World Hope Update

There are a lot of challenges that affect Cambodia’s food security.

Change in average temperature, timing of rainfall, and unpredictable weather mean that fisheries, livestock, and crop production struggle. Because there’s no national irrigation system, communities located just kilometres from the riverbed are water-stressed.

Cambodian women are particularly vulnerable to these losses.

Since they lack equal access to land, employment and education, women do not have a safety net to protect against food security stresses. This is why it is important to maximize available water and produce crops within the natural environment—to find climate-smart adaptive agriculture technologies, diversify the crops, and promote agriculture entrepreneurship.

Focusing on women is game-changing, as they’re often the critical care-givers of the family and children.

These realities shaped the Sisters Program, as World Hope International (WHI) works to better equip farmers to sustainably improve their family’s well-being.

Kong Kunthea, a mother of two from the Kompong Siem District, shares how she began a mushroom house:

“My family’s livelihood has depended on rice and mung beans farming. I have my own land—about half of hectare—and we rent one more hectare. Each time I start farming, I need to take loan to buy seedlings. My husband worked as a waiter, but the money we earned is not enough to feed everyone. After my aunt started growing mushrooms, her family situation improved and is far better than mine. So, my husband and I made the decision to start a mushroom house, too.

Every time we harvest mushrooms, we have enough money to feed our family. I can see our family situation gradually improving. I don’t need to take any more loans, and my husband’s behaviour has also changed. He helps with the mushroom growing and cares about improving our family condition. Now, we have plans to add another mushroom house this year.”

With your support, families like this are being transformed in Cambodia.

  • WHI’s Sisters Program has grown to 98 families and 160 mushroom houses.
  • In April, the community reached a production capacity of over 500 kilograms of mushrooms per month.
  • Stopping violence against women and children continues to be a priority of the work. Two workshops were recently conducted on how to keep children safe from sexual violence. 49 girls and two teachers participated. One child responded, “I’m very happy to learn how to protect myself, especially choosing a safe person who can protect and help me when someone wants to mistreat me.”
  • Five of the highest mushroom producing households received support to build toilets. Culverts, a septic tank, and a concrete slab for a toilet bowl were provided. The families built the toilet walls and roof with their own funds. Increasing the number of households with toilets improves health outcomes in the community.

Regards,

 

Ruth Thomas

www.worldhope.org.au

Posted in WMCA

Kingsley Update

A Visit from Old Friends

Robert Mattke followed Leo Cox as Kingsley College principal in 1953. While Robert, Jeanette and their daughter Sharon lived and worked at the college their second daughter Beth was born.

This week at the College headquarters Beth (Mattke) and Jeff Long called in to see what God is doing in the life of the college all of these years later.

This visit is Beth’s first return to Australia since leaving when she was 7. Both Beth and Jeff were very excited to see the old college building, old photos, the current HQ, and to hear the stories of Kingsley College training centres active around Australia and students connected via web conference from across the country.

Jeff and Beth had not seen the video on the Kingsley College website that includes an interview with her Mum and Dad- as they remembered their ministry in Australia.

(See the Kingsley College webpage http://kingsley.edu.au/video-resources/)

Beth was struck by the legacy her father had instilled in her family, and also his impact upon the Australian church and Kingsley College. I am encouraged as I see the legacy left by our current Kingsley College trainers- as they follow in Robert Mattke’s footsteps and invest their lives into Kingsley students and the denomination.

Take time to thank God for families like the Mattkes who invested into the college and this church, and also pray for current Kingsley College trainers as they seek to serve their Saviour and equip the saints for ministry.

Kingsley Community Training in Semester Two, 2018

Kingsley classes of lay people and ministerial candidates, of Wesleyan Methodists and people from other denominations, are gathering each week this semester as part of their study with the college. Kingsley Community classes are being held in North Lakes, Mackenzie, Goodna, Zillmere, Townsville, Perth, Dandenong, Canberra, and Broadmeadows- with students connected to these training centres via web conference from many more locations. In this way we are seeking to fulfil the vision of the college: to prepare passionate people for ministry.

Men and women just like you are learning and growing in confidence and ability. Consider joining a Kingsley Community class near you, or by web conference, and please be praying for God’s work in the lives of each Kingsley student.

 

Kevin Brown

Posted in WMCA

Passing the Baton

When we watch a relay race and the runners near the place to change the baton over, we can find ourselves with a catch of breath, a pause…..Is it going to be smooth?  Will they drop it? How will they go?   For that brief moment, everything hinges on the outcome. If it goes well, the event is hardly remembered; not so, if it doesn’t.

