Loving the least of these
During this week we have had several opportunities to partner with other organisations and ministries here in Perth which are seeking to reach those on the fringes of society here. This has been an eye opening, and often intense and challenging experience, but we have had some great opportunities to share the good news of Jesus and seen God at work through his people in Perth. Here’s a few quick highlights.
Several of us had the chance to do a shift at a house which helps women coming out of the sex industry to recover and get their lives back on track. This house was started by a couple who saw a need for greater outreach in Perth, and have since devoted themselves to reaching the neglected in the city. We were able to help out with simple things like playing with their kids and doing some odd jobs. While it was difficult to engage in conversation (after all, you can’t ask all the normal questions to get to know someone) it was a valuable experience to see what this sort of ministry is like. The house has a very strong Christian setup and focus, but they face a crisis at present, which is a lack of volunteer staff. It’s long, hard shifts, and volunteers are hard to find. Please pray that God would meet this need, so that they can continue to help these women and share the gospel with them.
On Thursday afternoon we had the chance to go and serve with YWAM, helping out families in crisis in Perth. We had no idea what to expect, but found ourselves doing the remarkably normal task of gardening. We were reminded of the importance of adorning the gospel with loving actions, and it was amazing to see how effective our witness was when we combined acts of service with gospel proclamation. Both groups were able to have great conversations and encourage these people to have their ultimate needs met in Jesus. Please pray that God would be at work in their hearts, and that YWAM would be able to follow them up well.
On Friday night, two of us had the privilege of joining a dinner for refugees and meeting both the guy who runs it and some people who’ve been through some truly horrific things in order to find safety in our country. Hearing their stories was confronting and heartbreaking. But perhaps most confronting was learning from Tony,* who runs these dinners, that the local churches have little to no presence in the nearby detention centre, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses are there every day. We were challenged to think, ‘If actions speak louder than words, what do our actions say about us?’ Please thank God for Tony who is doing so much to show and tell these people about the love of Jesus, and pray that God would raise up more people like him to reach out to the many refugees and asylum seekers in our detention centres.
*Name changed for privacy reasons.