World Hope

Imagine living in a small village on the Southeast coast of Africa. You work in the fields every day, and you have to walk 3 miles from your house to get clean drinking water. One day out of nowhere gusting winds and flash floods begin, and you have to climb up into a tree and stay there for days to survive. You pray the tree you are resting on does not fall like many trees around you. Once the storm calms, you go to where your house once stood, but all that is left is a pile of debris. You go to get water from the well you always used, and you learn from another local that people who were drinking from that well were getting sick and dying of cholera. You are trying to have hope, but everything seems hopeless. This story was one told by many when the World Hope International relief team landed in Mozambique.

In mid-March, Mozambique was hit by cyclone Idai, causing devastation for the people destroying their houses, fields, and livelihoods. World Hope International had the opportunity to partner with three other organizations, Amazon, Katadyn, and Airlink, to bring relief to the people in Mozambique. Without relief from organizations and people around the world, disasters like cyclone Idai would be even more ruinous.

The team of 6 from WHI were trained and ready to help fight against the aftermath effects of the cyclone. Airlink provided the air travel for the team, getting them to Beira, Mozambique. Katadyn and Amazon provided water filters that could be used to clean the water and protect survivors from the second crisis of a cholera outbreak. Together, these organizations were ready to equip Beira citizens with essentials such as clean water and food. The diversity of skills and partnerships came together to prepare the team for the relief tasks ahead.

The task was daunting and the first impressions of the storm left the team saddened by the devastation. Joseph Phillippe, who grew up internationally and acted as a translator speaking Portuguese, described what they saw when they first arrived in Beira. He said, “I have personally seen the devastation done by tornados here in the US- this looked like tornado damage times 100. Everywhere you looked, houses, buildings, infrastructure, vegetation, were completely destroyed.”

Without the different skills from the team members and the access to the water filters, the trip would not have been a successful one. Orai Lehman described the importance of the partnerships with Katadyn and Amazon who supplied the water filters, “Having those connections and those partnerships, gave an immediate resource that was available to help with one of the biggest needs, which was pure water.

Because in the case of a catastrophe like that, one of the greatest needs is to supply water, the cyclone destroys the existing water systems and contaminates even wells and that kind of thing. So immediately, there’s a huge danger of waterborne diseases, such as cholera.Having a resource like a connection with institutions that are able to supply the filters, gives just an immediate connection that was a great help in this case, as is in many other similar cases.”

Eric Jacobs, a retired fireman, was trained by World Hope to demonstrate to the villagers how to use the water filters. Eric believed they did not just provide water filters but also hope.He saw the hope in the resiliency of the people, noting, “they’ve always had what I saw was the ability to rebuild and start, new. As the days went on, you could see that life was coming back into the city and went from roads being blocked to the life of the city coming back. And one night, they had a big festival, and that was the first time that ever happened since the storm.”

The unique skills each individual brought to the team allowed for the trip to bring hopeto those who were in a hopeless situation. Partnerships are so important when it comes to providing relief after disasters.

Although it is important to go and be physically present in the recovery phase, not everyone can drop everything and fly to Mozambique.Mitchell Beattie, who went on the trip as a photographer and videographer, explained there are things anyone can do from home to be involved. Mitchell said, “finances are such a big thing. These real disaster relief and sustainability projects are happening everywhere. There are so many people that need to be reached. So finances are probably one of the big drivers. I think, sharing the awareness in terms of the stories that we’re bringing back. It could be as simple as clicking that share button on social media which somebody might get ahold of, and it kind of tugs at their heartstrings, and they connect with someone like world hope, and off you go.”

These partnerships made a difference in the lives of many, and the water filters distributed will continue to make a difference. Disastrous stories like the cyclone in Mozambique will continue to happen, but as long as there are resources and partnerships, there will always be hope.

Posted in WMCA

Kingsley Update

Kingsley College- The 70thAnniversary of Equipping Men and Women for Ministry
2019 marks a milestone in the life of the college. We can celebrate God’s blessing and work within the life of the college over 70 years of training.

The vision of a Wesleyan Methodist Bible College in Australia led to the first classes under the leadership of Kingsley Ridgway in 1949. We can thank God that men and women are still receiving training with a Wesleyan ethos in 2019. Thanks be to God!

An excellent 30-minute film that captures just a few of the early stories of Kingsley College is available on the College website. Enjoy the video yourself, and then share it with your home group and church. Go to http://kingsley.edu.au/Click on “Watch Film.”