As we came to High School Camp this year, Director Pastor Scott Griffiths was taking over from Pastor Scott Lucas who had previously led for 10 yrs. Pastor Nathan Bell was handing over the Sound/ Lighting etc to Dave Ottenginer, Claire Markotanyos/ Rachel Mayer were taking over the admin role from Donna Lucas and there were lots of new young leaders ready to step out and up in faith for Jesus.

As the “Grandparent Chappy figures on the camp” we were thrilled with the changeover: the result of great discipling and mentorship.  Not only that, the speaker Reuben Yates NZ, son of Pastor Mike & Michelle Yates  (fondly remembered for their ministry in the Sth Qld district) was an engaging, creative and memorable speaker.  The theme ‘Deep’ was a thoughtful one; helpful to young people exploring faith and those who have chosen to follow Jesus.  Rueben’s messages led to many committing to going deeper in their faith. There were other practical outcomes too e.g. campers were challenged to give to World Hope and inspired to do this in creative ways.  Rueben was prepared to shave off his Mo and Mark Missenden (leader) his mop of hair, with over $300 being donated on the day from young people.

Year after year around 30 Year 12’s graduate from HS Youth Camp on a special night with formal attire, awards, celebration and fun.  These young people have so much potential and we pray that they will find it in serving Jesus no matter where they are in the world. It’s another baton that we long to see passed well and with no mishaps.

Our joy is to see young leader’s return to lead groups who themselves have wrestled with faith and gone deeper….another baton passed well.   Keep praying for our young people that they will know the great love of God, sense His presence and purpose in their lives and be transformed to minister in whatever situation they find themselves.

Pray that all these young people really come to know Jesus to have as Wesley termed it   “Saving Faith” now that would be another baton passed well.

Rev Heather Hall  & Rev Rodney Hall

Ministers in Toowoomba and Camp Chaplains from 2015-2018.

Posted in Sth Qld District

To Add or Multiply?

Over recent years my ministry mindset has shifted from addition to multiplication – has yours?  There is a lot to talk about in the Wesleyan Church concerning this shift we must be making now.  Let’s start the conversation now, not in 10 years.
Our new Heartbeat ‘vision’ statement is highlighting this priority focus.  It says we celebrate when ‘disciples make disciples’ and ‘churches multiply themselves’. That’s a nice statement isn’t it? I’m sure we all believe it, but it’s now time to translate that into actionable steps.  It begins with a conversation around multiplication.

As I’ve spent time learning more about multiplication, I’m now convinced it’s the only way we can achieve the Great Commission and reach our goal of experiencing the ‘transforming presence of Jesus Christ throughout our nation’.   If we embrace multiplication as a new measure of success in our lives and ministries we will begin to spark a movement, and we will leave a legacy for generations to follow in our footsteps.  The opposite is true too, if we continue on the path of ‘addition’ focused results as our measure of success, we may grow a few bigger churches in the short term (maybe), but we will miss out on the movement that we could have been a part of (what a shame that would be).

When it comes to church planting movements, Ralph Moore is someone we can learn a great deal from. Ralph is the founding pastor of the Hope Chapel movement, now numbering more than 2,300 churches worldwide. He currently serves on the Exponential team as their multiplication catalyst and specialist in resource development for multiplication.
Ralph says, “The church landscape is changing. Increasing numbers of leaders are awakening to the reality that we are losing ground in our addition- and growth-focused approaches. Many are beginning to wrestle with their personal measures of success and legacy.”
We all know the main focus of our ministry should be making disciples.  I want to introduce a change in thinking for us to consider. Let’s shift our focus from making disciples to making ‘disciple makers’.  To just make a disciple is about adding one person to the kingdom.  However, to make a disciple who makes disciples creates a larger kingdom impact through multiplication.

My focus in my ministry is now all about changing the mindset from addition to multiplication, and not through growing bigger churches, or mass media, or larger platforms.  I believe we need to shift to disciples who make disciples who make disciples, and we need to plant churches that multiply themselves.  In other words, in the DNA of every church is this purpose and passion to multiply.  Multiplication is not just a part of who we are or what we do, its actually ‘why’ we exist – to make disciple makers and churches that multiply.
With a multiplication mindset the limitations of the old ‘hold onto what I have and add to it’, the old ‘church growth’ mindset are lifted, and the possibilities become endless as the results can become exponential, and God focused.

