself and any of our student leaders who were available at short notice to attend. Emily (our student president, below) and Luke (one of our committee members) joined me for the three days.
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The timing and content of GEAR UP couldn’t have been better for us. I personally needed to be taught and reminded of so much of what was said (it was really full, it’s hard to summarise). The Bible talks focused on parts of Acts – we saw that their is no other name that saves, but Jesus, thus our faithful and whole proclamation of the gospel is necessary and urgent; the Spirit is at work spreading the word; we should expect that in response to the gospel some will repent and believe and others will reject Jesus; we are united with Jesus, this includes in his suffering; I want to be like Paul, counting my life not as worthwhile to me, but to be used for the tasks God has set before me. We also undertook practical training – spending time practicing evangelism. It was also great to spend time with Melbourne Uni students and staff – simply being aware that their are others wanting to share Jesus and build God’s Kingdom was an important take-away of the conference and I’m thankful for the conversations and community we got to enjoy.

16809156_1438532239530591_133350483_n16788183_1438532299530585_132913738_nOne of the student leaders from Melbourne, Nathan, was tasked with the final charge. He reminded everyone of the great opportunity student ministry is, spoke about how only our work for the Kingdom will endure forever, and how our reward will be seeing those we minister to now praising God in heaven. Finally he prayed that God would make known to us what is of consequence eternally. The whole conference culminating in this charge spurred us on to our goal – to make Jesus known. 

What a joy it is that God has made us co-workers with Him (1 Cor 3.9).

Change afoot

This year is bringing change to ministry on campus at Swinburne, as I detailed in my last email update (if you don’t currently receive my updates you can sign up for them here http://eepurl.com/bV1jJv ).

I wanted to make a note here of a few things, so that when I look back over this section ‘What He has done and is doing’ I will remember God’s goodness and praise Him.

  1. The past month has been marked by uncertainty and simultaneously enjoying God’s faithfulness. Even though it’s hard, it’s a great place to be – being forced not to rely on myself or a team but on God.
  2. God has graciously caused generosity to abound in the Victorian AFES staff team – their support of ministry at Swinburne has been a great encouragement
  3. At times this month I’ve been pretty overwhelmed and fear has been threatening to creep in. My head has consistently been reminding my heart that God is worth trusting, that what he has in store is good, generous and overflowing with life. Meeting with Julie-Anne, sharing where we are at with student ministry at Swinburne and sharing my love of Jesus was the instance were God bought victory over fear and doubt. He reminded me of why I’ve fallen in love with him and how worth proclaiming Jesus’ name and the gospel is.