Read about how God's been at work
On Easter Sunday, Elim Tai was one of seven individuals from our Cantonese Congregation to publicly display their faith through baptism.
This is the testimony she shared with those on the day:
As I've grown up, I've become more and more aware of the fragility of our world.
The uncertainty and instability of our society and the injustice and pain that comes along with it have sometimes angered and overwhelmed me. However, when it threatened to overwhelm me, God gave, and gives, me hope and strength that provides me certainty in all this chaos.
Jesus is reaching out and speaking to me.
However, I wasn't always able to realise how he was speaking to me.
I learnt through the Bible that God spoke to people through writings on the wall, through dreams, through burning bushes, through angels, through visions. So, I built up an expectation of how God would speak to me, and set a boundary on what I could experience.
It wasn't bad for me to have expectations, but rather than expecting to experience God, I expected HOW and WHEN I would experience him.
So, when he didn't speak to me - when I had time or where I wanted him to, when I couldn't hear him when I was in deep prayer or worshiping in the dark with blasting music - I began to doubt my own faith.
I am still in the process of learning, but God has shown me so deeply that he doesn't only speak to us through those specific ways.
Another way he speaks to us is through others.
Even though we are all sinners and imperfect, he is using us to speak to others. He uses moments with friends and family, whether intentionally or just in a conversation on a random day, to remind me of his love, his conviction and his mercy.
I'm not getting baptised today because I have now learnt all this (I am still learning), but it is because of his unending love and mercy shown through Jesus' death and resurrection who has saved me from my shortcomings, that I am able to do this.
On December 13th, 2020, our Mandarin Congregation baptised 6 people at the beach at Edithvale. God has been at work powerfully in the lives of each of these people. Below is the story of Ms. Gu, who was baptised on the day:
"Before believing in the Lord, I had cultivated Buddha for 10 years. In the later period of Buddhahood, I felt more and more depressed and suffering. I always felt that something was wrong. But in my mind, I still believed there is a god.
If it is not the Buddha I cultivated, who is this god? Where is he?
While I was feeling helpless, I learned that Syndal Church had an Alpha course. After I participated in the study, I discovered that the God I believed existed was Lord Jesus. What’s even more amazing is that during my studies, through the church’s brothers and sisters praying for me, I experienced the presence of God with me personally, which convinced me that the Lord Jesus I now believe in is the true and living Lord. I am determined that I am willing to follow the Lord Jesus. May the glory be to the Lord. Amen!"
By Sophie Tucker (Team Leader)
Blue Moose Summer Mission in Ocean Grove was a great success, praise God!
We saw God move within our team and with those we met in the community both in ways we hadn't expected but in ways we had prayed for.
One example of where we saw God working was within the team. We had a team of 18 young adults, most of whom hadn't met each other before. Everyone got along so well, and got along side each other to encourage and build up one another. The team was so passionate and excited to get on board with what God was doing, which made for awesome team unity.
Another way we saw God at work during Blue Moose was in our interactions and conversations with the people of Ocean Grove. God seemed to always bring in the right people at the right time, which led to some great conversations and solid relationships being formed.
A few members of our team had the opportunity to share the Gospel with some of the locals who they had connected with, and one girl has now started regularly attending the church in Ocean Grove and is keen to learn more about who God is!
We are so thankful for all the prayer and support we received, and It was such an amazing experience to be a part of, and to partner with God in the work he was and is doing in Ocean Grove.
By Jayden and Mikyla Battey
Thank you to everyone who committed summer camp ministry with CYC (Christian Youth Camps) to God in prayer! We had an amazing summer with over 1800 campers hearing the Good News throughout December and January.
Jayden kicked off on Boxing Day setting up for ADANAC Family Camp, where entire families joined together to delve deeper, seeking to understand how the gospels impact our family life. We explored how the truth of Jesus changes the way we respond to our families – how we forgive, reconcile, establish healthy patterns and connect with faith communities.
Then, heading into January, Mikyla led our 3IXTY teen camps, with over 160 teenagers hanging out in Philip Island. The teens heard about how we understand light and darkness given the crazy year 2020 was. We fleshed out how being a Christian doesn’t make every situation feel good, but that we do have an unshakeable hope in every situation.
There are so many highlights from camp (not the least of which is the fact that a number of campers made a decision to follow Jesus).
One story in particular gave us encouragement for the ministry - seeing a camper who had been on camp 12 months before. This teen camper was an atheist but took a Bible home from camp a year ago, with the intention of disproving Christianity. In the process of reading the Scriptures through the year, this teen had an encounter with Christ and decided to become a Christian. He said “I was reading, and one day it just felt like Jesus gave me a big hug. All of a sudden I knew it was true!”.
We were reminded how powerful Scripture is, and what a privilege it is to journey with many campers year after year.