Recently, I have had another in-depth look at our national church’s annual statistics.  I have looked at our 20-year history, but also narrowed down to our 5-year history to look for any trends emerging. Without going into the details of that research here, I’m convinced that we need to make a full shift into a multiplication model of ministry, and I believe that this would honour God, spark a movement, and leave a legacy for generations. This shift begins with your mindset – to add or multiply?
Our national leadership is making that mind-shift.  This is why over the past 12 months our national leadership have taken some big steps toward becoming a multiplication focused movement:

  1. We released our new vision statement that is multiplication focused: “We celebrate every time a disciple makes a disciple, and a church multiplies itself, until there is the transforming presence of Jesus Christ in every community throughout Australia.”  I hope this vision statement becomes part of the DNA of every Wesleyan Church. If it does, it should translate into some big changes that need to be made.
  2. We have developed a multiplication model for church planting called, “POD Church”. Check out www.podchurch.org.auThis is a simple strategy that enables every church, big and small, to be part of multiplying.  Who will be the first to plant a POD church?
  3. We began training at National Pastor’s Conference on the importance of discipleship pathways that focus on disciples making disciple makers. These video sessions are now available when you login to the National Impulse website, and click on module #2.  Check out www.nationalimpulse.org.au

We must shift our focus from making disciples to making disciple makers. And, as Paul points out to his young apprentice Timothy, we have to make disciples that multiply churches that multiply churches to the fourth generation. In 2 Timothy, Paul writes: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Tim. 2:2) .
THREE STEPS TOWARD MULTIPLICATION 

  1. Start reading about it.  God is moving around the world right now and its in this area of multiplication.  Learn about it, change your ministry mindset, and join what the Holy Spirit is doing. Check out these FREE e-books on discipleship and multiplication, available for free via https://exponential.org/resource-ebooks/
  2. Start Talking about it.  Pastors and leadership teams need to ask these questions: “What’s our plan to multiply? How are we making disciple makers? When will our church multiply itself?”  Put these questions on your LBA agenda.  Ask these questions in strategic leadership meetings. If you don’t talk about it, nothing will happen. You don’t need to wait until you grow ‘bigger’ to begin talking about multiplication, if you do that you’ve missed the point. I pray that as pastors and leaders we begin talking about this together as our main priority, our focus, and measure of success.
  3. Start taking steps toward it.  Don’t just talk about it, implement your disciplship pathway to start making disciple makers.  Take some radical steps of faith toward your church multiplying itself.  Dream together and set a plan in place.  Learn about the POD church model and contact us to talk about it.

In finishing up, ask yourself, “have I focused too much on addition instead of multiplication?”  This addition mindset is the mindset that says ‘bigger is better’ or ‘hold onto what I have’.  Our goal tends to be to add more to what we have, to see more bums on seats and bigger buildings to sit them in, and that can be how we gauge our success.  But if we’re honest, this approach doesn’t work and is impossible to fulfil the Great Commission.  We need to change our mindset.  Simply adding more to what we already have is not the answer and never was. God didn’t call us to add and hold on, he called us to disciple and send out, take the limits off and multiply.

Rev. Troy Beer

Posted in WMCA

World Hope

There is a well-known Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Investing in people or a community  and providing them with the means to be able to provide for their own basic needs like food, shelter etc.

At World Hope International we believe in providing those in need with opportunity, dignity and hope so they can possess the tools for change in themselves, their family and their community.

The needs present in today’s world are complex and deeply interconnected. Our program areas complement one another and act as a comprehensive response to poverty. Students who are drinking clean water stay in school longer. Further education leads to better job opportunities. Stable families are less vulnerable to traffickers’ lies. Children who are free from slavery grow up with opportunity, dignity and hope. Those with access to clean water live healthier, more productive lives. The upward cycle continues.

At World Hope International, we don’t claim to have the grand solution to ending poverty. But there are simple steps we can take to alleviate suffering and empower the poor to help themselves.

Our programs bring tangible and positive change to the individuals we work with, who then go on to transform their communities and their countries. We base what we do on long-term results: we offer much more than charity, we provide resources and knowledge to the poor, so they can ultimately become agents of change within their communities.

Mushroom Grow Houses – Cambodia

In Cambodia, 80% of the population lives in rural areas, where the primary occupation is rice farming. Rice farming only occurs from May to November, leaving farmers without a steady source of income for the remaining five months of the year. As a result, a high number of men migrate to Thailand for work, leaving women vulnerable as the head of their households.