The annual Kingsley College Update will focus on the 70thAnniversary, with an Update in print (and pdf) available to all churches at District conference 2019.

Kingsley Community Training Centres
As a college, we connect in students to study at our two campuses (Mackenzie and Broadmeadows) and our training centres- in person and via web conference. Each week there are classes running that are providing excellent training that is both academically rigorous and practical. We have students who connect from overseas via web conference, as well as from across the country.
We are also able to offer training for international students who come to Australia on a student visa.
They are welcomed to the Broadmeadows campus for a full-time study program.
This is our Introduction to the Old Testament class at Townsville- with Lyndell Hall as trainer.

We Balance Both Spiritual Development and Ministry Formation
One subject running at the moment is an Advanced Diploma unit, Principles of Prayer. Our dual aim in all subjects is particularly evident in this one; that of encouraging the spiritual maturity of our students, while providing them with ministry training that will enable them to serve and lead well. This photo is of the Principles of Prayer class, with Susan Lee as trainer.
Please continue to pray for each Kingsley College student, asking that God will form and shape them into His image and equip them for service. Pray too that God will call many more women and men into study with the college- and then a lifetime of service for Him.

 

 

 

 

 

Kingsley College delivers training under the auspices of Unity College Australia RTO 6330 and CRICOS Code 02160A.

Kevin Brown
Posted in WMCA

Prayer and Surrender

Prayer & surrender is part of the process of connecting us to God.

The feeling of isolation and loneliness are a byproduct of a fallen world.

We were never meant to be along, as God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Gen 2:18 ESV

When the fall happened, Adam and Eve hid and we have been hiding ever since. Genesis 3:8 (ESV)

What holds us back from coming to God? Fear. As Adam said, I was afraid Gen 3:10 ESV.

While there are many reasons that people give for what has led them to hide from God, I want to note just two, the first is fear and the second is the illusion that we can hide from God.

From the perspective of fear. There is the fear of punishment or the fear of rejection or the fear of being found out.  All of these may be wrapped up in the reality guilt.

The other point that I note here is the illusion that we could possible hide from God.Disobedience/sin is the chief course of fear.  Sometimes fear might just be the results of a misconception about God and his ways. The good news is that we don’t have a God with a big stick who is waiting for us when we step out of line.

The father of the prodigal Son, Luke 11, is the example of a loving God, not a God with a bit stick…

The heart of Jesus expressed in Matthew 23:37 (ESV) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

Another part of this is that God has provided a way for us to not just an awareness of his presence and love but the means to enter into the fullness of it.

Andrew Murray said, The precious blood of Christ has opened the way for the believer into God’s presence, and intimacy with Him is a deep, spiritual reality. He who knows the full power of the blood is brought so near that he can always live in the immediate presence of God and in the enjoyment of the unspeakable blessings attached to it.  * (Andrew Murray, Practice the presence of God, 164)

However, at times we try in a vain attempt to hid.

But then I turn to Psalms 139:7-10 (ESV)

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.

As I read these words I think of Jonah, who tried to run from God. The statement flashes before me that had been stated many times before, you can run but you cannot hide from God.

We might have been where Jonah had been and then in the dark moments of our running, we came to the end and prayed the prayer of Jonah.

“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
Jonah 1:2 ESV

Or have we come to that place yet?

Then as he was rescued ending back on dry land we see those beautiful words of a second chance,  Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, Jonah 3:1 ESV.

I wonder if in some way, we have been hiding from God. That hiding might be holding out in some area of our life. Maybe hiding by being quiet about some aspect of our life that deep down we know is not pleasing to God.  We might have an issue that we are just not ready to talk about.  And in those issues, we have moved ourselves from the presence of God. Then we find ourselves crying out, God where are you? But in reality, it is God who has never stop calling out to us, like he said to Adam, where are you?

Can you hear those words from God calling out to you, where are you? You see God has not moved, he is not hiding from us.

Jeremiah 23:23-24 (NKJV) “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off? 24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord;

“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

Not only is God close by and not far from us. As Christians, as His children He is close to us and we are close to his heart.

Like to the old saying, he has our picture in his wallet.

Psalms 17:8 (ESV) Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,

To have a depth in our praying requires a deep surrender to the will of God.  To hold both prayer and surrender together requires an awareness that God is close by, but deeper than that, He is all around us, God is omnipresence, he is everywhere, we can’t hide from Him. And from out of a heart that is surrendered to God, we need to open our eyes to the reality that not only is God close and everywhere, we are held in his loving hands

“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Can we feel any closer to God, well I would answer yes, as  Psalms 31: 20 says,  You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence.