WHI’s Solution

To ensure a year-round cash flow for rural farming families, World Hope International (WHI) works with farmers to create Mushroom Grow Houses out of waste from last season’s rice and mung bean harvests. Several crops of mushrooms can be grown in a single year and sold at local markets, with an average return on investmentof three and a half months.

Beginning with our Sisters Program in 2014, 128 female-led households were members of a savings group formed by WHI. WHI later expanded this program to explore mushroom production in five villages in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia.

To bolster success of mushroom farmers, in 2016 WHI launched Thera Metrey. Meaning “Compassionate Earth,” Thera Metrey is a local cooperative enterprise for collective sorting, processing and delivery of mushrooms and other cash crops produced by farmer households. Through Thera Metrey, WHI is able to connect farmers to markets at competitive prices, ensuring production leads to income.

The Impact

Mushroom farming has had a large impact on the lives of rural Cambodians, adding over $2,000 to farmer incomes annually and enabling them to stop traveling to urban areas for work, save for larger purchases, and pay off existing loans. As husbands and wives no longer need to separate to earn a living, families work side-by-side to contribute to the success of their mushrooms farms.

Some mushroom growers have built water wells to increase their production and to expand into other cash crops like mung beans, which enhance soil in addition to serving as a food source, as well as higher value cultivars such as black and yellow ginger, rosella, cacao and avocado. Others have gone on to build even more mushroom houses and buy agricultural waste from neighboring farms to supply their mushroom operations.

Investing in communities in Cambodia and using the agricultural waste that is readily available to them, WHI has been able to “Teach a man to fish” so they can feed themselves and their children.

To support World Hope International in our efforts to ‘invest in people and communities’ go to www.worldhope.org.au

Thank you for your support.

Ruth Thomas
CEO
World Hope International (Australia)

Posted in WMCA

Stewards of our Time and Resources

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; Psalms 24:1 (NIV)

In theory, we as Christians should know that all we have is the Lord’s and that we are stewards of the time and the resources that God gives us.  I often make the joke that when the offering bag or plate comes around, we should get in it.  We would be fooled to think that only our tithe is God’s and that the rest is ours. It is important to remember that we are accountable to God for all of our resources, including our time.

This is not about looking at others and judging what they are doing, it is about looking at ourselves and asking the question, am I a good steward?  One of the reasons why we can’t judge others is that we all have different calls upon our resources and upon our time. It may be that one is a parent with young children, a worker that has high demands on them in their field of employment, or one with limitation because of health or financial commitments or other special needs that requires more time and resources.

These commitments are all a part of our personal responsibilities as Stewards.  I also want to add that being a good steward involves looking after ourselves too.  If we don’t service our car, or change the tyres, or make sure there is oil in the engine sump and water in the radiator our car will breakdown and/or maybe unsafe for others.  It is true for ourselves as well.  We have to look after ourselves and also as leaders we need to, as best we can, be stewards of the people that God has place under our supervision and care.

However, to be a good steward requires coming to that place where we acknowledge that everything that we have is God’s, including our very exists.  For those of us who are older I sing the old Hymn,

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart, does the Spirit control?

  1. A. Hoffman (1900)

This is the starting place of being a good steward.  But we also were never meant to carry all these things on our own.  I have often heard the saying sometimes as a joke in a movie, “it is good to be King” but there is only one King, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus and we are his servant, stewards over the resource that he has place in our hands. Even though my name “Rex” means king I do not want to be king. I am a servant of THE King and a steward of his resources.  It is good to be a steward. The rest of the Hymn brings to us a powerful truth, that I love,

You can only be blest and have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

  1. A. Hoffman (1900)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

4 Questions

  • What is God asking you to surrender?
  • What are you needing to adjust or change in order to be a faithful steward?
  • Are you looking after yourself and those under your supervision and care?
  • Are you trying to control something that is the responsibility of another steward?

May we together continue to experience the peace and sweet rest as we yield him our body and soul in our journey of being good Steward of our resources and time.

Rex E Rigby

Posted in A Word from Rev Rex

Woorabinda One Mob Fellowship – Handing on the Baton

The work of Woorabinda began because God was moving.  Prayer had begun after the District Conference of 2010 with thoughts of beginning a work in Rockhampton, but a Macedonian cry from Woori led to the beginning of the work there on Saturday 19thMarch 2011 with a simple gospel message, snags off the barbeque under a public shelter.  One woman gave her heart to the Lord that night. More followed in the weeks to come as people were hungry for the Word of God.  Pastor Shea and Leonie and their young family continued to give themselves to the 2 hour drive each way week by week to see the work established.