I want to leave you with the words of one of my favorite hymns.

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

by Cleland B McAfee

 

Blessings,

Rex Rigby

Posted in A Word from Rev Rex

Kingsley Update

Congratulations to Some Kingsley Graduates
Every semester, more students graduate from our four awards. Three of those graduates were able to celebrate and be recognized for their achievement at the Pastor’s conference.
Congratulations Nathan Bell, Scott Lucas and Scott Griffith!
Two of our hard-working Kingsley Community Trainers, Gordon Kuss and Mal Moses, presented the awards and affirmed their support for these students.
For both Scott Lucas and Scott Griffith, this was an especially exciting achievement – the completion of their Graduate Certificate of Christian Ministry and Theology – the final award toward their ordination.
This was a milestone for these pastors, and an exciting moment for the college as we see students complete all expectations toward ordination.
If you see these three men (or other graduates) in your travels- please congratulate them!

Change of Staff at the Melbourne Campus
Many of you will have come to know and appreciate Paulini Torovugalei at the College office in Melbourne. Unfortunately for us, Paulini has moved back to Fiji for work. We wish Paulini God’s very best.
Gemma Brown was already working part-time at the college in the library and giving student support. She graciously stepped up to learn from Paulini and is now the administrative assistant at the Melbourne campus. Gemma has very big shoes to fill, but we are sure that she will be a blessing to the college students and trainers through her work.

 

 

 

Posted in WMCA

Sth Qld District Women Alive

It has been a wonderful way to kick off our women’s ministry events this year with three outstanding Women Alive days here in the South Qld district! The days were held in Maryborough, Toowoomba and South Brisbane in an effort to spread our reach to the women all over our area.

Friends connected from far and wide, sharing fun, faith, food and fellowship! Powerful testimonies reminded us of God’s goodness through the good and the bad times of life. Thank you to all the churches and pastors/staff who helped promote the days to their congregations. Thanks you to Heather Hall and her team for organizing and running the Toowoomba day and to LifeChurch and ThreeSixteen for hosting us. Registrations are now open for our women’s RETREAT and we will have more information out to the churches soon. God bless you all!

Jade Griffith
Wesleyan Women South Qld District Coordinator

 

Posted in Sth Qld District

Leaving No One Behind

What does it mean to empower the vulnerable?

Building on the principle of “leaving no one behind” the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), stated at the Global Disability Summit in London, Summer 2018, that, “To realize the promise of the 2030 Agenda – and its core pledge to leave no one behind – it is essential that all peoples, particularly those facing discrimination and exclusion, have access and voice and can participate equally in every aspect of life.”

The SDGs specifically include and reference disability and persons with disabilities. “This is a matter of justice, and equal opportunity, as well as economic growth,” Steiner continued.

The 2030 Agenda declares that “People who are vulnerable must be empowered. Those whose needs are reflected in the Agenda include all children, youth, persons with disabilities (of whom more than 80 per cent live in poverty).”

At World Hope International (WHI), we believe that empowerment includes providing access to opportunity as well as reaffirming faith in the dignity and worth of every human person.

We believe that sometimes, empowerment looks like enabling: enabling those living with disabilities to develop fine motor skills so they can sit up, stand, walk, run, hold a pencil, write, command their place in society and not be left behind. 

Our Enable the Children (ETC) program in Sierra Leone is a multi-faceted project that provides home-based therapy for children living with disabilities in Freetown, promotes an understanding of disability issues within local communities and family units, and mobilizes support for people living with disability – a vulnerable group that actually consists of one billion people worldwide, or 15% of the world’s populationaccording to the World Bank.

The ETC program is directed by Anna Vines, a Physiotherapist from the UK who won a Point of Light Award from Prime Minister Theresa May and co-authored the Trauma Orthopaedics chapters in The Concise Guide to Physiotherapy – Volume 1: Assessment and Volume 2: Treatment by Tim Ainslie.

Every year, ETC celebrates not only the children in the program, but their families and caregivers as well, hosting a beach day outing in partnership with many other organizations and companies. This year, the event was held on February 16 and the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children’s Affairs; the President for the Sierra Leonean Union for Disability Issues; the Chairman for the Pastors Union in the east part of Freetown; the Chairman for the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities in Sierra Leone; and the President for the Union for the Blind in Sierra Leone all provided remarks that encouraged families and caregivers and emphasized seriously addressing the stigmatizing of or discriminating against people living with disabilities.