Beginning with nothing but the gospel, God has added many lives and blessed many families. Pastor Shea’s ministry to the wider region during the past seven years has seen scores of people surrender their hearts to the Lord, and included 5 weddings and nearly 50 funerals.

With the growth of Shea’s family as well as the Woori One Mob Fellowship, the time has come for a change of leadership.  The Lord had been preparing many people, but especially a new pastor, Mrs Caroline Major, a significant community figure.

Who is she? The very same woman who gave her heart to Christ on that first Woori meeting!

There are many who have contributed to her life, and she has further to go, but the Lord has prepared her for this day, when under the oversight of the NQ District Board of Administration and the blessing of her Woorabinda community, she was installed as the supply pastor of the One Mob Fellowship WMC of Woorabinda.

The installation service was conducted in the Woorabinda Stadium at 6pm on Sunday 20thMay, by DS Rev Stuart Hall, assisted by Rev Keith Rose and Pastor Shea Taylor with a digeridoo call to worship.  It was attended by 120 people from as far as Yarrabah, SE of Cairns (1156km / 12½ drive).  Philippians 4:8 was sent as a greeting from Rev Dr Hardgrave, and testimonies, items and greetings were given in person from various other Pastors/groups from Rockhampton and surrounding towns, and included an awe-inspiring blowing of a shofar (ram’s horn) as a declaration of blessing to the community through the ministry of Pastor Carol and the One Mob Fellowship.  Pastor Stuart, in the installation message, challenged Carol to follow the principles of 2 Timothy 2:1-2, and to continue so that she would also be able to declare with Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

Recognition was given to Pastor Shea and Leonie Taylor for their establishing work and the joyous installation of Pastor Carol Major followed.  While the outside temperature was heading towards single digits, a beautiful hot catered meal warmed and satisfied the body as the One Mob Fellowship band continued to bless us with their inspiring worship.

Praise God for this important transition of leadership.  Please pray for a powerful anointing for Pastor Carol, for her LAC (Kylie, Judy, and Barry), for the District pastoral care and oversight arrangements, and for much fruit that remains.

Stuart Hall

Posted in Nth Qld District

Kingsley College

Our semester one, 2018 has drawn to a close, and it has been another excellent semester of training. Once again, ministerial candidates and lay people have studied together and grown in friendship with one another and confidence for ministry. We can praise God for a great semester in this first half of the year. Please be praying that God will call many more men and women into study and ministry in the second half of this year.

Below is just one of the classes from around the country- where students have connected in class and via web conference.

 

 

 

 

 

Kingsley classes for Polynesian Students

Rev Dr Sifa Lokotui has a passion to equip men and women from Polynesia for ministry. Sifa also welcomes students to his classes from all backgrounds, but his heart is for Pacific Islanders. In semester two, 2018 Sifa will be offering subjects in Brisbane and Canberra. Check out the details on the College Facebook page and web site, or call the College office on (03) 9357 3699 for more info.

This photo is of Sifa (second from left) meeting with a few students to encourage them in their spiritual journey and their ministry in Jesus Name.

 

 

 

 

 

Diploma of Leadership and Management

The news has been getting around about the opportunity to study the BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management at the Kingsley College Broadmeadows campus. Kingsley’s partner college, Unity College Australia RTO 6330, is working with Dr Tony Keys to offer this award. In turn, we at Kingsley College are glad to work with Tony to offer training for leaders who work in Christian Ministry or business. Connection to this Diploma study can be in class at Broadmeadows or connected via web conference from anywhere in Australia. The first Diploma class will commence on Monday, 6th August 2018. Contact Tony on 0419 787 513 for more information or to ask about Government assistance for study of this Diploma.

Kevin Brown
Principle

Posted in WMCA

Building for the Future

Over the past 4 years, we at the Gympie Wesleyan Methodist Church have been working towards a future building program that will assist in fulfilling a vision that was laid before the congregation in 2002. This has not been an easy task and it certainly has not been one that has been taken lightly by the congregation and members.

In 2015 we engaged 2 different Building Designers who presented a variety of concept drawings and in 2016 we settled on what we believed would be the kind of building that would meet the vision of connecting with our local community.

Many congregations look to build when their Sunday morning attendance outgrows their current facilities. Not so with Gympie. There is still room for expansion on a Sunday morning, but what has driven us to go down this track is the fact that our facilities do not lend themselves to connecting with families the way that we need to.