Click the graphic below to see 5 SDG Goals that disability is included in: 

At the Global Disability Summit last summer, Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed observed that women and girls living with disabilities suffer the “double discrimination” of sex and disability, and Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) pointed out that children with disabilities living through conflict or disaster also face a double disadvantage as, in addition to dangers of violence, hunger, or security, they have to deal with “lack of mobility because of shattered infrastructure, difficulty fleeing harm and the prejudices that keep them from accessing the urgent assistance they need.”

The time to work alongside communities and leaders to enable children with disabilities is now.

Moving forward, ETC is hoping to build rehabilitation services for children with disabilities in Freetown and across Sierra Leone. “We would like to empower families and communities to love and accept children with disabilities, helping them to achieve their full potential,” Anna Vines shared. “We would like to see community leaders advocating for the rights of children with disabilities and seeing them as a valuable part of the society.”

World Hope International

Posted in WMCA

Compassion

When Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Law, he didn’t know what he was going to get was a revelation of the character and nature of God:

Exodus 34 6And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

This is a beautiful picture of the love and compassion and graciousness of God toward His children, contrasted against the truth of His justice and judgement of sin and rebellion.

We all deserve to be treated in the latter way, but because of the character of God, we get to be treated in the former way. God’s heart is for people. It is for people who are lost, for people who are seeking, for people in need. He is compassionate, gracious, patient, loving and forgiving.

The heart of God for all people is seen again and again throughout Scripture, and it’s particularly clear that His heart is for the weak and powerless (see James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 12:5, 146:7 just to name a few). The heart of Jesus’ ministry also focused on the weak, powerless and needy. And it’s particularly clear that we also are called to show compassion towards the powerless and down-trodden in our society.

We are called not to jump on the bandwagon of ‘us and them’, or of stepping on or over others to get ahead, or of pointing the finger or oppressing another people group. In fact we’re called to go out of our way to lift others up and in so doing, bring about some measure of equality. To exhibit the character of God in us by offering compassion and grace, when we’d rather withhold it. James says thisis true religion!

This… the extending of a hand of help or friendship to someone who – it’s easy to think – doesn’t deserve it, as God in Christ Jesus did for us. This…the hard but merciful act of forgiving a painful offence when it would be easier to hold a grudge. This…  the personally challenging gift of giving yourself (time) or your possessions (wealth) to benefit another person, who, we think, ought to take responsibility for their own lives.

Compassion is seeing the need in others and being moved to action, not just feeling bad, it’s actually doing something about it. That costs us, as it did our Lord. It’s the way of the cross and it’s the way for a Christian.

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  [Philippians 2:5-11]

Rev Rob Simpson
Sth Qld District Assistant District Superintendent

Posted in WMCA

The Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand

Recently the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand ran their National Conference, ConneXion. Rev. Rex Rigby was able to attend and preach at the opening worship service.

The Conference was a wonderful time of fellowship as well as a fruitful time of business. Richard Waugh was re-elected as National Superintendent.

Posted in WMCA

World Hope

Posted in WMCA

Kingsley Update

Within Kingsley College our vision is to develop and equip people to work in and through their local church to shape their world. We do that work to develop and equip others by connecting students to training in a training centre in person or via web conference. Our 10433NAT Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology* is an excellent platform for equipping lay people for their ministry, and it also works as the first year of study for ministerial candidates.

Beyond equipping lay people and ministerial candidates, we also endeavor to draw in others looking for non-accredited training- be that lay people or experienced leaders. This photo tells some of that story:

In this past semester Paul joined the Leading and Developing Othersclass as an experienced leader looking for professional development. Scott and Scott completed the subject as the final subject toward ordination in the *Graduate Certificate. Nuku and Elisiva studied as part of their journey toward ordination. Paul joined the trainer in person, while the rest of the class joined via web conference. All of the students were challenged to develop as leaders and equipped to lead others well.

Around the country men and women joined Kingsley Community classes and gained the training to equip them for the ministry God has for them. 2018 has been another good year of ministry training. We are exciting by what God will do in the life of the college in 2019.

Please be praying that God will call many more women into study in 2019.
Pray that word will spread to international students who are seeking study with a Methodist college in Australia.
Pray for Kingsley College trainers- as they seek to serve God with the teaching gifts He has given.
*Kingsley College delivers training under the auspice of Unity College Australia RTO 6330, CRICOS code 02160A.
Kevin Brown
Principle

Posted in WMCA

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