Therefore, with a vision of being a centre for the local community we have just this last week voted as a congregation to proceed with building the next stage of our facilities here in Gympie.

This is a huge undertaking and one that we have prayed long and hard about and as a church began to get very excited about. With a 90% vote to proceed from our Members, it is clear that there is a strong mandate given to pursue the vision with a passion.

What will this cost? Everything we have! But isn’t that what following Jesus is about? You cannot go half-hearted in following Jesus, so with enthusiasm and trepidation we are advancing towards a $2-2.5million project that will change the face of Gympie and beyond.

Will you pray with us as we look to see how we can see this vision become a reality? It doesn’t really matter what numbers we put behind the $ sign, what matters is are we hearing from the Lord?

I would invite you any Sunday to come and see what is happening at Gympie. It truly is a place where lives are changed!

 

 

 

Gary McClintock

 

Posted in Sth Qld District

Community Outreach

God is wanting to connect with some people around you.
Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.  John 4:35b (ESV) 

 Sometimes it is hard to see the fields if we are removed from them.  There are many who are working in the fields/communities and it is clear to them that the fields are ripe.   

 Communities can have different forms such as the places where we live, work or play, however some of us play in all of these places.    

 I have often said that it is sad if our church community hinders us from interacting at a deeper level with these other communities. I do want to acknowledge that some of our church communities are deeply connected through various means with the communities around them.   

Some of these community engagements include activities such as a food bank, a soup kitchen, an opp-shop, English classes, budgeting assistance, sports activities, nursing home visits, counselling services, neighbour watch, to mention a few.   

Sometimes I wonder what is holding us back from making inroads into our communities. I do not believe that they have closed the door to us. However maybe they have closed the door to some of our antiquated approaches.  Does that mean that what we have to do has to be profound?  No! When I look at Jesus, I see the way that He connected was often in simple ways. Can you get any more simple than asking for a drink of water?  

Could a drink of water have such a profound effect? 
 Yes, for the woman at the well it was a question that was simple but opened so many other questions. The first question being “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?”  John 4:9  ESV. 

 This encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well had to cross a few barriers.  These barriers were higher because of the cultural expectations of the day. 

  •  A Samaritan – Looked down on because of their ethnicity and different religious viewpoints.  
  • A woman on her own – A man would not address a woman in most cases, especially one on her own.  
  • A woman who appeared to be an outcast – The conversation revealed a woman who was an outcast as a result of her failed marriages and present lifestyle. This points to the fact that she was drawing water in the middle of the day and not when the women would normally draw water. 

 But Jesus crossed the barriers in the simplest ways by asking for a drink of water.  I am excited to hear the stories of our churches that are engaging with their communities. However as individuals just being in the community, interacting, being available and building relationship gives us an opportunity to encounter people with Jesus. Jesus has a way of opening the conversations we are involved with to speak into deep issues of the soul.  We may ask the question are our communities really ripe for harvest; are they ready for the living water that Jesus has to offer?   

 We will never know until we sit at the well and connect. Sometimes it is a long journey.  Some do this connecting better than us, but that is no excuse for not starting the journey which may be as simple as asking for a drink of water. Sometimes I have found people are ready to connect, to open up, when I am not expecting deep encounters. Sad to say it often happens when I am just wanting to keep to myself.  If I was at that well instead of Jesus I might have waited until the woman left and then drawn  my own water. I remember taking a train ride from Rockhampton to Townsville with a friend named Alan Brown.  We were in the café and I was trying to do some work on my computer. However, Alan just being Alan was talking to every Tom, Dick and Harry in the train’s bar, or should I say café.  It became so noisy that I had to stop my so called work and join in the conversation. In that “café” there was a Detective, an Architect and a Minister. I would have thought this was the beginning of a joke. But no, it was an opportunity to do the most important job that God had called us all to do – to stop and converse with some people at the well.  A few months later my wife and I were having dinner with that Architect and his family at his place.  God opens doors at times when we least expect it, and it maybe in encounters that are as simple as sharing a drink of water.  

 Could our conversations have such profound outcomes? 
 O God open our eyes to see that the harvest is ripe and help us to reengage with the communities within which we find ourselves.    

 John 4:39-42 (ESV) Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days.  And many more believed because of his word.  They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.” 

 God is wanting to connect with the people around you. 

Rex Rigby
National Superintendent

Posted in A Word from Rev Rex

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